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Old 07-30-2012, 11:06 AM   #1
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Raised Pilothouse Models

As some of you know I am new here and I have an express cruiser currently, but we are looking to upgrade to a trawler in the future. Out of all the trawlers we have been on at boat shows and meeting people at marinas, we love the Defever Raised Pilothouse models. A used 49' seems perfect for us, however, since we have a few years to learn and decide I was wondering if you would be able to give us ideas of other manufacturers that have raised pilothouse layouts in the 40'-50' range similar to those Defevers. And if you know of any, what are the advantages or disadvantages of them versus the Defevers.

One thing about going to boat shows is that we are seeing the new models and we won't be in the market for a new boat, nor will we be looking at a 2012 model in 3-5 years. So we are probably looking for boats made in the 1980's and 1990's that will end up being in the $200k-$250k range. I am going to buy a copy of the Powerboat Guide which should help us with ideas as well, but I figured I would pick your brains too. Thanks for any ideas you have.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
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I am a huge fan of the raised pilothouse models, and have one myself.

Here's a short list of the ones I researched

Defever 49
Hatteras 48 LRC
Nordhavn 46
Nordic 48
American Marine "Alaskan" (wood classic).
Bayliner 45
Bayliner 4788
Meridian 490
Navigator 4800
Krogen 42
Willard 40

Except the Nordhavn, and possibly the Meridian the rest of these boats can be found in very good condition within your price range.

We chose the Bayliner 4788. It was not the lowest priced model of the ones mentioned above but it has the features we found most attractive at this stage of our boating.

Some of the raised pilothouse models are coastal cruisers, others are true passagemakers. The cool thing is that you get to look over the various models and features and choose the one that is best for the boating you are planning on.

One of the first things a would be large boat owner should so is to realistically define what they are going to use the boat for. If you are going to cross oceans, then why waste your time looking at coastal cruisers. If you are going to be coastal cruising with an occasional short crossing then a coastal cruiser might better suit your needs.

Happy hunting
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #3
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The raised pilot house is nice it leans toward a commeical type set up with the salon being not part of the pilot house. others are slightly above and still is connected to make the salon feel bigger. It is all in what you are looking for ! When rebuilding my boat i wish i had made it a centerline helm but there is always the next boat.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:12 PM   #4
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We have a Sea Ranger 47 with a raised pilothouse (there are a few pictures posted in the Taiwanese Boat Thread under Sea Rangers). We love her!
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Having a backwards view from the pilothouse is handy fo checking whether some freighter is coming up from behind.



Those rear windows also help alot with fresh-air circulation.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
I am a huge fan of the raised pilothouse models, and have one myself.

Here's a short list of the ones I researched

Defever 49
Hatteras 48 LRC
Nordhavn 46
Nordic 48
American Marine "Alaskan" (wood classic).
Bayliner 45
Bayliner 4788
Meridian 490
Navigator 4800
Krogen 42
Willard 40

Except the Nordhavn, and possibly the Meridian the rest of these boats can be found in very good condition within your price range.

We chose the Bayliner 4788. It was not the lowest priced model of the ones mentioned above but it has the features we found most attractive at this stage of our boating.

Some of the raised pilothouse models are coastal cruisers, others are true passagemakers. The cool thing is that you get to look over the various models and features and choose the one that is best for the boating you are planning on.

One of the first things a would be large boat owner should so is to realistically define what they are going to use the boat for. If you are going to cross oceans, then why waste your time looking at coastal cruisers. If you are going to be coastal cruising with an occasional short crossing then a coastal cruiser might better suit your needs.

Happy hunting
Thanks for the ideas. We will be looking to remain coastal, starting with the East Coast, Great Lakes, Canada, and Caribbean. If we are able to do it for more than a few years, then we may venture through the canal and do the West Coast as well.

Seeing your list of ideas, I believe you have listed some displacement and some semi-displacement hulls. And that leads me to the two major decision points that we have to figure out:

1) Displacement vs. Semi-displacement - I have read where there are many places that you have to time channel passages during slack tide in order to minimize traveling in 10+ knot currents. Does that play into this decision or even with a semi-displacement hull would you want to deal with that current? In other words, no matter what boat you have you would still time those types of passages during slack tides? And does semi-displacement actually increase safety, in terms of being able to out run a storm or get out of the way of some commercial ships, etc? Or is that just really overblown?

