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We found last summer on the water crazy. People were drunk, stoned, aggressive and generally incompetent. It was not fun being on the Rideau and border line scary in the Thousand Islands with kids. One of the reasons we decided to try RVing. Ontario waterways are nuts right now.
That’s scary. We didn’t launch last summer but will definitely be out this year. Where were you sailing out of? We’re in Henderson Harbor.


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That’s scary. We didn’t launch last summer but will definitely be out this year. Where were you sailing out of? We’re in Henderson Harbor.


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We are trailer sailors, so launch any where with a ramp on the Canadian side. This year we have moved down to Lake St Lawrence, Canadian side, opposite Massena NY. We find there is a lot less traffic down there.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
We are trailer sailors, so launch any where with a ramp on the Canadian side. This year we have moved down to Lake St Lawrence, Canadian side, opposite Massena NY. We find there is a lot less traffic down there.
I imagine the ramps are going to be a nightmare this year.
 

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We are trailer sailors, so launch any where with a ramp on the Canadian side. This year we have moved down to Lake St Lawrence, Canadian side, opposite Massena NY. We find there is a lot less traffic down there.
Sane people avoid those waters in the last two weeks of July when the French navy invades
 

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Prices are up because demand outstrips supply right now. It's basic market economics. A boat's worth is as variable as a house, and depends on local conditions as much as any inherent value in the item.

So yes, prices are up because more people are buying these days. Of course sellers pricing as high as they can, and of course all those in the business of selling are maximizing their profit. That's how capitalism works.

My view is, sell now if you are a seller. If you are buyer, wait. Once Covid-19 is truly behind us, a lot of pandemic purchases will come back on the market, driving supply up and prices down.
And arguably the market is nuts on the low side at other times, with more sellers than buyers. Good boats just don't get bids.

It all depends on whether you are buying or selling. I would also add that prices on models that are in-demand tend to be more stable, up and down. It's the AWBs that are most volitile.
 

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I imagine the ramps are going to be a nightmare this year.
after launching, i will be sure to spend a little extra time tied up the dock watching the show.

I'm going to confuse SO MANY tourists when i strap launch my capri 25 this summer.
 

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Hi,

There are quite a couple of racers that I can think of that won’t be a good choice offshore because the crew basically acts as a ballast, and because the boat is made big, and very responsive, with a huge sail plan, so if the seas went confused, you would have a hard time to cope with such a boat alone, or with a wife, and maybe, if lucky, an adult or older kid. If you don’t have a 6+ crew, the boat will not really be manageable in offshore conditions.

Unless you have way more money than the average guy or girl looking for a bargain, and paying such prices.

I am not asking if you could bring, but if you think it should be a recommendation to take such a boat, considering that with this price you are appealing to a group of people that don’t have the money at hand to make the necessary changes to make it practical and realistic, and also don’t have so much experience.

These people are looking for a really cheap find, and will have a lot of deception visiting or if they buy the boat, realizing that it is not gonna be a boat they can handle.

The second point has more to do with the kind of behavior this suggests.

Do you think it’s more of a broker interest to recommend a poor design and poorly manageable design to ocean sailing, or a buyer’s interest?

Do you think such a thing is more or less justified by the fact a broker KNOWS the buyer would rave to have a boat he could take to the sea AND NOT PAY A LOT, and so the broker is basically not representing rigorously and trustfully the interests of mainly the seller, but also, taking care of the buyer, trying to help him/her make the BEST decision possible?

Why doesn’t this person say the boat is manageable offshore… with a crew?

Why isn’t such a caveat made?

Do you think such a broker is more of an illusionist trying to make a profit out of an unaware fool, or a sincere and good broker?

Do you think at the end of the day, it is more the money the broker will make in the sale rather than the satisfaction of having helped both parties come to an agreement out of which none is very likely to regret either the buy or the sale, that count?

