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Old 11-03-2009, 06:56   #31
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things have changed, a matter of liquidity

I think the point here is being missed slightly, two years ago banks were lending any amount to anyone, now banks struggle to raise the liquidity themselves so they want huge returns on low risk loans. Boat finance does not currently fall in this category.

I boat my boat 3 years ago, i called the bank, got an unsecured loan in 5 minutes for a very low rate. Now they'd laugh at me.

I was looking to raise further finance to pay for my quest to take part in the OSTAR, but gave up. I'll just have to be poor.

If you want an idea of the costs involved, just read a few of the modifications i've made to the boat:
Marco Nannini - British Beagle | blogSTAR

Ciao,
M.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:19   #32
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Originally Posted by live2kite View Post
That would mean your debt would be roughly equal to your equity level with the loan. I'm sorta with nautical62 on this. I'd be terrified to take on that much relative debt on a boat. How will it impact your ability to save for retirement? What if, god forbid, you had to go a year or more without full income? Does anyone even consider realistic retirement savings or emergency funds these days? I know too many people in their 50's with less than $100k in retirement savings and no pension who don't seem to be worried about it at all. I'm still trying to work up the bloody courage to spend 1/10th of my cash on hand for a boat so I'm probably at the other extreme, but still, some minimal safety net is probably not a bad idea. Best of luck in making it work.
I don't buy any of this. What is the difference between buying a house or a boat and having a mortgage on either. I'm renting right now. That's just throwing money into my landlord's pocket. I get no long term benefit from it. Eventually, I will have either the house or the boat paid for. I can't say that about a lease.

How will it affect my ability to save? It will enhance it. A mortgage payment on either a house or a boat will be less than what I'm paying in rent right now. What if I had to go a year without income? Regardless of whether it's a boat or a house or my current rental, I'm homeless. In the unlikely event I should get laid off, I don't forsee being out of work for that long. Even through this economy, there appear to be plenty of jobs available for programmers. My company has at least 25 openings for programmers right now. My company has grown and become more profitable through the recession.

I think most people live in fear. It looks like you may be one of them if you can't let go of 10% of your savings to follow a dream. I'd rather work every day of my life and live while I'm alive than do what to many of my family members have done, which is work and plan all their lives for retirement just to die before retirement or die shortly after retirement. I guess I'm living in fear too and that's what I'm afraid of. Whereas most people avoid risk to manage their fears, I'm taking on risk to manage my fears.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:47   #33
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From the "for what it is worth" department.. I have a friend down the street who has been a boat loan broker for a long time. Just to give the other side of the story, here is what he had to say in response....

1- He is correct. Over time, liquidity has become much more important and a critical part of the underwriting process, particularly on loans over $100k.
2- True
3- This is where he is WAY WRONG, at least as it pertains to MARINE LENDING. In this business, there are VERY FEW banks that deal directly with the buyer. Right now, there are only about 7-8 banks left nationwide that specialize in marine lending. I only know ONE of those that deal directly with the public (although there might be 2) and the rate is EXACTLY the same whether you go through a broker or directly through the bank. MOST IMPORTANTLY, going through a broker gives you multiple bank options, which allows you to shop all the banks going through only ONE broker. It saves you time, and money since the broker is going to find you the best rate and terms available. It is true however that closing costs tend to me a few hundred more going through a broker versus directly with the bank, but it's for services redered. For example: if you went directly to this bank, you would be dealing with a 9-5 hourly loan processor that knows little about the marine industry and probably has limited knowledge on marine lending. She is probably very good at her specific duties, but does she provide what I would call a FULL SERVICE EXPERIENCE? Can they refer you to surveyors, insurance agents, advice you on boat values, personally know the boat broker, answer the phone after 5pm, perfect the lien (instead of referring it to a 3rd party which takes more time), do coast guard documentation in house (versus referring it to 3rd party), etc. etc. I can go on and on.
The banks that currently deal directly with the public on these boat loans and those that have done it in the past are notoriously SLOW. The fact that they sub out coast guard documentation and title work, means it takes much longer and that the buyer and seller have to deal with another party.

4- This is a stretch. It's true that marine lenders do look at other factors like this, but how far they live from where they moor the boat is not usually one of them. For example: There are tens of thousands of Atlantans that keep their boat in the FL panhandle. Never once, in doing HUNDREDS of loans for these folks, did the bank decline the loan or even take the distance between the two points into consideration. THE INSURANCE COMPANY WILL, no doubt. But not the lender.

