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August 2020 Newsletter



There has been a huge shift in our economy over the last few months due to COVID-19, and many people are wondering, “Where will the value of the dollar be left when this virus becomes less of a threat?” I’ve heard people say that precious metals is all that will be left when this is over, or invest over seas because their currency is less volatile. While I do believe there will be an economic impact to the value of the U.S. dollar due to recent government action, no one really knows quite the extent that it will be. Today, I’m going to shine some light on how the U.S. dollar is valued and the metrics that go into deciphering that, so that we can all have a better understanding of U.S. currency.


The value of the U.S. dollar is measured in three ways: exchange rates, Treasury notes, and foreign exchange reserves.


While the most common method is through exchange rates, the truth is you need to be familiar with all three in order to make educated guesses about where the dollar might be headed next.


Exchange Rates

The dollar exchange rate compares its value to the currencies of other countries. It allows you to determine how much of a particular currency you can exchange for a dollar. The most popular exchange rate measurement is the U.S. Dollar Index.

These rates change every day because currencies are traded on the foreign exchange market. A currency's "forex" value depends on several factors, including:

  • Central bank interest rates

  • The country's debt levels

  • The strength of the economy

When these factors are strong, so is the value of the currency. Most countries have a flexible exchange rate and allow forex trading to determine the value of their currencies.

The Federal Reserve has many monetary tools that can influence the strength of the dollar. These tools are how the government can regulate exchange rates, albeit indirectly.

The U.S. dollar rate shows the value of the dollar in comparison to other currencies, including the Indian rupee, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, and the British pound. Below, you can track the dollar's value as measured by the euro since 2002.



2002-07: The dollar fell by 40% as the U.S. debt grew by 60%. In 2002, a euro was worth $0.87 versus $1.44 in December 2007.1


2008: The dollar strengthened by 22% as businesses hoarded dollars during the global financial crisis. By year’s end, the euro was worth $1.39.


2009: The dollar fell by 20% thanks to debt fears. By December, the euro was worth $1.43.


2010: The Greek debt crisis strengthened the dollar. By year’s end, the euro was only worth $1.32.


2011: The dollar's value against the euro fell by 10%. It later regained ground. As of December 30, 2011, the euro was worth $1.30.


2012: By the end of 2012, the euro was worth $1.32 as the dollar had weakened.


2013: The dollar lost value against the euro, as it appeared at first that the European Union was, at last, solving the eurozone crisis. By December, it was worth $1.38.


2014: The euro-to-dollar exchange rate fell to $1.21 thanks to investors fleeing the euro.


2015: The euro-to-dollar exchange rate fell to a low of $1.05 in March, before rising to $1.13 in May. It fell to $1.05 after the Paris attacks in November, before ending the year at $1.08.


2016: The euro rose to $1.13 on February 11 as the Dow fell into a stock market correction. It fell further to $1.11 on June 25. This happened the day after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Traders thought uncertainty surrounding the vote would weaken the European economy. Later on, the markets calmed down after realizing that Brexit would take years. It allowed the euro to rise to $1.13 in August. Not long after, the euro fell to its 2016 low of $1.04 on December 20, 2016.


2017: By May, the euro had risen to $1.09. Investors left the dollar for the euro due to allegations of connections between President Trump's administration and Russia. By the end of the year, the euro had risen to $1.20.


2018: The euro continued its ascent. On February 15, it was $1.25. In April, the euro began weakening after President Trump initiated a trade war. The euro fell to $1.16 on June 28, a few days after the Federal Reserve raised the fed funds rate to 2%. A higher interest rate strengthens a currency because investors receive more return on their holdings. But the by end of the year, the euro was $1.15.


2019: The euro declined until September when it reached $1.10. It rose briefly in December to $1.11. The euro followed news about the ongoing trade war.


Treasury Notes

Exchange rates are just one factor in the dollar's value, however—the dollar also moves in sync with the demand for Treasury notes. The U.S. Department of the Treasury sells notes for a fixed interest rate and face value, investors bid at a Treasury auction for more or less than the face value, and then they can resell them on a secondary market.


Before April 2008, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note stayed in a range of 3.91% to 4.23%. That indicated a stable dollar demand as a world currency.

