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Comments on Hunter

The boat is going to take a little getting used to, as I haven't paddled anything this narrow before, but she sure is fast! It is really a lot of fun in the water, and almost seemed more stable in chop and waves than on flat water. Very responsive to leans and edging. It is very maneuverable with the skeg up, and tracks like a train with the skeg down. Exaclty what I was hoping for.
Bruce Webb

Den Hunter jag började bygga i oktober blev klar lagom till det fina vårvädret. Utöver att jag tycker den är obeskrivligt vacker, upplever jag den som lättdriven och totalt okänslig för vind! Det känns befriande med det låga däcket, benutrymmet räcker väl till och den försänkta sargen ger bra stöd för knäna. Kajaken har också visat sig ha tillräcklig lastkapacitet för mina dagsturer i skärgården. Visst är den initialrank, men jag känner mig ändå trygg i den. Detta trots att min erfarenhet begränsar sig till en säsong i Kavat. Jag väljer dock grunda vatten tills vidare, eftersom jag inte behärskar roll ännu.
Rune Eurenius

I have to say, I thought it was going to look very sleek, but it has an even more elegant shape than I was hoping for. The higher deck, as per you plans, to my eye, did not compromise the aesthetic at all. It looks so good, on and off the water. Really, this must be one of the most attractive looking designs available ... Thanks Bjorn, for sharing your design with me, it was a real pleasure to build. It is everything I had hoped for, and more.
Etienne Muller

Bjorn, Thanks so much for the very detailed and interesting "tour" of your Greenland design. The design is so well balanced, and is a must for me when ever you have the plans ready for sale. I've been researching the various Greenland types, but yours is by far the most beautiful example I've seen with it's low,sleek, and subtle flair. You have managed to bring out the best of this type.
Tom Yost

What a fine looking AND handling kayak you've designed!! And fast, fast, fast...........After a couple of hours of roll practice (or trying and missing!), I was tired but still able to paddle and hold a 4.5 to 5 mph pace for an hour or so as as the sun set.
Tripp Stanley

eg ville bare si at jeg er utrolig fornøyd med Hunteren. Jeg har nå padlet med den i omtrent 40 km. I flatvann, vind, og litt større bølger.
Det er en utrolig rask båt, passer veldig bra for dagstur, og har bra stabilitet i bølger.
Nico Vertriest

I enjoy more and more Marbom, my Hunter […] she is almost perfect.
Nice to play and roll and faster than most kayaks around.
Guido Galbariggi


Images | Particulars | More about | Background and history

Plans, Hunter - 130 EUR Purchase

Most European or American-built "Greenland kayaks" have been modeled on west coast designs. Many can trace their origin back to the kayak Ken Taylor brought back to Scotland in 1959. By that time the west coast kayaks were influenced – for good and bad – by the outside world. The east coast had been more isolated during what is sometimes referred to as "the little ice age" and when the eastern hunting kayaks were rediscovered, their forgotten qualities had a profound influence on the development of the modern Greenland kayak – the rake of the stems is greater, the sheer flatter, the flare of the sides has increased and the deadrise in the bottom is almost gone. They were faster, particularly against a headwind, more maneuverable, and less affected by the wind than the west coast designs.

Hunter is not intended to be a replica. The construction method is wood-strip instead of skin-on-frame, the foredeck is 2" higher (I guess few paddlers would be happy with the 7" under-deck height of the original!), the bottom is slightly wider (since westerners are taller in general than the Inuit of 19th century, the kayak would have felt much tippier without the adaptation) and the chines are slightly rounded (giving a smoother stability curve and better water flow along the hull, without sacrificing the ability to turn by leaning). Despite these changes, I have tried to keep the beautiful looks and performance characteristics of the Greenland original.

This is a narrow boat (20.5" at the sheer, 18.5" at the waterline), but it is not scary to paddle. Initially tippy but with reassuring secondary stability, even novice paddlers quickly feel at ease (I would not recommend Hunter as a first kayak though – at least not unless you have ambitions and perseverance above the ordinary). The narrow width does make it easy to edge the boat with confidence when desired. The flat sides create a smooth and predictable secondary stability without the feeling that you will suddenly get dumped into the water. 

...and almost seemed more stable in chop and waves than on flat water.

