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Old 28-10-2010, 15:31   #46
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Having been involved with the gun debate myself as well as doing a fair bit of studying on firearms and foreign ports, I've taken it upon my self to try and come up with a viable alternative. I've considered a cross bow. No good, while probably acceptable in most countries the range is only about 40 yards.
I've considered a negative ion gun. Which, for those that aren't familiar with this, makes it possible to charge someone with enough static electricity to leave you impotent. No good, same distance problem.
Some sort of sound device. No good, one of a size that would be of any help won't really fit on my boat.
Then, while reading a magazine I hit upon the PERFECT solution. I can't believe I didn't think of this before. I'm going to build and place a couple of Potato Cannons on my boat. Laugh all you want but you can launch a spud a couple of hundred yards with those things AND a 1 or 2 pound chunk of potato hurled at you with the force of a potato cannon is gonna knock someone unconscious. They can be powered with hair spray or WD40 and are not illegal in ANY country........ It's the perfect weapon! With two of them you can be launching a potato about ever 15 seconds and those things can be deadly at close range. The ordinance is cheap and they are mostly enviormentally friendly..... If the pirates do actually make it to your boat they'll be laughing so hard from all the fun of a potato cannon war that you'll be able to offer them dinner and drinks and send them on their way......
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Old 28-10-2010, 15:32   #47
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The average cruiser would be far better off "rolling over and taking it". NO amount of ammunition is going to stop a 50 cal from sinking your fiberglass boat. Sorry, but I cannot disagree more with the fight back mentality. Unless you are in a retired warship, you best give up early.
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Old 28-10-2010, 15:55   #48
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The average cruiser would be far better off "rolling over and taking it".
Make sure people mention to their wifes they will need to roll over and take it too.
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Old 28-10-2010, 16:01   #49
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The average cruiser would be far better off "rolling over and taking it".
The average cruiser would be far better off not frequenting areas where piracy is likely.
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Old 28-10-2010, 16:13   #50
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Make sure people mention to their wifes they will need to roll over and take it too.
MarkJ, what a horrible thought. but valid in this context, i suppose.

it is an issue of "personal honor".. but honorable and dead is still just dead. if you and your wife must travel into the pirates waters.. then consider that fighting back against a boat load of very desperate and well armed pirates will likely end you as fish food. its easy to plan what to do, easy to buy the weapons and ammo, and even practice on the range. but once you find yourself and crew dodging 50 cal rounds you might have a different perspective.

i would not put my wife in a situation like that to begin with (and she would not let me). i feel that cruising should be fun, NOT adventurous/dangerous. if i wanted adventure, i'd join the marines. i want rum drinks and pretty sunsets. so i stay away from pirates
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Old 28-10-2010, 16:14   #51
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The average cruiser would be far better off not frequenting areas where piracy is likely.
amen! and well said!
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Old 28-10-2010, 16:29   #52
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Spud gun legality, from Wikipedia
Spud gun legality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 28-10-2010, 16:46   #53
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To the contrary, I believe he's trying to say that Christians are gun toting/violent people.
So what.... its still bloody hilarious....
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Old 28-10-2010, 17:02   #54
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Originally Posted by svsanuk View Post
MarkJ, what a horrible thought. but valid in this context, i suppose.

it is an issue of "personal honor".. but honorable and dead is still just dead. if you and your wife must travel into the pirates waters.. then consider that fighting back against a boat load of very desperate and well armed pirates will likely end you as fish food. its easy to plan what to do, easy to buy the weapons and ammo, and even practice on the range. but once you find yourself and crew dodging 50 cal rounds you might have a different perspective.

i would not put my wife in a situation like that to begin with (and she would not let me). i feel that cruising should be fun, NOT adventurous/dangerous. if i wanted adventure, i'd join the marines. i want rum drinks and pretty sunsets. so i stay away from pirates
I can understand that mentality very well and I think this is an issue that varies quite drastically from couple to couple. This topic in my mind is not about firearms, but rather about what limits are you willing to go to protect your right to sail where you please? Or even more specifically, what limits are you willing to go to protect yourself and those you love while doing so?

Something interesting I have learned while researching this topic for the past 2 years.

There are 2 outcomes that you can find in terms of piracy statistics and 1 that you cannot.

1.) The "Rolling over" and handing your boat over method. Which leads to being a hostage for months, god knows what happens to the female ones, financial losses beyond imagination and of course giving further momentum to piracy. This is not even mentioning what happens if you do not have the finances to secure your freedom. Just ask the Chandlers, who have been held for over a year.

2.) Actively defending oneself with whatever means possible. As in SV Gandolf's case that meant establishing fire superiority quickly by shooting the driver of a skiff with his 12 gauge and ramming another skiff to defend another yacht. There are some other instances of that as well if I recall.

One statisitic you cannot easily find, is anyone being killed by trying method 2. Actually, I cannot find a single documentaed case of Pirates in the Aden area killing crew of a sailboat. Only cruisers killing pirates. These are not well trained marines, they are kids with weapons bought at the bazaar that %99 of the time never have to fire them at somebody.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I searched and searched and searched, but my thought on this is quite rigid. A 'Roll over and take it', or 'Come board my boat while I lock myself in a room' response to this problem just makes it worse and worse and worse.

