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dean catamaran a good choice?

  • Thread starter al.carpenter
  • Start date 26 Sep 2010
  • 26 Sep 2010


hello everyone, being new on this forum, I just want to say how interesting and rich I find your posts. I have so far lived on board my boats (classics, monohulls) for more or less four years and loved every minute of it but my partner is not so keen anymore and the last chance I would have to convince her to put her bags back onboard would be to switch to a boat that does not smell of tar and damp and rocks so much... and am thinking of a catamaran. I am on the market for a second hand one and was interested in a DEAN 441 but having read quite a few bad threads about structural problems and bad aftersales behaviour from the builders in South Africa, I am seeking, let say "wider" advice and comments... This being, for me, a major investment, I do not want to ask for trouble and as it is quite high on my wish list, your input would be most appreciated. Thank you and fair winds. Al.  

  • 28 Sep 2010


Well-known member

Al Hundreds of Deans have been built and sailed across wide oceans. Some of them were well built, some not. Some people have been heard to say they are built like brick shyte houses. Some disagree. The 441 is very spacious. In the end, three words, survey, survey, survey.  



Al, Here's some info on Dean catamarans you might find interesting: http://www.multihulls4us.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1329 I was very impressed when I stepped on one at the La Rochelle boat show a few years back.  

thank you thank you for your advice. I know it is going to sound stupid but after a couple of days looking seriously into the problem, I have come to the conclusion that catamarans are not for me... not my idea of cruising... not my idea of a "proper" boat... never has been but I thought, for the sake of my wife it could be a solution but I now realise that it is not an option. Thanks any way. Fair winds to all of you.  

Hm that's a pity. Can you post details of the wife please?  

  • 29 Sep 2010

to TCM Hi again,... 5' 7", 47kgs, blonde but not dumb, with a lot of energy but a little back problem that is not compatible with sailing anymore... You'd like her and I'll swap her for two 26 years old slender brunettes for the duration of my yearly cruise (she is 52...) but will take her back on landing as I am used to having her by my side, she, having been my partner for the last 34 years... More seriously, as a marine carpenter and a boat builder, a wooden yacht owner for the last 35 years, I have difficulty thinking of myself on something else than a long keeler with more in the water than out, close to half my weight in ballast, my nostrils tickling with the smell of Stockholm tar and my feet on my toolbox to repair my beloved "passion"..... and after more thought, I am not too keen on lending my wife so, I will cary on sailing solo... Ciao for now and fair winds.  

What an excellent response to my daft post. I secretly feel guilty about not doing my bit to keep an old boat going and pass it on in twenty or so years time. I have loadsa tool boxes on catamaran, but sailing or living on the thing long term means a cat is comfier - unless you have a realy gigantic olde boat which finances can mean is rather stronger in the "being olde" dept than is truly all that "classic".  

Daft post? no way... personally, right after "l'Amour" as Most Important Topic comes "l'Humour" (I am french you see!), on a par with Woodenboat sailing and Good Food... To go back to the wooden boat versus catamaran conversation, a classic timber craft does not have to be "old". My last one, a Laurent Giles was built in 1983 and my other alternative to the cat is to build myself a 38ft Ed Burnett nr 116 design (but carvel and not strip-planking/epoxy...) Since the cat is definitely out of my system (this idea was there just a few days, having realised that my partner's back was not likely to ever get better and I was depressed...), it is back to my newbuilt project "full steam ahead" Thanks again for taking the trouble to reply to my "own daft post"... Ho! and by the way, I hope your many tool boxes are not as heavy as my one and only 150 kgs mahogany own. On a cat weight is paramount......... Fair winds, Al  

  • 10 Oct 2010

Hello all, I did not came back here since "06-05-09" (say this forum ...). > al.carpenter , as I read above that you are French, you can read this long thread on Dean Catamaran structure problem in the french forum "Sail The Word" : http://www.stw.fr/forumstw/quest_answers.cfm?quest_id=33047&topic_id=22&st_row=1 And this one to avoid communication liberty on the WWWeb: http://www.stw.fr/forumstw/quest_answers.cfm?quest_id=33603&topic_id=22&st_row=16 In fact, it is proved (even by several experts) that some Dean catamarans have big structural problems. Due to the lack of real technical communications beetwen the shipyard and the clients, it is impossible to evaluate how many cats are involved. I have no interests in this situation (like you, I rather like great heavy wooden schooners), but just for security reasons these real dangerous cases cannot be concealed. So long ...  

