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Old 03-03-2015, 13:35   #31
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
You can absolutely save money on an a home-build of a kit, despite the overwhelming nay-sayers. My Cape George 31', from the factory, would weigh in at nearly $400k! But I built it from a bare hull, in three years, for less than $80k. That includes the cost of tools and a full cruising kit. I could never have gotten just the right boat for that money, and I could absolutely never have saved $400K in three years. If you are judicious and inventive and build whatever you can (hatches, and spars and do all your own rigging, etc), and only buy what you can't make (portholes? Engine? LPG Stove?), you can come in WAY below the cost. I did, and I still went sailing in what I consider a reasonable time frame. So to repeat what someone said earlier, don't confuse "You can't" with "I can't"
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Hey another guy who has done the "impossible"! Well done.

And you make a good point - it's not about how much money you could have earned during the time you spent building - it's about how much money you could have put into the bank.

Like you, in the time I spent building the boat, there's no way I could have saved up enough to have bought it.
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Old 03-03-2015, 13:41   #32
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

A couple of years ago I looked at a very nice home built, about 37' Grainger design, 150 hours on the engines, sailed very little. I was told he had about $500,000 USD into it. It was for sale at $250,000. If it wasn't for the twin bulkhead wheels (what's with you crazy Aussies?) it would have been mine. I think it finally went for a very low number. He and his wife did a nine year build and produced a very well finished vessel. But .... it was home built and they could not find a buyer.
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Old 03-03-2015, 14:51   #33
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
You can absolutely save money on an a home-build of a kit, despite the overwhelming nay-sayers. My Cape George 31', from the factory, would weigh in at nearly $400k! But I built it from a bare hull, in three years, for less than $80k. That includes the cost of tools and a full cruising kit. I could never have gotten just the right boat for that money, and I could absolutely never have saved $400K in three years. If you are judicious and inventive and build whatever you can (hatches, and spars and do all your own rigging, etc), and only buy what you can't make (portholes? Engine? LPG Stove?), you can come in WAY below the cost. I did, and I still went sailing in what I consider a reasonable time frame. So to repeat what someone said earlier, don't confuse "You can't" with "I can't"
Best,
Ben
PS I vote for fiberglass and Vinylester
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I believe a Cape George skews the numbers more than a little, because it's very small yet very expensive. Hence it's easy to home build for cheap, though you are unlikely to get the same quality of fit and finish you would get from the manufacturers. Try the same thing with a much bigger boat, 50'+, and you may learn some hard lessons to the contrary of what you think you now know.
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Old 03-03-2015, 15:14   #34
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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Frankly I couldn't give a rats arse whether you believe me or not. I don't believe much you have to say either. Your brother in law? Yeah right....

If he's paying 100k for a rig he's a dickhead. Unless it's a biplane carbon rig or something. My rig cost around a 10th of that. The mast section was $1200 delivered, boom $800, spreader section $100. Rigging screws, swageless fttings wire etc was $6000. Furler $1200. About another $1500 for the sheaves, rivets, screws, etc, some alloy plate and welding....

A nice triradial cut fully battened main and triradial headsail from Gary Saxby UK Halsey sails of Brisbane cost $7500. That also included him making the boom bag too.

I have Honda 20's, $6000 each. Fridge was < $300, so was the freezer, the 1500 Watt invertor to run them was $310. Cheap, so I got two.

Hatches were pricey, but Lewmar did OEM pricing for me. We did a bulk buy of winches for 5 boats, got something like 30 winches at once, very good prices.

No I didn't Pay myself $50 per hour for labour. Frankly at the start I wouldn't have been worth anything like that. even so, it didn't take me anywhere near 10,000 hours. I estimate 6000 max.

But isn't the whole point of DIY to NOT pay for labour?

It took me less than 4 years, and we also went overseas for a couple of months during that time, went sailing, 2 trips to cape York, etc.

