October 2013 Newsletter

October 2013 Newsletter

What’s in this issue

This newsletter is available as an MP3 audio download at <AudioSeaStories.net>. It is read by Michael and Patty Facius. We recommend a broadband Internet connection to download, since it is a large file.

You can also Download a printer friendly version <in MS Word> or as a <PDF file>.

Want to look up a previous newsletter? We've added an <on-line index> of all the Good Old Boat newsletters.

What? Another T-shirt?

Well, yes. As the holidays approach, visions of sugarplums dance in our heads. Our new big logo T-shirts have been popular, so we’ve added one in deep dark hunter green . . . or would you say it’s more of an evergreen and holly hue? At any rate, it sure would look nice with a Santa hat.

GOB Big Logo t-shirt

This shirt is a short-sleeved T with our new curvaceous sailboat on the back. No shirt-front pocket this time. That gave us room to brag a bit on the front side. Right there on the left-hand side, this new shirt states (by substituting a pretty big heart for the word “love”): “I love my good old boat.” Or would you say that it says, “I heart my good old boat”? No matter how you read it, this shirt was designed with you in mind and in plenty of time for Christmas.

Our shelves are a bit full with so many shirt choices in so many sizes. As a result, we’re reducing our inventory. If you have any favorites, stock up now. Our funny Tom Payne shirts and the classic shirts will only be available while supplies last. Our T-shirts are available online at: <http://www.goodoldboat.com/books_&_gear/clothing.php>.

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Another book of review boats, too

Boat Reviews 28-30 footers

When we posted the PDF book of boat reviews we’ve published in Good Old Boat of boats in the 25- to 27-foot range, we immediately heard from those who’d like a PDF book of boats we’ve reviewed in the 28- to 30-foot range. Now that book is posted and ready for download as well. We’re not done yet, of course; there will be a book of smaller cruising sailboats and another book of those in the mid-30-foot range. The first book was a success so count on more. You’ll find all our PDF books at our downloads site: AudioSeaStories.com. We call books of articles collected from previous issues our Archive eXtractions. Look for them there under that heading.

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Any way you like it

Speaking of possible downloads from AudioSeaStories.com, you can buy the current issue in high- or low-res format from AudioSeaStories.com, our downloads site. Some want the photos of sailboats we publish to show up on their tablets and handheld devices as gorgeous as they really are in print. We can do that. But the files are large. Some don’t care abut the file size. That’s the way they want it: big files, great photos.

Now, starting with the November issue, we’ll be offering our digital subscription to all digital subscribers in two formats as well. Want it pretty good and a manageable 25 or so megabites? We can do that. Want it gorgeous and a mind-boggling 125 megabites? Any way you like it; it will be your choice now.

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We’re headed to Annapolis

It’s Annapolis boat show season again (October 10–14) and we’ll see some of you there. We’ll be in our usual spot, booth AB3, with all the usual suspects: Karen and Jerry, the founders of Good Old Boat; Michael, the podcast guy; and Karla, the voice you’ve heard on the phone. (Believe it or not, she’s even nicer in person). If that’s not enough, we’ll have a crew of subscribers there volunteering. They’ll hand out free copies of the magazine and tell people why they subscribe to Good Old Boat. They’re the best sales team ever!

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Introducing Ed Zacko

We’ve just anointed Ed Zacko as our newest contributing editor. He keeps contributing great articles about things he and his wife, Ellen, have done to improve their lives aboard their Nor’Sea 27. They’ve been cruising on this boat since 1981. So they’ve had plenty of time to make thoughtful improvements as the inspiration struck.

Ed is a musician from Pennsylvania whose dream was to move to New York City and play the drums professionally with the "big boys." By the mid-’70s, he was doing exactly that. He met Ellen there. She noticed he was reading Sailing Alone Around the World and asked, “Why would you want to go alone? I'll go with you!"

Ed Zacko

After months of fruitless searching for a suitable boat, Ellen suggested that they build one, despite having no boatbuilding skills. In 1977 they purchased a Nor’Sea 27 hull and deck and spent the next three-and-a-half years building their cruiser.

