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Old 12-06-2011, 11:07   #196
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Ken Peters of S/V Chill, while in Venezuela, was killed outright on his yacht while he was unarmed, with no warning, at close range by some locals asking for water. From the news account, his wife was on board and who knows what would have happened to her, but the bandits were chased off by a man in another yacht who fired a shotgun at them. I sadly suspect you'll see a more of this type of crime. A lot of mention is made of Peter Blake, but it seems his demise may have had more to do with his gun jamming rather than the fact that he had one.

Jon, I'm a veteran of two military services and I have fired at targets out on the water with various smallarms, and hitting something out there, when both you and they are moving, is not easy, especially as range increases. That is why I recommend a shotgun for a yacht. Though buckshot is preferred for defense, a few hunting slugs carried on board, though not noted for their accuracy out of a smoothbore at longer ranges, will produce a noticeable water spout when they strike the water, leaving no doubt to a pursuer that their intended victim is armed. While you should be prepared both in skill and resolve to use a firearm if you choose to have one on board (if you have neither, then don't carry one), it's been shown time and again that firearms deter crime more often by their known presence than they ever do by being used to actually harm someone.

However, on a yacht, there are also other methods that will supplement safety in addition to a firearm. IMHO, while I believe that at least a shotgun should be carried on board, firearms should also be a last resort. For example, if you are being pursued, old, worn out fishing nets, long lengths of various types of line, etc, can do wonders to entangle props. There are other methods that have been used, such as electrified railings to prevent unauthorized boardings. If you have a lot of money, you can even buy an LRAD. The whole point is to keep from being boarded and to make yourself a porcupine, too unpleasant for the wolf to eat.

Being based out of the US Gulf Coast with a focus more on the American hemisphere, my biggest concern in the realm of safety is something that is actually a bit harder to defend against, sitting at anchor while someone benignly comes up to you feigning peaceful intent. There is more thuggery of that sort in the Americas than the high seas pursuit you see in places like off of East Africa. The best solution to that, like anything else, is just to chose your destination wisely. If everyone wanted to be truly safe, they'd be sitting at home on land watching mind numbing reruns on television, but that isn't living.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:24   #197
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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Originally Posted by Vep View Post
Those numbers may seem high in a sparsely populated country like Australia, but keep in mind (even though numbers like that tend to be counted in an inflated way) that the USA is a nation of 307,000,000 people. In 1995 it was estimated by the US Federal Government that there were 223,000,000 privately owned firearms in the USA and that rate was growing at about 4,500,000 per year.

OK, say you are right on 642 Americans killed in 2006 accidentally with firearms, but that's 642 out of well over 220,000,000 privately owned firearms in a nation of 307,000,000 people. In the USA, mistakes by licensed medical doctors alone kills more than 100,000 per year. In the USA you are 74x more likely to die from an automobile wreck and 44x more likely to die from poisoning than from a gun accident. The rate per capita of firearms related accidents in the USA peaked in 1904 and has been on the decline since.

Altogether, statistically that is a very low accident rate for firearms, and you are much safer being around an American with a firearm that you are traveling on a highway in an automobile or being under the care of a doctor.
And don't forget how many people die on our highways each year w/o even using a gun. Maybe they should outlaw cars too!

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Old 12-06-2011, 11:54   #198
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

I agree with Vep.
there are over 2000000 deaths in the USA each year. Here are the Coast Guard statistics for boating accidents/deaths - many of which have guns.
http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/...ations/394.PDF
I also believe that the incidence of attacks on boats will increase in many areas as the poor in these countries get squeezed further -and fishing is not profitable compared to raiding wealthy tourists. And nothing is being effectively done to curtail their activities.
Also the incident where the 2 boats survived with shot-gun and ramming is a very fortunate outcome indeed. As the author states the pirates could have stood of out of range of the shotgun, and blasted with the rifles. So, personally, I recommend outraging them with either .223, or .308. And a Remington or Mossberg marine shotgun....
Crossing the red sea requires convoys, with guns-for-hire or like minded/armed yachties (if you have to go)...
The pacifists can go in a safer un-armed convoy - out of range of accidental discharge from the armed boats. Perhaps with loud-speakers spouting John Howard speeches to bore them to death...
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:40   #199
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Hmm, thate are a lot of statistics floating around on this post. The numbers I'd be most interested in are:

Of the cruisers posting that "you should carry a firearm"

- how many of them actually go anywhere outside of US waters into any territory that might even be dangerous?