As I said earlier, there are people (like you) who will say "You can't". What you mean is "I can't" and you're almost certainly right.
I don't believe that anyone said "you can't". But it is disingenuous to omit the "cost" of hours spent. For my brother in law, Tony Guy, who is building a Schionning cat at Rosevears on the West Tamar, his single biggest problem is that every hour he spends working on the boat is an hour he can't spend working to earn the money to complete the boat, and every hour he spends in his "regular" job as a builder is an hour he hasn't spent working to complete the boat. And what I am saying, here, is that your 6000 hours spent building the boat equates to a hell of a lot of money if it is spent earning rather than building the cat. If I spent 6000 hours doing my regular job, I'd earn roughly $300k... add that to your $200k and I'm shopping in the half a million dollar market...


For the record, I did not say that the rig cost $100k. I said the rig and deck hardware was quoted at $100k (NB he hasn't purchased yet). That quote included mast, boom, spreaders, shrouds, sheaves, winches, foot blocks, traveller system, genoa tracks, genoa cars, vang system, etc.

Good on you if you managed to get all the hardware and shiny things and keep the cost down to $200k for a 44' cat - You would be the exception, I suspect, for a cat that size. My supposedly fictitous brother in law is definitely going to go way over that, and more total hours too (maybe he is slow, I don't know). I know, for sure, he has spent more on fridge, freezer and stove, buying at wholesalers price from BLA. Obviously his inboards and sail-drives have cost a chunk more than your outboards.

End of the day, some people like building boats. My wife's side of the family have been building boats on the Tamar for at least 3 generations, from sabots and cadets, Young 88, 35' Starfire, 40' Adams, up to this Schionning cat and a roughly 48' foot Roberts (12 years in the building, so far). Don't get me wrong, I can see the attraction. But a lot of folk seem to think that building a boat is a cheap option, but "cheap" depends on how you do your accounting, and in my personal book, labour is a cost.
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Old 03-03-2015, 15:39   #35
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I believe a Cape George skews the numbers more than a little, because it's very small yet very expensive. Hence it's easy to home build for cheap, though you are unlikely to get the same quality of fit and finish you would get from the manufacturers. Try the same thing with a much bigger boat, 50'+, and you may learn some hard lessons to the contrary of what you think you now know.
Hi Minaret,

"What I think I now know", obviously worked. Maybe I got lucky, maybe a Cape George skews the numbers, maybe my interior isn't boutique quality. Alls I know is that I did my homework, worked my backside off, and sailed off in three years with my family on a sturdy, practical, safe sailboat that was everything I wanted and got us to places we had never imagined going. Surely I'm not the only person on earth who has pulled that off, and though words of caution regarding size and complication of the project are in order, the OPs dream is achievable if he wants it bad enough.
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Old 03-03-2015, 16:12   #36
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
I don't believe that anyone said "you can't". But it is disingenuous to omit the "cost" of hours spent. For my brother in law, Tony Guy, who is building a Schionning cat at Rosevears on the West Tamar, his single biggest problem is that every hour he spends working on the boat is an hour he can't spend working to earn the money to complete the boat, and every hour he spends in his "regular" job as a builder is an hour he hasn't spent working to complete the boat. And what I am saying, here, is that your 6000 hours spent building the boat equates to a hell of a lot of money if it is spent earning rather than building the cat. If I spent 6000 hours doing my regular job, I'd earn roughly $300k... add that to your $200k and I'm shopping in the half a million dollar market...


For the record, I did not say that the rig cost $100k. I said the rig and deck hardware was quoted at $100k (NB he hasn't purchased yet). That quote included mast, boom, spreaders, shrouds, sheaves, winches, foot blocks, traveller system, genoa tracks, genoa cars, vang system, etc.

Good on you if you managed to get all the hardware and shiny things and keep the cost down to $200k for a 44' cat - You would be the exception, I suspect, for a cat that size. My supposedly fictitous brother in law is definitely going to go way over that, and more total hours too (maybe he is slow, I don't know). I know, for sure, he has spent more on fridge, freezer and stove, buying at wholesalers price from BLA. Obviously his inboards and sail-drives have cost a chunk more than your outboards.