The same goes for any financial consultant. If, say, Joe Doe tells me to buy in the stock he bought last week SO HE CAN MAKE A PROFIT, he is not doing professionally his job: his job is to pick the stocks accounting for what’s the interest of the client in a way that he won’t pay too much or pay for junk. If he doesn’t do this, he should not be considered to be a wise counsellor.

Now let’s return to our case.

I don’t know of a design that can’t be brought to sea, safe perhaps a pool noodle and some T-shirt acting as a sail. That won’t last very long, I promise.

But I do know designs that are poor sailors in all manners, especially those that have a construction made in the days you could become a boat builder just like that, and make the ship the very way you wanted, not accounting for any math, without any calculations of what’s best in the ratio of the fiberglass, how things should be made to last, and taking all sorts of shortcuts with everything. These boats I wouldn’t term for an ad purpose ‘’ocean-cruiser’’ if I were honest, and if I wanted to keep any reputation. What will any buyer say when problems start to show up?

‘’Ooops, I thought I picked the cheap choice, but on the long run, I picked the one with a lot of expensive fixtures? My broker was giving me advised guidance all the way to make the best use of the money I had at hand?’’

Another point.

Look at teak decks, and how leaky and costly they are to repair.

Now wonder. May any ship be built strong? Sure. Then why does the average American boat made with this material on deck in the 1960-1980 leaks before 15 years have passed?

I know of some boats made with teak decks in Northern Europe that have endured 30 years (yes, you read correctly) of beating, still, without having any deck leaks.

But does a builder trying to cut corners to save money be more likely to have taken to account the proper ways of building such a structure, or the most economical ones, to be able to produce something cheap that looked initially good?

Now wonder. If I were to tell any buyer interested in this specific boat that the broker termed ‘’ocean-going yacht’’, that the boat is made in a way in which it is not going to be the deck the problem (which is already painful and expensive enough, and more so if the yacht is bigger, and even more if it had delamination, moistures, and other issues because of those leaks to fix), but probably the whole structure, when it will take a beating, would you feel like this is the yacht to get?

Should anyone be encouraged to TAKE THEIR TIME to look upon a vessel that is not made very strong? Not made well enough to be able to sustain with as little structural dommage as possible the real strength of ocean waves?

And in general, my last point, do you feel currently the people buying such boats at such prices have a lot of experience?

Do you then think they will do better in an ocean? Take the best decisions? Even more with such a not-so-good yacht?

Will they be happy then to have a much less-than-perfect boat so they can have more risks and difficulties to cope with?

Do you feel these people are buying out of experience, or out of no experience at all?

So honestly, I can think of quite a couple of racers that won’t be a good choice offshore because the crew (6+ persons) basically acts as a ballast, is required to manage a huge sail plan, cope with the sensibility of the rudder, or these boats are too heavy and big to manage for the average couple, which has maybe one or two children to deal with at the same time. If you don’t have that crew, then the boat will not really be manageable in offshore conditions. It won’t make an easy thing to sail in weather, safe perhaps if you don’t sail at all and motor the whole way.

And sincerely, I don’t say it is impossible to sail with a bad design, of aweful construction.

I say your life is at stake in offshore conditions, and you deserve much more than 1) paying a fortune for a decent performer, which I find is sort of being the case right now, 2) paying for a poor design in which you will have lots of shortcuts to cope with and that will end up costing you way more than what you initially paid, ending for you the dream of a bargain, BUT KEEPING THE BROKER FOREVER WITH A VERY GOOD AMOUNT OF CASH IN HIS WALLET, and being confronted to the fact that you now have paid a lot and still don’t have even close to what you would have if you realized prior to the purchase it was going to cost you this much to pay for upgrading, and choose instead either not to buy, or to buy a better design, with decent sail area, a boat which is normally doing a good performance on all points of sail (not a perfect performance, that doesn’t exist, but a good), have decent light air and heavy air performance, and a less uncomfortable motion in a seaway.

What I say is advertising this boat as being a blue water cruiser is not a very thoughtful recommendation, one I wouldn’t make to a dear friend seeking a reasonable advice.

