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Old 12-05-2015, 14:29   #1
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Truth or Perception

We are preparing for some extended coastal cruising down the West coast of the Americas (San Diego South) and maybe future across to Galapagos or maybe through the canal into the Caribbean. We are now shopping for a boat, 42 - 45 range that can be handled by a very good looking husband and wife team. I have a few old perceptions that need to be validated or challenged.

1) I like a keel stepped mast for longer cruising (we currently sail Puget Sound in a Morgan 323)
Are the new deck stepped masts ok for what we are planning?
2) Spade or skeg rudder, does it matter?
3) Sail Drive? Any issues, cost of replacement, what to stay clear of, etc.
Not fond of a rubber gasket between me and Atlantis
4) Older heavier boat version newer, lighter designs? The good, the bad and the ugly
5) In mast furling? My thinking is the less moving parts the better.
6) Admiral prefers center cockpit for the island Quean aft stateroom. Any thoughts on this?

Any other comments and / or suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks,

Walt and Linda Drechsler


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Old 12-05-2015, 16:40   #2
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Re: Truth or Perception

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltdrechsler View Post
We are preparing for some extended coastal cruising down the West coast of the Americas (San Diego South) and maybe future across to Galapagos or maybe through the canal into the Caribbean. We are now shopping for a boat, 42 - 45 range that can be handled by a very good looking husband and wife team. I have a few old perceptions that need to be validated or challenged.

1) I like a keel stepped mast for longer cruising (we currently sail Puget Sound in a Morgan 323)
Are the new deck stepped masts ok for what we are planning?
2) Spade or skeg rudder, does it matter?
3) Sail Drive? Any issues, cost of replacement, what to stay clear of, etc.
Not fond of a rubber gasket between me and Atlantis
4) Older heavier boat version newer, lighter designs? The good, the bad and the ugly
5) In mast furling? My thinking is the less moving parts the better.
6) Admiral prefers center cockpit for the island Quean aft stateroom. Any thoughts on this?

Any other comments and / or suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks,

Walt and Linda Drechsler


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Howdy Walt and Linda!

I noticed this is one of your first few posts on this forum. And you have posted one with many questions that are likely to get a lot of different answers or opinions.

Given that you would probably not get ALL of the answers to ALL of the questions in this thread, I have a very simple and I hope helpful suggestion for you:

What follows is written in a truly friendly tone of voice and with the sole intent to help you. 

There have been threads posted on the forum discussing many topics at length, with differing opinions. But quickly finding the right thread and the right answer could take a while, if one just browses the forum.

Since you are relatively new to the forum, here is a friendly tip: Look at the green menu bar on the forum pages for the drop down "Search" menu. Click on that to drop down a list of search functions. From that drop down menu select the GOOGLE CUSTOM search feature and then enter several different descriptive terms for your topic of interest. That will do a Custom google search of this site and it is likely to find answers to your questions or results for you. It is the best and fastest method I have found. 
______________

A quick (takes just seconds) Google Custom Search for the key term "saildrive" comes up with thousands of hits on this forum alone.

Such as: "http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f47/pros-and-cons-of-a-saildrive-4669.html

And here there are many threads discussing Deck Stepped vs. Keel Stepped Masts.

deck stepped mast - Google Search

_____________

In short, there is are MANY answers and MANY have already been written in depth on the forum and are just seconds away from you, when searches are done with the Google Custom Search feature.

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Back to your original questions, I will put in a few short answers (my opinion) and these are VERY brief responses and simplistic too:

1) I like a keel stepped mast for longer cruising (we currently sail Puget Sound in a Morgan 323)
Are the new deck stepped masts ok for what we are planning?

OK. In my opinion, the boat's overall condition, including the condition of the standing rigging (shrouds + chainplates) is more important than where the mast is stepped, whether you use a tiller or wheel, or if your rudder is a spade or skeg or transom mounted.

2) Spade or skeg rudder, does it matter?

Matter of opinion. On a good seaworthy boat that one does not ground, it is likely just a matter of preference or bias. Most boats built today have spade rudders.

3) Sail Drive? Any issues, cost of replacement, what to stay clear of, etc.
Not fond of a rubber gasket between me and Atlantis

Matter of opinion. On a good seaworthy boat it is likely just a matter of preference or bias, but some experienced cruisers avoid the sail drives. Search for the topic (see my link) to get it straight from them.