Do I smell an alternative agenda emerging here?  

thank you OFournier Hi, thank you for your post which is rich in informations about Dean Catamarans. I do understand that a certain design can have structural problems (I say design but in this case, the 441, it seems to be the material that's creating them) , after all, nobody's perfect and as a boatbuilder myself, I can assure you that some mistakes do cost a lot, in time and money but let's face it, it cannot in anycase be the client's responsability (if it is indeed a conception problem which only experts can determine) so the least the yard can do is listen, make amend and make sure it does not happen again. This, added to all the other, in my own opinion, disadvantages of a multihulls over a monohull (keep it light otherwise forget it, speed kills, structural stiffness, not getting back-up on its own, windage over wet surface, beating angles and tacking under motorpower, large cockpits, banging waves on the centrepart, two engines, sailing with the mains'l sheet in hand so to speak, not easy to repair anywhere you are, not "romantic" looking... etc...etc.) make it a definitely NO-NO option for me. But, this is my very own conclusion and being known as a old, narrow minded, ultra conservative (only where boats are concerned...) bear and not wanting to start another multi versus mono debate, I will close here this thread... Fair wind all.  

  • 20 Jan 2011

dean 440 catamaran review

You might be better bringing this up on multihulls4us forum  

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Cruising World Logo

  • By Stacey Collins
  • Updated: November 11, 2008

dean 440 catamaran review

Dean 441 368

If you walk down a dock full of catamarans, the new Dean 441 stands out from the crowd with its jauntily raked mast; wide, blue sheer stripe; and bright-yellow canvas. The one that the CW Boat of the Year judges tested last fall in Annapolis was fresh from an 8,100-mile passage from Cape Town, and it appeared to have weathered the voyage well.

Unlike catamarans that have a dual owner/charter pedigree, the 441 was designed by South African boatbuilder Peter Dean Sr. for private ownership and offshore cruising in comfort and safety.

Deans are built for boisterous sea conditions, with somewhat heavy, hand-laid hulls that are balsa-cored above the waterline. The hull/deck joint is through-bolted and glassed over, and balsa-cored structural bulkheads are securely laminated in place. Buoyant bows and fine sterns will increase performance downwind in big seas. To improve upwind performance and tacking angles, the mast is angled aft at 7 degrees.

Topside, it’s obvious that this boat is designed for serious ocean cruising. There are handholds everywhere, and 28-inch double lifelines completely encircle the deck. The large and comfortable recessed cockpit has a teak table and nine ample drains for safety. A sliding companionway, while still allowing a sense of continuity between the cockpit and saloon, is small enough to be secure for offshore work. Bluewater sailors will appreciate the well-conceived emergency tiller and the boom-end system for bringing a RIB dinghy onto the aft deck, a much safer solution than davits.

Peter Dean Jr. and his dad believe in working closely with their customers during all stages of the build and beyond. Since each boat is hand-built, customization is encouraged. Several basic layouts are offered, so you can have your galley up or down, and the Deans give owners an astonishing choice of 12 different wood finishes. I was pleased to see fiddles provided in the galley storage and shelving, since even the most stable cat will roll at sea.

Unfortunately, our test sail was doubly compromised by light air (5 to 6 knots) and a mainsail suffering from a batten that had broken on the delivery from Cape Town. In these conditions, we saw only 3.4 knots of speed over the ground that morning, but the boat’s recent delivery log indicates that it’ll be a long-legged passagemaker, with 200-mile days the norm in trade-wind conditions. The Dean 441’s average cruising speed, according to the log, is 9 knots, and it won’t be uncommon to see the middle teens.

During our test sail, I found that the boat steers well and that the traveler controls placed behind the helm and dual cabin-top winches relieve sailhandling congestion. We found the motorsailing capability good with the twin 42-horsepower Vetus saildrives, and there’s great visibility from the helm.