Bruce Webb, North Carolina

The low aft deck permits the paddler to lean back with his head to the deck, making Greenland-style rolls and many traditional braces easy. The foredeck is also low by modern standards (9.6" at the footrest) and is intended for those practitioners of Greenland-style paddling who prefer a truly snug boat. Sitting with the knees slightly out and toes pointing slightly forwards, it is surprisingly roomy, even for large feet. Those who prefer a little more comfort might use the higher deck (10.6"), indicated by dotted lines on the plans. With its low deck, the boat is not adversely affected by the wind.

The kayak is very easy to maneuver thanks to the rockered keel, flat bottom, rounded chines, and comparatively short waterline. Leaning is a choice, not a necessity.

When the speed increases, the bow and stern waves climb the raking stems, rapidly increasing waterline length and as a consequence, hull speed and tracking. The results are the unusual double benefits of very easy maneuvering at low speed and good tracking at high speed.

What a fine-looking AND handling kayak you've designed!! And fast, fast, fast...........

Tripp Stanley

With a short waterline and a narrow hull, the wetted surface area and the frictional drag are small – not much more than a competition K1). The acceleration is impressive – a couple of strokes will bring you to maximum hull speed.

Overall, this boat is a lot of fun to paddle. With its relatively low volume, it is not intended as a multi-day touring boat - though traveling light and with a little packing discipline it will hold a surprising amount of gear. It is probably better suited as a day-tripping boat, with the high touring speed letting you explore a lot of shorelines in a day. It is even better for practicing rolling, surfing, rock hopping, and playing in breakers off the beach.

Like the traditional boats of the Inuit, it is a versatile craft ready to take wherever you wish to go, whatever you wish to do.


Första provturen i is och snöSittbrunnsexperimentRune Eurenius HunterSven Lundéns HunterSven Lundén i sin HunterRune Eurenius i sin vita HunterTripp Stanleys Hunter, USABalance brace – Rune Eurenius i sin vita HunterKim Hoovers Hunter, byggd för Glee SpicuzzaHunter – Jon LindénRune Eurenius vita Hunter vid Skags UddeHunter – Björn KochHunter – Johan PetterssonHunter – Katarina ReizTripp Stanleys Hunter, USAHunter – Bo DellingHunter – Bo DellingHunter – Ole HemmingsenHunter – Björn KochHunter – Mattis TorkelssonHunter – Bruce WebbHunter – Bruce WebbEtienne Muller i sin Hunter (bilden från Etiennes byggblogg)Hunter – Etienne MullerHunter – Guido Galbariggi


Hunter, lines

Length¹ 585/491 cm (overall/WL)
Beam 51/47 cm (overall/WL)
Draft 11 cm
Cockpit¹ 78x38 cm
Height¹ 24.5/15 cm (in front of/behind the cockpit)
Weight² 16-21 kg
Displacement/volume⁶ 125 kg/230 litre
Speed³ 7.9/11.3 km/h
Prismatic coefficient 0.55
Wetted surface 1.86 m²
Drag⁴ 1.34/2.73 kp
Stability⁵ 1/3 (initial/secondary stability)
Intended use Advanced paddling, rockhopping,etc. Touring, coastal and deep sea. Day tours and exercise.

* These dimensions can be adapted to suit personal needs or wishes.
** Depending on type of wood, equipment, care with epoxy usage, sanding etc. etc.
*** The speed numbers are based on mathematical standard formulas (175 lb paddler + 30 lb carco weight) and corrected from the kayaks actual performance om trials, on tours and in races.
⁴ Calculated resistance in 4 and 5 knots (at nominal load capacity).
⁵ Initial stability and secondary stability on a subjective scale, where 1 is very tippy and 5 is very stable.
⁶ Displacement is kayak + paddler + load. Count off the kayak weight to get the load capacity.

Stability curves


The curve shows the calculated stability with a static load, and therefore of limited use for a real paddler. The part of the curve near zero degrees indicates the initial (primary) stability – the steeper the curve, the more stable. The part of the curve left of the peak indicates end (secondary) stability – the higher and wider, the safer you feel edging the kayak. The position of the peak shows also how much the kayak can be leaned without tipping over. The part of the curve to the right of the peak with rapidly decreasing righting moment is almost impossible to take advantage of.