5- He is right on most of this, but not when he says it happens frequently. Of course, we would have to ask him to define "frequently". The crazy thing about marine lending, and he mentions it here, is that the banks do take big losses when one defaults. Industry wide, the default rate on boats has been UNDER 1%, but if you hit 2%, your entire dept will not be profitable. So, if you normally have ..5% losses, which is fairly typical, and then a recession hits, it may jump to 1.5 or even 2%. Now throw on a 50% decrease in loan volume, and the bank now has a unprofitable marine lending dept. 1/2 the lenders that were in the business 1 year ago are not now. Losses have something to do with it, but it's mostly the credit crunch and the bank focusing on their CORE BUSINESSES, and marine lending is not considered a core business by any bank.

Feel free to post my comments, although I did it very quickly and therefore probably have tons of grammatical errors.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:35   #34
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I don't buy any of this. What is the difference between buying a house or a boat and having a mortgage on either.
There are many differences. Some related to a mortgage include:

1. Boat loans are a much smaller market than home loans. The size of a market relates to knowledge, efficiency and the ability to spread risk over more geographically diverse areas and more customers.

2.. Homes (property) tends to appreciate in value over time. Boats depreciate on average with time.

3.. Related to above, a home loan includes property, not just a structure. A boat loan does not.

4. Boats are harder to resell when reposessed.

5. Boats are much more likely to sink at the dock.

6.. Boats have higher ongoing insurance, dockage and maintenance costs.

7. Boats are much more mobile. One affect of this is that it's unlikely a home owner who is behind in their payments, will slip away with their home in the middle of the night bound for some foreign country.

Dollar for dollar boats are a bigger risk as many people have explained.

From a living perspective there are other obvious differences.


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I'm renting right now. That's just throwing money into my landlord's pocket. I get no long term benefit from it.
You are not just throwing money into your landlord's pocket. You are paying for a service that you are receiving. If you wish to be an owner instead of a renter, come up with a financial plan that allows you to do so. It sounds like you now know what will be required to do that. I should also add that contrary to popular belief, owning a place to live is not always less expensive than renting, especially when one is looking at a few years or less.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:43   #35
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FLYBRI,
I stand by all my comments. You broker friend is an outsider looking in (as I am to his business). I've spent almost 3 decades in lending. I know the pricing, risk models, collection models, methods and decision making processes in my sleep. I've dealt with finance brokers, business managers, and finance managers for decades. Their insight into the processes of lending is not nearly as thorough as they believe or would have others believe. I used to invite them into my office to watch the analysts do their work so they could better understand what they did. Directionally they know what a bank will do, but they are NEVER privy to the discussions between analysts and their managers on marginal offereings when things like this are discussed.

I understand your analogy of an Atlanta citizen and boats in Florida, but they don't state they live aboard. The lender would be curious if an Atlanta citizen had a job in Atlanta and said he was planning to live aboard a boat in Florida and continue working in Atlanta. Kevingy lives as far from salt water as one can in Florida yet stated he was going to be a live aboard and maintain his current job. It is a fair and rational request for a lender to ask. Kevingy explained it perfectly in his reply.

Ask your broker-friend point-blank if he isn't sharing rate with the bank. At a minimum there will be a flat fee paid back to the broker from the bank. The "spread" or rate income to the broker can range up to whatever rate he can get the customer to sign up for beyond the bank's buy rate. And, he collects his fees on top. Ask him to lay out how he is being paid. The brokers do not have access to some of the cheapest and easiest to get loans right now. As someone astutely pointed out in another post, Credit Unions are a great resource. As for only 7 lenders nationwide, I challenge that number. Please do a google search and you will be presented with many more, not including local banks here in Florida or Credit Unions. I will admit the broker is easier though if you choose not to do the leg work yourself.

In re-reading this, it looks as though I am picking on finance brokers. I AM NOT!!! They provide a needed service. I am more comfortable finding my own lending because of my background. As an example, it would be a waste of money for a boat surveyor to hire another surveyor for a potential personal boat purchasse. He already has all the insight he needs to perform the job himself. That is where I am with lending. Some out there are comfortable enough finding their own financing, others not so much. For those others, a broker is a great tool. If you don't have a strong realtionship with a lender, have not been through the process before, might be a marginal risk, or just don't want to mess with it, a broker is a good idea for you.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:18   #36
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A better boat loan

I checked boat loan rates with my credit union (been with them 20 years, financed house, previous boat, cars and land purchase with them) and immediately wrote off that option. Instead will use a home equity loan at 4% to help pay for the next boat.