For sailors looking for a rugged, comfortable, world-cruising catamaran that’s not cut from a cookie cutter, the Dean 441 is certainly worth a look.

Stacey Collins is a frequent CW contributor and served as a BOTY judge for the 2007 and 2008 programs.

LOA 43′ 8″ (13.31 m.) LWL 43′ 0″ (13.11 m.) Beam 23′ 7″ (7.19 m.) Draft 3′ 7″ (1.09 m.) Sail Area (100%) 912 sq. ft. (84.7 sq. m.) Displacement 25,455 lb. (11,546 kg.) Water 177 gal. (670 l.) Fuel 145 gal. (549 l.) Engines Two 42-hp. Vetuses Designer Peter Dean Sr. Price $520,000 Dean Catamarans +27-21-577-2222 www.deancatamarans.com

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Dean 440 Catamaran

dean 440 catamaran review

Catamaran • Phuket

Charter price includes.

dean 440 catamaran review

GALLERY – click to enlarge

dean 440 catamaran review

08.00 to 17.00

Hull: GRP Engines: 2 Yanmar 40hp diesel diesel: 500L Steering: Wheel, Autopilot
Water Tank: 400 L Water Maker: 4,500 L/h Electricity: DC 12v Electricity AC: Shore power generator
Navigation: Chart Plotter, Radar Instruments: Echo Sounder, Log, Wind Communications: VHF, SSB Internet: Available
Mainsail: Full Batten  Headsail: Furling Genoa
Anchor: Anchor, Windlass Dinghies: 1 dinghy 15hp outboard Safety: Fire extinguishers, flares Life Jackets, First Aid Kit
Galley: Gas Stove, Oven, 4 Refrigerators, Freezer, Barbecue Air Conditioning: Fully air conditioned Cabins: 3 double cabins
1 twin cabin
Multimedia: LCD TV, DVD player and CD player in saloon
Showers & Heads: 6 en-suite bathrooms  Stern Platform: ladder, 2 deck showers
Snorkeling,  Fishing Gear, Kayas on request Jacuzzi on board plus floating Jacuzzi


Dean 440, Used Catamarans for Sale - The Multihull Company

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Jupiter | 2003 Dean 440

Panama city, fl, us.

dean 440 catamaran review

Jupiter | Dean 440 44ft

Us $199,900.

Stunning Dean Catamaran, strong, fast and huge.  You can travel anywhere in the world on this amazing vessel.  Four staterooms, three heads, one of the heads is a Raritan Electrascan, well appointed galley... complete your circumnavigation in this off-the-grid ready multi-hull yacht.

Standing and running rigging are recently replaced, sails are in exceptional shape, genset and engines are good to go, paint is 10 out of 10, the solid hard top is strong enough to hold three large men.  The electronics are a little dated but work perfectly.  

This vessel will take you wherever you want to go in the world.


  • Length: 44ft
  • Beam: 24' 6"
  • Draft: 5' 2"
  • Hull: Fiberglass
  • Status: Active

View More Specs


  • Length Overall: 44 ft
  • Max Draft: 5' 2"
  • Beam Measure: 24' 6"
  • Range Measure: 575.39 mi
  • Total Power: 78
  • Engine Brand: Yanmar
  • Year Built: 2003
  • Engine Model: Y3Y4A
  • Engine Type: Inboard
  • Engine/Fuel Type: Diesel
  • Engine Hours: 700
  • Engine Power: 39 hp
  • Fresh Water Tanks: 2 (150 Gallons)
  • Fuel Tanks: 1 (150 Gallons)


  • Number of cabins: 4
  • Number of heads: 3

Disclaimer The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.

The Multihull Company is pleased to assist you in the purchase of this vessel though the vessel may be listed with another brokerage company.

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Lagoon 440 Review: Delivery to Annapolis

  • Post author By Richard
  • Post date March 7, 2011
  • No Comments on Lagoon 440 Review: Delivery to Annapolis

dean 440 catamaran review

I wish I could take delivery of every yacht I review here, but I am usually restricted to a short seatrial at best. Hearing from owners the qualities of a vessel is one thing, but experiencing them yourself makes the unique qualities more vivid and altogether leads to a superior review. I hope that is the case here as I am still yearning to be offshore after my 12 day delivery of a Lagoon 440 catamaran from Venice Isle, Fort Lauderdale to Gibson Island, Annapolis.

