Biała Olecka: back in the Land of a Thousand Lakes
What does our Agri Plus have in common with a powerful, 15-metre luxury yacht? The answer is water.
The water in the Land of a Thousand Lakes, otherwise known as Masuria in northeast Poland, which we mentioned in a previous article. We return to the Masurian Lake District to tell you about another story, that of brothers Piotr and Wojciech Kot, owners of the largest shipyard for luxury yachts in Poland. The story of the Kot brothers begins in Olecko, a small town in Masuria, where they own a carpentry workshop and the family farm. Honing the talents for farming, business and boating that they share with most inhabitants of Masuria, Wojciech and Piotr started building small kayaks in 1990, before progressing to bigger and more complex vessels. Today their company Delphia Yachts is the largest builder of leisure boats in Poland, capable of producing over 150 units per year, ranging from small sailboats for training purposes, to large, 15-metre transoceanic yachts and luxury 300-hp motor cabin cruisers. The brand has largely forged its reputation on the construction quality, comfort, durability and excellent performance of its products, features shared with our Agri-Plus, one of which was purchased by Wojciech for use on the brothers’ estate in Biała Olecka, on the shores of Lake Białe just north of Olecko.
The estate consists of a neo-baroque style villa dating back to the beginning of the century, surrounded by a large park and a complex of rural buildings (some of which are still in use) that include stables, warehouses, barns, a feed mill, a forge and some early 20th-century school buildings. The complex is partly used for farming activities and partly undergoing restoration. It is here that Wojciech intends to realise his longstanding dream of collecting all types of boats typical to the Masurian Lake region, creating a museum or at least a collection that documents the locality’s longstanding boating traditions. The complex was damaged several times during both world wars and almost completely destroyed by a fire in the early 1990s. Wojciech repaired that damage, restoring the affected buildings to their original appearance, and is now renovating the rest of the complex. Our Agri Plus (bought from Polish dealer Agro Rolnik in Śniadowo) is used for farming activities on the 1000-hectare estate, which produces eco-friendly cereals and feed that are mainly exported to Germany. Occasionally the vehicle is also needed for restoration work (thanks to the numerous accessories that enable it to perform virtually any task), as well for handling yachts and boats of all sizes that are purchased for the ever-growing collection.