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Old 22-03-2008, 22:27   #1
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Documents and Cash

Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this... It looked closest to my topic...

When I move aboard, I will have important papers (passport, license, etc.) and cash. I imagine I won't want to have everything on my person 24 hours a day and may want to leave important stuff aboard when away from the boat.

Is there anything people do to secure important documents aboard that protects them even if someone does break into an unoccupied boat?

A small safe lagged into the lead keel? Secret hiding places?

Thanks - Jake
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Old 22-03-2008, 23:50   #2
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As far as important papers are concerned, we had color photocopies made of all important documents when we were in Australia and New Zealand. In the USA, many places don't permit you to make color photocopies of legal documents. In other countries around the world, you can make "perfect" color copies to your documents and put the origionals in deep storage in baggies so mildew and moisture isn't a problem. We never showed officials the real documents. They always had perfect photocopies to look at. When we photocopied our documents, we always made many copies both in black and white as well as color so that we had plenty to spare in the out of the way places.

The only document that I carried as an origional was passports, and I carried them in baggies in a zippered up shirt pocket where they couldn't be easily stolen. When I wasn't carrying the passports, they were always deep stored in baggies. The only time I carried the passports was checking in and out of customs/immigration and for going to banks. The rest of the time, I carried photocopies of the important pages of the passport.

Cash was always deep stored in multiple locations.
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Old 23-03-2008, 03:05   #3
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Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
The only document that I carried as an origional was passports.
Passport in a plastic cover - easy to get it soaked when in the tropics when wearing very little. Learnt the hard way!

If you lose your passport it is useful to have a copy to give to the Embassy - makes things a bit easier / quicker.

To keep copies of documents safe, scan / copy them and attach to an e-mail - then you can access and print them at any internet cafe.

Also cash wise I am a big fan of Travellers cheques (may depend on cruising area how easily cashable they are) - can see and count them in yer hand. Onboard (or anywhere else insecure) - simply do not have more cash than you can afford to lose (p#ssed off to lose for sure -but won't "break" yer).
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Old 23-03-2008, 07:17   #4
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For emergency cash, we have can safes. The cans look like household products (cleaners, shaving cream, etc.), with twist-off bottoms. They are scattered around the boat in the appropriate spots for the type of product. We keep small amounts of foreign currency in baggies in our hanging locker - if it were stolen it would be no great loss. Because each island we go to is a different country, we keep our portfolio w/ ships papers and passports in the chart table. I'm sure we could find a safer spot, but it never seemed to be a problem. In this part of the world, our dinghy and motor would be far more attractive to a thief than our passports (and of course we have copies in a baggie in the ditch bag, in our backpack, etc.)
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Old 23-03-2008, 08:53   #5
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i would get high resolution colour scans of all important documents and keep them on a flash drive (or two).

you can get 8 gigabyte flash drives that are only about 25mm (1 inch) long - "LEXAR".

they could be hidden anywhere
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Old 23-03-2008, 09:54   #6
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Important papers are kept in a waterproof container. Those type of things are usually not stolen since they have no real value unless the thief is an exact look alike to me. Cash is usually hidden in several places on the boat, and I don't think I will post where on the internet. One place is usually somewhere obvious so if found a thief will think they found our stash. It is always a small amount of small bills. We do have a "hidden compartment" built into the boat just small enough for most of our cash. But the fact is that we seldom carry lots of cash since with our current financial set up we have access to our money through checks and credit/debit cards that can be used almost anywhere. So unless we are heading for remote areas we don't need to keep a lot of cash on board. The credit cards go with us everywhere and we only have two.
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Old 23-03-2008, 10:42   #7
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Thanks for the feedback, folks. Chuck's idea of the meant-to-be found cash stash is great. Bob's idea about the memory sticks is good, too. Funny - I have a couple of smaller (8 & 64 MB) memory sticks that are no longer viable for my camera since the hold so few hi-res pics that I almost threw out the other day. Now I will keep them to store digitized documents.
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Old 23-03-2008, 10:43   #8
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Cash is usually hidden in several places on the boat, and I don't think I will post where on the internet.
Awww c'mon, Chuck - no one will tell!
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Old 23-03-2008, 11:09   #9
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OK, I'll just whisper it.
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Old 23-03-2008, 11:50   #10
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One tip which works well for us is to colour copy a credit card sized copy of the main passport pages - and then laminate it. Fits fine in card / cash wallet and I've produced it hundreds oftimes when asked for ID or passport - and never had it questioned.
Of course - not suggesting you try using it with any immigration official!
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:11   #11
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after my previous post i was messing about making a website and realised that i could very simply load my scans of important documents up to the website such that they would be accessible from any internet connected computer anywhere.

you can selectively "password protect" certain pages so that friends and visitors can freely access all of your site except the "documents" page which private to yourself

it really was simplicity itself to do this and the websites really are free (ok, you've got to put up with some ads or you can upgrade to ad-free for a modest cost)

if anyone wants to check it out go to my website and the username is "svkarenm" and the TEMPORARY password is "april"; i've put in a few sample files (.pdf, .doc, .jpg)

i'm not in anyway way financially involved with the web service provider except as a customer
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Old 10-04-2008, 03:14   #12
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We will be fitting a couple of these: -
Imitation double plug socket safe : Concealed plug safe : UK Plug socket wall safe
I'm sure you can buy US style somewhere.
Just make sure you put the key in the right socket!!!!
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Old 10-04-2008, 03:21   #13
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There'sa no need to purchase a "fake outlet safe", or other types of "diversion" safes.
Just install any receptacle & cover (no wiring) to match the existing plugs.
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:13   #14
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Hi Gord, where could I buy these??? Thanks... Jim
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Old 11-04-2008, 14:34   #15
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Wall outlet, and other diversion-type safes are available on the internet. Don't pay over $9.95.
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