Lagoon was established in 1984 as a development of the legendary Jeanneau Advanced Technologies racing division. Lagoon went on to achieve fame for building the trimarans for the blockbuster movie Waterworld starring actor and inventor Kevin Costner. Lagoon’s first era of production ran from 1987 to 1996 and included production of 55, 47, 57 and 67 models meant as bluewater cruising catamarans for private purchase along with 37 and 42 models suited for the charter service. The charter side became dominate post-1996 and continues to today. The designs by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prévost use the latest in cost saving techniques. Lagoons populate the Caribbean charter fleets in the Leeward and Windward Islands. Today the builder is CNB, a division of Group Beneteau whose other brands include the monohull lines of Jeanneau, Wauquiez, and Beneteau.

First Impressions The Lagoon 440 like her second generation sisterships has their trademark vertical panoramic cabin windows. As you will read later, this is a spectacular feature worthwhile looking for in any prospective purchase. She is 44′ 8″ in length, 25′ 3″ in beam, and draws 4′ 3″ per the design specifications. The bows are slightly raked with a straight sheer and swim platforms aft. The goal is to maximize interior volume. The rig has a fair bit of rake to it coming in Intracoastal friendly 63′ or tall versions at 70′. The 70′ height can be a real limitation as we doubled Cape Hatteras with 30 knots from the north because of our tall rig and the fixed Fairfield bridge limiting inside clearance to 65′. The Lagoon 440 features a centerline flybridge which sits the helmsman up high. Underneath the rudders are set forward of the Yanmar saildrives to maximize space in the aft cabins. This unusual ordering leads her to be a bit squirrely in close quarters, more on that later. The hulls are voluminous and have mid-sized keels to improve tracking and minimize leeway.

dean 440 catamaran review

Construction Displacement is a moderate 27,000 pounds. Construction of the hulls and cabin below the waterline is of solid epoxy laminate while the topsides are a composite cored sandwich of fiberglass, epoxy, and balsa with abundant framing throughout the interior for better strength and reduced weight. As well as our 2009 model performed, I would not want to test her too hard and sail the wrong way around the world. Certainly she can take a day of beating – we proved that. And she was previously sailed transatlantic further attesting to her seaworthiness. But as the sailors say, you only see the ones who made it moored to the quay at Papaetee – not those who gave up or turned back. The handrails along the cabintop could be better backed; it would provide additional safety to have temperature and oil pressure sensors along with the tachometers. Hull construction is robust, and we had no fear of flexing. Lagoon leverages all the advanced techniques of Group Beneteau and knows where to cut costs while maintaining integrity. On the equipment front, the three diesel heaters one for each hull and another in the saloon performed exceptionally and exhausted between the hulls. The saloon one seemed to pull from the port fuel tank as we burned slightly more fuel on that side.

dean 440 catamaran review

What To Look For The only near failure we had was a loose starboard rudderpost coupling. While slipped in Beaufort, North Carolina waiting for our weather window, we decided to do a checkup on the twin Yanmar saildrives which were seeing heavy use (100 hours each) due to the lack of apparent wind. During inspection, we noticed that the starboard coupling had slipped down a quarter of an inch, and the bolt was tearing up the vertical slating alongside the engine access boards. If not caught, we could have faced a loss of steering as the stainless coupling ground through the fiberglass shaft. Once slipped back up into place and tightened we had no further issues. And every other piece of equipment from the autopilot to refrigeration saw a fair amount of use without the slightest signs of wear.

