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Old 06-10-2013, 19:43   #31
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

I like the idea of non lethal ammo in a shot gun. Nothing gets attention better than a punp shot gun racked. Splash.
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Old 06-10-2013, 21:11   #32
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
I do have an approved gun locker,
You just hit on a detail that I know nothing about. Who approves gun lockers for boats? & what agencies/locations require that approval?

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Old 06-10-2013, 21:24   #33
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

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I like the idea of non lethal ammo in a shot gun. Nothing gets attention better than a punp shot gun racked. Splash.
I'll second the endorsement for the effectiveness of the sound of a shotgun getting racked.

I'll leave out the details leading up to the event & cut to the chase. My neighbor's apartment in Boston was getting broken into for the second time in a month. When I opened my door, out came my left leg in a cast, along with a cane in my left hand. With my body halfway out of the doorway, I looked straight at the 5 people breaking down the door next to mine. 3 of those people started towards me with determined & menacing looks on their faces. The rest of my body then shifted out of my doorway & into the hall. As my right arm became visible, so did the short barreled pump shotgun. When my left hand dropped the cane & pumped a round of buckshot into the chamber, the entire group of 5 headed for the fire escape as fast as they could. The menacing & determined look on my face may have had some effect on the ne'er-do-wells, but I have to give the vast majority of the credit to the shotgun's menacing presence. I'm fairly certain that is what actually got the job done & improved the quality of my day.

Incidentally, they left behind a rather ingenious little door prying tool that Boston PD found very interesting upon their arrival. Apparently it's marks had been found on many door jams in the area in the preceding few months. I gave the best descriptions that I could to the cops. I didn't follow up on it after that, but my building didn't have anymore break-ins that I am aware of after that day. I continued to live there for more than a year after that incident.
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Old 06-10-2013, 21:27   #34
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

Here’s an actual story I published (its copy written in case a reader is a copy and paste author) that happened to my wife and I about twenty years ago.

We were anchored in the Las Ollas basin in Ft Lauder dale. It was New Year’s Eve. Our Cheoy Lee Offshore 33 had an md3 Volvo that had what they called a dynastart system. A generator that is used as a starter motor that becomes a generator at some RPM. It was the most dysfunctional system I've ever encountered. We hand started that motor 90% of the time. Anyway, it gave up the ghost and we lost out charging ability. So I needed to install an alternator. I had to travel all over FT Laud to find parts, have brackets machined etc.

While walking in the rain with my weather gear">foul weather gear on a car stops and asks if I want a ride. “Sure’. Two young fellows are in the car with new, very clean foul weather gear. They ask what I was up to as we rode along. I told them about my predicament and they said they knew were to get the work I needed done. They also said that they too were sailors. And, that they were heading offshore at about midnight for the Bahamas, west end and then on to The Azores. I was impressed. The weather was foul, as indicated by the foul weather gear. It was blowing like stink from the north, “not a great time to be in the Gulf Stream”, I commented. They said they were used to heading out in this kind of weather and enjoyed the sailing. Youth and stupidity is what I thought. They stayed with me for a few hours and took me wherever I needed to go. They dropped me off at the anchorage and suggested that maybe they would visit later to celebrate the New Year. They were so helpful and friendly that I said, “Sure, blow your horn when you get here and I’ll row in and pick you up”. I told my wife about the two guys and how they were so helpful, and that they were sailors and had a boat called, Night Train. And that they were leaving late tonight for Europe via west end. It was late in the day; I decided to take it easy and rest. I’ll fix the engine tomorrow.

Later that evening after dinner I hear a horn blowing. I go on deck and see my new friends waving to me. I row over and bring them aboard. My wife is a good host and we sit and talk about boats and sailing. They brought a bottle of wine. It was good conversation and a pleasant time. They ask about my engine, did I get it back together, I replied in the negative, and it was clear that it was still in process. The engine doors were open and the parts were under the companionway steps. I again brought up the weather and shared that I thought it might be wise to wait a day or so. They both said that this was the best weather to cross the steam in, “plenty of wind for sailing”. That’s for sure. That was the first clue. I thought and rightly so, that that was just plain stupid. Clue number two.

So we got to talking about navigation equipment and the one fellow asks me how to initialize and NorthStar GPS. At that time North Star didn’t make a GPS. They only made a Loran. So now my instinct kicks in, and then uncertainty, maybe he means Loran. I ask him if it’s a GPS or a Loran, he says, “GPS, yea they make the best GPS”. The other guy checks out the engine again and ask how long do I think it will take to “get it straightened out”? Now I have tunnel vision watching the two of them. Something is definitely not right. So I go to the head and I slip the small cocked pistol we were given by my wife’s Uncle, “just in case” into my jacket pocket..