"We learned as we went,” Ed says. “We did everything except for the hull and deck: we made our own rig, sewed our first sails, did all the canvaswork, made cushions and covers, installed the engine, the lot! It was quite a ride. We read voraciously, asked countless questions, and made a lot of mistakes, but we came up with a boat that turned out far better than we, or anyone else for that matter, expected.”

They launched Entr'acte in 1980. In 1981 they started a “one-year cruise.” Five years, 13 countries, and 13,000 sea miles later, they returned to New York having crossed the Atlantic in both directions, explored the Bahamas, Azores, Europe, the French Canals, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean.

They returned to the New York music scene to recover financially from their five-year spree while refitting Entr’acte. In 2002 wanderlust called again. They sailed again to Europe, crossed back to the Caribbean, and continued through the Panama Canal to visit Central America, the Galapagos, French Polynesia, the Cooks Islands, Tonga, Fiji, and New Caledonia. Most recently, they made a whirlwind passage back across the Pacific aboard a container ship and began a second trip through the French canals. They’re now back on the Med seeking new adventures.

"Building our own boat from a bare hull was perhaps the best thing we could have done,” Ed says. “You don't build or restore a boat to save money. You do it to learn. We know Entr'acte inside and out. Over the years it has saved us countless dollars and endless aggravation. We only wish Good Old Boat had been around in those days. We would not have had to search so hard for the answers.”

Now Ed is part of our team working to give others the answers they seek. Check out Ed and Ellen's website: <http://www.enezacko.com>.

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What’s coming in November?

For the love of sailboats

  • O’Day 322 review
  • Hunter 29.5 review
  • Chris Craft Capitan refit

Speaking seriously

  • Windvane Steering 101
  • Pilothouses and performance by Rob Mazza
  • Hurricane aftermath: OK, what now?
  • Ratio rationale
  • A replacement lift pump
  • Keeping diesel dry
  • An antenna post as art
  • Single-step boarding ladder
  • Hull envy

What’s more

  • Reviving a passion and a boat
  • New product launchings
  • Reflections: Boatyard ghosts
  • Simple solutions: Better leecloths
  • Quick and Easys: Instant whisker pole and Selvagees to the rescue
  • The view from here: Perils of the chart plotter
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In the news


by Rob Mazza

The 2014 Sailing Exhibit at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston, Ontario, is taking shape. The chosen title, “The New Age of Sail” acknowledges the phenomenal growth in sailing as a recreational sport in the 1960s and 1970s. If the era of clipper ships and Britain’s wooden walls was the original “Age of Sail,” then this rapid growth in sailing over approximately 20 years in the mid-to-late 20th century was definitely the New Age of Sail.

George Cuthbertson

George Hinterhoeller sailing the then new Cuthbertson and Cassian-designed C&C 27, one of the many fiberglass sailboats that established C&C Yachts, under George Cuthbertson's leadership, as a major player during the New Age of Sail in the 1960s and '70s.

The reason for this great increase in sailing has to do as much with demand as supply. This is the period of the postwar boom in the economy with a greater amount of leisure time and the leading edge of the baby boom looking for recreational activities. The supply side of this equation was satisfied with the introduction of new materials and technologies in boatbuilding brought on by the introduction of fiberglass construction, extruded aluminum masts, and Dacron sails, which allowed high-volume production of sailboats at very reasonable prices. Also contributing to this rapid growth was the total absence of a used-boat market due to the limited production of wooden boats in the recent past. The rapid growth in small-boat sailing, initiated by plywood and cold-molded construction, transitioned quickly with the introduction of fiberglass construction into the growth of a market for larger sailboats, allowing the creation of Canadian companies like C&C Yachts, which established a global market for their products.

Bruce Kirby

Bruce Kirby's initial success in fiberglass, International 14-foot dinghies led directly to the development of the Laser and production one-designs like the Sonar and Ideal 18. This is Kirby sailing his first 14 design, Torch. There would ultimately be seven Kirby 14 designs, each of which would dominate this very competitive development class.