4) Older heavier boat version newer, lighter designs? The good, the bad and the ugly

Matter of opinion. On a good seaworthy boat it is likely just a matter of preference or bias. You might enjoy reading the lengthy "Production Boats Fit for Blue Water" thread on the forum, as it has hundreds or thousands of comments from a wide spectrum of opinions. Search for it.


5) In mast furling? My thinking is the less moving parts the better.

Matter of opinion. On a good seaworthy boat it is likely just a matter of preference or bias. On the right boat in very good condition, I would not mind having In Mast Furling or In BOOM main furling and could see it preferable to some alternatives, especially if the crew is older and only a couple. I feel the same about furling headsails.

6) Admiral prefers center cockpit for the island Quean aft stateroom. Any thoughts on this?

Matter of opinion. On a good seaworthy boat it is likely just a matter of preference or bias. I like center cockpit boats like the Amel SuperMaramu and many others (but not all CC boats). I also like the central berth for the marina and anchorage, but also see the need for adding lee cloths or some form of keeping the people in the bunk. On a passage I bet you will find the saloon settee, in the central part of the hull to be more comfortable for sleeping WITH a lee cloth. I have spent 30 nights in a row snug in a lee cloth on a windward (high side) bunk. Make sure it works and any ports above you do not leak.

I hope this helps. Bon Voyage!
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Old 12-05-2015, 17:38   #3
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Re: Truth or Perception

Yes, we are very new so your suggestions are very much appreciated. I will do some exploring tonight!

Thanks again.

Walt aka Swab


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Old 12-05-2015, 17:38   #4
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Re: Truth or Perception

Truth or Perception... The truth will set you free! The truth is😉 only a boat like the one I bought is suited to cruise in, or one like I almost bought but couldn't afford, or the one I really wanted but my wife didn't like it. Anything else is totally unsuited.


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Old 12-05-2015, 17:50   #5
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Re: Truth or Perception

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Truth or Perception... The truth will set you free! The truth is😉 only a boat like the one I bought is suited to cruise in, or one like I almost bought but couldn't afford, or the one I really wanted but my wife didn't like it. Anything else is totally unsuited.


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Old 13-05-2015, 05:27   #6
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Re: Truth or Perception

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltdrechsler View Post
We are now shopping for a boat, 42 - 45 range that can be handled by a very good looking husband and wife team.
Truly good looking people can do that trip with any boat in good condition.
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Old 13-05-2015, 06:35   #7
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Re: Truth or Perception

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Matter of opinion. On a good seaworthy boat...
Is there an echo in here?

But you are right. Arguments can be made for either side on every one of these questions. Those who think there is one--and ONLY one!--correct answer to questions like the OP is asking are simply shining a spotlight on their own dogmatic thinking.

I will agree with Steady Hand's original answer: learn to use the search function and spend some time reading the many and various opinions and discussions on these issues. Then decide for yourself.

Good luck.
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Old 13-05-2015, 08:03   #8
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Re: Truth or Perception

Hi Walt and welcome to the forum.

I more or less agree with all the previous replies but being somewhat opinionated I'll toss in my two cents as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by waltdrechsler View Post
We are preparing for some extended coastal cruising down the West coast of the Americas (San Diego South) and maybe future across to Galapagos or maybe through the canal into the Caribbean. We are now shopping for a boat, 42 - 45 range that can be handled by a very good looking husband and wife team. I have a few old perceptions that need to be validated or challenged.

1) I like a keel stepped mast for longer cruising (we currently sail Puget Sound in a Morgan 323)

Keel or deck doesn't matter at all as far as the strength and integrity of the rig (assuming each is done properly). I've owned and made long passages with both and each has some fairly minor advantages and disadvantages. Overall I prefer deck stepped as that removes one more hole and potential leak in the deck and allows a smaller compression post in the cabin vs a giant mast through the roof.

Are the new deck stepped masts ok for what we are planning?
2) Spade or skeg rudder, does it matter?

Kind of the same answer. My preference is a skeg with a half balanced rudder.

3) Sail Drive? Any issues, cost of replacement, what to stay clear of, etc.
Not fond of a rubber gasket between me and Atlantis

Read the previous threads. My preference is an old fashioned shaft and prop. KISS.


4) Older heavier boat version newer, lighter designs? The good, the bad and the ugly

Moderation in all things. Old, heavy isn't my preference as they tend to be slow. Light is good IF well made which usually means expensive. Cheap and light would not be my preference.


