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Old 01-11-2009, 08:51   #1
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Stealth Sailing

Assuming you don't want to be either a hostage or a hollywood action hero, what might be some ideas to reduce your chances of being seen or detected while sailing in more dangerous areas?

We all know sail (lights-out) by night, motor by day. Would a set of grey-dyed sails help much? Is radar mostly beneficial or detrimental? Any brainstorm ideas?
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:51   #2
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Why would you want to go there in the first place?
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:56   #3
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Why would you want to go there in the first place?
I'm pretty sure he means places like the Gulf of Aden and the Straits of Malacca. Not many want to be there, they just want to get through there in order to get elsewhere. Avoiding those places means traveling enormous circuitous routes.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:09   #4
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I'm pretty sure he means places like the Gulf of Aden and the Straits of Malacca. Not many want to be there, they just want to get through there in order to get elsewhere. Avoiding those places means traveling enormous circuitous routes.
I see your point. It's just that nowhere I'd want to go would require going through those places. I'd guess camouflage of some sort couldn't hurt.
In any event, if piracy was a worry, a longer path would be more attractive- it's a balancing of risks task.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:45   #5
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consult the charts

Quote:
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Why would you want to go there in the first place?
If you want to go through the Suez Canal, there's no avoiding the Gulf of Aden.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:19   #6
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If you want to go through the Suez Canal, there's no avoiding the Gulf of Aden.
See post above.^^^ If you worry about pirates, go 'round the Cape.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:39   #7
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Hey, the OP did not ask about the merits of avoiding any particular area. There is another huge post active right now for that.

Avoid any emissions, such as radar, VHF, etc.
don't sail a bit steel boat.
travel at night
ETC

I don't think there is any magic bullet here.


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Old 05-11-2009, 10:50   #8
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Radar depends upon foes sophistication. I have a SeaMe on my boat. It beeps when it receives a radar signal. Another make will also give you a vector. So if the bad guys have one of these then they can see you over the horizon and at night.

In fact, you might be able to do the same thing with a simple car radar detector?

So my guess is, radar is a net negative.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:56   #9
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My old all wood boat was hard to see with radar. Wood boat, wood masts. Of course that doesn't help if you want to do that area with your current vessel.
regards,
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:31   #10
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When I was in the Navy, we would practice EMCON, whuch stands for emmission control. We would be absolutely we were transmitting nothing, not radar, radio, avoidable noise, smoke, nothing.

To answer the OP's question, then, for sailboats, emit nothing, including no radar transmissions, drop your radar reflector, turn off your AIS, depthfinder, anything that emits a detectable signal.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:43   #11
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I think this might be the answer



If you don't want to use it as a flying gun platform can use it for Pirate Spotting. and maybe some Youtube

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Old 05-11-2009, 12:10   #12
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I was woken up by my brother on watch 40 miles off the coast of Flores Indonesia. A ship suddenly appeared dead ahead about 2miles off but it wasnt moving.The ship must have been in stealth mode, then seeing us turned on its lights.Then a strange voice came over Ch16 "this is mumma ship who are you" I replied but no answer came back. Then a bright search light appeared from a motor boat of its stern.The boat was coming for us.That was time for us to go into stealth mode. Lights off, tacked, gave the 5hp mariner a kick in the guts, then like a lizard drinking got yhe hell away from there with this boat still looking for us. Scary stuff. But what were they doing?
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Old 05-11-2009, 14:21   #13
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There are areas of the Caribbean where it is advisable to run dark and run silent. These are known centers of pirate activity and diverting out away from land is not the preferred way to go. Simply you turn off all the lights and you do not answer any radio calls. You try to time your passage to be tranversing the area at midnight to 3 AM when most respectable pirate are home at sleep.
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Old 05-11-2009, 15:02   #14
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and the Straits of Malacca.
Any evidence of anything happening to cruisers in here?

Anything at all?
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Old 05-11-2009, 16:33   #15
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One of the most consistent recommendations that comes across in my research when in sailing in areas of piracy is to sail in a group in convoy. I realize that does not answer your question directly, though; You may not be able to take this strategy.
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