Here are some of the Treasury note events over the past decade-plus that impacted the dollar's value:


2008: The 10-year Treasury note yield dropped from 3.57% to 2.93% between April 2008 and March 2009 as the dollar rose. Remember, a falling yield means a rising demand for Treasurys and dollars.


2009: The dollar fell as the yield rose from 2.15% to 3.28%.


2010: From January 1 to October 10, the dollar strengthened, as the yield fell from 3.85% to 2.41%. It then weakened due to inflation fears from the Fed's quantitative easing strategy.


2011: The dollar weakened in early spring but rebounded by the end of the year. The 10-year Treasury note yield was 3.36% in January. It rose to 3.75% in February then plummeted to 1.89% by December 30.


2012: The dollar strengthened significantly, as the yield fell in June to 1.443%. It was a 200-year low. The dollar weakened toward the end of the year, as the yield rose to 1.78%.


2013: The dollar weakened slightly, as the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose from 1.86% in January to 3.04% by the end of the year.


2014: The dollar strengthened through the year, as the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell from 3% in January to 2.17% by year-end.


2015: The dollar strengthened in January, as the 10-year Treasury yield fell from 2.12% in January to 1.68% in February. The dollar weakened as the yield rose to 2.28% in May. It ended the year at 2.24%.


2016: The dollar strengthened as the yield fell to 1.37% on July 8, 2016. The dollar weakened as the yield rose to 2.45% at year-end.


2017: The dollar weakened as the yield hit a peak of 2.62% on March 13. The dollar grew stronger as the yield fell to 2.05% on September 7. The yield rose to 2.49% on December 20, ending the year at 2.4%.


2018: The dollar continued weakening. By February 15, the yield on the 10-year note was 2.9%. Investors were worried about the return of inflation. The yield remained in this range, rising to 3.09% on May 16 then falling to 2.69% by December.


2019: The dollar weakened as the 10-year yield peaked at 2.79% on January 18. But on March 22, 2019, the yield curve inverted. The 10-year yield fell 2.44%, below the three-month yield of 2.46%. That meant investors were more worried about the U.S. economy in three months than in 10 years. When investors demand more return in the short term than in the long run, they think the economy is headed for a recession. The yield curve recovered, then inverted again in May. On August 12, the 10-year yield hit a three-year low of 1.65%. That was below the 1-year note yield of 1.75%. It fell to a low of 1.47% on Sept. 4, 2010. Although the dollar was strengthening, it was due to a flight to safety as investors rushed to Treasurys. By the end of the year, it had risen to 1.92%.


2020: The dollar weakened and Treasurys plunged in the spring of 2020, starting the year at 1.88% for the 10-year yield and diving 0.62% by early April. Yields for all types of Treasurys took a steep dive, indicating widespread recession fears, but the shortest-term yields were hit the hardest—suggesting that investors felt that 2020 in particular would be a tough year. The one-month, two-month, and three-month yields dropped all the way from just over 1.5% at the beginning of the year to zero on March 25, before starting to reclaim some value the next month.


Foreign Currency Reserves

The dollar is held by foreign governments in their currency reserves, which is the third factor affecting its value. They wind up stockpiling dollars as they export more than they import and receive dollars in payment. Many of these countries find that it's in their best interest to hold onto dollars because it keeps their currency values lower. Some of the largest holders of U.S. dollars are Japan and China.


As of the first quarter of 2020, foreign governments held $6.8 trillion in U.S. dollar reserves.


That's 58% of the total allocated reserves of $11.7 trillion. It's down from a height of 66% held in 2015. It's even less than the 63% held in 2008.


At the same time, the percentage of euros held in reserves was 18%. That's less than the 27% held in 2008. Banks only held 2% of their reserves in Chinese renminbi.


How the Dollar Impacts the U.S. Economy

When the dollar strengthens, it makes American-made goods more expensive and less competitive compared to foreign-produced goods. This reduces U.S. exports and slows economic growth. It also leads to lower oil prices, as oil is transacted in dollars. Whenever the dollar strengthens, oil-producing countries can relax the price of oil because the profit margins in their local currency aren't affected.


For example, the dollar is worth 3.75 Saudi riyals. Let's say a barrel of oil is worth $100, which makes it worth 375 Saudi riyals. If the dollar strengthens by 20% against the euro, the value of the riyal, which is fixed to the dollar, has also risen by 20% against the euro. To purchase French pastries, the Saudis can now pay less than they did before the dollar became stronger. That's why the Saudis didn't need to limit supply as oil prices fell to $30 a barrel in 2015. The value of money affects you daily by how much commodities you can purchase with your funds at a given time. When prices for food or gas rise, your money’s value shrinks because a given amount can now buy less than what it used to.