The other items needing upgrades on this particular Lagoon 440 were related to her European heritage. She was a 220V vessel which is a pain in the USA, and there is nothing much you can do easily about it. Wire gauges on European vessels are higher than on USA vessels because of the lower amperage, so to convert over you likely need to rewire the whole yacht. We stayed off the grid and kept the batteries charged via solar, wind, and the alternator. The stove ran off butane which is hard to find in the USA, and if your Lagoon 440 runs off butane, you might want to budget in the need for a new regulator and new jets in the burners to switch over to propane.

dean 440 catamaran review

On Deck The high helm position provides excellent visibility when maneuvering. Instead of guessing where all four corners of the 440 are, you can see well but need a mate to catch the dock lines. There is a windlass with bridle forward for easy anchoring, trampolines port and starboard, and a centerline well with deep tackle stowage area. Along the hull deck joint, Lagoon could have had longer chafe protectors, but the French gelcoat is tough and showed no wear. There are a multitude of hatches, a couple dorades, and ventilators spacing the deck. The aft cockpit is a perfect outdoor lounging area for entertaining and has room for a table. The port offset companionway leads to the interior.

dean 440 catamaran review

Down Below Inside is what the Lagoon 440 is all about, and she certainly delivers. She was a pleasure sail from the comfort of the heated interior and keep watch through the large cabin windows and radar display. And when secured open, the sliding companionway door perfectly ventilated the interior without need for air conditioning. Interior autopilot controls allowed us to comfortably change course though it would have been nice to have a throttle as well. The saloon features an L-shaped settee with excellent storage underneath, a matching L-shaped galley starboardside and aft along the companionway, and the previously mentioned navigation desk. I would have liked a higher seating position and more versatility when navigating from the inside helm position.

dean 440 catamaran review

There are charter and owner version layouts which affects the layout of the starboardside hull. The owner version features a large master cabin aft paired with a spectacular head with separate stall shower forward. The charter version has matching hulls with cabins and heads forward and aft for a total of 4 heads and 4 cabins. Storage in the cabins was okay but could use a deeper locker to hide away a large travel bag. Note that the owner version has only one holding tank for the forward portside head. The other two heads go straight overboard using the clever gravity fed waste system with large 3 inch diameter hosing.

Engine The tankage capacity is 172 gallons in two 86 gallons tanks with fuel fills from the stern in each hull. The water fill is under a fold up cover in the well area fore of the cabin windows, feeds into three tanks, and overflows between the hulls. The Yanmar saildrives were dependable motoring for 100 hours over 12 days and burning .6 gallons per hour operating. There is easy access through the port and starboard lazarettes to the steering and, below the floorboards, the engines and saildrive transmissions. The cockpit controls are dumbed down so far that the tachometer and fuel gauges are the only feedback mechanisms. With the rudders in front to maximize interior space the prop wash throws the helm out of balance when kicked into reverse. You need to hang on which complicates docking. Both are left handed, so she naturally docks to starboard.

dean 440 catamaran review

Underway When we first left Fort Lauderdale until the Space Coast, we flew along downwind in 8 knots apparent wind from the south going 10 knots over land with a slight boost from the Gulfstream; you have to love that boost. Upwind was another story; it was tough to make way, so we either kept the jib up or motored under bare pole. No doubt I could have done better job of trimming the sails with a thorough study of catamaran sailing, but all in all we made above average time in comfort. Because catamarans do not heal, you feel a washing machine kind of affect that can be questionable in terms of comfort. But on the Lagoon 440 even in the 10 foot and 9 second period seas with 30 knots from the north we experienced off Cape Hatteras, she had a surprisingly soft motion only once in awhile burying her bows and throwing saltwater on deck. The design is dry and seaworthy. The autopilot had some wild swings but worked nonetheless which we were thankfully for. It would have been brutal to hand steer in those conditions especially after living the high life of steering from an inside helm.

dean 440 catamaran review

Conclusion The Lagoon 440 I can say with some first hand reputability is a fantastic coastal cruising and Caribbean liveaboard. Her accommodations sell the design, and despite the trade-offs to save cost, I felt safe doubling Cape Hatteras in squally conditions and would jump aboard again to take her anywhere. The retail price for these is in the $400k range with many available leaving the charter trade. Lagoon now makes a 450 progression of this design. I admire the shoal draft, fast downwind performance, and ample accommodations of the Lagoon 440. In South Florida, the Keys, Chesapeake Bay, and the Bahamas, especially the draft is an attractive feature.

