Sen. Kerry buys Kiwi-built yacht, irks U.S. builders

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New England boatbuilders are upset with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., for buying a $7 million New Zealand-built yacht while local builders struggle to find work.

"Darn, that would have been a wonderful job for a Maine builder," Jane Wellehan, president of the trade group Maine Built Boats, told the Boston Herald. "If someone comes to build a $7 million boat, that would employ half the population of some towns for a year or two."

Gregory Egan, who owns Crosby Yacht Yard in Osterville, Mass., said Bay State builders must feel cut adrift by Kerry as well.

"I'm confident that anything constructed in New Zealand could be constructed here in the state," he said. "From a political perspective, it seems to me he could have thought twice about that one."

Asked to respond to the criticism, Kerry's state director Drew O'Brien said: "When it comes to creating and preserving jobs and economic opportunity in Massachusetts, no one has worked harder in Washington than John Kerry. Sen. Kerry is using smarts, clout and good old-fashioned hard work to make the Massachusetts economy grow and prosper."

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