The Value of the Dollar Over Time

The dollar's value can also be compared to what could have been bought in the United States in the past. Today's dollar value is much less than that of the past because of inflation.


The growing U.S. debt weighs on the minds of foreign investors. In the long-term, they may continue to—little by little—move out of dollar-denominated investments. It will happen at a slow pace so that they don't diminish the value of their existing holdings. The best protection for an individual investor is a well-diversified portfolio that includes foreign mutual funds, real estate, & liquid reserves.



Dollar Trends 2002-11: The Decline

From 2002 to 2011, the dollar declined. This was true with all three measures for three principal reasons that built off each other: Growing U.S. Debt, Sequestration, and Worldwide Diversification.


Reason No. 1: Growing U.S. Debt

Investors were concerned about the growth of the U.S. debt. Foreign holders of this debt are always uneasy that the Federal Reserve would allow the dollar's value to decline so that U.S. debt repayments would be worth less in their own currency. The Fed's quantitative easing program monetized the debt, thereby allowing an artificial strengthening of the dollar. This was done to keep interest rates low. Once the program ended, investors grew concerned that the dollar could weaken.


Reason No. 2: Sequestration

The debt put pressure on the president and Congress to either raise taxes or slow down spending. This led to sequestration, which restricted spending and dampened economic growth. Investors were sent to chase higher returns in other countries.


Reason No. 3: Worldwide Diversification

The growing debt and subsequent sequestration led to concern among foreign investors that the dollar wasn't quite as reliable, and that therefore they would need to diversify their portfolios with non-dollar denominated assets. This added to the downward pressure on the dollar.


Dollar Trends 2011-16: Strengthening

Between 2011 and 2016, the dollar strengthened. There were six factors that combined to make the dollar become much stronger after years of declines:

  1. Investors worried about the Greek debt crisis. It weakened demand for the euro, the world's second choice for a global currency.

  2. The European Union struggled to boost economic growth through quantitative easing.

  3. In 2015, economic reform slowed China's growth. It pushed investors back into the U.S. dollar.

  4. The dollar is a haven during any global crisis. Investors bought U.S. Treasurys to avoid risk as the world recovered unevenly from the 2008 financial crisis and recession.

  5. Despite reforms, both China and Japan continued to purchase dollars to control the value of their currencies. It helped them boost exports by making them cheaper.

  6. The Federal Reserve signaled that it would raise the fed funds rate. It did so in 2015. Forex traders took advantage of the higher rates as Europe's interest rates declined.

Dollar Trends 2016-20: Fluctuations Amid Uncertainty

Recent years have resulted in some instability in the dollar's value as uncertainty increased around the globe with the election of President Trump in 2016 and recession worries growing.


Between 2016 and 2020, the dollar started to weaken again as the aforementioned global events propping it up faded into the past and concerns about the impact of the Trump administration's trade war began to weigh on investors. In 2019 and into 2020, it strengthened as investors sought safety amid concerns about a looming global recession.


No one knows what will be the outcome of the Global Pandemic that is COVID-19, but one thing is for sure. There will be fluctuation in the value of the dollar and we believe it to be a negative affect.


People are always asking “Should I buy now or should I wait?” It’s specific to your needs, but I recommend buying now. The value of the U.S. dollar will most likely decline in the near future, so your buying power is stronger now. Especially with a rocky economy.


Investment Opportunities

If you would like to begin growing your wealth exponentially, and begin creating a hedge against the inflation of U.S. currency, then real estate is the perfect avenue for that. There are tons of resources on our website to better educate you if you want to become an active real estate investor or a passive investor! Our model is multifamily syndication and we tailor all of our investments to individuals who want passive income and all the benefits of owning real estate, without any of the work. If you’d like to learn more, schedule a call with me today! Click on this link and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.


Mobile, AL Market Analysis


Business:

In an update, Mob Town Proper & Vintage, the retro hair salon concept originated by business partners Nick Dimario and “Panini” Pete Blohme, recently held a soft opening for their new 1,000-square-foot space tucked away inside their 85-year-old, 3,600-square-foot headquarters at 119 S. Ann Street, located near the Griffith Service Station in Mobile.

