Boat builder attacks MoD for buying foreign yachts

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The Independent Online
The final day of the London International Boat Show was soured when one of Britain's leading boat builders reacted angrily to a British armed services decision to buy 10 luxury sailing yachts from Sweden.

Peter Poland, managing director of Hunter Boats of Hamble, Hampshire, said he was incensed the services had not "bought British".

As the Independent revealed last month, the Army has spent an estimated £500,000 on 10 Swedish vessels. It was claimed the yachts, built by Hallberg Rassey, were needed for training in the Baltic.

Mr Poland is encouraging people to write to MPs to complain about the Ministry of Defence's decision.

He said there were several British yachts on the market of similar size including one manufactured by his own company - such as the Channel 323 - which were just as good as the Swedish marque.

He added that many were cheaper, and also cited a similar incident a few years ago when a regiment bought German yachts.

Explaining its decision, the MoD said that British yachts are "not appropriate" for sailing in the Baltic due to different conditions.

This argument was dismissed as ludicrous by Mr Poland who has written to Yachting Monthly saying: "Are these guys serious? Is the Baltic made of toffee?"