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11-02-2009, 22:58  
of five experienced sailors in , looking to buy a cruising to circumnavigate. We're looking at a Dean 400 that's . Being novices, we're looking for any about this yacht. Any at all would be very welcome (we're struggling to get an independant view of the Dean 400). Can anyone help? regards, Fred and Rebecca
12-02-2009, 06:16  
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
accomodation, it is not as large as on many other cats (including the Catanas, which are proven vessels).

2. Having said that, the accomodation/decking is pushed quite far forward. This will tend to increase pounding at the leading edge of the bridgedeck and, put more weight where it is needed the least. You should definintely try to get out in her for a test sail, preferably in conditions with some decent chop to see how she performs. Also understand the the forward doubles will likely be unusable in all but the calmest conditions while .

3. The vinyl headliners, while common in earlier cats, are a nuisance: you will inevitably need to replace them due to sagging/failed adhesives.

4. Published figures seem a little on the high side for a cat of that length; nevertheless, published figures are notoriously underestimated and it may be that these are just closer to reality.

12-02-2009, 13:26  
Boat: st francis 44 mk II catamaran
is far more raked than other multis, from what I've heard it helps with their upwind performance.
12-02-2009, 14:43  
Boat: Nordhavn 5740
Sailing" has a letter in the Reader's Forum section you will be interested in reading. Also of interest to you: . Both discuss bridge height and pounding.
19-02-2009, 02:44  
Boat: FP Lipari 40' Catamaran
so they dont bury when being driven or going down a wave. Also not sure how they perform if they cop a greenie over the bows as will not drain as quickly as a trampoline.

The newer 44' version seems to be basically the same but with extended transom boarding steps and . Dont know if that has improved performance (or lifted the bows by adding weight at the stern?).

I always wonder though about designers who are completely different to everyone else (extended foredeck, heavily raked etc). Are they right and everyone else wrong?
19-02-2009, 07:25  
19-02-2009, 13:54  
Boat: FP Lipari 40' Catamaran
including cats and love cats. However I consider that bridgedeck clearance, foredeck design and weight distribution are critical in cat design / sailing. If you disagree with what I said please elucidate why. Not all cats are perfect and by discussions such as on this board it helps those who dont own a particular cat to understand their virtues and their vices. Not even cats are perfect.
17-11-2011, 15:22  
Boat: dean 400 catamaran 40 ft Quick Silver
to Newfoundlandland , about 3200miles. We had bad at the start with Northest winds for the first 2 weeks. This slowed us down alot and caused the waves to be quite choppy. We got into about 16 foot waves with northeast winds of about 40knots off norfolk for about 8 hours and the did very well. The waves broke on her a few times and no problems. Also the bridge is about 36inches high so the slapping was not bad at all. Over the 8hrs the waves hit the bridge deck no more that 4-5 times. I remember because it is an awful sound and you feel the rise up. One reason the are raked back as much is to put the center of gravity to the aft a bit more and aids in lifting the front of the boat out of the , hence less slapping. she does go up very well almost as well at a mono, actually in 15knots just as well i would say I have raced many monohulls in past summer going into the . In winds 5knots or less not so good, actually it moves hardly at all. 15knots of wind you can get 7knots. 15-20 you can get 10-11knots.
The second half of the trip took 7 days, from to about 1600miles. we had good winds water not rough only 5-8foot waves and also did a bit of surfing got her upto 15 knots at times.

My opinion very good boat and feels like a tank, rock solid

Follow your dreams and do the things you say you would love to do.
19-11-2011, 12:40  
Boat: 37' Oldenziel cat

02-11-2013, 13:20  
Boat: 1993 Hunter H28
02-11-2013, 16:12  
Boat: FP Lipari 40' Catamaran
02-11-2013, 16:16  
Boat: dean 400 catamaran 40 ft Quick Silver
will be pushed through the ???
02-11-2013, 16:18  
Boat: FP Lipari 40' Catamaran
will be pushed through the ???
02-11-2013, 16:31  
Boat: dean 400 catamaran 40 ft Quick Silver
02-11-2013, 19:43  
Boat: 1993 Hunter H28
, I imagine all manufacturers would say their aren't meant to be beached?
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