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Old 01-04-2008, 16:00   #1
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Cruising Decal Akin to VIN ?

I spent hours reading instructions, setting up an account, answering questions, peruse conditions of use, describe my boat, etc.

before I was able to find, read description and instructions

referring me from one gov. web page to another gov. web page, then back again to the original,

before I was then instructed to "set up an account" so I could

then purchase for my $27.50 (recent price increase) a decal.

Has anyone else found this to be rather burdensome? I am spoiled to think a web purchase w/credit card should be like "point and click" choosing, followed by another click, "I'll take it" and enter card info and address
followed with final click..."I approve" purchase.
Thank You."

Of course, I am now fairly well versed on it, including the need to report when I return to the states. I guess I could have chanced slipping out and back, but with my luck on stuff...I'd be writing this from a prison computer.

Honest, it was so cumbersome for me I had to purchase in two different day sessions, for I had other work to do.

Did you know that once the decal has been purchased and placed on your boat, it must stay on the boat? Instructions indicate it becomes like a VIN and is specific to that boat?
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Old 01-04-2008, 16:07   #2
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That website is one of the worst I've ever seen. It's been like that for quite a few years and never improves. Once you set up an "account" you think you've got it made but next year it will not recognize that account even though you get a confirmation in the mail and you have to start all over. It was much better when you got a form in the mail and sent it to Atlanta. Your tax dollars at work.
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Old 01-04-2008, 16:33   #3
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Pogo, a decal is by definition intended to be "applied" to something. That is, stuck in place permanently. So yes, if you have a decal, it is called a decal because it is supposed to be applied to your boat and stuck there. Either by a water-slip glue (bad thing for boats, but that's what decals use) or a "permanent" adhesive (which would make it a sticker, not a decal, but the government may not understand that).

No doubt there will be instructions on the back or side of it when it comes, telling you where they want it to be affixed.

Some government agencies get the computer very right, very quickly. Others need outside contractors to help them tie their shoelaces, so to speak, year after year. Apparently whoever is in charge of cruising permits isn't important enough to get the budget for good help.
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Old 01-04-2008, 16:43   #4
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Each decal has a number on it. When you call in you have to quote that number. This is not a cruising permit. It is a customs decal required on all boats over 30 ft. that enter and leave the US.
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Old 01-04-2008, 23:37   #5
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It is well understood that governments are often inefficient, compounded and burdensome in the real life. I just didn't understand they could do the same on a simple purchase of a Decal, in cyberspace.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:43   #6
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The first year seemed a hassle and a bit confusing, but now each year, I get an email with a link. I go there and buy the new decal easily. Seems to me to be better than most government web sites.

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Old 02-04-2008, 05:57   #7
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George,

I got that too but often it doesn't work and you have to establish a new account. A friend of mine tried for hours and couldn't get in. I think the site is out sourced and don't think the government got their money's worth.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:37   #8
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George,

Soo, it is similar to rites of "initiation?"

According to the site information, "expect the decal to be sent within (5) days." (not arrival) when the bank funds have cleared. (from my Mastercard )

I guess I shouldn't be too hard on the site. After all, I was able to purchase online.

It would have taken me two days to get a money order/check to them VIA US mail (but then it took me two frustrating days via internet, hmm)

Well, I am in no hurry anyway. I am not leaving until mid May.

It's just aggitating when most any purchase can be completed and delivered, UPS, within (5) days and (5) mouse clicks.

Better days ahead!!

Smooth sailing ALL!!!
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:35   #9
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On our return from the Bahamas I was told to by customs to bring my proof of purchase for the decal with me to immigration. I did not have it since I thought the decal stuck on my boat was proof of purchace. I took a picture of it and brought that, then they didn't ask for it anyway. Isn't the government grand?
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:01   #10
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Panama Dave,

I always have the number of the decal with me, after all it's in their great all knowing computer. Most times they don't even ask for it. Like most of the stuff from Customs, Homeland Security, Immigration, it doesn't seem to be too well coordinated. The bureaucracy is just too big to work.
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Old 03-04-2008, 17:22   #11
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bureaucracy? yes..that was the word I was looking for

"PanamaDave;

It is interesting they wanted your proof of purchase....since they allude in the website, they are able to "read the decal remotely" similar to the EZ PASS decals on a car that drives through the toll gate on one of our Interstates (they say, since 1995).

Thanks for that tip though, I will print the reciept. Just one little thing more ehh?

I will also keep the; oh how many digit number, in the record books also.

I still haven't received it...but I did get the VHF radio I ordered the same day on the internet. (I haven't installed it yet.)
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Old 03-04-2008, 17:37   #12
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Whew! - My Golden Gate 30 actually measures 29ft 6-inches. One less hassle with big brother
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Old 03-04-2008, 19:47   #13
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Pogo-
"they are able to "read the decal remotely" similar to the EZ PASS decals on a "
That's sounding like Big Brother Paranoia.

EZPass does not issue decals. They issue radio frequency transponders, which can only be read with a RADIO transceiver that is fairly close (~50 feet) of them. Yes, each one has a bar code on it--but there's no way to read that remotely, you hafe to remove the transponder from the car and place it under a bar code scanner, just like a supermarket checkout line.

What the EZPass system DOES do, is read every license plate for every vehicle, and when they can't read a transponder, the picture of the license plate is digitally recognized and compared against the list of license plate and EZPass owners. If your plate matches an EZPass owner, you get a letter and a charge.

No remote reading, no decals.

The only way to remotely read a "decal" would be with a long distance bar code reader (if it was bar coded) or a radio--IF there was a transponder in it. AFAIK, the decals have no transponders, and aiming a bar code reader at a moving vessel would be an exercise in "Ah, just heave to and let me read it, wouldya?".

What did you think you saw on what web site??
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Old 03-04-2008, 20:05   #14
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To me, it sounds like what they probably mean is they can type in your number and get your information from their computers.

Just a guess though.
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Old 03-04-2008, 20:50   #15
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In a few years they will be able to read it with a laser. The machine will do the aiming. No problem. Maybe they can do it today in some applications.
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