Thursday, 5 June 2014

Living Afloat

Sending snail mail to a boat is a difficult thing. Even if a boat is located in a marina there is a natural reluctance by marina owners to accept incoming mail and the additional responsibility for security of the items that brings with it. As we are looking to move onto the water on a full time basis. We have been going through a reorganisation and changing the usual written communications to telephone, voice mail, email or on-line as far as practicable.

For us there was banking and various occupational pension providers. NHS correspondence, drivers licence, European Registration Card, Passport, as well as all kinds of boat and vehicle insurance. Its amazing just how many things require a home address. When it comes to vehicle insurance the home address is actually used for risk calculation. After failing to find affordable cover, we sold the car. Its surprising just how little we needed to use the car and hiring was actually a much cheaper option.

We could have tried to get around it by using family as a 'care of address'. But you have to be careful, even with this, as it could affect their council tax status, if the council think you have moved in. Add into the mix, moving our boating activities into Europe for two or three years and the problem becomes a magnitude more complex to manage.

There are besides the Post Office 'Poste Restante' service. Three other well known mail services available. Each is configured to collect and manage your mail correspondence.  

BoatMail: Aims to be the first choice supplier of specialist mail forwarding services providing a secure receiving address in the UK for both personal and business customers mail. We also provide our specialist services to boat, caravan and motor home users, the mobile workforce community, ocean going yachtsmen and those who have retired or living in another part of the world. Our principles are to provide an excellent service at an easy to understand and reasonable price without compromising on quality.
Waterways Mail: It’s a well known problem - getting your post can be a nightmare if you are living on-board your boat, an extended cruiser or even just on holiday. Bank statements, hospital appointments, job applications, personal letters, birthday and Christmas cards - everything you took for granted now seems a lost privilege. We receive your mail on your behalf, and forward it to anywhere in the UK, to your selected Post Office, for your collection using the free Poste Restante service.
Ship to Shore: Ship to Shore was originally set up in 1994 to cater for long term yachtsmen in need of a UK address but since then we have built up a large and varied client base. Our customers move around the UK and the world on land and water, on business or for pleasure. They stay with us for years, which reflects our high level of professionalism and attention to detail, and we pride ourselves on the friendly relationships we hold with them.

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