Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Liveaboard mail

Recently I was asked how people who live on boats get mail.  "Does the marina accept mail for you?" they asked.  The simple answer to that is "No."

So what do we do?

Well, for a number of years, we kept a Post Office Box (contact your local US Post Office).  This worked OK - it was close to my work.  But there were problems with the PO Box solution.  It was ideal for receiving packages...  as long as they were shipped by USPS.  But if the shipper used FedEx, UPS, DHL, truck freight - any method other than USPS - it most certainly did not work.    And there are certain types of correspondence for which a PO Box is just not acceptable - for which a street address is required.

And then the ideal solution presented itself:  Angela, aboard s/v Ghost across the dock from us, started up a mailing service business.  Dockside Solutions has a street address, accepts (and signs for!) packages from FedEx, UPS, DHL, truck freight...  and USPS.  Angela maintains mailboxes distributed throughout the mile-long marina, and even sends us email when we have mail or a package waiting (You've got mail!).  Bonus:  Dockside Solutions' address (and therefore our address) is listed as a business address, which means a reduction in some shipping costs.

Dockside Solutions is the perfect answer for our situation, but we use only a portion of the services that Angela offers.  Because she is a liveaboard herself, Angela understands the services boaters and cruisers need.  Here's a partial list that Dockside Solutions provides:
  • Mail forwarding.  If you like, she will also aggregate your mail and bulk ship it  (excluding "junk" mail, as you define it).
  • Electronic mailbox:  She will open your mail, scan it, and deposit it at a secure online dropbox site.  This, of course eliminates a lot of delay, especially if you are in a remote location.
  • Bill paying
  • Check deposits
  • ...And more
In fact, she provides just about any service that someone living aboard could want, whether they be anchored in Seattle, San Diego, Greneda, Mazatlan, or Nuka Hiva.  Because of this, she now has customers all over the world (she keeps a world map in the office with a pin representing each of her customers).

I guess this sounds like a plug.  And well, it is.  Angela is a wonderful person, and her business reflects this.  For us, Dockside Solutions is the perfect answer to the question, "How do boaters get their mail?"



Deb said...

I will have to consider this one. There's another one in Florida called St. Brendan's that we were going to use but it's nice to know there are options.

S/V Kintala

SV Silhouette said...

We have used Dockside Solution services for nearly two years as we have traveled down the US West coast and across the Pacific. We have nothing but great things to say about Angela and the services she provides. Highly recommended.

S/V Silhouette
Currently moored Whangarei, NZ

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