End of the day, some people like building boats. My wife's side of the family have been building boats on the Tamar for at least 3 generations, from sabots and cadets, Young 88, 35' Starfire, 40' Adams, up to this Schionning cat and a roughly 48' foot Roberts (12 years in the building, so far). Don't get me wrong, I can see the attraction. But a lot of folk seem to think that building a boat is a cheap option, but "cheap" depends on how you do your accounting, and in my personal book, labour is a cost.
Well yeah, and if I assume my labour was worth a million bucks a minute the boat cost a f***ing fortune. So what? You think you can put your own arbitrary value on my labour?

I know people who built their boats in their spare time, while keeping up a full time job. What price would you put on their labour? During my own build I worked (for money) full time a bit, plus some part-time.

I wouldn't say I liked building boats. Some of it is OK, some not.

Your brother in law should get other quotes. $100k is obscene. I could do a rig for him for 1/2 that. (And make a nice profit) And a vang system? On a cat? Do these people know what they're doing?

BTW BLA's "wholesale prices" ain't cheap IMO. Far from it. Unfortunately they now have Aussie distribution for Lewmar, which sucks.

Some people shouldn't attempt DIY. Better and cheaper to pay $100 for a plumber to replace a tap washer than to try to DIY it for <$1 for some...
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Old 03-03-2015, 16:14   #37
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Frankly I couldn't give a rats arse whether you believe me or not. I don't believe much you have to say either. Your brother in law? Yeah right....

If he's paying 100k for a rig he's a dickhead. Unless it's a biplane carbon rig or something. My rig cost around a 10th of that. The mast section was $1200 delivered, boom $800, spreader section $100. Rigging screws, swageless fttings wire etc was $6000. Furler $1200. About another $1500 for the sheaves, rivets, screws, etc, some alloy plate and welding....

A nice triradial cut fully battened main and triradial headsail from Gary Saxby UK Halsey sails of Brisbane cost $7500. That also included him making the boom bag too.

I have Honda 20's, $6000 each. Fridge was < $300, so was the freezer, the 1500 Watt invertor to run them was $310. Cheap, so I got two.

Hatches were pricey, but Lewmar did OEM pricing for me. We did a bulk buy of winches for 5 boats, got something like 30 winches at once, very good prices.

No I didn't Pay myself $50 per hour for labour. Frankly at the start I wouldn't have been worth anything like that. even so, it didn't take me anywhere near 10,000 hours. I estimate 6000 max.

But isn't the whole point of DIY to NOT pay for labour?

It took me less than 4 years, and we also went overseas for a couple of months during that time, went sailing, 2 trips to cape York, etc.

As I said earlier, there are people (like you) who will say "You can't". What you mean is "I can't" and you're almost certainly right.


Those numbers like 1200 for the mast sections , boom at 800 , spreaders at 100 $$ etc,, are second hand i guess? no?
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Old 03-03-2015, 16:31   #38
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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Well yeah, and if I assume my labour was worth a million bucks a minute the boat cost a f***ing fortune. So what? You think you can put your own arbitrary value on my labour?

I know people who built their boats in their spare time, while keeping up a full time job. What price would you put on their labour? During my own build I worked (for money) full time a bit, plus some part-time.
I'm not putting a value on your time (I picked $50 per hour because that is roughly what I earn), I'm merely suggesting that somebody planning to build a boat should do the math, based on what they could have earned if they hadn't been spending however many thousand hours building over how ever many years.

You, presumably, did the math and it came out in favour of building.... 6000 hours in 4 years.... fair enough.

But whether you built full time or part time is irrelevant. If you spent 6000 hours building, that was potentially 6000 hours you could have spent earning.

End of the day its not worth getting steamed up over. What you did worked for you, and more power to you. You are out on the water (presumably). I'm out on the water. How we get there is different for everyone.
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Old 03-03-2015, 22:28   #39
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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Those numbers like 1200 for the mast sections , boom at 800 , spreaders at 100 $$ etc,, are second hand i guess? no?
No, that's brand new, but just bare aluminium extrusions. The mast and spreader sections were simply charged at a dollars per kilo rate. 16 metres of mast section, 6 metres of spreader.

We got a good price again, by buying in bulk. There were a few of Bob Oram's boats being built at the time, we ordered 9 mast sections. All of these guys put rigs on their boats for around $10-12K (Some of the rigs were of smaller sections for the 39C.)

Because I got the boom cut to a length, instead of buying the entire extrusion, it cost more per metre than the masts did.