2) Twin vs. Single screw - After having twin Volvo Penta 570A's (gasoline) in my Carver, I know how much I like having twin engines for handling and safety. I have brought it home more than my fair share on a single engine. Although I think we finally are getting those issues worked out. Obviously fuel efficiency factors into the single screw decision and diesels are much more reliable, but I still prefer twin screws. Is my gasoline engine experiences affecting my preference too much on this one? And if you have a single engine, do you have a get-home option?

I really like the Nordhavns as well, but I am not sure I will find one of them in my price range. I still started seeing some Navigators in my searches but have yet to actually board one. I will see if I can find one in the Chesapeake that I check out.

Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delia Rosa View Post
We have a Sea Ranger 47 with a raised pilothouse (there are a few pictures posted in the Taiwanese Boat Thread under Sea Rangers). We love her!
I checked out the thread. I am impressed with your pictures and I am seeing some other Sea Rangers listed on the West Coast like you said. I have never heard of them, but I am intrigued. Thanks. I may have some detailed questions for you at some point if you feel like sharing.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:29 PM   #8
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Absolutely love our raised pilothouse - with large rear-facing windows that give excellent visibility (we have a queen berth /settee in the PH and prefer to sleep there). I see lots of pilothouses with solid aft bulkheads - or tiny portholes easily obscured - and I know that they would definitely bug me underway.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCaldwell View Post
Thanks for the ideas. We will be looking to remain coastal, starting with the East Coast, Great Lakes, Canada, and Caribbean. If we are able to do it for more than a few years, then we may venture through the canal and do the West Coast as well.

Seeing your list of ideas, I believe you have listed some displacement and some semi-displacement hulls. And that leads me to the two major decision points that we have to figure out:

1) Displacement vs. Semi-displacement - I have read where there are many places that you have to time channel passages during slack tide in order to minimize traveling in 10+ knot currents. Does that play into this decision or even with a semi-displacement hull would you want to deal with that current? In other words, no matter what boat you have you would still time those types of passages during slack tides? And does semi-displacement actually increase safety, in terms of being able to out run a storm or get out of the way of some commercial ships, etc? Or is that just really overblown?

2) Twin vs. Single screw - After having twin Volvo Penta 570A's (gasoline) in my Carver, I know how much I like having twin engines for handling and safety. I have brought it home more than my fair share on a single engine. Although I think we finally are getting those issues worked out. Obviously fuel efficiency factors into the single screw decision and diesels are much more reliable, but I still prefer twin screws. Is my gasoline engine experiences affecting my preference too much on this one? And if you have a single engine, do you have a get-home option?

I really like the Nordhavns as well, but I am not sure I will find one of them in my price range. I still started seeing some Navigators in my searches but have yet to actually board one. I will see if I can find one in the Chesapeake that I check out.

Thanks again for the feedback.
Single screw should not be that scary...I have probably over 6000 hours of single screw time in both gas and diesel (the huge majority in old tech 454 gas/carbed) in the last ten years and the engine was never the problem with getting home. Once aground and one crab pot were the only 2 times in the last 10 years I needed assistance..and either would have been correctable with a bit more time if I wasn't enroute to an assistance towing call. So a reasonably well maintained single should never be the determining factor in the safety dpartment...but if you prefer twins...I'll never try and talk you out of them.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
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Krogen 42 like the one I own is a great boat, and you should be able to find one in your price range. Single vs. twin debate will never be settled, but I decided if there are so many single engine boats out there, why couldn't I handle one? I've always liked my choice!
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:04 PM   #11
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Buying an older boat puts you at the mercy of previous maintenance. If you go single engine you should consider a rebuilt engine, tx and ensure all of the cooling systems are prestine, and get towing insurance.

Even the best attempt to be problem free is iffy on a, just purchased old boat. We knew the boat was a project boat and had it surveyed. We spent the winter reworking the systems, cleaning the heat exchangers and risers, and changing all oils and water. Four fishing trips and four returns on one engine. (3208NA Cats with twindisc 502s. All good solid equipment but old). I would not go single engine in an older boat if I would going to be anyplace other than bays or ICW, or unless I installed new engine, tx, etc.

