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Old 25-02-2013, 07:53   #1
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How much Paperwork on board?

We are in the process of starting to downsize our landlife, and one of the areas we are having some trouble with is what to do with all of our paperwork. I'm trying to clean out the home office, and picturing what we would need to take with us when we go. My wife doesn't want to get rid of old bank and financial records, credit card statements, investments accounts, etc...

I was wondering what do cruisers consider essential and keep with them aboard, what gets thrown, and what if anything do you store somewhere else and how? (not boat paperwork per se, more just the household records)
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Old 25-02-2013, 08:11   #2
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

I am doing the exact same thing this week and was thinking of posting a similar question. Hope you get some responses. I was thinking of scanning everything that wouldn't need to be an original document. I havn't started yet as I am still working out how to title, store and maintain this new system.
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:12   #3
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

Some ancillary questions:

Best kind of printer/scanner/fax on a <30 foot sailboat?

Does anybody use cloud computing? Any tips on that?
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:18   #4
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

Depends on what country you live in. Ask you accountant how long you need to keep records. For Australians you need them for 7 years so I keep mine for 8 years. Not on the boat, of course.
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:30   #5
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

I've been a semi-livaboard for about 6 months, and I'm making the transisiton to full-time liveaboard (selling the house, etc) in 10 weeks. Here's what I plan to do:

I keep the last 7 years of financial records organized in binders (bank statements) and shoe boxes (receipts, organized in envelops by month) in a Rubbermaid roughneck storage container in a storage unit. I keep the current years binder and shoe box on board as I frequently need to access them.

I'd be interested to hear what people think are the best printers and scanners for cruisers as I am in the market to buy a set. I am also transitioning to a consulting business, and I'll need to run it from the boat.
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:31   #6
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Depends on what country you live in. Ask you accountant how long you need to keep records. For Australians you need them for 7 years so I keep mine for 8 years. Not on the boat, of course.
Where do you keep them? Does your accountant store them or you? If we have a mail service that sends stuff to us underway do we then mail it back to some storage company? (We are planning on selling the house and keeping only a small storage unit with family heirlooms, etc...)

I like the idea of scanning and cloud computing, how practical/reliable/secure is that?
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:39   #7
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I've a E-machines notebook (CP/Comm's/documents/amusement) and a Canon Pixma iP90 printer... for a scanner I have a cheap android phone and I photo any doc's, etc.. then print em off.
Banks accounts are the 'No Paper' set-up..
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:41   #8
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

Best scanner: software for your phone/tablet. I have an android tablet and android smart phone, and use this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...mscanner&hl=en

Anything we need to keep copies of we just "scan", it works quite well, then we name it correctly and stick it in a google drive folder. Whenever we're online, that folder syncs up with google drive so we keep it backed up there.

Real paper work (I'm just going off the top of my head here):
- passports
- current and past vessel documentation
- dead-on accurate color copies of current vessel documentation
- visas
- marriage license
- birth certificates
- scuba paperwork / license cards / DAN cards
- health insurance cards
- crew lists, in whatever languages you need them in
- copies of passports
- my uscg captain's license

If it's an official government document and it's possible to get a replacement in the United Sates, bring it with you.

Our situation might be more complicated than most because we have two children, one of which was born in Mexico (we're USA citizens).
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:54   #9
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmort View Post
Where do you keep them? Does your accountant store them or you?

I like the idea of scanning and cloud computing, how practical/reliable/secure is that?
They are at my Mums place in a filing cabinet.

I have never needed a mail service beacsue everything pretty much now can be emailed. But my sister can scan and email to me.

I would never put finiancial details (or anything secure) on Cloud. Read their Terms of Service and whatever you own they own! I hate reading secure emails on Gmail and see targeted advertising! Get an email for your accountant and see a bank ad pop up. No thank you! So I have my own .com Domain name with its own email server

In general I have found paperwork at sea very small. I pay all accounts online.
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Old 25-02-2013, 12:46   #10
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

Thank you all for the responses.

I believe I am getting a good picture of a combination of digital communication and off site (land based) archival storage. I can work out a plan around that.

I did like the suggestion of a short-term/ current record binder on board though.
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Old 25-02-2013, 13:23   #11
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

Other papers to take are photocopies of all your credit cards, driver's license, social security, insurance policy name and number, etc.
In addition to the online image, keep one copy on board on a secure place and one copy left onshore with someone you trust.
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Old 25-02-2013, 13:34   #12
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

I've been using the same CPA for at least 20 years. When we moved aboard we asked him to keep all our tax receipts for us, especially given the possibility we might be out of the country when audited. He was happy to provide that service.

I keep a waterprooof, fireproof safe on board in which I keep such documents as wills, book contracts, and stock certificates. Good idea to back everything up with digital copies.

I've spent the past year transferring all my research material to a digital cloud. I'm using Dropbox as my primary storage, and backing it up on iCloud.
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Old 25-02-2013, 14:02   #13
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

The best way to handle paperwork is with a shedder!

Hell I hardly have any paper even in my house. I keep no bank statements, bill info etc. The only things I keep are my insurance papers etc. that may need to be looked at NOW! If it is something I may need in a day or so if asked for it I shed it (it it has account number info that I wouldn't anyone to get them hands on) or toss it, as I can always get a copy on-line from whoever it was from!

Even for stuff you may need NOW you could scan it and if needed it only slows you down a minute to print it. In fact unless you are real organized it is probably faster to reprint than it is to try to find where you stored it.

I work from home and probably have less than 30 pages of printed records total for my whole account base.
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Old 25-02-2013, 16:02   #14
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

I say a digital camera of about 8-12 mp, then toss all the papers for which you don't need the actual "original".

DON'T HOARD PAPER.....
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Old 25-02-2013, 16:11   #15
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Re: How much Paperwork on board?

everything i have is scanned in....i store it all on google docs...i back up google docs with a google app called spanning backup (3 dollars a month)
super safe and backed up in 2 places

i have scans of my credit cards, drivers license, passport, you name it. I can access it from any internet connection.

please, use a safe password...one unique to that particular acct and not used with any other accounts...use letters and numbers along with upper or lowercase to make it as safe a pass as a pass can be.

check out google docs, free and really easy to use...i run my business in the cloud and have for years..
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