If you have significant cash available you might want to consider dropping a large down payment on a house and then use that equity for a low interest loan. Then there are no questions or issues about live aboard, live near by, new boat/old boat, or even insurance (except for your own requirements). If you do decide to live aboard you can rent out the house (which would hopefully pay the mortgage and maybe even generate some positive cash flow)
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Old 11-03-2009, 14:12   #37
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Jonesee.. I am not taking either side and have no dawg in the fight.. When I see one side of an argument though, I like to see what the other guy has to sa.. Especially when I know somebody on the other side of the fence.

This was his response ....


I"m not an outsider looking in. I've financed boats before as a customer, have worked on the direct/indirect side, been an underwriter, now a broker. Been doing this almost 20 years and been the top producer for our company 5 years straight. He is right about most F&I people not understanding, but I have underwriting experience and I underwrite all of my own loans.

I didn't see any mention on his #4 that this was a LIVEABOARD. I haven't seen the forum and was only replying directly to his #4, not knowing all the details on the website and from the person who was initially inquiring about it. NATURALLY, if somebody says the boat is a liveaboard, yet claims a residence 100 miles away, the lender is going to ask. Most marine lenders PROHIBIT liveaboards. They are typically done on an exception basis only for those with solid liquidity and strong net worth. 9 out of 10 liveaboard applications are declined within 5 minutes of me getting it. In many cases when somebody says liveaboard yet owns a home inland 100 miles away, it usually means he will only be living on it on weekends which means it's NOT a liveaboard. This is all discussed during the initial interview at the time of application.

HE IS WRONG HERE. Let me explain. As a broker, of course we are paid by the bank. There is nothing wrong with that and it's done in all fields of finance and banking. Here is how it works, and this is indisputable. Assuming we are talking loans over 100k.... As a broker, after I underwrite the loan and collect tax returns and liquidity stmts, I submit the loan to ABC Bank. If ABC approves it, they send me an approval saying I can either charge 6.75% or 6.99%. I make a little more money charging 6.99%, that is normal and standard in ANY type of lending. But here is the kicker, if you contact that bank directly, and they are one of the very few that offer marine lending direct to the public, the rate to buyer is still 6.99%. Cost to buyer is the same either way. Now, on smaller loans (under 75k), the bank gives us more rate options. They will give us for example, 7.25, 7.50, 7.75 and 7.99%. Well, at 7.25 to 7.50%, the spread (commission) is so low that we would lose money if we did it for that. So we either charge 7.75 or 7.99% and make a fair profit. The bank caps the deal at 7.99%, so him implying that we can just mark it up to whatever and therefore make huge profits on it by ripping off the customer is way off base. Actually, there was a time it was like that, back in the 80's and probably through mid/late 90's, but it hasn't been that way since. If you want to apply this same scenario to retail, imagine buying a gallon of milk. You can buy it from Walmart for $2.99, but at Publix it's $3.99. Does that mean Publix is a ripoff? NO, it doesn't. The lines are shorter at Publix, service is much better and friendlier, parking spaces are bigger and less crowded, etc etc.
The fees are collected no matter WHO you do the loan through. We have a couple hundred in closing costs (most banks and dealers charge a flat $195 or $295 processing fee, similar to what we do. And coast guard documentation averages $575 or so, no matter if through a dealer, bank, broker, etc. I don't make a single cent off closing costs, although our corporate office probably makes $100 profit per deal which helps pay for admin/processing people. Have you ever closed a mtg without closing costs? Unlike some of those mtg closing costs, our are legit and detailed before closing and signed off on by buyer before we ever get to closing.
Credit unions are a great source of financing and I mention it to people all the time for smaller boat loans. I've used them myself, but most credit unions DO NOT finance boats, and the few that do usually don't offer the longer terms most boat buyers are looking for, 15-20 years (standard with all marine lenders). But on larger loans, they typically can't compete with rate or terms. That is a fact. I occassionally lose deals to credit unions on smaller loans, but never on large ones. Go ahead and call your local credit unions and see what they offer for financing on a 1996 Sea Ray 400 Cruiser. IF they even do marine financing, many won't finance boats older than 10 years. And they probably won't give you a rate in the 6's and give you a 20 year term. They also know NOTHING about perfecting a lien on a boat, especially if the boat has been documented before. They don't even know to run UCC lien searches in states where prior owner resides. They just don't have the experience to do the necessary due diligence necessary on all big boats and many small boats. For example: In GA, TN, and AL there are no boat titles. So how is the FL credit union going to do the necessary lien perfection without having a title. The answer is, most don't and they willl tell you that, which is why most don't do boat loans. It's not rocket science or anything, but there is a RIGHT WAY and WRONG WAY. Using a reputable marine lenders solves all this problems and scenarios.