The ad is made by someone who should have thought about what was the design made for, and can such a boat be for most a real blue water cruiser, or only for those with crews at hand and a desire for pure performance?

There is also a notion that when somebody calls it a ‘’blue water cruiser’’, the word ‘’cruiser’’ is there to mean something, which for most people doesn’t equal to the feeling coming from a very ‘’pure racer’’ and really not to the feeling of a ‘’pure racer that is not close to good to deal with offshore’’.

I can understand a cruiser with a desire for performance. Sure thing.

I can think of not so pricey choices to consider for blue water cruising.

But if my friend, or anyone I sincerely care to tell the truth, came nearby, asking me for some help to select a boat, I wouldn’t point him any real all-racer meant to be of the round-the-buoy type, old, and left to decay, beaten, or a boat of which I know poor constructions practices explain the price tag, and the state of the boat leaves me cold at best.

I would not say this would be worth thousands of dollars of advice.

So yes, sure, I can borrow a canoe and cross the Atlantic with this. Would it be a good choice for most?

If as a broker, you can’t understand the very difference between having this used for blue water once, and suggesting this IS a good choice for blue water cruising, what’s the money coming for?

3-4 emails between you and the seller, and the relocation costs? While there is plenty of space because there are a lot of sales now? You probably copy-pasted the emails’ information anyway and changed a couple of things in the emails to make the ad… And you didn’t displace yourself to see the ship and offer no guarantee of its condition.

So what is it for?

For telling the seller somebody’s interested in the boat and offering the prospective buyer the contact information of the seller so contact could be made?

This would be worth thousands of dollars?

Even a lawyer won’t make such a fortune for such a thing if so.

And yes, I do know some brokers are not like that. Are knowledgeable, have real desire to tell the buyer the truth, and won't suggest over-inflated prices. But with the current market climate, I feel they are rare to price reasonably.

I forgot to add: price in the amount of abuse such a pure racer will have taken in its lifetime.

Well, now you see why it wouldn’t strike me as a good choice, such a boat not likely in a good shape.

I hope I have answered the questions/doubts/clarified my point.

Oh, for the name of the brand and model I’ll try to recover it, it was a couple of months ago, and I know the ship isn’t marketed anymore. My memory will try to remember what it was. I’ll do my best and tell you if I can recall it.
Wow. I just read through all of your posts...the only thing that is clear to me is that you have a serious hate for yacht brokers! Personally my only experience with a broker was very positive. Are there bad or dishonest brokers out there? Sure. Just as there are bad and dishonest people in every industry.

You go on at length about boats that are inappropriate for ocean sailing, but nowhere did I see you reference a specific model that you thought was unsuitable, or a specific example of a broker trying to claim that a pure race boat was a bluewater cruiser.

Regardless, how many first time boat buyers are in the market for a bluewater cruiser? Whose responsibility is it to determine the suitability of a boat for their purposes? I suggest that it is the buyer's responsibility to seek out the knowledge required to make such a determination. The listing broker's job is to sell the boat. That's it. He represents the seller. It is the buyers responsibility to do their due diligence.

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I suggest that it is the buyer's responsibility to seek out the knowledge required to make such a determination. The listing broker's job is to sell the boat. That's it. He represents the seller. It is the buyers responsibility to do their due diligence.
Completely agree!

Also, as easy as it is to blame shoddy listings on brokers being shady, lazy, and/or greedy, there's ultimately only so much a broker can do to go beyond playing the ball as it lies. A good broker will ask the seller for correct specs. They will advise the seller to prep the boat for sale by removing excess personal effects, cleaning, and addressing glaring deferred maintenance. They will present a draft listing for the seller's review before it goes on the market. But if the seller isn't willing to participate in that process, it's hard for even the good broker's listing to be better than garbage in - garbage out.
 

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As others have said the main thing affecting the boat market is low inventory. In addition to all the new sailors, new boat manufacturers can’t keep up with demand because the supply chain issues covid brought about.