Originally intended to open late February or early March, plans were disrupted by the onset of nationwide shutdowns of industries deemed “non-essential” at the time to curtail the spread of COVID-19.


Additionally, due to exacting guidelines found in Mobile County for licensed barbers to snip, shave, trim and apply tonics (among other treatments), the partners adroitly slashed through local red tape by pivoting from their “men’s only” hipster, retro concept to offering services for both men and women inside the new space.


“To open a barbershop in Mobile, with qualified staff, we needed to have a licensed master barber working on site at all times that had attended an approved program with a minimum of two years of experience. We weren’t initially aware of the full regulations required in Mobile, although it was mentioned in passing by barbers in Baldwin County,” Blohme, who lives in Fairhope, said.


According to barber-license.com, the Alabama Department of Labor reported there were 700 licensed barbers in Alabama as of 2010. The licensing process involves successfully completing a formal barber program or apprenticeship, applying for initial registration in the state and passing.


In 2013, Alabama became the very last state in the country to enact comprehensive barber licensing requirements. Before that time, only five counties statewide licensed barbers through their own barber boards, including Mobile. Their requirements, in many cases, were more rigorous than regulations eventually put in place by the state.

Barbers who practice in Mobile County must have a Mobile County Barber Commission’s license. To be eligible to apply for the licensure examination, the commissioner requires students graduate from a certified program approved by the county. Licenses from outside the area aren’t recognized.


To date, Mob Town employs one certified cosmetologist with plans in place to hire more as customer demand dictates.


“We have four stations available to add more stylists, but are not in a hurry. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Blohme said.

Additionally, ideas for a vintage store anticipated to open in the 800-square-foot middle bay space next door have now morphed into plans for a coffee shop that will instead sell vintage retail merchandise for patrons.


“We still want to have bourbon tastings during the year, cross-promotional offers set up within the restaurant chain and extended hours on the second Friday of every month to coordinate with LoDa ArtWalk. We’re glad to finally be able to open and welcome new customers,” Blohme said.

——

Josh Hall with NAI Mobile reported some 1,700 square feet of retail space located at 200 St. Joseph Street in downtown Mobile is expected to open in November as the home of a new smoothie shop called Ole Mobile Nutrition.


The new business is a spinoff for the owners of Saraland-based Spartan Nutrition, an Herbalife reseller, and the site will offer drive-thru pickup and sit-down services, according to Hall.

——

Fairfield by Marriott recently announced completing renovations to its site located at 950-A W. Interstate 65 Service Road S. in Mobile. Upgrades inside the building involved a full refresh of the following spaces: reception desks, lobby, breakfast area, fitness center and all 80 guest rooms.


“This renovation has completely transformed our hotel. Fairfield now offers travelers a hotel that is essentially brand new,” General Manager Todd Hagerty said. Although subject to current COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, the hotel still offers guest amenities that include free breakfast, Wi-Fi, 24-hour business center, fitness center and indoor pool.


Fairfield by Marriott sits along a row of established hotels in close proximity to each other along the Beltline between Airport Boulevard and Cottage Hill Road. It is near several restaurants and retail centers and has quick access to the interstate. The property is owned by Edgewater and operated by MMI Hotel Group.

——

Fairhope-based Peak Alkalinity is holding a grand opening and ribbon cutting this Wednesday at 1 p.m. inside a leased, 800-square-foot space, located at 2729 Old Shell Road, Suite D. It is inside the refurbished, historic Blue Bird Hardware building across the street from UMS-Wright Preparatory School in Midtown Mobile.


This is the locally owned company’s second site to set up shop and their first to establish a beachhead in Mobile County. The business sells alkaline water and water systems, has an in-house oxygen bar and offers other detox services, such as a foot detox.


According to founder and co-owner Missy Guitterrez, PharmD, their 1,200-square-foot Baldwin County space, located at 217 B Fairhope Avenue in Fairhope, was opened three years ago to much success and expectations are to open a third spot in Spanish Fort within 12 to 18 months. The company is also currently hiring, and more information can be found at peakalkalinity.com.

