Origami steel yacht construction

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by origamiboats, Nov 30, 2001.

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  1. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    They are actual pictures from the DVD set produced by Alex Christie, where Brent did all the welding while Alex did the filming. This is how Brent thinks his boats should be put together.

    It was these DVDs that convinced me that the technique worked, that I could easily build one, and that I wasn't going to do so. It wasn't the quality of welding, frankly some of mine is no better (but then I'm a retired software developer/biologist not a professional welder and I do own 6 angle grinders and a die grinder for difficult inside corners) but the details like that angle iron keel support, the tank top between the keels, the lack of understanding of free surface effect of liquids in wide tanks, hell, there's a bit in the DVD about how difficult it was to get the weld to hold on the solid bars used for the leading edges of the keels! Those bars came from a scrap yard, nothing wrong with that, but if the welds are breaking away it's probably some high carbon steel! OK the weld holds now but if it is some high carbon or heat treated steel then the HAZ is an accident waiting to happen. What other little surprises might there be? I bought my steel cheaply from a broker, I'll save money where I can, but it all has the grade details on it.

    The pity of it all is, the hull form on all accounts sails well, the shape is reasonably pleasing to the eye and it could be a really excellent choice for an amateur build, if those structural issues were fixed. But Brent says there are no structural issues, so nothing changes.

    On the subject of lines & offsets and why we all don't publish them, in my case I bought the right to build a single hull off of Tom Colvin. I have no legal or moral right to publish information on those plans that would enable someone else to build one without paying Tom his designer's fee. However, Tom does provide the complete lines & offsets, interior arrangements and rigging plans for a 45' pinky schooner in his Steel Boatbuilding books. George Buehler provides all the lines & offsets for 30+ (IIRC) designs in his 'Backyard Boatbuilding' book. Rudder magazine published lines & offsets for a hell of a lot of boats including Herreshoff's H-28 (I have a copy) with the right to build one.

    If Brent thinks I should provide the lines & offsets for the boat I'm building then logically he won't have any problems with someone holding a copy of his drawings posting them :)

    Brent could provide the lines & offsets to one or more of the engineers here after they signed a non-disclosure agreement - I've signed tons of these as they're standard in the IT world where intellectual property is often the only thing of value. He can't because no such set of data exists. He says he won't because everyone who has asked for them to do some analysis will falsify the results or rip him off in some manner.

    Bob Brownell once said that if a sales person kept telling you that every other person in a similar line of business and selling similar product was a fool, liar, corrupt, incompetent and simply out to rip you off, perhaps it would be wise to examine the source of the allegations carefully as it was very unlikely that *all* of the competition fitted the description. On the other hand, the person telling the tale...?

  2. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    Im still flabbergasted and shocked after seeing the photos taken from Brent BS Swain and Alex SHOW BOAT video. If people belief him and his ranting about engineering facts, his derby demolition proof boats, etc etc BS, they deserves it rightly so to be stuck with crap like that.
    To refresh our memories I'm pasting a few of that nasty photos again;




    In a previous post BS had the audacity to say this and I quote

    Over the years he also attacked me about stealing money from clients building boats that were designed by proper boat designers to scantling rules due to the work to be done compared to his fast and bullet proof origami method.

    Now Brent, and also your origami disciples, herewith follows some pictures of a proper designed and built boat (Dix btw) with the same parts shown in pictures - keel, mast support and tanks as these are part of keel.
    Not shown in pics is the fact that the mast compression strut support is also supported to bottom of keel.

    From these two sets of photos - BS and mine - which boat would you trust your life on. If someone is considering a BS boat, I plead to them to look at this pics again, read the advice by experts and the BS rant, and then do the right thing. Get a boat designed by a proper boat designer with credentials to the fact. Even origami can be build safe if it is properly engineered and calculation done to support the scantling used.

