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US Vessel Documentation- Scam?

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pkeyser
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US Vessel Documentation- Scam?

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
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

caprice 1050
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Thank you Paul and Wendy
When I was looking into sailing my C36 to Cuba I found  "Service or Travel Companies" offering to get me through the  paperwork with both the U.S. and Cuba, for exorbitant fees, which I did on my own by talking with folks who went before and reading any magazine articles written by sailors who did the same thing I was planing. My sailing experience to Cuba was great and I wrote an article which printed in our Mainsheet​ magazine issue, Fall of 2016.

__/)__/)__/)__Capt Mike__/)__/)__/)__
Punta Gorda Florida
1990 Std WK M35 Hull #1050

pkeyser
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Yes- we read the article on Cuba. It was agreat one!

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

mholzmann
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 I posted a similar remark about these so-called service providers. It is a scam it ends up costing you 60% more than if you just go to the US Coast Guard website. They are very sneaky how they Present their website. In fairness in very small print at the bottom of the page it does say they are at the Coast Guard.  I tried to call to get my order canceled within 24 hours and the email I got back was amazingly aggressive and nasty about my obligation to complete transaction 

Mark Holzmann
"Hawkwind"
Sail #1246
Rose City Yacht Club-Portland OR

Anchorsaweigh
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When I purchased my boat, the broker tried to get me to go through one of these agencies. The cost was $600 for the service. I refused. The previous owner filled out and signed the reverse of the current documentation and I submitted it to the NVDC.

These agencies are typically not scammers. They simply provide a service to manage vessel documents for those who could not be bothered. Additionally, if you finance a boat, the lender usually initiates the documentation with these services and passes the cost on to the borrower. They do this to protect themselves as the agency conducts a title search to ensure proper ownership and to make certain there are no mechanic's liens, etc.

I wouldn't use them, but there are those who do.

Cheers

Bob

Lazybones - 1999 Catalina 36 MkII, M35B, #1731
E. Greenwich, RI
 

jhenderson
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Anyone that tries to pass off their mailer as official by using fake government looking seals and throws in BS legalese is a scammer in my book. 

Hummina
1987 Catalina 36 SL
#741
Bayfield, WI. Usually. 

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