The plan sheets contain the information needed to build the kayak/canoe. Station molds, stems and construction details are full scale. For kayaks the recommended cockpit size is shown half scale with offsets for a full scale drawing and advice on altering the size. On the plans you will also find advice on how to shorten or lengthen the craft. Lines and construction drawings are in metric scale 1:10.

Hunter, plans

The illustrated step-by-step building manual is in Swedish only, but it is available online in English: it covers all steps in detail and will guide first-time builders through the project.

Plans, Hunter - 130 EUR Purchase

Minimum window dimensions to get your kayak out from the workshop:

More about Hunter

Hunter is based on the east Greenland kayaks of the early 20th and is, like these, low, narrow, long with a straighter sheerline than the western types. My interest in Greenland started with trying a Greenland paddle and I got curious about the qualities of the Greenlandic kayaks and the possible combination benefits. 

Hunter is very long (585-590 cm depending on the shape of the stems). But the waterline is comparatively short, just 491 cm. At low speeds, Hunter turns easily. I higher speeds, the bow, and stern waves climb the raked stems and the waterline length increases, adding speed potential and tracking. The narrow and short waterline means minimal wetted surface and very low friction. Acceleration is lightning fast – two or three paddle strokes to top speed.

Theoretically, the Hunter hull should have higher touring speed (low friction) but lower top speed (short WL) than fx Nomad, Najad, Njord, etc. Testing in different conditions shows the touring speed potential, but also that Hunter is very fast off the wind by surfing easily and with control.   

The narrow beam also (BOA 51 cm, BWL 47 cm) means that Hunter is a tippy kayak, with relatively low initial stability. Compared to an ordinary sea kayak, Hunter will be a challenge initially. But with solid secondary stability, the risk of capsizing is surprisingly low – capsizes occur when the secondary stability is overplayed, never within the initial stability range. Thus, even beginners will find comfort and security within a couple of hours. The real bonus with low initial/high secondary stability comes in waves – a stable kayak is a lot more affected by waves; Hunter moves vertically in waves, instead of rolling violently from side to side, as would a more stable kayak (the reason is that stability is just the kayak wanting to stay parallel to the surface). Hunter is furthermore more stable in speed and surfing when it sinks slightly down in its own wave system. 

The planking is straight between chine and sheer and there is no rounding over at the sheer. The advantage is that the secondary stability is not compromised – high brace and balance brace are easy to do. The usual disadvantage with a sharp edge at the sheer is that the paddle stroke can't be as close to the center as with a generous rounding, but with Hunter's less beam and low sheer this is not an issue – even with a competitive high stroke technique, the paddle is as close to the centerline as in most surfskis. There is simply no reason to sacrifice any secondary stability.

In speed, with bow and stern wave climbing the stems, whether by forceful paddling or surf, the kayak gains stability by sinking slightly down in its own wave system – an indication of how hydrodynamically sound the old Greenland hull is.

Hunter is very maneuverable. The flat bottom, the slightly rounded chines, and the short waterline mean that it turns easily and reacts directly to leaning sideways or front-back. It is, together with Black pearl, Njord, and Frej my most maneuverable kayak.

Hunter is a low kayak. At the footrest, just 245 mm. It may seem low but it is normally comfortable for shoe sizes up to 43. For more space, there is a higher deck line (260 mm at the footrest) indicated on the plans. The Inuits of

On the prototype I tried a couple of new ideas that found their way into the building manual: a recessed cockpit rim – low, strong, elegant and easy constructed – and deck hardware after an idea of Gerald Maroske – also recessed and quick and efficient to construct.

Hunter på byggjiggen
The hull stripped...

Sanded – outer stem of maple


Recessed rim

Stems with bone-imitating epoxy, microfiber, and white pigment

The most comfortable cockpit interior I have built – foam plus camping mat. In three parts to fit together inside the cockpit and to drain water from the set. Note also the laminated-in miniature compass – handy when you forget to bring the compass.

Däcksbeslag á la Maroske
Deck hardware – the Maroske line tubes. The wooden ball is to simplify storing the paddle.

To chose Hunter I believe you should have some paddling experience (or lots of ambitions and patience), and be interested in fast touring as well as surfing, rock-hopping and in developing skills in general.