5) In mast furling? My thinking is the less moving parts the better.

Lot of passages made with these but again I go back to KISS. In fast can be easy and makes reefing very simple but a good jiffy reefing rig isn't that complicated.


6) Admiral prefers center cockpit for the island Quean aft stateroom. Any thoughts on this?

My preference as well. Also nice for a little more privacy for all when you have guests on board. At sea depending on the point of sail, the motion in the aft cabin can be a bit more than amidships.


Any other comments and / or suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks,

Walt and Linda Drechsler


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Old 13-05-2015, 08:15   #9
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Re: Truth or Perception

start sailing EVERYTHING so you know how the boat sails then make up your mind what you wish to live in and travel with.
you and only you know your limitations.
skeg vs spade--i have sailed barn doors, skegs and spades.
spade rudders are delicate in that if you hit ANYTHING you need to inspect it well for loss of attachment points on the post, or you wont have a rudder, as we found out in gulf of mexico when we got shipwrecked in another persons boat.. not fun. this stuff happens to everyone-- high ground under water finds your underside readily and stuff happens.
i currently sail a crab crusher with a barn door rudder. love it.
i learned on a raceabout built in 1903. was a gas to sail.
what you want to long term and possibly long distance sail is to be determined by that which you and your spouse can tolerate for long times, say, 2 weeks at a time, should you be planning ocean crossing and trade winds sailing.
if tolerance fails at 2-3 days, you may have the wrong boat for your needs....
many times, sailing on your ear, as it were, is uncomfortable, and a diet of only sandwiches due to constant heeling gets old fast.
get to know what weather helm feels like and how to correct that feature of many fin keeled sloops....
sail in weather and learn how boats behave and how you handle that behavior.
learn it all.
no one can tell you what to sail or how to sail it.
no one can tell you how you will feel with 15 degrees heel for a week, with a fail autopilot and weather helm.
no one can tell you how you will feel in any boat in weather.
no one can tell you how you will like sailing any kind of boat.
i havent sailed everything, but i learned on an antique gaff rigged 35 ft sloop, i have sailed sloops all my life. i cruise a ketch. i had a lot of fun in fin spade sloops, but....
there is a biiiiig difference in weather as well as in light air between different configurations of rig and under water designs in sailboats.
mebbe you want to race more than cruise.
mebbe you .......
before you buy your final cruising boat, you should experience many kinds of sailboats and how they act in all kinds of conditions.
happy sails and good luck.

go sail with others on their boats as often as you can so you can get to feel the water and the boat as you sail.

saildrives--ouch. touchy subject. i had a perfectly good perry designed 26 islander start taking on water due to saildrive FAIL.
swiss cheese.
not a cool thing to have happen. inspect your housing constantly.
maintain your anodes constantly.
do not fail to replace anodes regularly.
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Old 13-05-2015, 08:48   #10
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Re: Truth or Perception

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltdrechsler View Post
We are preparing for some extended coastal cruising down the West coast of the Americas (San Diego South) and maybe future across to Galapagos or maybe through the canal into the Caribbean. We are now shopping for a boat, 42 - 45 range that can be handled by a very good looking husband and wife team. I have a few old perceptions that need to be validated or challenged.

1) I like a keel stepped mast for longer cruising (we currently sail Puget Sound in a Morgan 323) Are the new deck stepped masts ok for what we are planning?
For the same section of mast the keel stepped mast will be stronger. However if the designer decided on keelstepped in order to use a smaller mast section then there will be zero or minimal strength advantage. Decked stepped masts do not require a large hole in the top of the cabin to waterproof. I would not use this as a criteria for picking a boat.

2) Spade or skeg rudder, does it matter?
Depends on the skeg, a tall skinny skeg won't contribute much strength to resist the rudder loads although it will do a decent job of deflecting underwater debris striking near the top of the skeg. Generally a larger skeg will provide better tracking while steering underway. Skegs make backing and maneuvering in tight areas like a marina more difficult. If you are going to be spending a lot of time anchored then the skeg doesn't affect maneuvering to much. There is a small increase in wetted surface so there will be a slight decrease in boat speed in lighter winds. To me it comes down to whether you want the marginal increase in speed or the marginal increase in safety.

