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Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-12-2007, 11:20 AM   #1
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Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Seems to be a lot of knowledgeable folks on here, and I am in the market. Here's the deal:

I want a deep V less than 20 feet long. It is going to be used for fishing about 90% of the time. I'm not taking it on the ocean........

If I take it out on Lake Michigan, it will only be inside the breakwater......I know better.

I mostly need it for inland lakes and the Mississippi, but wnat the ability to take it on a windy open water lake like Winnebago.........

I am looking at used Lunds, Lowes, and Smokercraft..........I need a raised casting deck in the front, and room for 4...........

have at it!!
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-12-2007, 11:59 AM   #2
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Have you thought about a "Flats Boat" - very popular in Florida. I have been in them in "big water' like the Ocean going to spots in the Everglades. They are the best boat to fish out of IMHO. Very large casting platform, can run in inches of water, are fast with a big motor. Great amenities for fishing like rod holders, polling platforms. I have a friend who uses on in Lake Michigan. If I were to buy a boat the Flats boat would be my choice.

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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-12-2007, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

You might want to consider an Alumacraft as well. Very nice boats for the money. Also, depending on what you want to spend it will depend on the boat recommended. The Alumacraft Navigator is a very nice boat, but if you are looking at a little bigger boat then you can get the Trophy series for more $.

I purchased a 2001 Alumacraft Navigator 165 CS in 2003 and I love the boat. Only problem is 90% of the lakes I fish on in Southern Wisconsin I can only use a trolling motor. Feels like a big waste for me and I am considering selling it and just buying a small jon boat with a trolling motor. I only use the motor once or twice a year.

When I purchased it I thought I would use the motor more, but it just became a hastle to pull the boat around and launch it. $3 + a gallon gass didn't help either. Now it just sits in my garage most of the year taking up space.

I am starting to believe in the saying, "The happiest two days in your life are the day you buy a boat and the day you sell your boat".

I still love the boat, I am just getting too cheap to use it.
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-12-2007, 12:41 PM   #4
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

FinanceDude.....

When the only specs you list are, less than 20', deep vee and casting platform, you really leave the field wide open! You're talking about a price range from $10K to $30K.

Can you narrow it down anymore?
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-12-2007, 12:46 PM   #5
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by doah001
You might want to consider an Alumacraft as well. Very nice boats for the money. Also, depending on what you want to spend it will depend on the boat recommended. The Alumacraft Navigator is a very nice boat, but if you are looking at a little bigger boat then you can get the Trophy series for more $.

I purchased a 2001 Alumacraft Navigator 165 CS in 2003 and I love the boat. Only problem is 90% of the lakes I fish on in Southern Wisconsin I can only use a trolling motor. Feels like a big waste for me and I am considering selling it and just buying a small jon boat with a trolling motor. I only use the motor once or twice a year.

When I purchased it I thought I would use the motor more, but it just became a hastle to pull the boat around and launch it. $3 + a gallon gass didn't help either. Now it just sits in my garage most of the year taking up space.

I am starting to believe in the saying, "The happiest two days in your life are the day you buy a boat and the day you sell your boat".

I still love the boat, I am just getting too cheap to use it.
I think aluminum boats are too noisy. Also, if you fish in salt water they have interesting electrical properties.

Check out the new Mercury EFI(?) engine. It trolls down beautifully.
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-12-2007, 02:01 PM   #6
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

I might be partial, but you'll never be sorry buying a Lund boat.

I used to fish the Missouri River quite a bit, and the Tyee was a very popular boat that sounds like what you're looking at.

This is coming from a guy who has a 16' Lund ($1,000) and a 1977 model 15 HP Johnson outboard, so I don't have as much boat as you're looking for.

Did I mention you can't go wrong with a Lund ?

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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-13-2007, 10:04 AM   #7
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
FinanceDude.....

When the only specs you list are, less than 20', deep vee and casting platform, you really leave the field wide open! You're talking about a price range from $10K to $30K.