In recognition of both the growth in small- and large-boat design and construction at that time, the Marine Museum is proud to have two of the most influential designers from this period agree to be Honorary Curators of this exhibit. George Cuthbertson is undoubtedly the most successful “big” boat designer from this period, with the success of boats like Inishfree, Red Jacket, and Manitou forming the basis of the creation of C&C Yachts and the production of thousands of fiberglass sailboats from 24 foot to 67 foot. Without George Cuthbertson’s design and organizational genius, there would not have been a C&C Yachts, or possibly a Canadian boatbuilding industry.

Bruce Kirby is just as famous in the realm of smaller production sailboats, starting with his dominant International 14-foot dinghy designs, the world-famous Laser, and his many successful one-designs, like the Sonar and Ideal 18, not to mention production keelboats like the San Juan 24 and 30, and America’s Cup 12 Metres.

The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston (http://www.marmuseum.ca/) is delighted that these two distinguished designers have accepted the joint position of Honorary Curators of this exhibit.

Stay tuned.


Mack Boring & Parts Company has announced the 2013-2014 calendar of Marine Diesel Maintenance Seminars. These popular seminars give sailboat and powerboat owners an opportunity to become more familiar with their engines.

Through the seminars, boat owners can develop a greater level of confidence about their engines, learn basic maintenance routines and how to recognize the warning signs of engine problems. The series is ideal for owners of all popular brands of diesel engines and includes 1-day basic maintenance seminars and 2-day hands-on seminars that teach emergency repair skills.

Separate seminars are structured to meet the needs of sailboat and powerboat owners. Classes are offered in Union, New Jersey, New Bedford, Massachusetts, Wilmington, North Carolina, and Waukegan, Illinois. To date, over 20,000 students have been trained.

Advance registration is encouraged as classes are limited to 10 people and fill up quickly. Information and registration are available at 908-964-0700, ext. 259, or <http://www.mackboring.com/training/>.


The Great Lakes Cruising Club School has expanded its popular and highly acclaimed webinar curriculum for 2013-14. This year, boaters may choose from over forty webinar tutorials conducted by experienced GLCC-accredited sail- or power-boating colleagues and industry specialists. These interactive sessions are available to anyone with an interest in learning more about boating and the Great Lakes.

Live, real-time on-screen presentations with visual aids provide an opportunity for participants to interact with the instructor and each other in a virtual classroom. Sessions typically run 60-90 minutes, and only require a computer with speakers, browser, and a reasonable-speed Internet connection. 

On average, a webinar costs $25, discounted to $20 for current Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC), United States Power Squadrons (USPS), and Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS) members.

GLCCSchool webinars are open to everyone, whether they are a Great Lakes Cruising Club member or not. For further information and a listing of subjects, instructors, and costs, visit our website at <http://www.GLCCSchool.com>. To sign up for classes and be alerted to upcoming webinars, make sure to enroll with GLCCSchool on the website.

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October 10–14
Annapolis, Maryland

The 44rd Annual Sailboat Show is the oldest in-water sailboat show in the world. For more information and to buy tickets go to <http://www.usboat.com/us-sailboat-show/home>. Don't forget to stop by Good Old Boat's booth, AB3, to meet Jerry, Karen, and some of the crew.


October 10
Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway
New York City

The Coast Guard Foundation’s annual Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by a 7:30 p.m. dinner reception. To reserve a table, purchase tickets, or to learn more about the Coast Guard Foundation and help support its work, please visit the Coast Guard Foundation website at <http://www.coastguardfoundation.org>.


October 11–13
Rappahannock River Yacht Club — Carter Creek
Irvington, Virginia

Proceeds will benefit Hospice Support Services of the Northern Neck and Riverside Hospice Agencies in Tappahannock and Gloucester. For more information go to <http://latellsails.com/turkey-shoot-regatta-2013>.


Nov. 15–17, 2013
Melbourne, Florida

Join other cruising enthusiasts on Florida’s beautiful Space Coast to enjoy three days of nautical fun. Attendees will enjoy two full days of seminars and may also visit the marine vendors on Friday and Saturday from 9-5 where they will find a variety of SSCA supporters displaying their wares, answering questions, and offering “boat show” prices.