    Lastly, show casing that standard of engineering and workmanship is criminal. Perhaps he will rethink his childish derby demolition challenges now after this rude awakening of how a well engineered is actually build....

    Attached Files:

  3. M&M Ovenden
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    M&M Ovenden Senior Member

    Thanks John for the nice comments on my work. It's flattering to read that it can be positively compared to professional work. We actually put a lot of effort in that sens.

    Mark and I had about the same reaction as what has already been expressed....what the f.... when we saw the stills of Brent and Alex video. arrgg....!!!! those pictures hurt....I may be over the top but I can't even bare with that messy of work when doing a quick fix on agricultural equipment in the middle of haying! How can someone have so little pride of workmanship and be sooo narcissistic.

    In some previous post Brent asked to see other builders time breakdown fort the construction of a hull. Noooo way! Absolutely no way Brent will get someone to provide a time breakdown to compare with such messy work. Oranges must be compared to oranges, not bird crap.
    I actually never believed that their was so much difference in time to build an equivalent chinned framed hull or origami BS style boat. For something that we would expect to last a life time and that we would like to trust our life with, a month or two difference (I don't even think the over all difference would be so much) in building time is nothing. Building the hull (I'm thinking framed) of a steel boat is amazingly exhilarating because of how fast it comes together. You never see people give up the construction of there boat when putting up the structures or skin. It's usually after it got all welded up and most of the toys to fit in the boat have been bought. People usually give up when they are facing the construction of the accommodations and all the systems, that's where the work slows down and interest gets lost. Building a steel hull is fun and fast...no need to justify origami by speed of building, once the hull is up, it's just as much work for everyone.

    From the pictures posted I am now convinced that if there is any time difference, it's not between the time to build a framed or origami boat but between building a quality hull or botching it.
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  4. spiritbaer
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    spiritbaer Junior Member

    Oh my,this site has saved me from making a big financial blunder and a lot of grief. The material and quality of the postings in this forum has been of great help in assessing the over all condition of a vessel prior to committing myself to an offer and a survey. Thank you
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  5. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Brent Swain Member

    Without doing these calculations, there is a very high risk of the safe load being exceeded and the plate being holed either through direct applied load or eventually through fatigue on the 1000 hard 'whomp' off a wave.

    You say they may fail after the 1,000th hard whomp of a wave? A 15 second wave interval amounts to 5700 cyles per day. That makes your 1,000th occur in less than four hours.So you say that boats that have been sailing for 30 years , are likely to fall apart in the first four hours of their life? Is that the math skill you are planing to use in your
    " Extremely valuable " structural analysis? Is that the math skill that all your criticism of my designs are based? So much for your assessment credibility!
    When Bill Mottershead sailed home from Hawaii , on his 36 ":Roan". A boat that was much further from the centre of the storm read 65 knots, for a day and a half on the anenometer. That is roughly 9,000 cycles, in hurricane conditions. Yet your math predicts that 4 hours of cycling will cause the boat to fall apart. You call four hours "Eventually?" Duuuhhh!!
    Some say that the time difference is minimal, but refuse to post here the time it takes to get a shell together and detailed. I could build a half dozen 36 footers for far less time than the complex abortion in the photo. Leaves one far more energy and enthusiasm for the finishing,if one doesn't take forever to finish the steel work. more gas left in the tank
    Your refusal to post the time it takes for the complex abortion , is an admission of that , as is the refusal to post what it costs your clients for a 36 ft shell tacked together.
    Not many steel boats look that good before grinding, sandblasting and finishing. I'm sure any steel you guys cut out doesn't look all that smooth, before you get a chance to finish it. It makes no sense to grind anything but the weld zone, before welding it down, making it far easier to grind the edges afterwards, when it has been solidly welded down.. Again as Picasso said "Fools and children should never be allowed to see a work of art incomplete."
    I once worked for an Austrian machinist, building a 36. I would help him out on the detail, accomplishing more in a day than he would in weeks. When he realized he had been polishing a cleat for three hours he thought " I guess it's time to call Brent back again.
    I'd drop in and jump start him, and after I left , he would follow my example and get a lot done in the next few days. Then, when he realized how much time he was wasting, he would say to himself ' Damned . I am turning back into an Austrian Machinist again. Time to get Brent back. Then the cycle would repeat itself.
    Obsessive perfectionism has killed far more cruising dreams than most other causes. Only when you have a lot of sea miles under your keels do you realize what's important and what's not.
    I've seen some refuse to put a few flat bars inside to fair up humpy plating, because it didn't look professional or tidy enough, then end up having to fill the hollows with bondo. The former is good steel working the latter is bad seamanship.
    Worrying about stuff that is burried in foam, and never seen again, so it will look pretty before you bury it in foam, is just plain dense, especially when such a tidiness obsession reduces seamanship and the toughness of the boat,. Evan's flat bar keel supports are a good example of that, Proven weaker , but looking tidier, suckers some into believing tidy is strength, as is his insistence on using thin walled pipe for leading edges of keels. They pound flat the first time you hit a rock, regardless of how hot the lead you pour behind them is, but they sure look tidy.