Can you narrow it down anymore?
Sure:

100 hp or less
preferably 16-18 feet long
bow mount trolling motor
center console
room for 4
deep V
USED
under $10K!!
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-13-2007, 10:13 AM   #8
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Have you thought about a "Flats Boat" - very popular in Florida. I have been in them in "big water' like the Ocean going to spots in the Everglades. They are the best boat to fish out of IMHO. Very large casting platform, can run in inches of water, are fast with a big motor. Great amenities for fishing like rod holders, polling platforms. I have a friend who uses on in Lake Michigan. If I were to buy a boat the Flats boat would be my choice.

Your friend is brave to use that low of a beam on the "Big Pond". I lost count of all the boats built like that my dad and I rescued in rough water.

If the weather is good, a flats boat is fine. However, you need a deep V if you're getting 4-5 foot rollers which are common out there.........

A lot of my dad's friends have Boston Whalers......those things are built like a tank..............

My scariest moment was when my dad and I were out about 7 miles fishing. Lake Michigan is large enough that it can create it's own "mini-squalls" out in the lake. Out of the blue, the lake got ugly. Whitecaps, 7-8 foot waves, horizontal rain............ :P :P :P

We were too far to race in, so we battened down the canvas, turned the boat into the wind, and cut the waves at a 45 degree angle at about 7 knots. After a long 30 minutes, the sun came out as the storm blew away. Both bilge pumps were running, but we were none the worse for wear.

The boat? A 27 foot Sea Ray with a cuddy cabin, 288 HP inboard V-8, and a 65 horse outboard trolling motor. My dad loved that boat.........

I almost forgot........as we were unbuttoning the canvas and stowing it, a Coast Guard cutter came along and asked if we were ok. They told us they (Coast Guard) had rescued 6 boats in out area that got caught unawares. Even the Marine radio didn't have any warnings.........

We gave them some extra coffee we had that was still hot, and they escorted us back to harbor...man those cutters are sweet.........I would love to have a used one.........or a PT boat to tool around in............

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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-13-2007, 12:43 PM   #9
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Well, I have to agree with Empty Pockets. You will never regret buying a Lund if you intend on reselling it and you take care of it. They have a very high resale value. That also translates into a very high purchase value, in my opinion. I have friends who own Lunds and in my opinion, just my opinion, they are no nicer then an Alumacraft or Crestliner. With the Alumacraft I really like the 2XB hull system they have as it makes the boat very stable and quiet when running in waves.

These days almost everyone makes a nice boat. You said you were going to use it 90% for fishing. What about the other 10%? Tubing? Skiing? Just running around?

It will also depend on how far you have to travel to use the boat. If you are going a long way you will enjoy having an aluminum boat. Fiberglass = HEAVY. True they are very nice once in the water, but if you have a long way to go, well you get the point. You really can't go wrong with a Lund, Crestliner, Alumacraft, Smokercraft, etc... They all make nice boats. If you are going to troll I would recommend getting one of the newer Evinrude E-TEC motors for the main motor, or get a second much smaller 4 stroke.

If I attached the image correctly, below is a pix of the boat I have with 4 full grown adults in it. This is a 16.5 ft boat with a 50 hp motor.
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-13-2007, 03:45 PM   #10
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
Your friend is brave to use that low of a beam on the "Big Pond". I lost count of all the boats built like that my dad and I rescued in rough water.
beam refers to the width of a boat. freeboard runs from waterline to main deck (aka the side of the boat), with the back side known as the transom.

edit: not a fisherman here so i don't know if this would be appropriate but just for kicks we once looked at a 20 ft sundeck boat by searay, about $50k. really nice. had a little walk in head built under the helm. deep-v hull. open bow with lots of seating and probably could be set up for fishing. also could be set up with large bimini to shade almost the entire boat.
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-13-2007, 09:30 PM   #11
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

I have a 24 Albemarle Center Console an 18 ft Sportcraft center console and a 13 boston whaler skiff each has their purpose.

I fish primarily on the Cheasapeake Bay and the tidal Potomac and the nearby tidal rivers.

