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Old 01-09-2020, 22:03   #1
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How do you guys get mail?

I'm going to be living on my new boat for awhile while it's moored, but was wondering what you guys do to receive mail? Do you rent a PO box locally, or do marinas allow you to receive mail if you're moored or have a slip?

Or is there some other way to do it I'm not thinking about?
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Old 01-09-2020, 23:40   #2
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

No sure where you are located but here in Australia it is fairly easy as any person can addr there mail C/o a local post office and they hold it for 30 days. You present a photo ID and can get your mail. While in a Marina , i get my mail addressed to the Marina office and that works also very well here.
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Old 02-09-2020, 00:09   #3
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

as dingo says : if you are in australia, we get our mail addressed to name + boat, c/- local post office.

works really well although they won't accept parcels if delivered by another courier - australia post only

on the very few times we have been in a marina for long, the marina was happy to accept mail

"home is where the anchor drops"...back onboard at Iluka, waiting for border to open... maintaining social distancing !
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Old 02-09-2020, 00:11   #4
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

Originally Posted by SV DINGO View Post
No sure where you are located...
This is why it's helpful for new members to fill out their profile with their location.

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Old 02-09-2020, 02:43   #5
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

People who disapprove of our lifestyle will often ask this question with a snotty, sarcastic tone. You’ll get very tired of it.

In the states, (location will be important as LittleWing77 says), it’s best to pay for a forwarding service as you’ll need an address for your license, bank, etc, etc.

Marinas will then accept your forwarded box of Mail when you get it sent. I get mine about 3-4x a year. Ha ha.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:31   #6
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

In the U.S. you can rent a PO box for 3 months or longer quite easily and affordably. USPS will accept mail for you locally using General Delivery at no charge but limit that to a few times within 30 days (I don't recall the exact limits)

We use and you can get a local address in most states.

All of our mail gets sent to them, is scanned, then we can tell them what to do with each piece, typically-

- shred and delete
-open and scan what's inside
- deposit checks to our account
-forward to our location or next location (general delivery, UPS store, etc)

Tip- if you have a printer, you can print out scanned checks and use your smart phone to make a mobile deposit. This avoids the extra charge for depositing the check or waiting for it to be forwarded to you.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:44   #7
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Location: Cruising the southern coast of Portugal and Spain
Boat: Leopard 40
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

We've used St Brenden's Isle for years. They'll ship to us anywhere in the world and they will scan all letter mail. But a lot will depend on your circumstances. Are you planning to remain in the area you're in for a long time? If so, look at local options. If you're planning to move around, go with SBI. It's easy enough to plan to go into a marina for a day or so and time it so that all your mail can be delivered while you're there.

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Old 02-09-2020, 11:08   #8
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

We are in North Palm Beach, FL and our marina receives our mail and packages. We make sure any shipping of items comes here and we have a forwarder from a regular house to the marina.
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Old 02-09-2020, 11:45   #9
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

Beside commercial services as described above (which are a good option) :

In bigger commercial ports you can have mail sent to c/o Harbour master.
I'm pretty sure you'd get your mail there even if you are anchored on a yacht nearby.

In Europe you can have mail be sent to a post office and pick it up there. In France it's called "poste restante" in Germany "Postlagernd".
Usually you use the name of boat and captain and than c/o followed by the post office in question.
Possibly add a mark "poste restante".

Last not least, if you are longer in the area, make some friends in town and have it sent there.
If you are asking very kindly, Hotels and bars are sometimes helpful in these matters too, even if you do not live there.
They already handle mail for their clients, so one package more usually is not problem. If you use that option, offer a good tip.
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Old 02-09-2020, 13:05   #10
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

All paper mail goes to my fathers house, he lets me know if there is something important. He takes photos and sends it to me. Yes, even my USCG documentation, he took very precise and good photos and i printed it.
To have anything shipped to me directly requires Fedex or DHL and those are last options because of cost.
I am currently sailing and confined to Vanuatu waters.
There are also professional mail forwarders that i have used in the past, you can have a designated address and phone number and any communication is forwarded to you, in whatever manner you deem appropriate. This worked well for me when i sailed from the Caribbean to southeast asia over a period of 13 years. Unfortunately the company i used went out of business. But you can find numerous ones on line.
Hope that helps answer your question.
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Old 02-09-2020, 13:21   #11
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

[QUOTE=TheNomadicAspie;3222861...wondering what you guys do to receive mail? there some other way to do it I'm not thinking about?[/QUOTE]

With a bit of pre-planning/organising you can deal with about 99% of your correspondence using a thing called 'The Internet' - Search Google, you'll find most of the information about it there
I chose the road less travelled, now where the hell am I?
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Old 02-09-2020, 15:33   #12
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

Not sure where you are located in the world, but will continue on as though you are in USA.

We are in the ‘Tom & Maje’ group. We have been using St. Brendan’s Isle Mail Service for about 10 years now. We tried a couple of other approaches in the beginning of our cruising years, but had major glitches. We use year round and have changed our address on everything we can (except homeowners and car insurance) to SBI. We have no complaints whatsoever! They have even called us when we elected to shred something they thought might be important and a mistake on our part, thankfully. We use them permanently as our mailing address, even when we are back home. I can’t say enough good things about them! They offer several levels of service and you can turn them on and off as you need them. You just have to ask your local post office to forward your mail and remember to turn that off if you want mail at your home. For us it doesn’t matter much since the only mail we get at home is insurance related and we know when we should get that.
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Old 17-10-2020, 16:07   #13
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

Very helpful! Thanks
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Old 17-10-2020, 16:35   #14
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

The only piece of paper mail we have needed in the past five years of offshore sailing is the annual vessel registration renewal (it goes to a family member). Every other communication that used to be paper mail is now electronic.

For packages (parts and whatnot) we make arrangements wherever we happen to be when we need something shipped in.
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Old 17-10-2020, 16:44   #15
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Re: How do you guys get mail?

Aspie, if you're living domestically then there are plenty of suggestions above. If you'll be constantly traveling then that's another matter. I just returned (back to America) from 11 years overseas and would suggest:
  1. Use paperless statements, notices, banking, absolutely everything humanly possible;
  2. Like #6 above stated, you'll need a private mail box service for the very few hardcopy mail items you receive. Unless you're only traveling for a couple of years then I would recommend being as independent from family/friends as possible. In America it is very difficult to find a service that is willing to open and scan your mail. Forget UPS Store. When I left, that service didn't really exist in America so I used located in Aussie-land. $250 a year if I remember and I had them for more than a decade. Worked perfectly.
  3. For domestic or international travel, having mail or packages sent to your marina or held at the post office is not completely reliable. Be prepared to have some get lost or stolen. If it is a critical and expensive piece of gear then you could use a professional stevedore service at a major port, but that will add expenses as well.
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