    That tab has a tensile strength of 60,000 psi, not counting that of the piece of angle it is wrapped around. There are eight of them, for a total tensile strength of 480,000 lbs, on a hull a tiny fraction that weight.
    Don't bore us with the comments of "Mike the math expert" over this . He has blown his credibility already with his" 1,000 cycles" prediction.
    The side of the tank top, being so close to the keel, provides far more strength than the tabs do. That boat has already hit the rocks,hard, no damage to her keels or their attachments.
    Chines are each as tough as the centreline. Support the mast off the chines and you have twice the strength of supporting it off the centreline, as there are two chines , but only one centreline.

    Once a 36 has hit the rocks , a steel barge, freighter, etc, at hull speed, with no damage it has proven that the weight of the 36, combined with hull speed, is simply not enough inertia to damage or buckle the plate. The 40 has hit Jedediah Island ,T-boning the rocks with no damage. Since the 40 doesn't have enough inertia to buckle 3/16th plate , there is zero chance of the 36 ever having enough inertia, to buckle 3/16th plate. Neither the inertia nor hull speed change, unless mathematical guru Mike decrees it to have changed. Then the universe obeys ?

    Next time you cross Georgia Strait in a locally built BC ferry , check the uphand welds the "Experts " Like Mike do. A chicken could **** straighter in a gale.
    The aluminium catamarans Mike built had tons of weld failures.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  6. bearflag
    Joined: May 2010
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    Location: Thousand Oaks, California

    bearflag Inventor/Fabricator

    PUT UP OR SHUT-UP...... and get out.

    I would bet that those welds don't have 10,000 PSI of strength in tension, maybe even less than 5. More over than that the flex and shear moduli of the material is vastly different than the surrounding material. That is to say with your bugger welds those weld points aren't strength points, but fracture and tear zones.

    You always talk about hammer clawing cement boats or composites, like that has anything to do with it, but I wouldn't at all be surprised if a good bashing sheered an entire weld seam of yours from the parent plate catastrophically like a zipper.

    I am not a pro welder by any means, but I am embarrased any time I weld something and it doens't look like a roll of dimes laid on its side. If it doesn't look like that, hell even if there is a hint of bubbles or incomplete fusion I grind down past the base metal and make sure to put enough heat in there to get fusion. That "****" you pass off as professional work wouldn't even make it on a ranch welding barbed wire fences.

    Your dubious non-engineering aside, your welding it absolutely atrocious. Frankly I am surprised none of your boats have capsized with all hands lost as the boat tears an unsupported seam.

    And Brent WHAT THE F^%$!!! What is with your continual attacks on engineering, science, math, craftsmanship? You are just arguing against reason, and an assault on intelligence.