We bought all this from John Denton at Whalespars. Very nice guy, totally honest. Very good at building rigs too, he does the rigs for the Sydney 38 one design racing yachts and such. Maybe Weyalan's brother in law should give him a call.

I could have saved a fair bit on the boom really, by simply using round tube rather than the rectangular boom section. I have end of boom sheeting, so not much strength is needed. Probably could have had a length of round tube for 2 or 3 hundred.
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Old 03-03-2015, 22:33   #40
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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I'm not putting a value on your time (I picked $50 per hour because that is roughly what I earn), I'm merely suggesting that somebody planning to build a boat should do the math, based on what they could have earned if they hadn't been spending however many thousand hours building over how ever many years.

You, presumably, did the math and it came out in favour of building.... 6000 hours in 4 years.... fair enough.

But whether you built full time or part time is irrelevant. If you spent 6000 hours building, that was potentially 6000 hours you could have spent earning.

End of the day its not worth getting steamed up over. What you did worked for you, and more power to you. You are out on the water (presumably). I'm out on the water. How we get there is different for everyone.
SO by your logic, you'd argue that you can't save money by changing your own tap washers or light bulbs, as opposed to getting a plumber or electrician in to do it, right?

To me, if I can build myself a boat in time I would normally waste watching TV, that's money saved.
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Old 04-03-2015, 00:02   #41
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

I have a hard time with the whole argument about valuing one's labor at a 1-to-1 ratio when calculating the difference between what somebody earns and what they *could* earn if only they spent their hobby-time at the regular job.

Most people don't have the ability to fill every spare hour in the day with a paid hour.

Any job I've held in the last 15 years wouldn't pay me a dime more for anything over 40 hours a week. At best they would give me "comp-time".

Friends of mine who work in the trades would LOVE to be able to drum-up as much work as they wanted.

Not to mention the ability to schedule those jobs for odd hours outside of the normal work-day.

How many people want an electrician working at their house from 7-pm 'til midnight on a Tuesday?
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Old 04-03-2015, 13:47   #42
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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SO by your logic, you'd argue that you can't save money by changing your own tap washers or light bulbs, as opposed to getting a plumber or electrician in to do it, right?

To me, if I can build myself a boat in time I would normally waste watching TV, that's money saved.
Of course you can save money by changing your own tap-washers. We save money by doing 90-95% of the work in refitting our boat from tired old racer to comfortable cruiser (the other 5-10% being work that we are not sufficiently skilled to undertake).

But if, like most people, your normal work is of the 38 hours per week (45 hours in my case... sigh) and you also have to get the groceries, cook, clean, laundry, mind the vegetable garden and fruit trees, and all the other minutae of everyday life it doesn't leave a huge amount of time for building a boat. Again, I'm not saying it can't be done... you, and other posters here are obvious proof of that.

Again, going back to my mythical brother in law. He is basically alternating between a week or two of his normal (builder) work, and building the cat. His wife also works a more normal 9-5 mon-fri job, which keeps the money coming in for food and fuel in the car and day-to day expenses, while his building work funds the boat work. And while they do get a bit of work done on the boat in the evenings and weekends, when you've put in (typically) a 9 or 10 hour day on a building site, doing hard physical yakka, it isn't easy to get home and go to the boat and start sanding / fairing / glassing or whatever. Bottom line, its gonna take them 8 years to spend 4 years building a boat.
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Old 04-03-2015, 15:02   #43
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

But you could be out earning money in the time you spend changing tap washers and light bulbs couldn't you? And extending your logic even further, wouldn't you be better off paying someone to tend your fruit trees, buy your groceries, mow your lawns etc. - this is all time you could spend earning more money?


I mean if you're going to put the same dollars per hour value on time spent building a boat, shouldn't you be doing the same for every waking minute?


Obviously not.


And as I said before, even if you DID put a monetary value on the time spent boatbuilding, it shouldn't be simply what you might have earned if paid work had been available for that time. It should be what you could have SAVED - as in put into the bank.


In my instance - 4 years and $200k got me a boat that was valued at $450k. If I'd spent that 4 years working and saving, I still wouldn't have had $450k to spend on a boat.