From what I’ve heard people in the market for new boats might be getting desperate and settling for used (not sure how true that is). Also a lot of sailboat companies went out of business during the 2008 recession, so there’s relatively few used boats from the last decade which adds to the problem.

There was a 1984 Catalina 30 that came on the market yesterday. I called for information but was told someone had already bought it sight unseen and that several others were scheduled to go see it beforehand. Not sure if that was an unusual occurrence but it’s amazing to see a boat sell in one day.
 

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There was a 1984 Catalina 30 that came on the market yesterday. I called for information but was told someone had already bought it sight unseen and that several others were scheduled to go see it beforehand. Not sure if that was an unusual occurrence but it’s amazing to see a boat sell in one day.
This is exactly what is happening right now. We had another friend at a marina sell his stinkpot. It was his first boat and he had a bunch of trouble with it. Unfortunately, I think it was because he wasn't familiar with early signs of trouble, which developed into serious problems. It would not have been my first choice, if I was in that market. I saw his boat over on the service dock and thought he must have just launched. Then I noticed a young family was moving all their stuff aboard.

I think it's exciting. While there is debate over whether families will stick with boating, post covid, I hope they do. Our sport was in decline and I'd love to see a return. On the other hand, moorage pricing could be what's next to sneak up. Around our parts, it was already mostly sold out and our rates are among the highest I've heard, especially for a 5-7 month season.. If demand rises more, pricing could get tough.
 
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A good writer, publishing a book, will be lucky if in one year, he manages to get 10-15k for a whole book he took months to write. Months. Hundreds of hours.
Can't speak to the boat prices, I am one of the Covid crazies who used his spare time to learn to sail, pretty sure I overplayed a little for my boat, and will proabably be a menace to you guys on the Chessie this Summer, but I HAVE two books published, and let's just say 10k is REALLY REALLY lucky.
 

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It's gone in the coo-coo zone up here. It may be due to border restrictions, but even prices for questionable boats are ridiculous. New boaters are buying boats with some significant issues and it's not going to be pretty when they launch them soon.
Not rocket science. Economics 101 It’s simply easy money, think 2006, think 1988. The low interest rates added 20- 25% to the equity of every home, Making anybody able to pull 100 grand out of their home with a 450 a month payment. So all the fun things get more expensive.
 

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It's gone in the coo-coo zone up here. It may be due to border restrictions, but even prices for questionable boats are ridiculous. New boaters are buying boats with some significant issues and it's not going to be pretty when they launch them soon.
im trying to self sell an 84 Cal 36 deep keel for 32.5. Listed it on Craigslist, a couple of local CT rags etc. very little interest, 1 showing, they bought a winged keel in the same yard. Boats in good shape with a lit of upgrades. Web is windchime yacht.com
All thoughts/suggestions appreciated. ThNks!
 

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You ask "how's the market" ? It seems to be up some in our area (Portland, OR - Columbia River) but nothing like you are reporting on the East coast.

There are several nice boats listed with brokers, in my little YC marina, and they have had little interest. They seem competitively priced, but I am probably just not well enough informed.
Nothing like the mad rush you folks are commenting on, tho.
 

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im trying to self sell
How do you advertise availability? The brokers have access to Yachtworld. While absolutely not fair, I newbie is probably going to be more suspicious of an owner sold boat they have to deal with directly. If they latched on to a broker to find them the right boat, the broker won’t ever call you.

The brokers around here have had their best year ever. If anything, I think they worry about lack of inventory in 2021.
 

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It's the same everywhere. It's been a rough year in more than one way: pandemic, lockdowns, urban violence, political turmoil. People are fleeing the cities, looking not only for safer places to live but also for escape pods. Boats are in high demand as a result.

It won't last. Most new sailors will discover it isn't really for them when they find out the reality is a good deal more work, and more dangerous, than you get in the dream. In the meanwhile, it's a good time to sell, a bad time to buy. Just wait a while. The bubble will burst.
 