I am just putting that out there. Just because shipping companies may have a legal tightrope they need to walk in terms of ROE in pirate areas, does not mean that cruisers must abide the same rules. I do however agree with your point, why take risk when their are alternatives? Cruising alone even if you have a well practiced "call to action" plan seems to be an outdated method of dealing with that area. As MarkJ, I am sure can recommended, convoys seem to be quite effective. I can't speak for him, but his insight has been a fantastic read so far.

One last thing in terms of having a woman aboard in that situation. I think that varries in terms of personality. When I asked about the situation with my sailing partner (A tiny long haired blonde girl) her response has been a steady, "I would not go down without a fight... I can assure you that." Living in the city has left me believing her as she fought off an attacker 2 years ago on her way home from work. It is unfortunate, but a defense training course is on our list of "To-Dos" before we set off. Which is really sad, because I can't help but think, has it really come to this?
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Old 28-10-2010, 17:12   #55
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So what.... its still bloody hilarious....
I'm glad you are amused by the ridiculousness.
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Old 28-10-2010, 17:43   #56
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what limits are you willing to go to protect your right to sail where you please?
Sail where you please
Go where you please
But some places are just stupid to go to

Lovely valley?


or feeding grounds?

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Old 28-10-2010, 18:00   #57
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I was more pointing out that mention the word pirate on these boards and it takes nanoseconds for "some" to suggest firearms, petrol bombs and violence in general as the answer.
And this goes to the original point being made. The shipping companies are responding by using their collective brain power instead of rushing for the nearest firearm. Something I've found quite stiking over these past few years of pirating in that area is the overwhelming lack of violence thus far. These pirates are, by most accounts, a disparate/disorganised group yet somehow they've managed to engage in this otherwise repulsive activity without resorting to maiming and killing crews of the targeted vessels en masse.

It's abundantly clear that their interest is economically motivated, and I think provoking them with threat of violence will have a very predictable result. The next time they go after a vessel the will go in with guns ablaze and are much more likely to engage in random acts of violence for the hell of it. Violence begets more violence and where we now have situation where the offending party has indicated no discernable appetite for escalating violence. Why on earth would anyone want to escalate the situation from where it is currently to one which INCLUDES violence. Seems pretty ignorant to actually invite an escalation as opposed to seeking means of de-escalation, as these shipping companies seem to be doing.

Currently BOTH the pirates and victims have shown considerable restraint and neither has displayed an appetite for maiming or killing to be a part of the equation. The party who chooses to add violence to the equation will only have itself to blame for all the predictable mayhem that will most definitely ensue.

I may have come up with the perfect weapon to defeat these scumbags!

An electromagnetic pulse device can be constructed for a bit under a thousand dollars and attached to a RC speed boat like the one in the following video. The boats travel at 60mph with a range of 3 miles on the open seas. One could attach the emp to this boat, grab the binoculars, and simply guide it towards the offending pirate skiff. As the emp nears the skiff, it'll fry the ignition and the pirates will sit dead in the water as you sail merrily away! The look on the faces of the pirates as the rc boat circled them would be priceless. Could even include onboard video to enhance the experience!

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Old 28-10-2010, 19:47   #58
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Everyone needs to be armed on the open ocean. I'm not specifically stating a minimum caliber (or even that a caliber is part of the equation), but it is literally the only remaining 'lawless' place in the world. Look what the 'Sea Shepherd' group gets away with every year without any punishment?

Everyone needs to be armed, and ready to defend themselves. The big ships can take care of it with reinforced panic rooms, or private security firms, but the rest of us have to keep it in our own hands.

Let's see...I'm in a 40' fiberglass sailboat packing perhaps a 9mm Glock and a short barrel 12 gauge with 00 buck or even a Bushmaster M4 with lots of ammo. And I'm gonna engage 6 guys in a powerboat, all with Kalishnikovs, and probably an RPG or three. That's not a gunfight, that's suicide. Not sailing East Africa makes a lot more sense.
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Old 28-10-2010, 21:49   #59
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Using a safe room is essentially what the crew of the Maersk Alabama did. Except their saferoom was the Engine Control Room which was locked from the inside. Then they killed the power to the emergency lighting and waited for the first pirate to enter the engine room... he was easy game by that point in time.

If you are heading into the area be sure to check in with MARLO to let them know you're coming and get the latest warnings. Online you should read the EagleSpeak blog for the latest info. But personally I wouldn't transit the area in anything with less than a 15' freeboard without consulting private security and having an evacuation plan in case your caught. Global Rescue is the only one I know that will cover boaters transiting the area.
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Old 29-10-2010, 01:08   #60
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Using a safe room is essentially what the crew of the Maersk Alabama did. Except their saferoom was the Engine Control Room which was locked from the inside. Then they killed the power to the emergency lighting and waited for the first pirate to enter the engine room... he was easy game by that point in time.

If you are heading into the area be sure to check in with MARLO to let them know you're coming and get the latest warnings. Online you should read the EagleSpeak blog for the latest info. But personally I wouldn't transit the area in anything with less than a 15' freeboard without consulting private security and having an evacuation plan in case your caught. Global Rescue is the only one I know that will cover boaters transiting the area.
I think, "transiting the area", says a lot. In an area known for armed attacks by pirates a shotgun or whatever, short of an automatic weapon or grenade launcher is not gonna help a lot. Piracy in other places does happen though and the shotgun with double O buck might save your ***.
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