Our first lines of defense are always:
1. Be aware of our surroundings
2. Avoid places of high risk
3. Travel in a group
4. Lock the companionway
5. Lock the overhead hatch
6. If boarded, turn on the deck
floods and hailer siren via remote
switch from the stern master cabin
When all else fails, and the intruder is persistant... They will need to deal with tomahawks and knives in order to enter the stern cabin
via a narrow galley
and doorway. Become a badger or wolverine... animals
that can discourage even a top predator like a grizzly bear when threatened. Make the thief leave and find an easier target.
Have a plan.
Most of these threads eventually digress to a guns
vs no guns
debate, and we would choose to be armed with a gun if it was legal
to do so. But in the absence of a gun there's much you can do still do.
There're several ways to effectively defend yourself and turn the tables on an attacker. We always keep several Ka Bar military knives on board along with several tactical tomahawks, these can be very effective weapons even in the hands of a 120 pound 55yr old woman if used properly in close quarters where the cruising couple has the advantage. I disagree that one's only option is to submit to the attack and get beat up or killed while the robber looks for the boat safe. In most cases, the attacker is a coward who will run if met with resistance. Come at someone with a knife or tomahawk in each hand.... it's very hard, if not impossible to defend against this sort of attack... big, sharp knives are scary and effective, and surprisingly easy to conceal.