    I am a Physicist by education, and it absolutely blows my mind at how even in the engineering world there is often a lacking of fundamental knowledge, but you take the cake brother. Not only are you ignorant, you praise your ignorance and deride, insult, and attack knowledge basis that aren't questionable. They aren't theoretical, there is no "science", no "religion" no guesswork, but pure empirical facts that have been proved by experimentation, and in practice millions upon millions of times, if not billions upon billions. You are the outlier and a pariah to reason, not just boatbuilding.

    I REALLY tried to play both sides of this argument, I wanted to win you over. I think your design ethos has some strong merit... But your design methodology, your disregard for architecture, engineering and physics is beyond the pale, your "amatuermanship" is perhaps even more sinister, it is beyond an embarrassment. Perhaps the only thing worse than either your lack of insight in your designs, and your untradesmanly "quality" of work, is your marketing and salesmanship, which at best is dishonest. At worst it is malfeasant.

    Brent, you need to do a serious reality check.

    Look yourself in the mirror, read thru all these threads, look at the criticisms, don't get worked up in reacting to the attacks, and reinvent yourself. Take the forum members and others up on their promises. Learn your mistakes well, and up your game. Otherwise get out of it.

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  7. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Brent Swain Member

    Man ,can you imagine the maintenance hassle of trying to keep paint on all those corners, or getting them all painted in the first place? More nooks and crannies and more corners on a steel boat, always equal more maintenance, period. when you have to clean up the bilge on that boat you have a major trying to get behind all those frames etc. Why don't fibreglass boats have all that framing? Is fibreglass stronger than steel, according to your math?
    Anyone who has maintained a steel boat for 25 years, will tell you the key to making maintenance easy and minimal, is to keep it simple. As a single piece of steel poking thru the foam will drip like a faucet, in a BC winter. Can you imagine trying to get at least a half inch of foam over all those corners? Unless you live in a warm climate , covering every sq centimeter of steel with at least a half inch of foam is mandatory. Any steel not so covered will keep any wood around it wet for six months a year, blow the paint off it, and turn it black. Foam it adequately, and you will have something which is anything but aesthetically pretty.,
    How many man hours did the owner of that boat have to pay for? What did the steel work cost? Too embarassed to say? Blows your argument!
    If some one doesn't have that kind of money, how does he get a good steel boat built? He gives me a call.
    Some say that takes not much more time than the 350 hours it takes to build an origami boat.( As Lyle said his welder hour meter read, after he had built the "Spirit Bear) So who did all that obviously extra work? The tooth faery? Ya right!
    Reminds me of when I went to visit Waterline Yachts in Sidney BC. The owner asked for my contact info . He said "If someone complains about my prices, I'll send him to you. I thought " If someone complains about my prices I'll send him to you."
    Why didn't Wynands photos copy in the quote?
  8. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

  9. bearflag
    Joined: May 2010
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    bearflag Inventor/Fabricator

    E-glass fibres:
    Modulus of Elasticity : about 72.4 GPa
    Tensile strength: about 2.400 GPa (typical steel = 400 MPa)

    S-glass fibres:
    Modulus of Elasticity : about. 85.5 GPa
    Tensile strength: 4.500 GPa

    It doens't take an expert to contradict you on this statement.

    The way i see it, is that yes.... glass fibers are in tension stronger than steel. 6 to 10 times stronger in fact. (Aramids and other fibers can be even stronger)

    Can steel be stronger in many manufacturing processes and applications, absolutely. But your amateur hour understanding of mechanical properties of materials is beyond words.
  10. bearflag
    Joined: May 2010
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    Location: Thousand Oaks, California

    bearflag Inventor/Fabricator

    I don't know who you think you are? Robin Hood? Karl Marx? Boats for the masses? Robespierre, lets hang all the naval architects and all engineers!

    You have provided zero... absolutely nil, scratch, nothing in the realm of evidence, or anything at all that even resembles evidence, that your method saves money.

