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Want a yacht? Head for Poland, not the Riviera

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Want a yacht? Head for Poland, not the Riviera

Want a yacht? Head for Poland, not the Riviera

EU figures show that Poland now accounts for more than half of the bloc's exports of luxury yachts.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.


Want a yacht? Head for Poland, not the Riviera

This is the heart of Europe's yachtmaking industry.

But it's not the French Riviera.

It's northern Poland.

Somewhere more often associated with heavy industry.

And not always this sunny.

Yet towns like Gdynia and Gdansk now account for 60 percent of EU yacht exports.

Big industry players like Brunswick Mercury Marine of the U.S. among those to move production there.

The Polish industry association says it's clear why turnover is rising: (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) CHAIRMAN OF THE POLISH CHAMBER OF MARINE INDUSTRY AND WATER SPORTS POLBOAT, SEBASTIAN NIETUPSKI, SAYING: "The boats are growing.

The bigger the boat, automatically the more expensive it gets.

This is a reason number one.

Number two is the number of boats, and number three is the equipment fitted on boats." Tennis star Rafael Nadal among recent customers.

He's said to have bought one of these.

A big catamaran made by Sunreef Yachts.

British firm Parker says boatbuilders like Polish yards for their good quality work.

But for a country famous for exporting workers, that leaves one big problem: (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF PARKER POLAND, PHILIP SCOTT, SAYING: "We're finding it more and more difficult to find people.

So a lot of the yards are forced to look for foreign labour." As a result the industry is recruiting staff from Ukraine and Belarus.

For workers with the right skills, this is one labour market that looks very buoyant.

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