The 18ft sport craft is a pretty amazing hull for its size and the ability to be reasonably comfortable in 2 foot (what the national weather service says is two foot not trough to peak) waves and reasonably safe in 3 to 4 foot waves although that isn't much fun. It also only draws around 12 inches with the motor up and around 20 with it all the way down. It is nice to be able to run across 15 miles of open water then trim up the motor and fish the shallows for trout and stripers and if I get stuck I can just jump out and push the boat of "no problem. I can't do that in the Whaler or the Albemarle.

It has a huge casting platform in the front with two huge insulated fish boxes underneath. It also has a 20 gallon insulated livewell in the transome with and integrated swim platform and a walk through door. There is tackle storage built into the console and well as additional storage in the console and under the deck. I am amazed how much stuff they put into an 18 footer including a 60 gallon gas tank. It was designed for fishing and it is obvious.

That said they didn't make very many so you probably can't find one. So here are some more general thoughts. I don't know much about aluminum boats the only one I have ever had was a canoe.

There are a lot of great boats out there and some pretty crappy ones too. Look at the cleats (should be big and through bolted), hinges and other finish work to separate the wheat from the chaff. Also storage is a big deal on small boats. One of the things I love about the sportcraft is all the storage. Some less expensive brands that I think are nice striper, trophy, angler, and robalo and while I have never been on one the trimuph roplene hull seems like a neat concept. I like deep Vs but it is pretty rough where I fish and I have the skiff for back in the creeks and beer hunting.

If you are planning on taking a small boat in rough water make sure it is a selfbailing hull will big drains! God knows when a huge wave comes over the bow its good to know that you don't have to rely on a little electrical pump to get all that water out. I have been out on bay boats in fairly rough conditions they seem fine and are a nice compromise between a deep vee and a skiff but it is not what they were designed for and 18ft is pretty small.

My final advice would be to post you question on the Hulltruth
http://www.thehulltruth.com/

They will tell what to buy and how much to pay and give you feed back on wheather a particular boat is a good deal if you find one.

hope that helps


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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-14-2007, 02:29 PM   #12
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

My suggestion is to stick with aluminum, it is tough, light and easy to maintain. I would spec out my boat like I would a truck or tralier. Here is my list:

19 - 20 feet in length.
84" - 96" beam
30"+ sides
25+" transom
At least 115hp for outboard, at least 185hp fp I/O
Dual batteries
Dual bilge pumps with at least one on a float switch
No less than a 16 degree V with at least a 21 degree entry
Canvas top and sides for comfort
Closed front deck with scuppers
VHF
GPS with Sonar


Add to that your fishing gear of choice and you will be safe and dry on Lake Michigan as long as you are careful.

I currently fish out of 19' North River and have owned Boston Whalers, Houseboats, Tri-hulls etc...

For big water with your family I would recommend the above stats as a minimum. The unsinkable type of boats with lower freeboards are not unsafe, they are uncomfortable. In big water or nasty conditions when handled by a good skipper they will get through some incredible stuff. You will get wet and cold but you will get home. I have driven a 17' Whaler through seas which were so rough they ripped out the console from the floor. I never felt like I was in danger of sinking. As long as you don't lose power you are safe in seas that will pucker you up pretty good.

Even so, it is not the right boat to take out my wife and grandkids. It is a working boat for people who don't mind getting wet in order to be safe in scary conditions and have freedom of movement to fish. My family much prefers soft seats, shade from the sun and a run for the trailer when it gets rough.

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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-14-2007, 07:16 PM   #13
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

my advice : If it flies or floats - rent it!
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-14-2007, 09:38 PM   #14
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by plattj1
My suggestion is to stick with aluminum, it is tough, light and easy to maintain. I would spec out my boat like I would a truck or tralier. Here is my list:

19 - 20 feet in length.
84" - 96" beam
30"+ sides
25+" transom
At least 115hp for outboard, at least 185hp fp I/O
Dual batteries
Dual bilge pumps with at least one on a float switch
No less than a 16 degree V with at least a 21 degree entry
Canvas top and sides for comfort
Closed front deck with scuppers
VHF
GPS with Sonar


Add to that your fishing gear of choice and you will be safe and dry on Lake Michigan as long as you are careful.