    If any money is saved in your boat construction, it certainly is not the design.

    Its in the advice to find materials frugally or by scrounging, or begging. That and abyssmal workmanship, to call it sub-standard would be a mockery as your quality control doens't even approximate any sort of standard of manufacture. The only thing "standard" is that apparently it is universally poor.

    It takes about as much time to weld well as it does poorly, perhaps even less time.

    With the same material, all else being equal, quality welds are preferred. I can't imagine paying for anything less than a quality job, in fact I wouldn't even let anyone weld with the poor craftsmanship you have shown weld my boat for free, or as I said, even barbed wire fences.

    Why would I, when there are so many hedge/weekend-welders who can draw a perfectly acceptable bead on steel plate? You apparently are not one of them.

    Your argument on this point is so beyond moot. You aren't saving anyone money by shitty welding, you are costing them time, money, materials and safety by doing it poorly.

    In a different argument altogether, this is the same theme for the frames/not frames.

    You have provided ZERO substantiation that your design saves money. The only money savings is in the substandard work you do. And if that is the case I am sure they could find someone who could get them a boat for the same rate, that would be a hell of a lot more reliable.

    And on a passing note... steel is bought by the pound/kilogram. Your method will result in a heavier boat than traditional methods, strength for strength. So, even raw materials.. your boat is more dollars.

    You have no defense.
  11. raw
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: Oz

    raw Senior Member

    With all due respect, this is not right....

    FRP is a very variable product that can be engineered to suit individual applications.

    Strength can vary dramatically with fibre orientation and resin types.

    For instance, a very basic 100% E-Glass chopped strand laminate with cheap resin (very unlikely to be used for hull except small dinghies) might have flexural properties of
    Flexural modulus ~ 6 GPa
    Flexural Strength ~130 MPa

    to a 100% E-Glass Unidirectional/Epoxy
    Flexural Modulus ~25MPa
    Flexural Strength ~500 MPa

    And anywhere in between....

    So, It is possible to have a material that Has a strength greater than steel however flexibility is significantly below.

    Point of note is that most fibreglass hulls are deflection limited as a result, meaning their design is based around reducing deflection. The safety factor on strength is therefore in some cases very high.

    Back to your arguments.....
  12. bearflag
    Joined: May 2010
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    bearflag Inventor/Fabricator

    [edit] I wasn't speaking about FRP [/edit]

    Brent was strictly speaking of glass fibre and it'd tensile strength. The material is of course a composite and as was noted, steel is stronger in many applications. Sure we can argue about the various material properties of composites, the raw fibers, how to best use them etc etc. The point was meant to discount brent's repeated statement about steel being 60,000 PSI. Without context it is sort of meaningless. But I am sick of his endless ranting about how steel is this wonder material when clearly he has no idea about the material he spouts on about.

    In re chopped strand... not relevant (to this point), its more resin less glass. Material has almost no tensile strength.

    One of the main benefits of a metal over a composite is that a metal is isotropic, of course one of the main benefits of composites is that they are anisotropic. As you said, low temper steel is very ductile. Welds... on the other hand are not. I tis no coincidence that hardened steel more resembles a glass on the molecular level, and is brittle as well. In boat building (and most of the structural applications mild steel is used specifically for its ductile properties) The intense heat of a weld causes crystallization (ie the molecules in the metal matrix are locally aligned instead of being non directional) in the heat affected zone (HAZ), the actual weld area in a proper weld is an alloy that is designed to resist this property. This is why the previous posters were talking about failures in the HAZ zone...
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  13. raw
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    raw Senior Member

    That's all well and good, but if you are going to talk about materials used to construct boat hulls, I have never seen a boat constructed purely of glass fibre, hence the materials of the fibres themselves are largely irrelevant within context of boat design. Flexural strengths/modulus are.