And even if I did, it wouldn't have been THIS boat - one that I built specifically to suit myself, with extra headroom, longer beds etc.


And I wouldn't know and trust that boat as well as I know this one.


With this boat I KNOW every bulkhead is glassed in properly, even subfloor bulkheads. I KNOW the mast base uni flanges are built stronger than design. I KNOW the chainplates are built beyond specifications. The forebeam is glassed in beyond specs.... and on and on....


I'd argue that while a production boat might be more nicely finished, you also KNOW that everywhere possible, the builders have been trying to save money, mostly by cutting back on labour time.
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Old 04-03-2015, 15:17   #44
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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In my instance - 4 years and $200k got me a boat that was valued at $450k. If I'd spent that 4 years working and saving, I still wouldn't have had $450k to spend on a boat.


And even if I did, it wouldn't have been THIS boat - one that I built specifically to suit myself, with extra headroom, longer beds etc.


And I wouldn't know and trust that boat as well as I know this one.


With this boat I KNOW every bulkhead is glassed in properly, even subfloor bulkheads. I KNOW the mast base uni flanges are built stronger than design. I KNOW the chainplates are built beyond specifications. The forebeam is glassed in beyond specs.... and on and on....


I'd argue that while a production boat might be more nicely finished, you also KNOW that everywhere possible, the builders have been trying to save money, mostly by cutting back on labour time.
I agree with all of the above, for what it is worth.

Also, for what it is worth, I don't own a production boat and, over the last 9 years, I have ripped out and rebuilt almost every part of the interior of my boat, apart from the main structural bulkheads, which has resulted in a similar feeling of knowing and trusting the boat (although probably not to the same extent as If I had built from scratch)
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Old 04-03-2015, 16:08   #45
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Re: A Few Boat Building Questions

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
But you could be out earning money in the time you spend changing tap washers and light bulbs couldn't you? And extending your logic even further, wouldn't you be better off paying someone to tend your fruit trees, buy your groceries, mow your lawns etc. - this is all time you could spend earning more money?


I mean if you're going to put the same dollars per hour value on time spent building a boat, shouldn't you be doing the same for every waking minute?


Obviously not.


And as I said before, even if you DID put a monetary value on the time spent boatbuilding, it shouldn't be simply what you might have earned if paid work had been available for that time. It should be what you could have SAVED - as in put into the bank.


In my instance - 4 years and $200k got me a boat that was valued at $450k. If I'd spent that 4 years working and saving, I still wouldn't have had $450k to spend on a boat.


And even if I did, it wouldn't have been THIS boat - one that I built specifically to suit myself, with extra headroom, longer beds etc.


And I wouldn't know and trust that boat as well as I know this one.


With this boat I KNOW every bulkhead is glassed in properly, even subfloor bulkheads. I KNOW the mast base uni flanges are built stronger than design. I KNOW the chainplates are built beyond specifications. The forebeam is glassed in beyond specs.... and on and on....


I'd argue that while a production boat might be more nicely finished, you also KNOW that everywhere possible, the builders have been trying to save money, mostly by cutting back on labour time.
First I question your 400k valuation. For that money you can pay asking price for

-2007 Lagoon 440 and still have $120,000 left to refit
-2011 Lagoon 440
-2001 Leopard 50 and $100,000
-2001 Privilege 465 and $50,00
-2008 Schionning 48
-2011 Fountain Pajot Salina 48

And the list goes on. You may have a great boat, wonderfully built and outfitted. But if I was in the market for a $400k cruising cat I would be looking at one of these not a home build for the same money.

Even at $250k I would be much more likely to snag the professionally build Shuttleworth Advantage 44 for $250k. Or a FP 43 for $220k.

Once you hit around $200k boats start to get a little older so I might be willing to consider a newer homebuild. But it would take some convincing that it was well founded, and it would have to offer something that an older yard built boat didn't. My guess is that the actual high FMV of your boat is in the $200k range, but it would need to be located somewhere that gets a lot of foot traffic. Because I at least wouldn't be willing to travel to see it. But if it were in Ft. Lauderdale and i was there looking at other boats already I might be willing to stop by and see it.
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