We sit, I sit in front of Donna, she chats. The one guy ask me, “I forget what the bridge signal is to get the bridge to open, is it one long and two short or”…****. Now I know, this is not good. I sit in front of my wife, I have my hand on the loaded, cocked automatic in my pocket and I’m waiting for one of these assholes to make a move. I can hardly hear anything. I think, Christ Donna is really going to be upset if I have to shoot these two. I watch their hands, their eyes. Looking for anything to tell me something. It gets uncomfortable and kind of quiet. “Well, I guess we better be on our way”. They get up and I ask the one to row because of my back. We bid each other farewell and they’re gone.

I row back to the boat and tell Donna what was going on. She said she thought something was wrong with me. Then I began to second guess myself and think about the consequences of me shooting someone. We locked ourselves inside for the first time ever and went to sleep. The next day we went ashore to get some breakfast and to do some laundry at the Bahia Marr marina. While doing the laundry Donna asks the staff if they have a boat there named Night Train? We are suddenly surrounded by a half a dozen security police. It turns out that two young, armed, fellows stole Mr. Hinkley’ personal, beautiful blue Hinkley and were apprehended making random horn signals at the, 29th St. Bridge (I think it’s called that). That bridge does not open on demand. It’s on a clock. It opens every twenty minutes. They loaded up the boat with food and supplies and were headed offshore to they’re probable demise.

We tell the security people our story and they agree that we probably dodged a bullet. We talked at length about it and the wife tells me to trust my instincts when it comes to our lives. What would have happened if the engine was in working order? I don’t know. Would they have forced us to sail offshore and then done away with us? Possibly. Seems likely to me.

So the lesson learned. Pay attention. When others befriend you, keep an open mind, but don’t go to sleep. I personally feel that if we had not had a weapon on board, we would have simply been at the mercy of two knit wits. Had one or the other made some sort of move the least that would have happened is he would have had a gun in his face and they both would have been swimming back to their car. The worst that would happened given that I had the drop on them is one or both would have been dead. And maybe one of us.

So folks can say whatever they wish about weapons. On the larger boat that we have today there will be one in the forward cabin and one in the aft cabin. Locked and secured, but easy for the wife or I to access. There will be softer measures for certain but extreme defensive measures will be on board. The most important thing is to train in the use of deadly force. Have a plan and be clear about it. Think ahead, and do not panic. Pay attention.
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Old 06-10-2013, 21:29   #35
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Back to keeping them off the boat, has anyone actually built such a system?

Motion sensor at the boarding ladder and some sort of tension switches on the top life lines might be a way down the road, but coming up with something which didn't go off all the time and would last might take a bit of work.

Anyone actually tried this?
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Old 06-10-2013, 21:42   #36
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Back to keeping them off the boat, has anyone actually built such a system?

Motion sensor at the boarding ladder and some sort of tension switches on the top life lines might be a way down the road, but coming up with something which didn't go off all the time and would last might take a bit of work.

Anyone actually tried this?
I would think that motion detectors would be problematic on a boat due to the way that boats rock back & forth. I would think that tape switches mounted on the deck at entry points might be a good option. You can also buy sensor mats from places that sell industrial safety equipment.
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Old 06-10-2013, 22:04   #37
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

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Rubber bullets ... Some jurisdictions consider this use of less than lethal force. Some jurisdictions consider this use of lethal force.
So called "traumatic guns", that are handguns modified to fire soft projectiles at relatively low exit velocity, are widespread in Russia (basically, they are the only kind of self-defence weapon that's legal to carry there and actually works). Someone ends up killed by these "non-lethal" weapons every so often. Same with tazers.

Pepper spray may scare away a bear 7 times out of 8 (this is an actual statistic from a study of bear incidents in Canadian national parks). But they don't incapacitate or deter a determined human assailant. And if you use it in a small room, you'll be using it on yourself, too.

My own [limited] experience of dealing with dicey security situations included several white water expeditions to Northern Caucasus in the '80s (all the way until they started shooting in Chechnya), and running a small business in the '90s Moscow.

Most of the stuff that I know has already been mentioned, there are a couple things where I can add my $0.02 worth.

The most effective security measure is to look riskier AND less valuable than the next guy. Fake security measures work almost as well as the real ones, when they are visible to a scout.

If you have something that can be used as a weapon (speargun, diving knife, one of those 12-gauge flare guns etc), train to use it. Doesn't mean you need a black belt in the art of knife fighting, but practising one or two attack moves until you can do them accurately and VERY quickly makes a ton of difference. After all, people who would try robbing a small sailboat are poor idiots, not hardcore career criminals or combat specialists.
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Old 06-10-2013, 22:14   #38
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

[QUOTE=belizesailor;1357448]Lots of discussion here on CF about theoretical means of increasing security. Im interested in hearing what tactics fellow cruisers have actually used in a threatening situation aboard a boat.
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Old 06-10-2013, 23:52   #39
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

[QUOTE=Krogensailor;1358108]
Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I'm interested in hearing what tactics fellow cruisers have actually used in a threatening situation aboard a boat.
Okay. I could tell you some, but the boats involved were white water catamarans in Grade 5 rapids

The one and only "interesting" story I've ever had on a sailboat (a dispute with a very angry local youngster in East Med) was sorted out by the most basic tactic of not talking back and getting the port police involved. Cops will tend to side with the locals, but above all, they don't like headaches.
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Old 06-10-2013, 23:55   #40
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
I like the defensive approach as well. Lock yourself in and have decklights and maybe even a siren that can be activated.