 Hunter – background and history

The East Greenland kayak found its modern shape later than the west Greenland types, but around 1900 it began to influence the kayak culture around the coast. Compared to the older types it was narrower, longer, with longer stems and straighter sheerline. With a flatter bottom and more flared sides it was faster, especially on the wind, and maneuvered better. Initial stability was lower, but the secondary better. A more demanding kayak but with greater potential.

Sydostgrönländsk förlaga

When English manufacturers in the 60s again got interested in Greenland kayaks, it was the western type that was in focus, primarily the famous Illorsuit from the coast north of Disco Bay. This became the model for most brit-boats since then; Anas Acuta, Icefloe, Nordkapp, etc.

I chose to focus on the eastern type. Through references in books, I got curious about the qualities: they were rumored to be fast (especially on the wind), and easily maneuvered. When they were rediscovered, after the cold period that isolated East Greenland for a couple of hundred years, they influenced the development of modern kayaks all around the coast, but mainly in the kayaks for rolling competitions.

My Hunter, from 2002, is no historical replica. For a start, choosing wood strip is a major deviation. But also the deck height – no westerner could possibly squeeze in under an 18 cm high foredeck! I needed at least 5 cm more room. And since westerners, in general, are taller than 20-century inuits I added a few cm beam for stability. 

The name Hunter was chosen since those 19-century east Greenland kayaks were probably the most efficient hunting kayaks ever built.


Hej Björn!

Jag har planer om att bygga en Hunter till sommaren. Skal jag satsa på att komplettera med en skädda, eller kan man klara sig utan i en Hunter? Du skriver att den är väldigt okänslig för vind, vilket gör att jag lutar åt att bygga utan skädda. Jag är rätt kort (170 cm) och tänker därför korta ned kajaken med ca 10%. Detta kommer ju att göra den mera lättsvängd, men hur påverkar det upplovningen? Gör det behovet för skädda större eller mindre?



Jag rekommenderar justerbar skädda på Hunter. Även kortad är det en lång kajak och upplovningen blir påtaglig om du försöker paddla med lite fart i sidvind eller vind låringsvis. Men kan du tänka dig att dra ner på farten i dessa förhållanden kan du säkert klara dig utan skädda. För bortsett från upplovning är Hunter en följsam och lätthanterad kajak.

Upplovning i förhållande till kursstabilitet/manöverbarhet är inte helt lätt att ta ställning till. Somliga föredrar kursstabila kajaker i sidvind därför att de inte lovar upp så mycket – i gengäld blir det ett förfärligt slit för att få dem tillbaka på kurs när det väl händer. Andra föredrar lättsvängda kajaker av motsatta skäl – de girar lätt men det går enkelt att tvinga dem tillbaka på kurs. Jag föredrar tveklöst lättsvängt.

Hej Björn !

Jag har fått dina ritningar till Hunter och har börjat bygga så smått.Ribbade skrovet i förrgår och det gick bra förrutom vid spant 7 där jag var tvungen att bygga på med lite tejp för att inte få en konstig inbuktning.Det verkar som att böjen borde ha en större radie .Tittade för övrigt på en annan byggblogg där samma problem hade visat sig.Nåväl det var ganska lätt fixat. Jag har nu grundlimmat och grovhyvlat skrovet samt spacklat mindre skavanker och glipor och limmat på ytterstävarna och väntar nu på att det skall härda.Nu till den egentliga frågan. Hur brukar man göra med innerstävarna på insidan skrovet? Kan man ta bort material som sticker in mot skrovet eller bör det vara kvar .Längst fram kan man ju spara för ett hål för en ögla att lyfta kajaken i men tappar kajaken sin styrka om man averkar lite på den in mot mitten. Den exra bordläggningsribban som finns på ritningen limmas den på efter spantmallarna tagits ur och däcket är klart eller hur brukar du göra? Hälsningar från en som tjuvstartat på sitt höstprojekt! PS Gjorde en Grönlandspaddel i väntan på härdningen och den är ju suverän att paddla med plus att den luktar så gott!

Du kan ta bort så mycket du vill av innerstävarna - stävkonstruktionen med ytterstävar blir tillräckligt stark ändå.

Extra bordläggningsribban är till för att behålla rimlig limyta för däcket, när relingskanten rundas. Jag brukar limma dit den inre relingsribban så att den sticker upp 5-6 mm över relingen, och såga spår i mallarna innan de sätts tillbaka för däcksbygget. Sedan hyvlas den inre relingsribban tills den stämmer med mallarnas form, relingen tejpas och däckat byggs.

