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Old 02-11-2009, 07:47   #46
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I would agree the best deal is to avoid these known areas. I spent a year cruising the Carib. a couple years ago by myself. And yes I carried a gun. It was a small 22 pistol and had a insert made for my flare gun for both, shotgun and 38 shells. While leaving FL. the Coasties were at the marina and I got to talking to them and here was his advice. He DID NOT approve of cruisers carrying weapons. Most are untrained and would cause more problem then not. Most pirates are looking for easy targets so some would back off if you just cranked a couple warning shots some wouldn't. Most would by far out gun you if it came to a high seas battle and you'd lose both your boat and lives.

However nobody wants to deal with a crazy person!!
His recomendation was if they wouldn't back off after trying VHF or waving them off pull you flare gun out shoot a warning shot if they continual then start loobing flares at them. A few things will happen.

* The warning shot will get their attention and others in the area
*If your close enough or lucky enough to hit them they will stop
*If you able to loob one into there boat you will not be a concern anymore. They now have a fire in the bottom of there boat you can't put out. Most of their boats are old, dry, and gas. So now they have more important issues to deal with, like keeping their boat from burning out from under them.
* All the flares being loobed around will attract others in the area.
* You have now become a not so easy mark
* And then as he stated at the start no one wants to deal with a crazy Gringo standing on the back of his boat repeatly loobing flares at you.
* And you don't have to declare your flare gun as a weapon.
Just make sure you have a good supply of flares.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:48   #47
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Guns on board? Depends on the Captain and the situation. Pelagis hit it on the head, "...Somalia and waters nearby is a “no go zone” as far as I am concerned in anything but a military ship..." Spent a lot of time in some not so nice places during my previous life. Don't have any desire to do it again. Only a fool pits a shotgun against RPGs and heavy machine guns.

In other locations, it again depends on the Captain. IMHO, the first issue all who decide to carry a gun must face is whether, when the chips are down, you have the intestinal fortitude to look someone in the eye while you are shooting him there. The second issue is to be so familar with your weapon of choice as to be able to actually hit him when you do decide to shoot. Never felt comfortable with a particular weapon, either hand or shoulder, until I put a couple of thousand rounds through it. Never felt REAL comfortable until I shot 5k or so in a variety of situations.

Just my $.02 worth.
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:50   #48
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Even those that are pro-carrying guns onboard view them as a last resort. Before thinking about using guns, I'd give some thoughts on other more passive "tactics", some obvious, some maybe not.

Take down radar reflectors. It also might be worth finding out if being under motor vs. sail significantly reduces your boat's radar x-section.

Figure out the fastest way to transit the area, taking into account currents and winds.

Transit the most high-risk area at night without nav lights.- Cloud cover would be best.

Transit at times of heavier seas. You'll be harder to spot visually and on radar, and be harder to board.

Don't use VHF. An exception might be a fake call to "your escorting warship", etc. It would be a long shot, but might help...

When I was boarding ships in the Arabian Gulf, some had steel rebars welded to the side in an effort to puncture our rhib and tripwires (non-boom type!) to make it harder to board. I don't think those examples are practical, but taking steps to make your boat harder to board might help a little. It never stopped us, but did slow us down the first time or two.

I've also seen a line rigged up to float in the water, thrown from the boat to be boarded, that was supposed to foul the prop of the aggressor boat. Didn't work at the time, but might be worth the effort?

I don't think any one of these steps by themself would stop a boarding, but combining a a nighttime, heavy sea-state environment with passive measures would certainly be better than just waiting for them to show up and pointing a rifle at them.

Any other ideas?
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:11   #49
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If idiots want to start brassing up locals in Venezuela well then they can expect to lose their boat and spend a life in jail.

If we are talking about the only real piracy areas then one must consider dragging weapons around the world for 5 years for a 1 week passage. Or illegally buying weapons in the one port before the transiting the difficult area. Why? Because weapons must be legally registered in the country of the passport holder.

The only weapons that would be any good would be one held in the arms of an avid reader of Soldier of Fortune.

There must be better ways of dealing with ti. Use of creativity and a lack of pig-headedness must be the answer.
In the many "gun" threads, one is impressed by the disconnect between people such as Mark, who are out there doing it, and those who aren't there yet.

The vast majority of cruisers feel the risks are exaggerated (outside certain well-defined areas such as Horn of Africa) and the questionable value of carrying a weapon just doesn't match up to the down side.

The (false?) bravado on the other side is palpable:

"I carry an x-shot, x-gun, which is good for x-type of assault in x-situation."

In this fantasy (the almost always male) sees himself single-handedly defending his cowering family, huddled in the V-berth, against an onslaught of nasty pirates.

The reality is that the odds of successfully (as in living to tell about it) defending against a real pirate attack are nil; the chances of shooting an innocent fisherman and ending up in a Third World jail, much higher.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:15   #50
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Pelagic's posturing demonstrates a certain lack of understanding of the nature of the pirates.

Showing teeth seems to be positively to invite the pirates to throw a couple of grenades at a yacht, watch it sink and then go merrily on their way. It's true that the pirates are after money not blood but eliminating a 'dangerous' yacht makes it safer for all of them.
Do you have any articles you can cite of this event occurring?
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:59   #51
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or the Israeli Oy-Vay-Ko-Mo-Vah's ability to fire the Schwanstucker Round thru 19 concrete blocks
LOL Chief, love that Latino-Yiddish!!!
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:13   #52
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Like these ones here?

