If you are just looking for an alternative to a firearm/flare gun etc. to temporarily incapacite a boarder, an extremely effective "weapon" is a dry chemical fire extinguisher in the 5 to 20-lb capacity size.
Dry chemical has a range of 10-14 feet, will discharge for at least 10-seconds, makes an expanding cloud that will easily envolpe a person (preferably his face), temporarily blind them and cause moderate to serve respiratory distress
. It is also non-lethal.
I've seen this happen several times at fire fighting schools and at actual fire scenes - and these were accidents, not a deliberate discharge at a persons face. On at least one occasion, 2 maritme sheriff's officers had to be hospitalized for 2 days when they tried extinguishing a boat fire and hit each other with the dry chemical discharge!
In my opinion, you should have this large of a dry chemical fire extinguisher stored in the main cabin/navigation area for use on interior
room or cockpit
fires. That it work's as a weapon is an extra plus.
Another idea is a camera
with a really bright flash. The flash can temporarily blind / dis-orientate them, and you will have a picture of the people to show to the local authorities.
Flare guns were considered a "firearm - pistol" in England
and ours was held by Customs
until we left the country.
For real firearms, all countries allow a vessel to have at least one weapon for self defense. It may involve getting the Port Captain
or local Maritime Security
people involved, but you do have that right. It should be declared, will usually have seals
placed on it, and should be kept in a locked, fixed to the vessel storage
We use to carry a handgun onboard throughout Europe/Atlantic Islands, Carribbean Islands, Venezulea and only delcared in once - in Portugal
. The Customs
Officer didn't want to know about it, but filled out the 3 pages of forms for us, put a wire and lead seal on the trigger, and sent us on our way.
While in Venzuelea, the local Naval patrol boats were confiscating firearms until one cruiser protested to the District Naval Commander - who immediately told his people to immediately return all firearms as yachts had a right to defense. This was in the late 80's - early 90's.
The world has changed since then, but we could carry a firearm onboard the container ship that I was Captain
of (2004 - 2009) - you just had to make the declaration. The ship really tramped around and we went to numerous European, Carribbean and Central American countries. The caliper of weapons that seemed to be acceptable (they were always on the forms) were 9-mm, 7.62 (.308 or 30/06) and 12-gauge.
It use to be extremely easy to buy firearms outside of the US - far easier than buying
them in the US. You could buy 5 handguns, 5 rifles and 5 shotguns while in a country, and Customs would deliver them to your vessel upon departure.
We are going to be going out again on a long crusie, and will probably be taking a firearm - still haven't decided what. Rifles and shotguns - non-para military type - are the most "accepted" by officialdom. There are places you probably shouldn't go without a weapon (not including bear terrorities), but do you really need to go there?
Anyways, just my thoughts.