    The terms FRP and fibreglass are of course almost interchangable in common use with FRP being the broader term.

    This is not a FRP thread, so I'll leave it at that.
  14. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: South Africa

    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    Bearflag said it well - you really need a reality check.

    As for your above quote; if you still defend that crap you call workmanship with your bend perception of engineering facts - then what else can one say and I petty you....

    BTW, foam is old fashioned and troublesome, just like you for that matter. This boat was treated with modern ceramic bead insulation paint system that beats the hell out of foam and I do not need foam to hide proper workmanship with a layer of foam as you need to do with your crap.

    Some people do not put a price on safety for their potection and that is why they rather spent good and hard earned money to ensure that at least they have engineering integrity and quality work. This is something you would not understand, ever. Pointless to explains it to a hillbilly.

    Since you are to stupid to grasp anything intelligent, and I believe you see some mystical origami / BS forces at work, rejecting anything other than your crappy workmanship and sub standard designs, let me enlighten you why in clear and visible script.

    Attachments do not copy. Your photos was loaded to a webpage and URL linked to my post/text, thus they become part of the post that will show in "Quote".
    My photos on the other hand, was attached to the post directly from my computer and thus attachments that would not show in "quote"
    Nothing sinister to that, perhaps for you yes.

    Lastly, for years people tried to help, educate etc you but to no avail. You are the only right person, all others idiots in your view.
    I refuses to further waste any of my time on your remarks, shoddy work and what else you rant about that is BULSHIT anyway and I hope others will do the same.
    Perhaps you will grow tired responding to your own posts and quietly just disappears.

    PS: Perhaps if this thread continues indefinitely, some people wanting to go the BS way, may be enlightened by what written here and do the sensible thing and get a proper set of boatplans. The proof is in post #289.
    People in the marketing field would know what that means - ratios etc etc. No point explaining that BS. Let him carry on his own demise by making the wrong noises...
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010

  15. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    So Now I have to address this or you'll use it as proof that you are always right and professionals are always wrong. :(

    you are taking something that was completely unquantified, willfully misinterpret it with some creative spin doctoring and then blowing it up to create a BS type fact.

    I used Whomp as a noun meaning a heavy blow.

    The sort of whomp I envisaged was the type that would shake your bones, Not the normal windward slamming that you are referring to and I was being generous at 1000 such cycles. It’s my fault entirely for not sticking to absolutely simple undistortable language when trying to talk to you.

    Interesting that you imply that your boats slam horribly to windward I could have sworn that in another post you said they dodn't slam at all:)

    So you are not even interested in learning how you'd go about assessing the adequacy of a shear load support and applying S-N limits to the design?

    That attitude and statements like the following in response to whats been revealed sum up your attitude to design and construction quite well:

    With an attitude like that you are endangering peoples lives.

    What on earth are you talking about ? Your boats are much weaker for not having decent frames and the plate will buckle easily from a blow or a pressure head because it's not restrained, we explained this before.

    Your debating tactics are getting a bit transparent now. This avoidance of addressing any real issue, constantly throwing stinking mud at everyone, while announcing that you are the best at everything and to cap it all that you are the shining star of steel boat building :rolleyes:.......... I really don't think anyones buying that anymore.

    My beef here and in the transverse frames thread was to see that you and others understood that all your engineering arguments and reasoning were totally flawed, and that you are ignorant beyond comprehension about designing with steel.

    I wanted to show that you couldn't use that 'ignorance' to justify the line you made that any transverse framing is totally redundant in steel boats up to 60 feet, that should be obvious as rubbish by now.

    The expose of your 36 footer came about because of your own belligerence. It's design is appalling structurally, and it's only fast to build if you butcher it in the process. You sell this to unsuspecting people for your profit and employment.

    No-one should get a boat built by you nor should they buy one, they are a nightmare of built in failure 'features'. You really need shutting down until you sort your act out with this... um ...enterprise.:mad:
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