1178 killed by the various states since 1976

Learn more

Last time I looked, murderers are still people so they do count in the figures.
I think we should leave the liberal/political prison crap out of it. If you kill an innocent for gain or sport, you get what you deserve. And don't start with me about it cuz I KNOW THESE TYPES! I HEAR IT EVERY DAY FROM MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. I live JUST outside the fence of the McConnell unit, a max security prison where my WIFE works around these A_HOLES EVERY DAY!! UP FRONT AND PERSONAL!! Don't talk about things you have NO personal experience in!! You don't QUALIFY!!
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:02   #53
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Sailing about 50 miles South of the US Virgins one night and doing the singlehandling thing of cat-napping in the cockpit I was boarded!

And they scared me so bad that if I'd had a gun in my lap, I'd have shot the entire crew of boarders!

All of a sudden, there they were along side my cockpit, screaming and yelling and shinning lights in my face!

A US Coast Guard 41 footer operating without lights, had deployed a RIB with about 8 armed, less that 20 year-old, Rambos!

After doing minimal paperwork with no inspections they left. One of the youngsters remarked that they were just practicing.

If I'd shot a coastie, I don't think they would have unterstood my fear.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:12   #54
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I think we should leave the liberal/political prison crap out of it ...
... And don't start with me about it cuz I KNOW THESE TYPES ...
I'd suppose we could leave ALL of the crap out of it - both conservative & liberal.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:14   #55
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All politics aside, how many of you have tried firing a weapon on a boat at sea? I don't claim to be a world class marksman but grew up hunting and was captain of the rifle team in high school so I at least know which end of the barrel points out.

Used to toss an occasional beer bottle over the side and take a few shots at it. Even in a moderate sea like 3-4' swells I never even came close to hitting one. Beyond a 100 yards I might hit within 20-30' of the bottle a third of the time. Even shooting at a bottle 30-40' from the boat never came closer than a foot or so. That's with a rifle. With a pistol or flare gun, forget it.

In my opinion, unless you are really experienced at shooting from a moving platform you will do nothing more than make some noise and likely hit nothing but water, at least until the bad guys are close enough to climb over the rail.

I've cruised the islands with a gun on board in the past and now choose to go without. The red tape and hassles vs the potential benefits don't add up for me. I choose common sense and to stay away from unfriendly areas.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:46   #56
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I'd suppose we could leave ALL of the crap out of it - both conservative & liberal.
Thanks Gord!
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:04   #57
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All politics aside, how many of you have tried firing a weapon on a boat at sea? I don't claim to be a world class marksman but grew up hunting and was captain of the rifle team in high school so I at least know which end of the barrel points out.

Used to toss an occasional beer bottle over the side and take a few shots at it. Even in a moderate sea like 3-4' swells I never even came close to hitting one. Beyond a 100 yards I might hit within 20-30' of the bottle a third of the time. Even shooting at a bottle 30-40' from the boat never came closer than a foot or so. That's with a rifle. With a pistol or flare gun, forget it.

In my opinion, unless you are really experienced at shooting from a moving platform you will do nothing more than make some noise and likely hit nothing but water, at least until the bad guys are close enough to climb over the rail.

I've cruised the islands with a gun on board in the past and now choose to go without. The red tape and hassles vs the potential benefits don't add up for me. I choose common sense and to stay away from unfriendly areas.
good point. I fired expert with a .45 in the army and was none-too-shabby with an M-16, but that was from a standing or prone position, respectively, and on dry ground.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:18   #58
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I still say that a pickle jar filled with gasoline and a flare gun will take the fight out of just about anyone. Light up thier life and see what kind of mayhem unsues. And both are perfectly legal. Still, keeping away from danger zones and travelling in bunches makes perfect sense as well. There is a reason the Somali's and others have resorted to piracy. They have nothing to lose. If they have nothing, is there anything I really need to see where they roam? I know many safe and beautiful locales that I would rather visit than some rat (meaning pirates) infested desert.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:28   #59
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I still say that a pickle jar filled with gasoline and a flare gun will take the fight out of just about anyone. Light up thier life and see what kind of mayhem unsues. And both are perfectly legal. Still, keeping away from danger zones and travelling in bunches makes perfect sense as well. There is a reason the Somali's and others have resorted to piracy. They have nothing to lose. If they have nothing, is there anything I really need to see where they roam? I know many safe and beautiful locales that I would rather visit than some rat (meaning pirates) infested desert.
"When you ain't gotten nothin', you got nothin' to lose" - Bob Dylan said that.
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Old 02-11-2009, 13:31   #60
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Pelagic's posturing demonstrates a certain lack of understanding of the nature of the pirates.

Showing teeth seems to be positively to invite the pirates to throw a couple of grenades at a yacht, watch it sink and then go merrily on their way. It's true that the pirates are after money not blood but eliminating a 'dangerous' yacht makes it safer for all of them.
Actually, that's the most likely scenario(re:Somalia), if they are toting RPG's. If you open up on them from any real distance, even just warding fire, they're just as likely to fire the RPGs and drive away while you burn and sink. One would need to make a tactical decision on whether or not to engage and at what distance to do so. The first target had better be the RPG handler. If you let them get close enough though, they are unlikely to fire the RPG point-blank due to the potential for collateral damage upon themselves. Best bet, stay the heck away from the area. If you had any sense, whatsoever, you wouldn't BE in the area in the first place.

As for the a-typical, run-of-the-mill boat bandit, most probably wouldn't have the huevos to run up on some gringo lobbing lead around...

A semi-auto 12ga with buckshot would be the best for close-quarters.
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