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Old 14-04-2019, 14:59   #1
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Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

I get two notices re renewal of USCG Documentation; one from Maritime Documentation Center that arrives way early and one from USCG. The USCG directs me to renew on USCG website and the other directs me to www.maritimedocumentation.us.

I renew on the USCG site for $26 and didn't see a choice for multiple years, which is ok by me. The MaritimeDoc site seemed to be $75 with options for multiple years at $75 for each additional year. Is this just clever capitalism or something more strange?
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Old 14-04-2019, 15:07   #2
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

It is a legal service, I would recommend the $26.00 option.

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Old 14-04-2019, 17:00   #3
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

There are long threads on the scam that this "service" offers. Documented vessels are public files, so it is easy for them to find out who has a documented boat AND their address. They send you an official-looking letter suggesting that you pay them ($75 now??) to file or renew your documentation, to save you the trouble and hassle. The "trouble" involves signing your name on the annual renewal that you get in the mail from the Coast Guard, and sending it back to the Coast Guard with a check for $26. Or you can pay the "service" ($75 now?) sign the form, send it back to the "service" and they will send it in to the Coast Guard for you. It's may be legal, and they may be clever, but it certainly isn't a smart thing for a Documented boat owner to do.
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Old 14-04-2019, 17:25   #4
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Save yourself some money and pay directly to the Coast Guard.

I suspect that if you read the other notice, you'll find that they're not a government agency, and are just trying to profit from administratively handling the activity that you can do yourself, for 1/3 the cost.
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Old 14-04-2019, 17:32   #5
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Clever capitalism,

in other words, a scam.
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Old 14-04-2019, 18:01   #6
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Why pay triple what the Coast Guard charges?

Itís a scam, by every definition I know.
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Old 14-04-2019, 18:56   #7
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Maybe the CG has fixed this. If you do a document lookup online it no longer gives names and address of owners
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Old 14-04-2019, 19:09   #8
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Yes, this is a legal scam. No ifs, ands or buts about it. There have been numerous threads on this and all the major boating forums for the past several years.
The company mentioned and another one both have the same business model...make the letter sent and website look enough like the actual CG, that people don't read the fine print saying they are a private service and end up paying the $75.
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Old 14-04-2019, 19:20   #9
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Government databases are public property.

Anyone can go down to city hall and get the voter rolls dumped to USB, just pay a "reasonable cost" fee.
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Old 15-04-2019, 05:15   #10
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Government databases are public property.

Anyone can go down to city hall and get the voter rolls dumped to USB, just pay a "reasonable cost" fee.
Maybe so, but you can't go down to your local DMV and look up license plates to see who owns the car.
CG used to list documented boats with owners names and addresses. Just recently, they stopped doing that and only list the boat and details of it...no owner info.
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Old 15-04-2019, 09:15   #11
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Maritime Doc Center is a private business. In fairness to them, at least on the notification I receive from them, they make it clear they are a service and they do mention that you can renew directly with the USCG, if you so chose. I used them when I bought the boat (I guess I did not know better) and since then they have been diligently sending reminders every year. If they continue to do it, it must be they have an audience that uses them.
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Old 15-04-2019, 09:51   #12
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FabioC View Post
Maritime Doc Center is a private business. In fairness to them, at least on the notification I receive from them, they make it clear they are a service and they do mention that you can renew directly with the USCG, if you so chose. I used them when I bought the boat (I guess I did not know better) and since then they have been diligently sending reminders every year. If they continue to do it, it must be they have an audience that uses them.
Since giving out my bank account numbers and PIN, I have continued to receive friendly notices from deposed Nigerian generals and princes offering me several million dollars for my assistance!
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Old 15-04-2019, 09:54   #13
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Yes they do have an audience and I can guarantee that at least 80% don’t realize what they are doing. They honestly think they are dealing with the actual CG

Last time I looked, yes they do say they are a private firm, but they use the smallest font on the page to say it. Again, their business model counts on people NOT reading the fine print.
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Old 15-04-2019, 10:12   #14
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Costly and deceptive!
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Old 15-04-2019, 11:52   #15
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Re: Vessel Doc - USCG or Maritime Doc Center?

Never have used them but they do remind me it is time to renew. :
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