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Old 27-07-2003, 09:31   #1
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Did you think of this?

I have yet to sort out my feelings of the question of guns onboard.

One thing though sticks out in my mind: bullets and boats with wooden and fiberglass hulls don't go together.

Some piracy atttempts can be deterred by firearms.

A minorityof pirates, though, of, are heavily armed. How well can your boat absorb the damage of a gun battle? Will a 1/4 in of steel deflect a bullet?

In my opinion most pirate encounters are avoidable. Instead of asking were your gun is ask what can you do to avoid them? That is the closest I get to an answer on the question of guns onboard.

Won't go anywhere without knives, tacks and flare guns though.


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Old 27-07-2003, 13:44   #2
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I do not engage in the gun arguement but if you are trying to stop you would be far ahead with a fiberglass boat that had several layers of kevlar laminated into the hull. At small fraction of the weight, the kevlar actually has greater stopping power than your 1/4" steel suggestion which is not enough to stop larger caliber bullets expecially when used in a rigid structure. Target ranges use 3/8" tp 1/2" plate that is floated to absorb the energy by movement.


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Old 27-07-2003, 19:16   #3
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This is where my thought came from; sorry for not giving my first post a little more thought.

When I was seven and thought sailing the world and pirates I was all for blowing them away. Until last year I figured I was pro gun as far as cruising goes.

But it wasn't until last year that I started giving the idea rigorous thought. What happens if firing upon a pirate becomes the only option.

Self-defense is self-defense. All fine and well but what would happen to me or my wife if they fired back? Would we have to take helmets and body armor? Armor an area of the boat. All this woke me up to the idea that I may have too much time on my hand and need a beer. Sounds terribly paranoid, too, in light of why I want to cruise in the first place. But it carries the idea to a logical, albeit extreme, possibility. It is something to think about.

Certainly true about the kevlar, Jeff. 1/4 steel will barely stop most hand guns. AK-47s will go through 1" of steel under some circumstance if I remember right.

I was thinking of the cabin of a steel hull cruiser when I gave the 1/4" figure; just an example. I have no intention of armoring my sailboat nor would I recommend it to anyone.

Above all I believe believe piracy is preventable. I have lived in dangerous areas on land and never had much trouble by just practicing common sense.

I believe whole-heartedly in the right to bear arms; democracy and freedom are demonstrably protected by that. I'd never decide the issue for anyone; I started out not having an opinion but I think I am leaning towards an answer for myself after writing this. I don't defend my land home with firearms; I won't start with my boat.

Anybody elses thoughts I love to hear pro or con. It is a very important subject for world travellers.

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Old 24-09-2003, 07:36   #4
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Hello Gentelmen
Maybe I can shed a little light on this subject for you. What I`m about to tell you comes first hand. I have fourteen years of military experience and training and one thing I can tell you is that gun battles are not like Holly Wood. Defending yourself and your family will put you to the highest test. My Father said to me once, "Never pull a Gun unless you intend to kill someone with it." So to this day if someone pulls a Gun on me, I think of those very words. If someone uses a gun to come on your boat then you can only think your not going to be left around to tell about it. So ask youself, "Are you willing to kill a person who is willing to take away everything you have or ever will have?" If you decide to carry arms on your boat, you MUST cross that mental bridge. Then go and get some proffesional training on guns and gun self deffense. There`s alot more to it than point and shoot. Here is my take on it. If a crew of gun toaten thugs come on my boat, then I`m going to make them work for it. Also I`m not leaving anyone to go back and tell their friends. When you`re faced with this, then you must be meaner than a pit bull. Speaking of Pit Bulls, I have one as my security officer. Most people think it`s unwise to snoop around my boat when he`s around. No matter what you`ve read about pirates just wanting your stuff and then leaving is worth trusting your life on. The best thing to do is to avoid areas of concern and keep as low of a profile as possible. When your at shore don`t have that hollier than now attitude with the locals. If you don`t go looking for trouble then chances are trouble wont find you. DO NOT flash cash around. Try to use the foriegn currency and carry small amounts. Leave the fancy gold chains and dimonds hidden on board somewhere or don`t have them at all. Keep your boat low profile as well. Don`t name your dingy the same as your boat. No need to advertise your not at your boat. Alittle bit of provention can go along way into avoiding trouble. But when trouble comes knocking give them what they came for. TROUBLE.
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Old 24-09-2003, 20:40   #5
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Okay Gents, and good postings.

I have thought hard about the above subject over the years.
Especially since I lived on a boat for a few years and also have been robbed onboard it.

(In a marina while on the dry in St. Thomas)

The big head-ace, in my opinion, is to conceal and hide a weapon while ya sail from country to country.
Ya are supposed to the decleare it and do the paper work.
Then they take it away while ya are in the place, and give it back when ya leave.
If one sails from country to country every few weeks, that could be a big head-ace.

The personal preference would be to have a pump-action shot gun with 200 shells hidden abord.
If the bad guys board ya, start shooting and ask questions later.

This may sound like an easy and Wild West solution, but in many cases, one does not have a choice:
Let em come aboard and rape, rob and kill.....Or put up some resistance with a gun, then perhaps live and talk about it later.
Yes, It is a big choice and be ready to pull the trigger for real, the mental prepartion is important....

I have never shot a gun in anger, but have plenty of practice pulling triggers in Air Force boot camp and in rural Alaska praticing survival.

Would be more than happy to pull the trigger on somebody out to kill me and better half and steal the boat, but hoping and wishing I will never have to go there or be there...
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Old 17-10-2005, 08:52   #6
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Goo advise


Don`t name your dingy the same as your boat. No need to advertise your not at your boat. Alittle bit of provention can go along way into avoiding trouble.
Good advise, thanks
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Old 17-10-2005, 11:48   #7
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CSY, I have to seriousely disagree with your comments. My question to you would be, do you want to run the risk of possible Pirate threat as being non-life threatening or run the risk of being caught by authorities with a concealed weapon onboard. Because trust me, in some countries, the result of being caught with an undecleared weopon will result in a penalty much more seriuose than taking on a possible theft. Remember, no matter how well you hide something, the authorities know where to look and will find it. It is very rare they will not. Many have found that out with our NZ border patrol. They seem to think because we are some little nobody country, that Customs here are nieve. But they are damn good at their jobs. The only luck is, the culprit would probably only get a fine and confiscation here in NZ. Some countries it is lockup and throw away the key.

Everyone, lets bring all this talk back into perspective. Piracy is rare. When compared to the number of boats sailing the world everyday, and the number of attacks, you have a better chance of winning Lotto than being attacked. You can put into place many other ways to help keep you safe from theft. And lets face it, you have more chance of theft on land in your home. But as said, tips like dinghy names and how you leave your boat will have a greater affect on your safety than arming will. The other thing to bring into perspective, Most ALL, violent pirate attacks in the world are on large cargo vessels. Very few are on cruising yachts.
With the few attacks that have occured in places like the Red sea, most all have been with fairly major long range weapons. They attack with a large calibre machine gun from a distance. No hand gun or shot gun can combat that. So you have to have a very different tacktik to lure the Pirates to closer quarters to counterattack, or, you have to arm with a bigger gun and return fire from a distance. Niether has an appeal to me. The best way of protection is to sail in a group or in a Stealth mode in darkness and radio silence.
To me, arming and hiding arms is just asking for trouble and increasing the odds that something worse will happen eventually.


For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
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