I currently fish out of 19' North River and have owned Boston Whalers, Houseboats, Tri-hulls etc...

For big water with your family I would recommend the above stats as a minimum. The unsinkable type of boats with lower freeboards are not unsafe, they are uncomfortable. In big water or nasty conditions when handled by a good skipper they will get through some incredible stuff. You will get wet and cold but you will get home. I have driven a 17' Whaler through seas which were so rough they ripped out the console from the floor. I never felt like I was in danger of sinking. As long as you don't lose power you are safe in seas that will pucker you up pretty good.

Even so, it is not the right boat to take out my wife and grandkids. It is a working boat for people who don't mind getting wet in order to be safe in scary conditions and have freedom of movement to fish. My family much prefers soft seats, shade from the sun and a run for the trailer when it gets rough.
Agree about aluminum...my dad has a 21 foot ranger that's poured fiberglass............yikes is it heavy...........

I have no plans to go on Lake Michigan fishing with it, other than inside the seawall. However, we have a shallow open water lake about two hours north of me (Lake Winnebago) where folks without deep V's are foolish to tread.............

For inland rivers like the Wisconsin and Mississippi, can't beat an 18-19 foot deep V with a decent motor, 75-125 hp..........
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-15-2007, 08:50 PM   #15
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

I reccommend you move to NW Louisiana, buy a 20 ft bass boat with a 225 hp outboard and I'll take you to some of my favorite fishing holes! I sold my boat awhile back & I sure do miss it.......maybe sometime this year I'll go boat shopping.
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-16-2007, 09:10 AM   #16
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by martyb
I reccommend you move to NW Louisiana, buy a 20 ft bass boat with a 225 hp outboard and I'll take you to some of my favorite fishing holes! I sold my boat awhile back & I sure do miss it.......maybe sometime this year I'll go boat shopping.
225 HP Whatcha doing..............holes shots all day long? BTW, I recommend the Ninja 5 blade stainless prop for that.............

I lived in La Crosse, Wisconsin for 14 years, and had a pretty nice boat back then..........and I have the itch for one again..........
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-17-2007, 10:20 PM   #17
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

I've been lucky enough to own a bass tracker pro 17, a charger 19vf (high performance bass boat) and recently picked-up a used Four-Winns Quest 217 center console.

The bass tracker is primarily used as a jon-boat for running crab traps and a trotline on the Wye River. It's light, has a 40hp motor and is easy to trailer. Put two fullsize adults in this boat and you run out of room really quick. It's was manufactured in 93, and really takes a bounding with any kind of chop -- which has resulted in a number of loose rivets, so the boat takes on a fair amount of water. But the bilge pump is doing its job. The other problem with this boat is you get soaked in any choppy water.

The charger bass boat is a 1999 with a evinrude 150 ficht. This boat has a modified v-hull and is a very dry boat. Its also very fast with a top speed of 65 mph. Has a large casting platform in the bow and stern. Being 2' longer than the tracker it is a little roomer with a wider beam -- but this boat still gets crowded pretty quickly. It would be difficult for three fisherman to cast.

In buying a fishing boat you need to decide what type of fishing you will be doing. Will you be limited to freshwater lakes, in-shore or within 3 -5 of land or farther.

Who will you be taking fishing -- only adults -- or will your kids/grandkids be going out with you.

Are you going to troll, chum, use downrigs...

My personal preference for fishing is a center console in the 21' to 23' range with a deep v and high gunnels. You can easily fish 4-6 adults, you can troll, chunk...have many more options. There is room for storage, live wells and a large bait well. The seats or more comfortable -- the bass boats are okay, but they tend to have limited leg room and they sit low in the boat. Put on a T-Top with rocket launchers and there's tons of rod storage. I've had my center console fishing the Chesapeake, the back bays up and down the coast, 5 miles off shore, the flat water around Boca Grande and Fort Myers and out in the gulf. I may not be able to pole in a foot of water. But I can anchor in slightly deeper water and wade up to shallows.