- how long were you there?

- how many of you actually carried a weapon?

- how many of you needed to draw your weapon?

- and what was the outcome after drawing it?

To the fraction of a percent of cruisers remaining (or should I say, surviving) after being filtered by this criteria - yours are the only opinions I would trust on this topic. I'm just sayin.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:54   #200
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Liferaft - check.
Flares - check.
Epirb - check.
guns - prohibited here.
I feel the same about all of them.
All have pros and cons, potential failure. And proponents of the efficacy of carrying them.
Mostly never used.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:56   #201
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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Originally Posted by Vep View Post
Those numbers may seem high in a sparsely populated country like Australia, but keep in mind (even though numbers like that tend to be counted in an inflated way) that the USA is a nation of 307,000,000 people. In 1995 it was estimated by the US Federal Government that there were 223,000,000 privately owned firearms in the USA and that rate was growing at about 4,500,000 per year.

OK, say you are right on 642 Americans killed in 2006 accidentally with firearms, but that's 642 out of well over 220,000,000 privately owned firearms in a nation of 307,000,000 people. In the USA, mistakes by licensed medical doctors alone kills more than 100,000 per year. In the USA you are 74x more likely to die from an automobile wreck and 44x more likely to die from poisoning than from a gun accident. The rate per capita of firearms related accidents in the USA peaked in 1904 and has been on the decline since.

Altogether, statistically that is a very low accident rate for firearms, and you are much safer being around an American with a firearm that you are traveling on a highway in an automobile or being under the care of a doctor.
Thank you for making and supporting my point. I assumed that the overall extremely low percentage figure noted conveyed that.
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Old 12-06-2011, 13:27   #202
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Having not read all the posts, I may be duplicating information here, I'll take that risk rather than sift through all 200+ posts. I was sailing on a container ship that was engaged in hauling food for the US army into Mogadishu, this was shortly after the shooting had died down, but not completely stopped; as we were leaving the port we received a bit of motar fire. I had a chance to speak with the U.N. people there, who were trying to create some order out of chaos. They didn't hold out a lot of hope for reconstruction then and imagined it would take at least 10 years to create a form of recognizable govt.. Ten years was up in 2003. For those proponents of anarchy need to move to Somalia, I suspect that is as close as it gets. Gord with all due respect, I wouldn't know what the outfall would be if the U.S. re-invaded Somalia, and tried to re-establish some sort of recognizable govt.. The information I am getting is that Somalia is now one of the premier areas for the different terrorist groups, largely due to the fact there is no recognizable infastructure. While Somalia gets the black eye for the pirates, I wonder how many pirates are in fact Somali nationals? Right now it is tribal war fare and chaos as the rule of the day, perhaps a strong man will emerge from this to at least give the other govts. of the world someone to focus on when they want to blow the place up. They will have another head for the pike poles. Reality check, it is a dangerous place so stay clear.
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Old 12-06-2011, 14:02   #203
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

my protectionis a louisville slugger with a hefty gaff of ss on it....and lack of shine--shiney attracts rats. in anchorages, this seems to help. has been a tactic used for many decades successfuly and forgotten by those calling a sailboat a yacht. mine is a 41 ft sailboat, or ketch. not a yacht. a yacht has a helicopter on it.
do not live large in places wherein the annual income is less that what you spend on food items. THAT, me friends, is common sense.....
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Old 12-06-2011, 14:12   #204
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Nicely put, as usual, zeehag. And your bathook works on those big fish you bring in also. Carrying a gun of any size/caliber, in a place where it will be confiscated or you'll be thrown in the clink if you lie about it and they then find it, makes no sense.
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Old 12-06-2011, 14:24   #205
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

\
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailstoo View Post
Nicely put, as usual, zeehag. And your bathook works on those big fish you bring in also. Carrying a gun of any size/caliber, in a place where it will be confiscated or you'll be thrown in the clink if you lie about it and they then find it, makes no sense.
yu will also lose your boat. and everything you own in that boat. low profile has been the best option since i was learning to sail.. still is. i started learning to sail when i was 7.. that is more than 50 yrs ago. LOW PROFILE. NO SHINE.
do not show all your goodies . be smart. sail like yer visiting watts/compton....
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:00   #206
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Amazing as it might seem, we were tutoring kids at the Watts high school in colege prep classes; a large number of very large young men (the students' older brothers ...) suddenly showed up and informed us that they could not guarantee our safety much longer; we scampered for the van and drove down inglewood or compton at 60 - 80 mph with all of the intersections blocked and protected; we hit I-5 and headed toward Pasadena as the flames lit our rear view mirror - I still shake and hope the students were protected
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:17   #207
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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Many have stated this opinion - all of them safely elsewhere with no plans or need to cross the Indian Ocean. While this is certainly a valid opinion, it doesn't help those of our cruising fraternity who need it.