CHALLENGE THE NUMBER THE # of banks then. Tell me who they are. I know exactly who they are. I"m talking dedicated marine lenders. All the ONLINE SEARCHES you are talking about will find TONS OF BROKERS that call themselves lenders, but are really not. Banks and credit unions will also come up in the searches but most do not do boat loans. I know that for a fact. They didn't when credit was cheap and overflowing. Now, in this market, there are even fewer. I think you are a little out of touch on this stuff, maybe knew about it in the 90's, but out of touch now.
Call your local marine max and ask them how many banks they have. They used to have 10-15, now have 5-6 on avg and with their size, they sign on anybody and everybody.
The biggest banks in marine lending right now are Bank of America, Bank of the West, BB&T, CGI, US Bank, SunTrust, and M&T. Even if you have one of those banks around the corner from you, go in and try to get a loan from them. Most of them do not offer boat financing at their local branch, even if they are the largest marine lender in the nation. In 90% of the cases, you either have to go through a dealership or a broker to get their financing. Tha is a fact.

You are mis-informing people with some of your comments. Marine lending is specialized. EVERYDAY I get mutiple calls from people saying that they tried going through their bank but the bank doesn't do boat loans. It's a fact that most don't do it. The ones that do do NOT have better rates than we do, and never have better terms (typically much shorter which makes payment very high). IF the do boat loans, they typically have 5-10 year age limits, where we can go back to 1980. Most banks and credit unions don't even know what coast guard documentation is, which makes lien perfection impossible, which exposes buyer to potentially serious legal problems since documenation supercedes any state originating instruments like titles and registrations. To use a credit union, you have to be a member. Most people are not members of credit unions. Seriously, I can go on and on.

Your surveyor example is ridiculous too. You can't compare getting a survey with getting a loan. It's apples and tire irons.

If somebody needs a boat loan, they should first call whatever bank or credit union they already have an existing relationship with. That only makes sense. MOST will be told they don't do boat loans, or can't finance that boat, or can't offer reasonable rates or terms. At that point, calling a broker makes all the sense in the world. There is no drawback. If I was looking for a boat loan, I would do the exact same thing. Just because I've been doing boat loans for 20 years, that doesn't mean I wouldn't call on a broker. If anything, I know that would be the quickest and most effective way to get access to MANY different lenders that specialize in boat financing. Why wouldn't I call a broker. It's not like I can go to my local bank and get competitive financing.
Don't believe me, call your local Wachovia, Bank of America, Bank of the West, BB&T, Colonial, or whatever bank you use. Then call me or another boat loan broker. It's NIGHT AND DAY.

When you need tires for your car, you don't call MICHELIN, you call a tire shop. When you need a CHEVY Truck, you don't call Chevy in Detroit, you go to your local car dealership.

Everything I wrote here is FACT and indisputable. Pass it along.
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Old 11-03-2009, 23:17   #38
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Clearly I have threatened or insulted his livelihood and I meant no harm. I certainly didn't want this to become personal.

He and I are two sides of the same coin and see the business from different perspectives. Clearly we agree that with some level of experience or tenacity a buyer can find financing on his own at whatever price point for the boat.

For others, it may be of value to pay a finance broker to find financing for them.

I was simply trying to answer some of Kevingy's questions from a bank's point of view. Please give this post to your friend to see if he can help Kevingy with some ideas. That is the ultimate goal.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:46   #39
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Working as a cruiser