3) Sail Drive? Any issues, cost of replacement, what to stay clear of, etc.
Not fond of a rubber gasket between me and Atlantis
You are going to have a rubber gasket between you and Atlantis unless you choose to do without an inboard, it's just a matter of how big the gasket is. I have no personal experience with sail drives but I periodically see photos from surveyors showing drive units corroded to the point that one can see the gears and some are on the verge of falling out. Although rare the aluminum drive units can be subject to sudden deterioration due to changes in the electrical environment, especially in marinas. Repairing the units without pulling the boat is probably impossible, while a prop and shaft can be removed in the water with some ingress into the boat. On the other hand there is no issue with aligning the motor and shaft. I personally would not accept a boat with a sail drive.

4) Older heavier boat version newer, lighter designs? The good, the bad and the ugly.
I would rather go thru a storm in an older heavier boat than a newer lighter one. An older more heavily built boat will have experienced more fatigue but will have a much higher fatigue limit than a newer lighter boat meaning they probably have similar amounts of fatigue life in them. The heavier boat will be more comfortable, will be able to better look after itself and will be more resistant to capsize. The interior will likely be laid out better for sailing than a newer boat most of which are optimized for daysailing and entertaining. While sailing will only be 5-20% of your time on the boat while cruising, poor layout for sailing can lead to injuries below and poor sleeping arrangements which can lead to poor judgments. Whereas an older layout will be less conducive to entertaining.


5) In mast furling? My thinking is the less moving parts the better.
And many of the moving parts are contained within the mast. I would not accept a boat with in-mast furling, but then my goal is to go offshore. If you were staying in the US and/or Caribbean it would probably be OK. There's plenty that you can do to make slab reefing more convenient.

6) Admiral prefers center cockpit for the island Quean aft stateroom. Any thoughts on this?
If you anticipate having crew or lots of sailing guests an aft cabin can provide you with some privacy. In reality very few cruisers have nearly the number of sailing guests they think they will. Underway you need single berths oriented fore and aft to sleep in, so to make the queen usable it will need lee clothes or divider boards. Near the mid point of the boat has the best motion but in a CC boat the engine room and cockpit are in this location. This is not to say that the motion will be as bad in an aft cabin as it would be in the V-berth, but it won't be the best. Probably what you will both do is bunk in a settee berth in the main cabin when under way because it will be easier to set up every night and has the best motion. Aft cabins also decrease the amount of room in the main cabin for entertaining day guests and it makes the whole boat feel smaller. For boats about 55' or so aft cabin start making more sense to me.
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Old 13-05-2015, 09:15   #11
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Re: Truth or Perception

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltdrechsler View Post
1) I like a keel stepped mast for longer cruising (we currently sail Puget Sound in a Morgan 323)
Are the new deck stepped masts ok for what we are planning?
2) Spade or skeg rudder, does it matter?
3) Sail Drive? Any issues, cost of replacement, what to stay clear of, etc.
Not fond of a rubber gasket between me and Atlantis
4) Older heavier boat version newer, lighter designs? The good, the bad and the ugly
5) In mast furling? My thinking is the less moving parts the better.
6) Admiral prefers center cockpit for the island Quean aft stateroom. Any thoughts on this?
Just my opinions/likely choices if I were in your shoes:

1) I wouldn't choose my boat based on this. I've had both and think both are fine (with trade-offs) if properly rigged and designed.

2) If I were planning any serious offshore passages, I'd prefer a skeg hung rudder and/or a rudder protected by a nice long keel. For coastal and what you're planning, I'm not sure this would be a major factor in my choice of boats.

3) I wouldn't choose a saildrive. I want a traditional straight shaft inboard with no u-joints/v-drives. I also like the small hole for a prop shaft as opposed to a larger hole for the saildrive. I'm not sure about serviceability down south, but I'm assuming it might be slightly more available/feasible with a straight shaft inboard.

4) My preference would likely be for "older and heavier", partly because I like traditional salty designs and partly because "newer, lighter designs" aren't as friendly to my budget.

5) For coastal weekending, I'd like to have in-mast furling, but if I were doing extended cruising, and particularly offshore cruising I'd opt for a traditional main with good, reliable reefing. As you say, less moving parts, less maintenance, less worry about jams, etc.