There are several hundred cruisers in SE Asia right now, with about 150 more arriving each year (look at the stats for the Cruise Indonesia Rally). A very few go back to Australia (<10? It's a cow of a trip). Even fewer try to go past Japan to the US west coast. More boats are spending more time here in SE Asia now, but the vast majority of them are wanting to get across the Indian Ocean somehow. I believe the point of this thread is to give them ideas on how to accomplish this. We have lots of brains here on CF - let's put them together to see what we can come up with!

One potential solution for them is to go through pirate territory when the pirates aren't there. If you look at the Piracy Map, especially previous years, you'll notice that there have been no pirate attacks in the Madagascar / Seychelles area between the end of May and about September. Presumably this is because the seas are too rough for their open attack boats - but not for us cruisers. This gives one about a 3 month window where it's relatively safe to nip around the top of Madagascar, from which they can head down towards South Africa when the winds in the Mozambique Channel change in Oct. Sailing down the African coast & rounding the Cape in their summer is relatively easy. (I can give more details if anyone's interested)

The above has some issues, as the N Indian is driven by monsoon winds, not trades, & some of the countries (BIOT, Maldives) don't like cruisers staying very long. But we've done it, & hope to do it again in 2012.
Hi Jon, Good post,
The reason that the pirates are not very active near northern Madagascar and between there and the Seychelles - is primarily because that area is not traversed by the main shipping lanes. The attack skiffs do not travel long distances under their own power but are carried by larger vessels to be launched when a suitable target is found. Another factor is that Somali pirate home bases are located north of Latitude 4 degrees N.
There was one recent hostage taking from a yacht way south (on the same latitude as Johannesburg - South Africa) In that incident a previously captured Spanish Fishing Trawler launched the attack skiffs not far from Vilanculas Mozambique 21 degrees S Lat. At least 1,500nm south of North East Somalia.

Suggest that a good passage to consider from S.E. Asia is out from the Sunda Strait to Cocas Keeling then keep heading along !2 degrees South until about 75 degrees East the head for Reunion and further to Richard's Bay South Africa.
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:22   #208
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

I have just one thing to add to this topic.... a very good friend who is a serious gun enthusiast told me one thing about this subject.......a 12 guage shotgun, with a 12" barrel loaded with 2" hard plug, will put a hole in the hull of any non-steel boat. And if it is steel, shoot twice same spot... the stern.........
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:28   #209
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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a 12 guage shotgun, with a 12" barrel loaded with 2" hard plug, will put a hole in the hull of any non-steel boat. And if it is steel, shoot twice same spot... the stern.........
Now count up all the countries you need to clear that gun into and out of before you get to the Indian Ocean.


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Old 12-06-2011, 20:43   #210
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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Amazing as it might seem, we were tutoring kids at the Watts high school in colege prep classes; a large number of very large young men (the students' older brothers ...) suddenly showed up and informed us that they could not guarantee our safety much longer; we scampered for the van and drove down inglewood or compton at 60 - 80 mph with all of the intersections blocked and protected; we hit I-5 and headed toward Pasadena as the flames lit our rear view mirror - I still shake and hope the students were protected
i worked in midway hospital med center,post anes care, for rodney kings fun party....i worked in inglewood for 5 yrs ..i worked inlost angeles from 1981-2005, many different hospitals. my first nursee gig was in east side san jose , night shift , intensive care unit. was a very very dangerous place. i was never approached with malevolence, and i walked in streets in darkness alone. it seems the folks knew i would help better if i werent hurt or dead. mine was only red car in crips territory with intact windows. lol...is good training for low profile cruising, methinks.
always be aware of your surroundings and what is in the neighborhood that could be considered a threat and disarm it. then enjoy living and helping others. do not ever become complacent or lazy in your environment.
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