Poland a yachting powerhouse
The largest number of motorized yachts is produced in Poland. Foreign clients also eagerly purchase larger luxury ships made in Poland.
"Poland is a seacraft paradise," says Aleksandra Brzozowska from the Galeon shipyards, a producer of luxury yachts. "When speaking about the quality of Polish shipyards, we are at the top of the table and the unquestioned leader in smaller yachts."
In recent years Poland has become second to only the United States in the production of small motorized yachts up to 9 metres in length, and one of the largest producers of boats in the 6-10 metre category. Polish shipyards are also selling increasing numbers of luxury yachts, with prices reaching into the hundreds of thousands of euro.
The yacht industry in Poland includes around 900 companies employing 35,000 people according to statistics from the Polish Chamber of Marine Industry and Water Sports POLBOAT. Our shipyards produce thousands of seacraft each year, both motorized and sail-powered. 2008 was a record year, in which 22,000 yachts set sail. As many as 90% of boats go to clients from abroad, primarily in the European Union, North America and Russia.
"Polish motorized boats are especially popular in Germany, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean basin. Those are the primary markets for the industry," emphasizes Małgorzata Węgierek, director of Dom Mediowy Arena, tasked by the Ministry of the Economy with developing the assumptions for the "Made in Poland" campaign to promote Polish products abroad.
"We sell 95% of our products to customers from abroad," said Ewa Kot of Delphia Yachts Kot to Polska.pl. Her company is an industry leader in Poland. "We have clients from countries such as Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, France, Turkey, Canada, the United States, Japan and Brazil," she mentions.
Ewa Kot, public relations manager at Delphia Yachts Kot, is the daughter of Piotr Kot, one of the company's founders. When he began building yachts 25 years ago with his brother Wojciech Kot, he employed just a few people. Today he has 450 employees, and including seasonal labour this number grows to 550.
"Polish yacht producers are primarily family businesses, with know-how, experience and highly qualified staff," adds Ewa Kot. "This is why Polish products are of the highest quality, and is the reason that many foreign clients place orders with us."
Last year, Delphia Yachts Kot produced around 1200 motorized yachts and 250 sail-powered craft. Throughout its entire history the company's shipyards have produced around 20,000 vessels. The current best-seller is the 12-metre Delphia 40, whose standard version costs approx. EUR 122,000. A wide range of models are produced by the company, from regatta ships costing several thousand euro to luxury 15-metre yachts with a price tag of nearly EUR 300,000.
"The final price is determined by the accessories, just like with cars," says Ewa Kot. "We export yachts to Scandinavia with very minimalist trim, while those that go to Russia are much more extensively fitted out."
The Galeon shipyard located in the suburbs of Gdańsk has similar experiences, having never produced a yacht exactly the same as another one. The average price of their luxury yachts is EUR 300-400,000, but on occasion they sell units for around EUR 3 million.
"We are unique, because every yacht is individually designed and manufactured," says Aleksandra Brzozowska. "Perhaps it is this flexibility that allows us to maintain a satisfactory level of sales despite the crisis that has faced the yachting and motorboat industry since 2009."
For this company as well the most important market is Germany, followed by Russia, Austria and Switzerland. Galeon also sells its boats outside Europe, in South America, China and in the Middle East.
"Around 95% of our yachts on average are for export. 2012 was an exceptional year, when 12% of sales went to the Polish market. This is a sign that Polish society is beginning to trust domestic products," claims Brzozowska.
The leading Polish yacht producers alongside Delphia Yachts Kot and Galeon are Balt-Yacht, Sunreef, Ostróda Yacht, S-Yachts (Ślepsk) and Model-Art. These companies manufacturer top-quality equipment from modern materials, equipped with the newest solutions in propulsion, navigation, electronic yacht management systems, wireless technologies and remote steering. Polish companies manufacture yachts not only under their own brand names, but also on assignment from foreign shipyards, including the world's largest such company Brunswick. An absolute gem on a global scale is the boat building company of Aleksander Celark, producing classic Kashubian wood boats. Each of them is a true work of art.
According to official statistics, the value of boats and yachts sold in Poland in 2011 was nearly EUR 1 billion. Yacht sales account for 0.15% of Poland's entire export.