Let's not turn this into another gun thread. Using the Search feature can take you down that path.
This is what I have in mind also. There is no better way to scare them away, then exposure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Has anyone used nonlethal shock (ie hooked up electric fence stuff) or tacks (like Slocum) for defense?
You want to scare them away...not piss them off. Remember...some of these individuals have a drug habit and can be a little unpredictable.
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Old 07-10-2013, 21:30   #41
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

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Three hits in how many years/anchor nights?

You went after the ones in the canoe with machetes? What did you carry with you?
In about 4000 anchor nights.

What did we carry? haha, a bright light, a bad attitude, and a foul mouth, still the surprise of being caught in the act had them. I clearly remember the one dropped the machete in the water, and paddled with both hands, he was in the rear, the guy in front still used his machete as a paddle on one side, and his hand on the other. They had obviously stolen the canoe, as when they were in waist deep water they both bailed and waded and then ran like hell up the beach leaving the canoe adrift. Next morning I found the Machete while snorkeling.

Another note, this was in Haiti, we were asked later that day how long we would be staying. I was about to say 2 days, but something stopped me and I replied "Next week sometime", we left at midnight. I am convinced they were planning something....
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Old 08-10-2013, 00:13   #42
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Back to keeping them off the boat, has anyone actually built such a system?

Motion sensor at the boarding ladder and some sort of tension switches on the top life lines might be a way down the road, but coming up with something which didn't go off all the time and would last might take a bit of work.

Anyone actually tried this?
It's a bit surprising, with the union island thread as well, that everyone seems to prefer pepper spray/baseball bat/flare gun etc instead of having a look at some sort of alarm system. Has no one even tried?
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Old 08-10-2013, 00:44   #43
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
some sort of alarm system. Has no one even tried?
Yeah I had a system that used those expensive d cell batteries and it broke the bank. Plus had to be set up each time, the remote to turn it on wasnt water proof. The siren was too quiet.

A real syste needs to be wired into the /12 v system but is an exposed wire hassle. Boat hatches connected to connection breaking switches are horrible in the marine environment and hatches are not designed for it so more exposed wires.

It needs to be like cars where a propper system is installed during build.

Motion detectors don't work because waves reflect light at night, corrosion, sea birds, ropes etc.

Also you're on and off the boat several times per day so it's got to automatic on /off.

Companionway can of pepper spray etc is simple, cheap and always there.

Companionway on velcro

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Old 08-10-2013, 00:55   #44
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Yeah I had a system that used those expensive d cell batteries and it broke the bank. Plus had to be set up each time, the remote to turn it on wasnt water proof. The siren was too quiet.

A real syste needs to be wired into the /12 v system but is an exposed wire hassle. Boat hatches connected to connection breaking switches are horrible in the marine environment and hatches are not designed for it so more exposed wires.

It needs to be like cars where a propper system is installed during build.

Motion detectors don't work because waves reflect light at night, corrosion, sea birds, ropes etc.

Also you're on and off the boat several times per day so it's got to automatic on /off.

Companionway can of pepper spray etc is simple, cheap and always there.

Companionway on velcro

Even the Duck is safe in bed!
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Ta.

Can't help thinking there must be a better way....
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:06   #45
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Re: Security Tactics Actually Used

Regarding the numerous comments of using a firearm to scare away the bad guys:

I assume that you assume that the bad guys do not have a gun? My experience tells me that you should never point a gun without making the decision to shoot to kill.

Generally, comments made about shooting blanks in self defense are made by people who do not understand firearms and should not own one. Firearms are not made to scare people into submission...they are made to kill. You should not own a firearm unless you understand that it is made to kill and that you will use it in circumstances that require you to kill. I believe this covers the use of firearms for hunting...you would not want to just wound the duck.

Regarding the OP question:
We installed a MarineGuard alarm system without onshore remote monitoring.

This system has pressure sensors (no moving parts) which are epoxied under the deck or hatch, or even to something supporting the deck. We have four sensors under the cockpit floor and four under the stern steps and rear Lazarette lid and deck (could probably do with 2+2 rather than 4+4). It has a siren, turns on deck lights and has a wireless remote. It also has a non-alarm setting which turns on an audible chime when someone steps on the boat.

It can be found here: MarineGuard Product Catalog - Packaged Boat Alarms

It was not cheap...cost about $500-600. We have had it installed for seven years...works fine...never a false alarm. If you wind up doing this, be sure to email me for installation hints: bill"at"svbebe.com

Bill
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