Jag skall kolla linjerna vid spant 7. Tack för påpekandet.


You say that the long rake in the stems means that bow and stern waves climb the stems, and so increase the waterline length. Does the same thing happen when surfing on long green waves, such as in tide races, or running before the wind ( ie, not surfing on beach surf ).

How would the Hunter compare in this regard to the typical "british" style of sea kayak, where the keel line is artificially extended towards the ends to produce sort of built-in "skegs" in the hull shape - sometimes through the use of concave sections of hull.

Thank you

In my experience, yes. Increasing the speed has the effect that the bow and stern wave climb the stems, increasing the waterline length, regardless of how that speed is achieved: hard work, following wind or surfing long enough waves.

I regard Hunter a rather typical brit boat in function, albeit with a little more rake than most, and that the other extreme to consider is the John Winter type of hull with extended waterline (Epic 18, the QCC kayaks, most surfskis etc). Surfskis are excellent for this, with their exaggerated keel rocker and oversized rudders, but even the sea kayaks of the type have, much to my surprice, proven quite good in steep seas.

Most Hunters are built with a retractable skeg, leaving you with a choice you do not have when the designer has decided that strong tracking is best for you (straight keel, extended stern profile, built-down keel or concave sections aft (fx old Anas Acuta).

The reason for the Hunter stem rake is primarily to get a "dynamic" trackability – excellent manoeverability in low speeds (for a very long kayak), combined with going straight when you speed up. This works very well for touring and play, but for surfing I personally would have traded some the tracking for more maneuverability (surfski style) to make it easier to control the position on the wave (I pull the skeg when on the wave –more work but better control).

But you can´t have it all and this has proven an acceptable trade-off for a long distance all weather cruiser like the Hunter. And many paddlers prefer quite strong tracking for surfing...


Thanks for your comments - I find it an interesting concept - a variable waterline length. A short waterline length at slow speeds allows good manouverability, and a longer waterline length at speed, which allows faster surfing.

I do dislike the way the british sea kayak industry seems to have adopted the approach that good tracking is the god of sea kayak design, with keels that are artificially extended. Not everyone wants to travel in a straight line !

Yes, I have always built my kayaks very maneuverable, and disliked the strong tracking commercial kayaks I have tried: a couple of times so extreme that I envisioned having to step out of the kayak in shallow water, aiming it in the proper direction, paddling the next leg and repeating the process (no names but it has been well-known british kayaks ;-)

To me this trackability trend is a flirt with beginners, who cannot go a straight line, due to inefficient paddling technique – and salespersons taking the easy route: no information or advices but selling a straight-going kayak and a rudder to hide the problem...

Har roet Sea Pearl siden den kom til landet. Den bedste kajak jeg har haft - og anledning til at ro med grønlandsk paddel og øve rul (som lykkes i de fleste tilfælde, men ikke er en 100% livsforsikring endnu). Med lidt foring har jeg ret god kontakt med den. Men det kunne være fristende med en, som passede helt og manøvrerer lige så godt! Sea Pearl´en føles helt tryg (ror kun i moderat vind langs kysten). Er nysgerrig på, hvordan en Hunter, BP eller Frej ville være i sammenligning med Sea Pearl´en. Er 71 år, 172 cm høj og vejer 65 kg.

Måske kunne det blive til et kajakbyggeri.

Tak for din fantastiske side!

Tack Bjarne. Enkelt uttryckt är Black Pearl en tämligen originaltrogen östgrönländs kajak – mycket lättmanövrerad, snabb (för att vara en grönlandskajak), ingen lastkapacitet att tala om och sjösäker genom att den "lyder order" direkt och exakt, utan att tvinga på paddlaren onödig vikt, volym eller kursstabilitet.

De andra kajakerna är varianter på samma tema där lite av egenskaperna offrats för lastkapacitet: För Seapearl genom lite mer volym midskepps och därmed lite sämre passform och kajakkontroll; för Hunter genom större längd, vilket innebär en snabbare kajak men lite mer jobb med precisionsmanövreringen och för Frej genom lite mer bredd och höjd (liksom Seapearl) men där den surfskiinspirerade skrovformen förbättrar både surfkapacitet, manöverbarhet och snabbhet (genom mer volym i stävarna), men som inte går lika tyst i vågor som BP.