Consider that Psneeld has had had the boats for a period of time and is, no doubt, a good mechanic and really takes care of his boats so he has had a minimal problem with single engine.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCaldwell

Thanks for the ideas. We will be looking to remain coastal, starting with the East Coast, Great Lakes, Canada, and Caribbean. If we are able to do it for more than a few years, then we may venture through the canal and do the West Coast as well.

Seeing your list of ideas, I believe you have listed some displacement and some semi-displacement hulls. And that leads me to the two major decision points that we have to figure out:

1) Displacement vs. Semi-displacement - I have read where there are many places that you have to time channel passages during slack tide in order to minimize traveling in 10+ knot currents. Does that play into this decision or even with a semi-displacement hull would you want to deal with that current? In other words, no matter what boat you have you would still time those types of passages during slack tides? And does semi-displacement actually increase safety, in terms of being able to out run a storm or get out of the way of some commercial ships, etc? Or is that just really overblown?

2) Twin vs. Single screw - After having twin Volvo Penta 570A's (gasoline) in my Carver, I know how much I like having twin engines for handling and safety. I have brought it home more than my fair share on a single engine. Although I think we finally are getting those issues worked out. Obviously fuel efficiency factors into the single screw decision and diesels are much more reliable, but I still prefer twin screws. Is my gasoline engine experiences affecting my preference too much on this one? And if you have a single engine, do you have a get-home option?

I really like the Nordhavns as well, but I am not sure I will find one of them in my price range. I still started seeing some Navigators in my searches but have yet to actually board one. I will see if I can find one in the Chesapeake that I check out.

Thanks again for the feedback.
Opinions are going to really vary on those two questions, so here's mine.

If you are not going to use the boat for passage making then having the ability to cruise at 15 kn versus 7 kn has some real advantages. That speed gives you choices. For example, if you have a six hour good weather window, you can make a 90 mile crossing with a 15 kn boat. iIf you are stuck at 7 kn that drops to a 42 mile crossing. Another advantage is in tide planning. For example, this spring I went through Seymour Narrows in the Pacific Northwest. I was able to start my crossing with a five knot current. I do not know if this would be possible in a boat that could only make 7 knots.

The single engine versus twin-engine debate will go on forever. Last year when I was looking at boats, I had the same question. I called an old friend that has a 40 Willard, and asked him if there was ever a time he wished he had two engines. He told me that yes he had wished he had two engines, when his engine died in the middle of a channel. That really sunk in for me. Two engines, or at least a workable get home engine, seems to add a safety factor to your cruising.

The other day I sucked up a piece of kelp into the sea strainer on my generator causing it to overheat. It took about 20 minutes to figure out what was causing the overheat and clear the sea strainer, it wasn't as easy as just clearing the screen the kelp was stuck before the sea strainer in the pipe. If that would have happened to my propulsion engine on a single engine boat with no get home system I would've been extremely nervous or in harms way.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:46 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=ksanders;96600]Opinions are going to really vary on those two questions, so here's mine.

If you are not going to use the boat for passage making then having the ability to cruise at 15 kn versus 7 kn has some real advantages. That speed gives you choices. For example, if you have a six hour good weather window, you can make a 90 mile crossing with a 15 kn boat. iIf you are stuck at 7 kn that drops to a 42 mile crossing. Another advantage is in tide planning. For example, this spring I went through Seymour Narrows in the Pacific Northwest. I was able to start my crossing with a five knot current. I do not know if this would be possible in a boat that could only make 7 knots.

The single engine versus twin-engine debate will go on forever. Last year when I was looking at boats, I had the same question. I called an old friend that has a 40 Willard, and asked him if there was ever a time he wished he had two engines. He told me that yes he had wished he had two engines, when his engine died in the middle of a channel. That really sunk in for me. Two engines, or at least a workable get home engine, seems to add a safety factor to your cruising.