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How do you advertise availability? The brokers have access to Yachtworld. While absolutely not fair, I newbie is probably going to be more suspicious of an owner sold boat they have to deal with directly. If they latched on to a broker to find them the right boat, the broker won’t ever call you.

The brokers around here have had their best year ever. If anything, I think they worry about lack of inventory in 2021.
When I sold my last boat I did it privately. I set up my own sales website, and advertised via various digital and print tools.

I agree YW remains the biggest central listing site, and unfortunately private listings are not allowed. I speculate this is partly why some lower-end boat sellers turn to a broker. It's the only way to get on YW. But this leads to many of the complaints about brokers that we often see here. Brokers don't get paid enough on the sale of low-end boats, so they can't give that sale much time or effort. This just leads to bad service for everyone involved.

If YW allowed private listings, I bet a lot fewer low-end sellers would turn to brokers.
 

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When I sold my last boat I did it privately. I set up my own sales website, and advertised via various digital and print tools.

I agree YW remains the biggest central listing site, and unfortunately private listings are not allowed. I speculate this is partly why some lower-end boat sellers turn to a broker. It's the only way to get on YW. But this leads to many of the complaints about brokers that we often see here. Brokers don't get paid enough on the sale of low-end boats, so they can't give that sale much time or effort. This just leads to bad service for everyone involved.

If YW allowed private listings, I bet a lot fewer low-end sellers would turn to brokers.
There are plenty of options for private sales online. Yachworld is good if you are trying to reach buyers nationally or regionally, but people aren't going to travel across the country or ship a $30,000 boat that far, so why advertise to them?

I found my last boat through old fashioned print media, (48° North), and when I sold it I used Craigslist and got a ton of activity, even when the market wasn't hot like it is now.

My last boat was in Portland Oregon, and I had it trucked up to Vancouver. Recently cross border boat buying has slowed down because of a 10% tariff on importing boats from the US that was part of a retaliation package in Trump's trade war. I don't know if that has been lifted yet, but of course Covid is making cross border purchasing tough too. The US West Coast has always been a big source of used boats for us, so it is slim pickin's up here right now!

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There are plenty of options for private sales online. Yachworld is good if you are trying to reach buyers nationally or regionally, but people aren't going to travel across the country or ship a $30,000 boat that far, so why advertise to them?
It's still the biggest marketplace, and covers national, international and regional. But of course there are other options, which is what I used.

I found my last boat through old fashioned print media, (48° North), and when I sold it I used Craigslist and got a ton of activity, even when the market wasn't hot like it is now.
And I found my current boat on YW, even though it was on the lower end (that's all I can afford). Lots of boats are listed in this price range. Currently, showing 5,583. No other source comes close to this volume.

My last boat was in Portland Oregon, and I had it trucked up to Vancouver. Recently cross border boat buying has slowed down because of a 10% tariff on importing boats from the US that was part of a retaliation package in Trump's trade war. I don't know if that has been lifted yet, but of course Covid is making cross border purchasing tough too. The US West Coast has always been a big source of used boats for us, so it is slim pickin's up here right now!
My current boat was also imported from the USA. This was back after the '08 crash, so the price suddenly dropped (normally Rafiki's had been way too expensive for me).

That tariff is gone now, but of course Covid-19 is going to be with us for a while yet. Who knows when the border will open again ... hopefully this summer, but who knows.
 

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I 've read all these posts. And every single one has merit (in my opinion).
I've been in the "business" since the early 80's working first as an unskilled boat yard laborer and later working my way up to skilled, more specific areas in the commissioning and repair aspects of new and used yachts.
Later, I moved into Boat Yard Management and the more people-centric areas of the sport (business).
In these positions, I've always found it fascinating what motivates the buyers, dreamers and sellers. Which brings me to the original poster's question/observations.