I have no idea how many hours a week the original poster works at home as a programer but, as a professional mariner for almost 30 years I do know how many hours it takes to move boats on the water. Cruising is not a part time activity. You can liveaboard and not cruise and work from home just fine if you can get a fast connection to the web. You can cruise and anchor out in odd places and get spotty and slow wireless web connections or most likely no connection at all. You can hop from marina to marina and usually get some type of wireless solution to allow you to transfer data at an acceptable rate. You can not move your boat in the morning, find a safe anchorage with good data coverage, and then write code all afternoon while you sit in your flip flops. I fear that the OP has an unreasonable expectation of what is possible. Boats are slow, very slow..... It would be unreasonable to think you can move a sailboat up the ICW more than about 40 miles a day for days at a time without severe fatigue. It isn't just the speed of the boat, hauling the anchor, wating for bridge lifts and traffic, finding an anchorage, and fueling all take huge amounts of time. If someone plans to follow summer up and down the coast every year they should expect that during that transit their full time job is professional mariner. The move from even Northern Florida to Long Island Sound will take about a month of being underway every day on a sailboat under power, no breaks, no time to loiter. Why am I using the under power example? The OP doesn't mention having a partner in this plan so I have to assume he is single handing. You will not be able to single hand nonstop up the coast of the US under sail without going very far offshore without serious danger from commercial traffic. Also, no sailboat routinly sails faster than it motors so the 40 miles a day is 8 hours of motoring a day.

This post is too long already, but I have to add a comment about the OPs statement about fear. "There are old sailors, and there are bold sailors. But there are no old bold sailors!"
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:29   #40
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Jonesee.. I think that might be part of the problem with this medium, especially when it is then emailed out of context (without the other supporting posts)... I did see the original post as a little critical of brokers though, and after using my neighbor for a pretty big loan, I have to say he did much better than my credit union (which normally can't be beat on cars though) and several other outlets I tried back in '07.

Bri
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:39   #41
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Hello Fellow Sailors:

I have just procured a $300,000.00 loan for my new boat. I put down $130,000.00 plus the sales tax. My gripe is the rate. I could not get a better rate than 6.50%. I have substantial assets both in fluid accounts and paid up real estate. I am debt free, own my own business for over 40 years and make an above average income.
It is my understanding that "Sailboat" owners are a good credit risk yet it is hard to get a super rate like you can get on housing in the 4.71% range.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:25   #42
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no sailboat routinly sails faster than it motors so the 40 miles a day is 8 hours of motoring a day.
Unless there is NO wind my boat almost always sails faster than she motors.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:52   #43
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Icetug,

I'm a newbie, and never taken the trip myself (next month will be my first), but that estimate seems a little extreme. I know a couple who take the trip to NJ every year, and they estimate it at about 10 days, and they really don't seem to be the type to push too hard. I know someone else who's also done the trip many times, who says about 14 days from Southern FL to NJ, without pushing, 16 days if you want to allow time for loitering. The sound really isn't that much farther, unless you're talking about traveling the outside all the way around the East side of LI.

I've also heard from numerous cruisers that except for one spot in NC and the Southern tip of FL, you can get cell coverage along the entire East coast. And you can always get a POE bridge or USB antenna to dramatically increase Wi-Fi range, which I've also heard is really common along most of the East and parts of the Caribbean, although you may have to pay for the service in the Caribbean. Worst case, I'm going to guess he doesn't need to be connected all day, more like a few times a day to check email, and just to push code to a server...or email.

What's to say you can't take a few days off when you make the move every year, and just take your time with the trip. Push for a few days, then stay put for a few days to get some work done.

Not trying to argue, or say you're wrong, since I'm WAY too much of a greenhorn to even try to make an argument. Just saying it seems like you're making it out to be more difficult than what I've heard from other cruisers.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:52   #44
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Quote:
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Hello Fellow Sailors:

I have just procured a $300,000.00 loan for my new boat. I put down $130,000.00 plus the sales tax. My gripe is the rate. I could not get a better rate than 6.50%. I have substantial assets both in fluid accounts and paid up real estate. I am debt free, own my own business for over 40 years and make an above average income.
It is my understanding that "Sailboat" owners are a good credit risk yet it is hard to get a super rate like you can get on housing in the 4.71% range.

Big Moe
If you have paid up real estate, home equity loan (fixed around 5%) or home equity line of credit (variable currently 4% from my credit union). Best and cheapest way to borrow.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:53   #45
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Moe, IIRC boat loans have ALWAYS been rather higher than home mortgage rates. I don't see any reason that would change now, especially since the banks can expect the value of your boat will decline every year--as boats always do, especially in the first hour that you own it--while HOME values now can be expected to double or triple in the 30 years that the bank will still have a secured interest in them.

Risk and reward.

If I asked you to loan me $250k, and you had it to loan, would you feel there was more risk in lending it to me for a boat? Or a house? Wouldn't you want a higher interest rate for the boat loan and the higher risk, knowing you could never repo the boat and foreclose for the value of the loan and interest?
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