The other day I sucked up a piece of kelp into the sea strainer on my generator causing it to overheat. It took about 20 minutes to figure out what was causing the overheat and clear the sea strainer, it wasn't as easy as just clearing the screen the kelp was stuck before the sea strainer in the pipe. If that would have happened to my propulsion engine on a single engine boat with no get home system I would've been extremely nervous or in harms way.[/QUOTE]

In 50 years of boating I have never had a main overheat that I couldn't get out of the channel and clear the problem with minimal fuss. In g\fact, on my personal boats with tens of thousands of miles...I have NEVER had that problem...but I could see it happening.

As an assistance tower in low water country...sometimes I run the boat for hours with the high temp alarm on yet at any time I could pull over and clear it with minimal fuss.

If your boat doesn't have that capability...it should have...if you don't have that capability...you should have.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:33 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=psneeld;96602]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
Opinions are going to really vary on those two questions, so here's mine.

If you are not going to use the boat for passage making then having the ability to cruise at 15 kn versus 7 kn has some real advantages. That speed gives you choices. For example, if you have a six hour good weather window, you can make a 90 mile crossing with a 15 kn boat. iIf you are stuck at 7 kn that drops to a 42 mile crossing. Another advantage is in tide planning. For example, this spring I went through Seymour Narrows in the Pacific Northwest. I was able to start my crossing with a five knot current. I do not know if this would be possible in a boat that could only make 7 knots.

The single engine versus twin-engine debate will go on forever. Last year when I was looking at boats, I had the same question. I called an old friend that has a 40 Willard, and asked him if there was ever a time he wished he had two engines. He told me that yes he had wished he had two engines, when his engine died in the middle of a channel. That really sunk in for me. Two engines, or at least a workable get home engine, seems to add a safety factor to your cruising.

The other day I sucked up a piece of kelp into the sea strainer on my generator causing it to overheat. It took about 20 minutes to figure out what was causing the overheat and clear the sea strainer, it wasn't as easy as just clearing the screen the kelp was stuck before the sea strainer in the pipe. If that would have happened to my propulsion engine on a single engine boat with no get home system I would've been extremely nervous or in harms way.[/QUOTE]

In 50 years of boating I have never had a main overheat that I couldn't get out of the channel and clear the problem with minimal fuss. In g\fact, on my personal boats with tens of thousands of miles...I have NEVER had that problem...but I could see it happening.

As an assistance tower in low water country...sometimes I run the boat for hours with the high temp alarm on yet at any time I could pull over and clear it with minimal fuss.

If your boat doesn't have that capability...it should have...if you don't have that capability...you should have.
No real disagreement here. I'm no professional, just a recreational boater. I put only a couple to a few hundred hours a average year on my boats.

The single vs twin debate will as I indicated rage on forever.

Would I have a single engine boat, of course. Would I be nervous, of course, untill I got used to it.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:03 PM   #15
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I have always loved raised pilothouses. There is something nice about having a dedicated wheelhouse and most all raised pilothouses have lines that appeal to me and just look like they were meant to go cruising or voyaging.

I too really like the Defever 49 but make sure you get one that has stabilizers unless you really like to roll.

Based on your cruising grounds of the east coast/ICW/FL/Islands I'd keep an eye on vessel draft as well as you will be dealing with lots of shallow water in those areas.

Personally, I went the coastal cruiser route for our raised pilothouse via the bayliner 4550. Having cruised our Monk 36 for 200+ hours at the helm (ok, not a ton of time but maybe enough to get an idea of what it is like!), I appreciate the simplicity and economy of a single screw but the handling of twins sure is darn nice.

The previous posts do a good job of hitting the most likely candidates for this style boat. There are some others...west bay 45, the defever 52, Carver 45 and/or the Carver 53 (both kind of an open pilothouse but still kind of a pilothouse and definitely a coastal cruiser), ocean alexander 50, Marine Trader 49. There are others out there but that should all give you plenty of boats to research and look at.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:22 PM   #16
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I wonder why people dare to drive in single-engined automobilies or, or my goodness, single-engined airplanes?

Me? Relying on single-engined auto and boat. Some might consider me a daredevil.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:05 AM   #17
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We have a 2005 49' Defever RPH. We have owned it for 14 months now and still cannot find a fault. We are very happy with the boat for our boating needs. I spent about 6 months researching, crawling on boats, going to boat shows and cruising yachtworld. I narrowed my search to this model, then found my boat in San Francisco. I cruised her up the West Coast on her own hull.