In years past, I've watched people move from their early years of boat ownership into larger (more expensive) craft or more capable craft to fit their own personal purposes for said craft. Maybe they wanted that "Blue Water" cruiser that would finally enable them to break the bonds of near coastal cruising. Maybe they just wanted a faster, more competitive boat for their weekly beer can or PHRF races. Maybe they just wanted something more comfortable for a growing family or hesitant spouse. My point here is.. that in my view, in times past, most, if not all, these movements to part with their hard earned money were built on research, experience and close contact with other owners involved in their chosen area of need or desire. It seemed to me, all through these years, that the business of yacht and boat sales really didn't follow a lot of trends one way or another.

Sure. There were the fancier interiors, the more advanced electronics and even changes in design and construction that drove a lot of interest toward new sales. Bottom line is, with all this taken into account, we were still seeing logical, value conscious and educated buyers who realized that doing their homework beforehand often resulted in much happier and satisfied long-term owners.

Now to present day.
Now we are seeing new, uneducated and very inexperienced buyers motivated by fear.
If you follow the associated industries, you will even see this in the recent "land grab" of slips and mooring spaces along most of the East Coast boating areas and waterways. One does not have to go very far or do much research to learn about the present day debacles going on in many of the Southeastern states.
In general, people are afraid. Afraid that they are somehow going to "miss out".
Yes, the Pandemic has played a large part in this phenomenon. I am certainly not just talking about Brokers here. Sellers know this as well. In fact, most successful sales people (professional or not) know that if you really want to sell something, all you have to do is make someone believe they might be missing out or that someone else wants what they want. This is a great sales motivator and even has it's own label in sales circles. It's called "The take away".

If you want to sell that craft (any craft) that may or may not be in an uneducated buyer's best interest for the price or purpose intended, just make them believe there aren't any other available options or that it's "the last one".

Same goes, especially around here in the Southeast, for slips or places to keep that over 40 footer long term.
Recent hurricanes have done more to further over-priced slip sales than the threat of taking someone's 2nd amendment rights ever did for weapon ownership. (look what happens everytime the removal of that right is threated or some visable politician decides to speak up)
We are now seeing "packages" of overpriced, multiple slips being sold by developers and coastal real-estate players to people with the money to invest who wish to take advantage of the fear that no place will be available for your boat. And their Draconian HOA rules and regulations are being accepted at an alarming rate. Ask yourself, would you pay $50-60k for a 40 foot slip, 20 miles from the ICW (and further from bluewater) and then not be allowed to sublet your own slip in your absence? Or that title gave no clear understanding of exactly what you have purchased? Don't laugh. It's happening everyday.
True, it is land. And they're definitely not making any more of it. But these opportunists are actively playing upon people's fears that they might just not have a place to keep that new boat if they don't buy. I am seeing that this has really impacted the ability in the regular family's joy towards boat ownership.

Admittedly, I do follow quite closely a lot of the You-tube sailing channels. But I do so out of curious research about where the industry is headed. You-Tube is a powerful motivator for the uneducated boat owner and life-is-but-a-dream crowd. And I do believe that a lot of present day interest is directed by this powerful medium. Don't underestimate the influence that the video format has on 2 generations of young people who've had electronic babysitters shoved in front of them for at least 2 or 3 decades. Most of the channels (with a few exceptions) depict lovely and free lifestyles that appeal greatly to the younger and more affluent boat buyers that won't make the time for doing their own research or even gaining the proper training in on-the-water safety. To do otherwise, would result in lower subscriber levels and possibly less income. You can also see this everyday in numerous Facebook sailing channels in which people are too lazy to do their own research and take the time to read, study and educate themselves. It's far easier to just ask the stupid questions of their Facebook peers. Never mind that free advice is exactly what it's worth.

Adding to all of this is one major overriding factor. They are most all afraid, Afraid that that they can't or won't have something if they wait. I think this is the most prevalent factor in what we are seeing that is happening in the boat industry right now.
I do agree with MikeOReilly. Most likely, to those of us who follow the industry and stick around to see what happens, it will all eventually blow over and things will get back to normal. One thing is for sure. It's gonna be one Hell of a final act to what we see is presently taking place.
 
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