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Old 03-05-2009, 20:17   #31
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Yes, but remember, don't underestimate the enemy. These Somalis have been at war constantly for a generation. These people grow up with these weapons literally in bed together.
They are in a multi million dollar business extorting $20 MILION dollars per ship. They won't send the village idiot.



True enough...one should NEVER underestimate an attacker. I realize that they have been at war for a long time...but they have been for a long time going after vessels that have made virtually no attempts to fend them off as they were unarmed... I think the paradigm will shift greatly when they run up on someone who is well trained and accurate with a rifle.... Lets just hope the "powers that be" resolve the issue before we have to spend too much time worrying over it at present.

Maybe it would be better to make these mandatory equipment on all boats:

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Old 03-05-2009, 20:53   #32
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True enough...one should NEVER underestimate an attacker. I realize that they have been at war for a long time...but they have been for a long time going after vessels that have made virtually no attempts to fend them off as they were unarmed... I think the paradigm will shift greatly when they run up on someone who is well trained and accurate with a rifle.... Lets just hope the "powers that be" resolve the issue before we have to spend too much time worrying over it at present.

Maybe it would be better to make these mandatory equipment on all boats:

As a bonus the M203 grenade launcher also shoots flares which of course has you covered for signaling devices and Venezuelan pirate deterrent.
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Old 03-05-2009, 21:01   #33
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I actually LOVE the M16/4 with the M203 combo. Very efficient reasonable ammo cost, low maintenance. Anybody can learn to shoot one. Not bad.
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Old 03-05-2009, 21:08   #34
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My favorite subject

I am a landsman and wannabe cruising sailor, and I am a veteran of the fight to maintain and restore the right to keep and bear arms here at home. What to do about the need to carry arms on board when sailing into, out of, and around foreign waters has been a major question mark overlying our retirement plans. I appreciate this opportunity to learn as much as I can about how to deal with the bureaucracies and maintenance realities of bearing arms aboard a cruising yacht.

I hope I can return the favor by suggesting a few perspectives on the choices of firearms, ammunition, and combat techniques.

Can anyone tell me how much hassle there is with customs in the various countries? I've heard some horror stories. And also, maintaining the weapons in the salt environment? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-05-2009, 21:35   #35
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Ear protection

Much has been made of the hearing damage that would be caused by a 12-gauge fired in an enclosed cabin. I would suggest that the possibility of hearing damage is nearly as great if you are talking about any rifle or handgun as well, and the smaller the caliber the greater the damage (due to the sharpness of the report -- a .380 really barks, for example).

I therefore suggest that proper ear protection -- preferably electronic hearing protectors -- is as important for every member of the crew as the weapon itself. The ears would go on immediately upon sighting a pursuing craft. That way you aren't deafened by the report, and you can still hear yelled or even whispered commands.

At the first sight of a rifle being held at port arms or otherwise, the dance begins. A few rounds at the guy(s) holding the rifles, a few at the engine if visible, and a row of stitches along the waterline would say "Hi, there!" nicely, I think.

As for the choice of weapon, my favorite would be an HK91A2 in .308Win, or a SOCOM II. The object is to reach out and touch someone before they get close enough to become housepests. A shotgun -- even a 16- or 20-gauge -- would work to repel boarders, Unfortunately, I'm a wimp when it comes to 12-gauges: Double-00 buck gives me a nosebleed. My "favorite" notwithstanding, I will bring my Bushmaster AR-15 in .223 with the EOTech sight -- I already have it.

At my age, any 16-year-old kid -- about pirate age, these days -- could take me down in a machete or knife fight, so for close infighting I would use a Springfield XD in .45ACP and my wife has my back with a S&W M&P in 9mm. With two extra magazines, I have 37 rounds available in the XD.

All that being said, nothing is ever guaranteed in a gun fight.
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Old 03-05-2009, 21:54   #36
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I actually LOVE the M16/4 with the M203 combo. Very efficient reasonable ammo cost, low maintenance. Anybody can learn to shoot one. Not bad.
Don't forget the bayonet option for the ear-saving way to dispatch pirates from within the cabin.
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Old 03-05-2009, 22:01   #37
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Someone on here years ago had what I still think is one of the best ideas I've ever seen:

He had a punch through built into his helm where a compartment was hidden beneath a thin level of veneer (thus invisible). Inside he kept a pistol packed with grease and sealed in a plastic bag.

In the case of need he could punch though the surface and the gun was cocked and ready and would deliver the needed emergency shots.
I hope he had a cleaning kit handy to use before he fired it. Wouldn't be much use if he didn't. Well, if the grease hadn't soaked through the round in the chamber it might have fired once before jamming.
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Old 03-05-2009, 22:22   #38
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Zero - a word on weapons in salt water environments, I have seen boxes (literally) of guns that came out of the flood after Katrina and the only ones that came out without significant corrosion were made by Glock. The Glocks that I saw needed only be sprayed with CLP and a few strokes with a nylon brush to be back in service. Not saying this is the best weapon for your defense needs (the best one is the one you have with you and one that works).