The discussions in these comments appendices to all your designs, Björn, provide an education to the novice. Slowly I go through them one at a time, gleaning valuable information from each.

Would the high-deck version have room for size 15 (US) feet? I'm 6'3", so my feet would be pretty far down the cockpit. Or, would I be better off with a custom black pearl?

Hunter is a low-deck kayak even with the high-deck version ;-)

The "headroom" where you would place your feet, is approx 10" – to low if you want to point your toes straight up, but just enough for the feet, angled approx 40 degrees forward (which is how I sit in my kayaks: feet size 10, and my BP is 8" and my Njord (for touring) is 9" at the footrest).

Perhaps the Hunter would be the better option, with its higher sheer. A Black Pearl adjusted for a deck this high would look a bit top-heavy – and with a sheer moved up it would become a Hunter ;-)

If needed it is not hard to raise the deck slightly more on the setup: lift the center deck strip to the needed height and build up the station molds with pieces of plywood, cardboard etc.

Ser at det er en del som har bygget strip kajakk i både 3 og 5 deler, og ser bl.a. her en måte å være sikker på at hver seksjon forblir vanttett ( nederste tips: )

Kjenner du til noen løsninger for å kombinere en 3 delt kajakk med skeg? Største grunnen til å bygge 3 delt er for å få den ut etter byggingen er ferdig (bonus at en kan slippe takstativ og vindmotstand på langtur i sliten elbil).

Eneste eg ser for meg blir (på engelsk) rope and cleat for retracting and bungee cord to deploy skeg when rope is released from the cleat, as the rope then could span the rear and middle section when assembled, and be locked for transport on the rear section when disassembled.

(9/11/2019 3:26 PM BY BJØRN ON HUNTER)

Hej Bjørn, Den här byggloggen kan kanske vara till hjälp:

Jag rekommenderar att bygga kajaken i ett stycke och dela den i efterhand. Bygger man kajaken i tre separata sektioner uppstår lätt avvikelser i skrovformen vilket kräver mycket efterarbete med utfyllnader och slipning.

That's a very, very beautiful looking boat. There's something about the lines... they just look right.

Hej Bjørn!

Overvejer et nyt byggeri (for også at undgå nogle af fejlene fra BPen). Kan det passe at Hunter har den laveste initialstivhed af alle, lavere end BP og meget lavere end Njord?

Har du et bud på, hvorfor der ikke er så mange der vælger Hunter, men hellere Njord og Frej. Kan det være det med stabiliteten? Jeg skal ikke på længere ture, men sædvanligvis ro langs med kysten her på Sydsjælland. Får noget ondt i lårene i BPen, hvor der ikke er mulighed for at ændre stilling en smule. Er tiltrukket af de grønlandske kajaktyper, men er med mine snart 77 år på den anden side også blevet stivere i det.

Venlig hilsen Bjarne

Det är svårt med stabilitetskvantifiering. Jag har inte haft tillgång till en Hunter på ett antal år nu, men min upplevelse av prototypen var att den hade ungefär samma initialstabilitet som BP, men bättre slutstyvhet (samma vattenlinjebredd men högre fribord). Men jag gjorde också några småjusteringar av skrovet efter tester av prototypen.

Jag hade nog i ditt ställe hellre tittat på Nanoq än på Hunter – rymligare under däck, mer initialstabilitet och mer manöverbar än Hunter. Nanoq matchar inte riktigt Hunters fartpotential, men det har egentligen rätt liten betydelse om man inte tävlar. Hunter blir i många avseenden bara en lite större BP. Nanoq gick ganska snabbt om Hunter, Isfjord m fl i min säljstatistik och är en av mina mest uppskattade kajakmodeller – främst genom sina prestanda men också genom utseendet.

Att Njord och Frej tilltalar många beror nog dels på att de har tillkommit senare än Hunter och bygger alltså på längre erfarenhet, men också genom att Njord är min egen favoritkajak, vilket lyser igenom när jag diskuterar kajakval och sådant. Frej blev snabbt en succe (bland annat genom Struers Boats marknadsföring) vilket leder till att många har provat eller har paddelkompisar som paddlar Frej.

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