On Sunday, check out the huge indoor nautical flea market and/or sit in on a variety of intimate Roundtables where you can talk to experienced cruisers on a one-to-one basis regarding equipment and/or the places you hope to someday visit. All of this is included in your admission fee of just $35 for SSCA members or $50 for non-member friends ($40/$55 after Oct. 31). Where else can you get this much nautical know-how (and rub elbows with so many veteran cruisers) for such a great price? The theme this year is Clean Wake, Worldwide and Locally, and the seminars on Friday and Saturday will explore this concept from many different perspectives by a diverse group of presenters. For a list of seminars and speakers go to <http://www.ssca.org/cgi-bin/pagegen.pl?pg=home&title=Home>. For more information or to register, go to <http://www.ssca.org> and click on SSCA Events, or call 954-771-5660.

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Circle around the flag holder

I experienced a vast difference between the dirt/mold on the deck of my boat and the "wash" from the bow cleat and the remains of the circle around the flag holder. See my photo of the flag holder. Unfortunately, I had already cleaned one side of the flag holder, but please note the clearly apparent ring surrounding the side that was not yet cleaned.

The fittings that did this are of stainless steel. Mold formed around the stainless-steel bolt heads but not around these fittings. Do you have any idea why part of the deck does not have any dirt/mold while the rest of the fiberglass does? The dirt/mold layer came from a year of non-cleaning. I'm wondering whether there is something in the fitting material that is "leaching" a bit.
C. Henry Depew

OK, fellow sailors! Henry wonders about the possibility of the stainless steel leaching. The editors suspect the sealant under the fitting. What are your suggestions?

Henry’s question was what led to the Concrobium Mold Cleaner test mentioned in the August issue of the newsletter but his original question still needs answering.
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The following book reviews have been posted online.

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Satellite weather in action

by Durkee Richards

It’s a game changer — our new satellite weather capability, that is. I reported on the installation and initial use of WxWorx in the May 2013 issue of Good Old Boat. As I write this, we have completed our first cruise since installing it. I used it extensively and found it a valuable tool during nearly 1,800 miles of travel along the North Central Coast of British Columbia and the west coast of Vancouver Island.

What I came to appreciate most about this satellite weather capability was that it enabled me to understand much more about the winds we encountered during our travels. Our initial route took us across the Strait of Juan de Fuca then along the lengths of the Strait of Georgia, Johnstone Strait, and Queen Charlotte Strait.

We all know the wind blows in a clockwise manner around highs and counterclockwise around lows in the Northern Hemisphere. However, a different mindset is needed to understand the winds in these long straits. There the winds are not determined by the general pattern of air circulation around the nearby highs and lows. Rather, they’re driven by the pressure gradient along the length of the strait (sometimes with thermal inflow being a significant factor as well).

The pressure gradient can be determined from the isobars shown on a surface analysis chart. Since I can now see the current surface analysis chart displayed on my chart plotter, as well as the forecast charts for 12, 24, and 36 hours into the future, I can estimate the strength and direction of the pressure gradient that will generate the winds we’ll encounter as we travel. The weather synopsis included in the Environment Canada weather broadcasts does not allow the listener to even start such a computation.

I first read about the importance of pressure gradient in a book, published by Environment Canada, called The Wind Came All Ways by Owen S. Lange. He uses the term “pressure-slope.” This book concentrates on the straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca. It was useful when daysailing in our local waters since I could download surface analysis charts from NOAA before leaving home. But it was previously of little use on longer cruises since I had no access to surface analysis charts except when in marinas for re-provisioning.

A later book, Living with Weather Along the British Columbia Coast, also by Owen Lange, shows the wind patterns to expect for various pressure-slopes along the entire BC coast from the Strait of Juan de Fuca up to Dixon Entrance. Buried in this book is a useful metric for estimating the wind strength: measure the pressure difference, in millibars, across a distance equal to 4 degrees of longitude at your current latitude. Multiply this pressure difference by 5 to get the probable wind strength in knots. This rule of thumb worked well for us during our time along the North Central Coast although it tended to generate numbers a bit on the high side.