There are many great boats out there. I am no expert or seasoned salt, but can safely say you would not be mistaken by looking more closely at this classic design. Feel free to message me if you have any Defever questions.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:59 AM   #18
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Pilothouse configuration is the all-round best configuration in my opinion.. The best looking ones in my opinion are the deFever 46 and the Fleming 55' which are essentially the same basic designs.

As to singles vs twins I have no qualms about running a single engine cruising boat-- we chartered a single GB36 before buying the boat we have now--- but we would never own a single having had a twin these past 14 years. The advantages of a twin outweigh the advantages of a single as far as we are concerned. Single engine cars, yep. Single engine planes, yep. Single engine boats, nope.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Fighterpilot View Post
Buying an older boat puts you at the mercy of previous maintenance. If you go single engine you should consider a rebuilt engine, tx and ensure all of the cooling systems are prestine, and get towing insurance.

Even the best attempt to be problem free is iffy on a, just purchased old boat. We knew the boat was a project boat and had it surveyed. We spent the winter reworking the systems, cleaning the heat exchangers and risers, and changing all oils and water. Four fishing trips and four returns on one engine. (3208NA Cats with twindisc 502s. All good solid equipment but old). I would not go single engine in an older boat if I would going to be anyplace other than bays or ICW, or unless I installed new engine, tx, etc.

Consider that Psneeld has had had the boats for a period of time and is, no doubt, a good mechanic and really takes care of his boats so he has had a minimal problem with single engine.

Wow, you're either very unlucky or I'm very lucky. The original FL120 in my 1974 MT is still chugging along with never a hiccup. She shows every one of her 38 years but the surveyor told me she'll outlive me. Granted, I've only put a few hundred hours on her and I did have the starter rebuilt, but, 0 for 4, man, that's some bad karma.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:40 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the feedback. I wish I would have found this forum a long time ago. I realize that there wouldn't be any consensus on both of my questions, as there are no "right" answers. It's up to whatever each person is comfortable with. But I like hearing the opinions and sometimes it gives me something to think about that I wasn't aware of.

I am smart enough to be aware of what I don't know, which is why I spend a lot of time learning. I know that I am no mechanic, but I learn more about my boat every week and I am doing more and more work on it myself. So I realize that my experience with twin gas stern drives may not be the best way to base a single vs. twin diesel decision on the next boat. I bought the boat 2 years ago and it definitely had some engine issues on the starboard engine due to bad fuel. It's a 1990 31' Carver Montego and we love the boat overall. There are not quite 1000 hours on the Volvo Pentas yet and I put over 200 of those on, even though it sat for periods due to working on that starboard engine. So far we have a new coil, distributor, wires, plugs, rebuilt the heads with new valves, on the 3 fuel pump, and 2nd rebuild on the carb. Needless to say, with this boat I am lucky to have twin engines and the port engine has been great. Not to mention that the starboard engine also runs the power steering, bringing in this stern drive on the port engine with no power steering is no treat. It has absolutely no control at all. So to the points most of you make, this has to do with the maintenance of from the previous owner and probably does not give me any reasonable comparison to guide a decision since they are stern drive gasoline engines. But it sure makes me gunshy on a single.

I am looking through all the suggestions on boat models. I have always liked the Krogens as well. I especially like the new 52' Express I saw at TrawlerFest and Annapolis last year. When did they begin making that model? Or is there a similar older model of different LOA?

I am definitely intrigued with what I see on the Sea Ranger so far. And I love Flemings and Selenes as well, but again out of our price range.

Baldpaul - I will definitely have some questions for you at some point as we start looking at specific boats. We were on the 56' Defever RPH at TrawlerFest last year and that has been our favorite boat since. So we need to get on some of these older models, but from what I am seeing we could be very happy with a 49'.

Thanks again. If you think of other models or tips or options that I should be considering, let me know. I found it interesting in the Sea Ranger (I think) thread when they mentioned the shipping costs from the West Coast - definitely a learning moment for me.
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