——

Colby and Tim Herrington with Herrington Realty have completed lease work for NYC-headquartered confectionery shop Insomnia Cookies. With over 100 stores nationwide, and now four in Alabama, the latest site will occupy a little over 1,000 square feet of retail space inside the 8,800-square-foot South Landing shopping center at 5753 Old Shell Road, Suite 102-B, in West Mobile near the USA campus. Hiring plans and opening dates for Insomnia were unknown as of press time.


Education:

A new Advanced Manufacturing Center developed on campus by Mobile-based Bishop State Community College will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, July 29. State, county, and city leaders will be in attendance to recognize the event.

The $21 million facility will reportedly assist Bishop in helping train the surrounding workforce to meet the needs of businesses and industries in the Mobile and Baldwin County communities.


Per a press release, local area companies have contributed to the facilities’ programs that will give students access to state-of-the-art, industry-approved equipment for training classes at the center. The event will take place at 351 N. Broad Street, near the corner of Broad and Congress streets.


“Students, incumbent workers and career-change candidates will be equipped with the knowledge and technical skills needed to become successfully employed in Mobile’s high-wage, high-demand and high-tech economy,” Courtney Steele, Bishop State’s communications coordinator, said in an announcement.


Medical:

Breakthrough technology made possible through a grant from the U.S. Army is providing researchers at USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute (MCI) a more precise understanding of how cancer cells grow.


The instrument, called the Seahorse XFe96 Analyzer, is being used to monitor metabolic changes and mitochondrial functions of cells in patients.


According to Natalie Gassman, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology and cell biology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a researcher at MCI, cancer is a metabolic disease; therefore, tumors often reprogram their consumption of sugars and fats to promote growth.


This process leads to changes in mitochondrial function, which promotes cell growth and alters antioxidant balance in cells. These changes can make tumors more aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy.


Using this tool, researchers are reportedly now able to further explore potential new strategies for cancer treatment.


“It’s exciting to have this instrument, as it allows us to observe the sugar consumption and mitochondrial changes in cancer cells to help us understand how to better care for patients,” Gassman said. “This instrument will give us insight on how to more precisely target metabolic changes with new drugs or supplementation strategies for patients battling cancer.”


MCI is the region’s only academic cancer treatment center and provides patients with treatment options from basic treatments and clinical trials to multidisciplinary oncology research.


Manufacturing:

A startup company called Incoa Performance Minerals, owned by Salt Lake City-based private equity firm Peterson Partners, recently announced plans to invest $110.85 million to build a new storage facility to be located in Theodore. Expectations at the site are to employ 75 workers by 2025. Stage 1 operations and hiring will begin by the early part of next year.


Incoa’s business model revolves around making and selling high-quality calcium carbonate in U.S. markets, an ingredient found in a wide array of products ranging from antacids to house paint.


With assistance from Partners for Growth, a public/private coalition of local investors affiliated with the Mobile Area Chamber, an economic development team reached out to the venture in 2019 to explore the possibility of making Mobile their home for production, shipping and equipment storage needs.


During talks, commercial leasing opportunities with Theodore-based Millard Maritime, a privately owned Port of Mobile large marine terminal facility, were identified. Leveraging a site possessing some 1,600 square feet of wharf, liquid and break bulk offloading capabilities, as well as rail, interstate and barge transportation access, seemed to be a no-brainer.


Moving forward, Incoa plans to construct a 40,000-square-foot property planted on top of Millard’s sprawling 300-acre multi-use development, with the goal of leasing back the space after build-out completion. Additionally, the startup is moving into Millard’s 250,000-square-foot headquarters to sublease office space, accommodating their future hiring plans.


“Mobile and the Gulf region continue to experience strong growth in logistics and transportation,” Brad Hall, president of Millard Maritime, said. “Our partnership with Incoa is another important step in expanding that growth.”


“The value proposition is its central location on the Gulf Coast with good rail, barge and relative distance from a major interstate,” Tyson Creamer, Incoa’s COO said. “We will provide performance-based minerals that go into the products we use every day: paper, plastic, paints, glass, film wrappers, etc.”


They will be making a high-demand product that is currently not being manufactured in our region that will be a valuable addition to the community.

——

Matheson, a multinational gas and equipment company, has leased a 7,500-square-foot warehouse building located at 5715 Iron Works Road in Theodore. This is the Irving, Texas-based firm’s first foray into Mobile County as well as Alabama.