6) I really like CC designs, if they are big enough. They look funky and loose some functionality when they're small (say less than 40 feet). I like the aft cabin, raised tub-like cockpit, and aft deck. If you're just looking for an "island Quean aft stateroom", those can be found on many newer aft cockpit boats as well. I personally also like Pullman berths such as those on the IP38, Hans Christian 33t, etc.
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Old 24-06-2015, 21:30   #12
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Re: Truth or Perception

Steady Hand,

I really appreciated your advice but am having a dickens of a time locating that Google search option. I am using a tablet. Is this only available from a regular computer?

I was able to use your link and change the search criteria but would like to know where this is for future.

Stumped in Seattle!


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Old 25-06-2015, 07:13   #13
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Re: Truth or Perception

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltdrechsler View Post
Steady Hand,

I really appreciated your advice but am having a dickens of a time locating that Google search option. I am using a tablet. Is this only available from a regular computer?

I was able to use your link and change the search criteria but would like to know where this is for future.

Stumped in Seattle!


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Howdy Walt.

I use both my MacbookPro and my iPad to access the forum, interchangeably. I do not use my phone, as I prefer the larger screen of the iPad.

I do NOT use the CF app on my iPad. I do have it on the iPad, but I do NOT like it.

I use Safari on my Mac and iPad to view the forum. Safari works well on both platforms and I can navigate with it very easily.

In Safari, the Google Custom Search is a special field under the drop down "Search" menu on the top menu bar (on my computers it is a green colored menu bar below the "tabs" at the top of each page).

Because you asked, I just opened up my iPad's CF app and tried to find it. I could not. The search function is more simplistic (less choices).

Because I think the CF app is too simplistic and because I prefer to see more information on once screen view, I do NOT use the CF app to view the forum.

I hope this helps you or others.
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Old 25-06-2015, 10:14   #14
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Re: Truth or Perception

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Truly good looking people can do that trip with any boat in good condition.
I wonder what type of boat would be best for truly ugly people?

Does it make THAT much of a difference? I thought it was more of a financial issue.
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Old 25-06-2015, 19:10   #15
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Re: Truth or Perception

1) I like a keel stepped mast for longer cruising (we currently sail Puget Sound in a Morgan 323)
Are the new deck stepped masts ok for what we are planning?
We're old timey sailors, first offshore passage in 1983, cruising full time since 1989. This is the context for all my answers. Our preference is for keel stepped. You have something to work with if you are dismasted.

2) Spade or skeg rudder, does it matter?
Skeg, for the protection it offers. However, you lose some tight quarters maneuverability.

3) Sail Drive? Any issues, cost of replacement, what to stay clear of, etc.
Not fond of a rubber gasket between me and Atlantis
We would not have one. They are prone to difficulties, require haulout to have engine removed, and lay days to pay for at the whim of the ones who are rebuilding it. One set of friends actually had a plug made, so they could be relaunched while they wait, because the 3 weeks plus of lay days really eats into the cruising kitty. Many people are not put off by the setup, but they really are for the convenience of the boat builder, not the eventual owner. Yes, go with a shaft drive.

4) Older heavier boat version newer, lighter designs? The good, the bad and the ugly
I would say older. The new liner built boats are hard to work on, some of them are flimsily built, and scare the heck out of me in terms of having something go wrong in a seaway and trying to fix it before the boat sinks. There are good quality boats being built (See the Bestevaer thread), and they are often outside buyer's price range. Not saying they are the only good builder, just that you're going to pay a lot (to me) for a modern, really top quality sailing yacht.

5) In mast furling? My thinking is the less moving parts the better.
Agree with your thinking. We have seen many of them all messed up., requiring hiring riggers to come fix. Some people like them a lot.

6) Admiral prefers center cockpit for the island Quean aft stateroom. Any thoughts on this?
OH, YEAH! I thought I wanted that, for the ease of bed making, mostly. Jim talked me out of it, and I've no regrets. What he said was did I really want to dedicate that much room in our tiny home to an activity we use only for 1/3 of a day? We have two aft cabins and one forward, with a nice, open interior, and an aft cockpit boat. For docking the boat, I like the aft cockpit, it's easier to keep track of the corners of the boat; and I love it underway, being farther from the pointy end means less spray. To combat the spray, some people create monstrous enclosures. I have yet to see one such that was aesthetically pleasing. A dodger aft is bad enough, and you do need weather protection.

If you do research the other threads, and there are plenty of CC boats represented, you'll find some people love them. We have friends who've circumnavigated in AC and in CC boats.

Hope this helps.

Ann
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