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Old 29-11-2010, 08:46   #1
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Options for Receiving Mail or Package Enroute to Caribbean

What are low or no cost options for receiving packages as we sail our way down the east coast from Maine to the Caribbean? Last year we found ourselves needing lots of unforeseen boat parts and paid more than our share of docking fees. We're learning along the way and this year we are wondering:

1. Are there marinas on the way that will allow us to use their address to receive packages without our having to pay costly docking fees?

2. I thought I read a while back that the US Post Office will receive and hold packages for travelors but can't find information about the service. Is this service indeed available from the USPS?

3. Are there other options out there?
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:21   #2
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With the USPS it's called "General Delivery". There must be instructions somewhere. Most any cruiser-oriented entity will accept shipments if contacted first: yacht clubs, boatyards, fuel docks.....
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Old 29-11-2010, 09:28   #3
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Many marinas will hold packages if you make prior arrangements. The key, as far as I can tell, is to have the customs form on the outside, the name of the boat, and in big letters "YACHT IN TRANSIT". By making arrangements, I've found that marinas, cruising stations (if you're an SSCA member), chandleries, and other boatie places can help expedite the transfer process. Since I tend to change my mind as to my next destination, I'll arrive, check in, and get on the VHF and ask for info on who's the best to use to receive mail and parts. Then I stop by and make arrangements for packages to be received. I give the info to the folks sending the goodies along with specific instructions, and hope the packages arrive before I leave. I've never been charged for the service although I do manage to drop a cruising credit or two in the stores (which may be why many places offer the service for free).
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Old 29-11-2010, 16:58   #4
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Very helpful, thank you for the replies. Wondering capt douglas, what is "SSCA"?

The USPS site says this about General Delivery:

"General Delivery is available for customers if carrier service or a PO Box is not an option. Individual mailpieces will be held for up to 30 days and can be conveniently picked up by presenting identification. This is also a great option if you don’t have a permanent address. To find which office is designated for General Delivery at your location, please contact your local Postmaster."
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