My guidelines in purchasing a fishing boat:

Buy used, there are a number of good quality used boats; Angler, Palm Beach, Sea Ox, Century, Robalo, Mako, Pathfinder....

More important that the make of boat -- was the boat well cared for and maintained. Are there any soft spots in the floor? Do all of the gauges and electronics work properly? Does the engine sound and run okay? Burning to much oil? Have a mechanic give the motor a going over -- measure the compression of the cylinders. Find out how many hours are on the engine. What is the history of the boat; has it been involved in an accident, major repairs, ever take on water?

My preference is an outboard instead of an I/O.

A dual axle trailer vs a single axle.

You should have no problem finding a boat/motor/trailer within your price range. Make sure you have a vehicle that can tow the rig safely.

Below are some links that may be helpful:

www.tidalfish.com

www.boattraderonline.com

boatingandfishing.com


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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........
Old 03-18-2007, 07:06 PM   #18
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Re: Need Fishing Boat Advice.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwk
I've been lucky enough to own a bass tracker pro 17, a charger 19vf (high performance bass boat) and recently picked-up a used Four-Winns Quest 217 center console.

The bass tracker is primarily used as a jon-boat for running crab traps and a trotline on the Wye River. It's light, has a 40hp motor and is easy to trailer. Put two fullsize adults in this boat and you run out of room really quick. It's was manufactured in 93, and really takes a bounding with any kind of chop -- which has resulted in a number of loose rivets, so the boat takes on a fair amount of water. But the bilge pump is doing its job. The other problem with this boat is you get soaked in any choppy water.

The charger bass boat is a 1999 with a evinrude 150 ficht. This boat has a modified v-hull and is a very dry boat. Its also very fast with a top speed of 65 mph. Has a large casting platform in the bow and stern. Being 2' longer than the tracker it is a little roomer with a wider beam -- but this boat still gets crowded pretty quickly. It would be difficult for three fisherman to cast.

In buying a fishing boat you need to decide what type of fishing you will be doing. Will you be limited to freshwater lakes, in-shore or within 3 -5 of land or farther.

Who will you be taking fishing -- only adults -- or will your kids/grandkids be going out with you.

Are you going to troll, chum, use downrigs...

My personal preference for fishing is a center console in the 21' to 23' range with a deep v and high gunnels. You can easily fish 4-6 adults, you can troll, chunk...have many more options. There is room for storage, live wells and a large bait well. The seats or more comfortable -- the bass boats are okay, but they tend to have limited leg room and they sit low in the boat. Put on a T-Top with rocket launchers and there's tons of rod storage. I've had my center console fishing the Chesapeake, the back bays up and down the coast, 5 miles off shore, the flat water around Boca Grande and Fort Myers and out in the gulf. I may not be able to pole in a foot of water. But I can anchor in slightly deeper water and wade up to shallows.

My guidelines in purchasing a fishing boat:

Buy used, there are a number of good quality used boats; Angler, Palm Beach, Sea Ox, Century, Robalo, Mako, Pathfinder....

More important that the make of boat -- was the boat well cared for and maintained. Are there any soft spots in the floor? Do all of the gauges and electronics work properly? Does the engine sound and run okay? Burning to much oil? Have a mechanic give the motor a going over -- measure the compression of the cylinders. Find out how many hours are on the engine. What is the history of the boat; has it been involved in an accident, major repairs, ever take on water?

My preference is an outboard instead of an I/O.

A dual axle trailer vs a single axle.

You should have no problem finding a boat/motor/trailer within your price range. Make sure you have a vehicle that can tow the rig safely.

Below are some links that may be helpful:

www.tidalfish.com

www.boattraderonline.com

boatingandfishing.com


dwk
NO WISH to do open water in Lake Michigan, it's hard to LBYM doing that..............

Inland lakes, rivers, etc. I think a 19 with a 90hp or so and a casting deck and livewell in the casting deck will work. I probably have spent 5000 hours fishing the Mississippi, in everything from a kayak to a 45 foot cruiser, so I know how BIG a boat looks out of water, and how SMALL when you get it loaded...........
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