Once, around Cape Caution at the northern entrance of the Queen Charlotte Strait, we were in what is generally referred to as the North Central Coast of British Columbia. Here too in this rich network of sounds, straits, channels, and inlets, pressure gradient analysis is an important tool for understanding the winds.

The morning we were making the go/no-go decision for a 65-nautical mile crossing of the Hecate Strait out to Haida Gwaii, I was reminded of another reason to value satellite weather. The Hecate Strait has a well-deserved reputation for rapidly developing a very rough and potentially dangerous sea state. A prudent skipper would want to be sure of a good weather window before heading out. At 0400 hours, in our secure anchorage along the North Central Coast, all we could hear of the Environment Canada weather broadcast was static! We had been just able to copy the weather broadcast the previous evening while still out in more open waters. However, we easily received the full range of satellite weather information. I was able to determine that the weather pattern was evolving as expected. So we weighed anchor and had a good crossing. The peace of mind that the satellite weather system information brought was worth all the time and effort required to install the system.

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Mail buoy

Fender knots

Fender knots

I read with interest the article “Taming the Fenders” by Ferman Wardell (September 2013) in which the author recommends using inexpensive metal clips to attach the fender line to the holes in the toerail. I have a similar toerail on my 1980 Hunter 30 and have used an even simpler and less expensive method with great success for over 25 years. I simply push a loop from the line suspending the fender through the appropriate hole in the toerail, then push a second loop through the loop so formed, effectively forming a slip knot. This method also permits me to easily adjust the height of the fender, depending on dock conditions.


Fender knots 2 Fender knots 3 Fender knots 4
Fender knots 5


To release, I simply pull on the loose end of the line and the fender is hanging in my hand. Obviously, if the line diameter is small enough in relationship to the hole, it would slip through. I have also used this method to make quick-release docklines when the occasion called for it. As always, thanks for your great magazine.

Fender knots release 1 Fender knots release 2
–Henry Barousse

For extra security, to “lock” the fender knot, just tuck the tail back through the second loop loosely. Eds

Good Old Fleets?

I own a 1969 26-foot Grampian sailboat that is moored an hour from my home, I own a 1966 Sunfish sailing dinghy that is a half hour from home, and I am presently mulling over a 1970’s O’Day Mariner 2+2 to replace the Sunfish. (Who am I kidding, pffft … sell the Sunfish?!) I would love a fiberglass beach catamaran as well, but that isn’t in the immediate future. (Or is it?) Then there are the local iceboat sailors having all that fun in wintertime.

My point is this … there must be plenty of people who have different sail-powered crafts for different occasions and situations (just like bicycles and guitars … yes, I have many of each as well). I would much enjoy reading about Good Old Boat readers’ Good Old Fleets, and pictures, lots of ’em, especially “before and after” shots of their “babies” and work that’s gone into them. Do they have two or three Lasers to sail/race with family?
–David DiMarco

Vilm pilothouse

I just read “Defining a Pilothouse.” It was well written. Ever since we moved from Germany to the U.S. I could not understand why sailors accept expensive boats and then spend additional thousands for canvas cockpit enclosures to be (only partially) protected from sun and rain. Through the plastic they have almost zero visibility in rain, spray, and at night and, after a few years, they have to replace the whole caboodle again. These enclosures ruin the looks of the boats, create wind resistance and turbulence, and last only a few years.

Look to Europe. Let’s eliminate real motorsailers (the Fishers, Nauticats, Finnsailers, and so on). In the ’70s there was the Seastream 34 based on the hull of a three-quarter-ton racer. I still dream of the foul-weather windward performance. It was later available in a 43-foot version. There were also the French Chassiron and the Amels.

And there were the 34 to 44-foot Vilms, built in former East Germany and marketed as motorsailers (because of their more powerful diesels) when they actually sailed as well or better than some well-known sailboats.