BTW - Mine and your favorites are the same, I have a few AR's, but my favorite is a Bushy with an EOTech. I don't have any experience entering a foreign port with a weapon but if its anything like dealing with local authorities and trying to explain what that scary looking assault rifle is doing on the front seat of my truck easing through town at 3 am with a tail light out, you may have "some splaining to do", nevermind its a totally legal semi-auto .22 cal rifle not that different from the Ruger mini 14 that you use shoot your dinner out of the tree you small town fascist.... I digress
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:03   #39
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Zero - a word on weapons in salt water environments, I have seen boxes (literally) of guns that came out of the flood after Katrina and the only ones that came out without significant corrosion were made by Glock. The Glocks that I saw needed only be sprayed with CLP and a few strokes with a nylon brush to be back in service. Not saying this is the best weapon for your defense needs (the best one is the one you have with you and one that works).

BTW - Mine and your favorites are the same, I have a few AR's, but my favorite is a Bushy with an EOTech. I don't have any experience entering a foreign port with a weapon but if its anything like dealing with local authorities and trying to explain what that scary looking assault rifle is doing on the front seat of my truck easing through town at 3 am with a tail light out, you may have "some splaining to do", nevermind its a totally legal semi-auto .22 cal rifle not that different from the Ruger mini 14 that you use shoot your dinner out of the tree you small town fascist.... I digress
One of the problems I expect to have to deal with is the fact that my wife gets headaches from inhaling the faintest aroma of CLP. I had to move my gun cabinet out of the bedroom. I'm wondering if I can build a hermetically-sealed gun locker into the boat and fill it half full of desiccant.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:17   #40
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Can anyone tell me how much hassle there is with customs in the various countries? I've heard some horror stories. And also, maintaining the weapons in the salt environment? Thanks in advance.
Look here: Firearms Regulations by Country
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:47   #41
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Theives/Pirates are usually not looking to risk their lives against someone who will fight back. I've had only one land side experience with the situation but I believe it probably holds true at sea as well. A little over 20 years ago I did not own a gun because my wife objected to having a gun in the house with children, but I did have a hunting bow. My daughter had crawled into bed with us that night. We later heard some noise as someone was breaking in the window in our dining room. I grabbed my hunting bow and went down the hall. As I peeked around the corner I saw a leg coming through the window. I drew my bow waiting for the SOB to stand up so I would have a clear shot, (no warning shots with a bow). I had no doubt in my mind that he was going to die as soon as he stood up. Just then my 7 year old daughter who had awakened yelled down the hall "You're not going to shoot him are you daddy". When she said that I looked at her for just a fraction of a second and when I looked back the leg wasn't there any more. The police rounded the corner a few seconds later and saw a young man running at full speed down the street. He got away that night, but was apprehended about a week later. This young man had been breaking into houses and holding a knife at peoples throats and robbing them, but he apparently wanted no part of someone willing to defend themselves. I suspect the pirates are pretty much of the same mindset. Aside from a weapon a 7 year old saying "you're not going to shoot him are you daddy" is probably better than a doberman as far as a deterrent. Now I have 2 shotguns and a 30.06. I also keep a cutlass on board my boat for close in defense. I don't see the 30.06 as a close in defensive weapon, but I suspect that if I stood on deck with it in plain sight, the pirates would go looking for easier pickings.
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:51   #42
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Ya know,

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet and was key in the original post was that the wife asked if they would be sailing with a weapon. There is one major (actually the primary) thing to keep in mind:

If there is a gun on board, especially with that gun being on the ship for the purpose of self-defense, then EVERY sailor or regular cruiser on that boat needs to be fully trained in the use of that weapon!

A gun is just an inanimate object. But a gun in the hands of an idiot is dangerous as hell. Likewise, someone having a gun to use for self--defense but not being comfortable with it is just a recipe for that person getting hurt or inadvertently hurting someone else.

And finally, the decision to carry a gun is not just about what kind, or where to store, or whether to declare it. The decision must be a bit darker than that. If you are going to carry a gun for defense on your boat you MUST be willing and ready to use that gun to kill someone!

All this BS about warning shots and waving a gun to scare someone is good in theory but not in real life. If you actually need to get out your gun, then the guy you're going to be aiming it at is not a good guy. He won't think about what you're doing; he'll react.

Have a gun to scare them away, but if they don't immediately turn tail, you had better be ready and willing to start firing for real. If your conscience can't handle the repercussions and you think you'd be unsure, don't pick up a gun.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:11   #43
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You can always throw a gun into the ocean if the situation calls for such action. It's a lot harder to find one in the ocean if you need it.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:13   #44
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Great thread everyone. Thanks.

Steve B.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:25   #45
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The epiphany here seems to be that Venezuelan waters are lawless. If that's true, and ounce of prevention ...

There are parts of a number of urban areas in the world I wouldn't go to unarmed, but then again those are the same parts of the same cities I wouldn't go to at all.

And if the victim is correct in his assessment that the attackers had military training, it doesn't sound like a very encouraging scenario for a firefight.

Since so many American cruisers say they would never leave port without a firearm, what are the stats, anecodotal or otherwise, of what happens when the would-be pirates are met by force?
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