Staffing plans at the site and further expansion plans into the area were unknown as of press time. Matheson is the largest subsidiary of Tokyo-headquartered Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) group, one of the four largest suppliers of industrial, specialty and electronics gases in the world.


Real Estate:

In an update, the mixed-use project in Midtown Mobile next door to the Dew Drop Inn, called The Lofts at Midtown, has broken ground for build-out.


The development group RGH Midtown, led by local companies Crescent Development and Hamilton & Company, acquired the property in March of this year. The 1.2-acre site was picked up for roughly $440,000.


Construction of the project is being handled by Chattanooga, Tenn.-based DBS Corporation.


Additionally, the owners of Nova Espresso have signed a lease to occupy some 1,650 square feet on the western endcap of the first floor to open Nova Market, a coffee and boutique retail concept.


According to owners Tim and Claire Gautreaux, Nova Market will offer a full range of products including coffee, toilet paper, beer, wine, pantry staples, gifts and ice cream — all handpicked by the owners. This will be the couple’s third concept following Nova Espresso and planned craft cocktail bar, Thy Neighbor.


“This is an exciting project and we are elated to add Nova to the tenant mix. We think they will be a great addition to the neighborhood for Midtown residents, including those living on-property,” Golden said.


As first reported, the 25,000-square-foot building will include 8,250 square feet of ground-floor commercial space available for lease, with a 1,650-square-foot minimum.

The upper two floors will include 24 Class A lofts available for lease with a mix of one- and two-bedroom floorplans. The lofts will feature controlled access, elevator service and a planned rooftop terrace. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.

——

Clint Flowers with Mobile-based National Land Realty recently announced the acquisition of a little over 700 acres of raw real estate in the Robertsdale area by nonlocal speculators for $1.7 million.


The site is accessible coming off of Exit 53 from Interstate 10 in Baldwin County and fronts nearly 3,000 feet on the Styx River waterway. Development plans for the property currently include constructing RV camping and recreation sites along Styx River.

——

Local speculators recently purchased approximately 34 acres (33.66) near the southwest corner of Highway 181 and Bay Meadows Avenue in Fairhope for $1.375 million, which will be used for home construction. The new, single-family residential development will include 76 lots built with homes designed by Breland Homes Coastal.

——

In an update, Lafayette Land Company announced it has completed renovation on two large, two-bedroom, two-bath luxury apartments and a garden addition to Iron Hand Brewpub at the historic, fully restored 1927 Hunter Baptist Church at 204 & 206 State Street in the De Tonti Square Historic District, one block from the new Federal Courthouse.


Leasing at $1,950 per month, one space was leased within four days after work completed. The other space is still available. Both units are entered by a separate entrance off of the ground floor, common lobby near the brewpub entrance.

“These two-bedroom luxury apartments were built to exemplify the quality and size that will be available at the coming St. Louis Street Place, a 38-unit luxury apartment complex soon to open across from the new Greer’s Fresh on St. Louis Street, which should be open before the end of the year,” the property development and management firm said in a prepared statement.


SpaceX/Mobile Bay:

USA Health University Hospital, the upper Gulf Coast region’s only Level I trauma and burn center, was selected by NASA as a designated hospital care facility sitting on standby for the SpaceX splashdown on Saturday, Aug. 2, sloshing into the Gulf of Mexico 30 miles away from Pensacola beaches.


“We are glad our services were not needed by the NASA/SpaceX team for this space mission,” Owen Bailey, CEO of USA Health, said in a prepared statement. “Our team of highly trained and specialized care providers stood by the ready, should they have been needed, as we do every day for the people of our region.”


Additionally, the recovery ship GO Navigator, which met and hoisted the Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule onboard for transport, was built by family-owned Master Boast Builders based in Coden.


An unincorporated community found in South Mobile County, Coden is located near local fishing, shrimping and seafood-processing hub, Bayou La Batre.


“I am so proud of the fact that Master Boat Builders in Coden is playing a key role in history, with the recovery of the Space X mission today. GO Navigator was built by the Rice family/Master Boat Builders in 2010,” Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl said in a social media post, as first reported online by Yellowhammer News.

GO Navigator joined SpaceX’s recovery fleet two years ago and was upgraded to meet advanced mission needs. The vessel is now equipped with a medical treatment facility and helipad for emergency situations.


Its sister ship, GO Searcher, was also built by Master Boat Builders. The vessels typically work in tandem on SpaceX recovery missions.

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