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Billy Joel Speaks To Boat Builders

March 27, 2000

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) _ Piano man Billy Joel was in Newport over the weekend to oversee his latest production: a 14-foot sailboat.

Joel spoke Sunday with students from the Newport Area Career and Technical Center who are building the boat for him and his daughter.

The singer saw an old Whitehall in dry dock during a visit to the seaside town last summer and wondered how he could get one. A harbormaster put him in contact with the students, who began the project in October.

Joel made a $10,000 donation to the marine trades program in exchange for the custom-made vessel.

``I’ve always been fascinated with the history of this area, the different trades that are still here,″ Joel said. ``My daughter and I and my friends are going to have a lot of fun with this boat.″