When the Iron Curtain came down, the builder hired Georg Nissen to design a modern Vilm version in 34 and 38.5 feet. These were known as Vilm 101 and Vilm 116. Later came the 39.5-foot Vilm 117, with a full-length hardtop over the entire cockpit. Our son had a 116 built and my wife and I chose a Vilm 117.

These boats were marvels of German quality and engineering. They’re the most perfect sailing yachts in looks, practicality, comfort, and performance. There are only six or seven in the U.S., but their concept is noteworthy. In addition to all its many advantages, the Vilm pilothouse cockpit provides an additional comfortable living space with great visibility of your surroundings.
–Wolfgang Dietrich

Pilothouse chords

Your article discussing the pilothouse design struck a chord here. This design is very popular in Europe and the Mediterranean. For two years I researched, investigated, and crawled through pilothouse designed sailboats. We encountered a Pearson 365 in Fall River that we bid on and nearly came to own. We passed on an LM 28 in San Diego. There are five serious vessels Rob Mazza missed: one is the Danish LM 28, another is the LM 30, the third and fourth are the Crealock-designed Pacific Seacraft 32PH and 40PH, and fifth is the Crealock-designed Cabo Rico 42. The LM 30 and 28 were manufactured by a Danish furniture manufacturer and feature exquisite teak interiors. Alas, when we were searching there were only two LMs available in North America, one in San Diego and the other in northern Michigan. The Nauticat vessels, also European, were too expensive for us and seemed to be less sailer and more motor. In 2011, we purchased a 1993 Pacific Seacraft 32PH. In the 1980s to early 1990s Pacific Seacraft expressed their interest in the pilothouse design, but after making 18 of them they decided to spend more time making sailboats.
–Gerald Levinson

Rob responds
Gerald, thanks for your letter. The article was not a survey of all pilothouse configurations ever built, but a study of the pilothouse concept with some examples to illustrate the concept. Also, models not generally available in North America would certainly be of less interest. An interesting sidelight, by the way, is that the little Danish boatbuilder, LM, went on to become the largest builder of wind turbine blades in the world.
–Rob Mazza

Litter jugs

Any boater with a solid-fuel cabin heater might be interested to know that the flat white plastic jug with the wide cap in which a wide variety of cat litter is sold makes a pretty nice container for charcoal briquettes. It allows the briquettes to be dispensed one at a time, retains the powdery mess in the jug, is relatively crush- and waterproof, and the flat rectangular shape will fit behind/below/inside many settees and cockpit lockers. It’s good for beach BBQs and dink transport as well.
–William Witherup

Odorlos suggestion

Glyn Judson mentioned in the August 2013 newsletter that he used Odorlos at about 1 ounce per 10 gallons of tank capacity to help keep his head system odor-free. I want to suggest a slightly different way to use the product. Sailors with holding tanks usually don’t have the capacity to allow them to flush waste all the way to the tank with each use, which leaves waste sitting in the waste hose. This can quickly contribute to odor issues since the Odorlos treatment is in the tank, not the hose. But if you add some Odorlos to the bowl with each “deposit,” it does a remarkable job of keeping all the odors in check. Just keep a bottle in the head and add a capful, about one-half ounce to one ounce with each use. It adds perhaps a dollar or two per day to your cruising costs, but the result is well worth it.
–Steve Christensen

Swing-out arm for iPad ( September 2013 issue )

I purchased a “Bad Elf” GPS receiver that plugs directly into the iPad so that once I open the apps either “isailGPS” or “NaviPad" appear.” I have GPS marine navigation using the charts installed. The “Bad Elf” is about 1-inch square and costs $81.00 on Amazon. “Bad Elf” offers full navigation, tracking, route memories, etc., plus one is viewing it on an 8-inch screen.
–Gary Gerber

A hitchhiker on a good old boat

Recently, Michael and Patty Facius attracted a hitchhiker during their Lake Superior cruise. The best guess is it’s a Blackpoll Warbler.


What critters have you attracted during your cruises? Tell us about them. Better yet, send stories and photos to Michael@goodoldboat.com.


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How to contact us

You can find all of the details on how to contact us on our website.

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