I recieved an expiration notification from "US Vessel Documentation". On casual 1st glance- it looks like a letter from the Coast Guard. It's not. A Google search verified this is a 3rd party-unrelated to the Coast Guard, claiming to provide Documentation Renewal services. The annual USCG fee is $26. Per the Google Search, these guys push for two years and $150. My opinion would be to deal with the coast guard directly for renewal. Just wanted to pass this info along.
Additionally, the USCG Website comments on 3rd Party Documentation Services:
"The NVDC (National Vessel Documentation Center) is aware that there are commercial entities that offer to manage the certification/renewal process on behalf of vessel owners for a fee. The Coast Guard does not endorse any of these companies, and the companies do not operate on behalf of the Coast Guard in any way. Any fees charged or agreements offered by such companies are in no way associated with the NVDC certification process. In addition, these companies are not authorized to issue any form of documentation, including travel letters and/or permits that authorize operation of ANY vessel. Customer complaints can be made through the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) website at https://www.ftc.gov/
Paul & Wendy Keyser
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257