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Old 27-03-2009, 14:17   #106
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I carried a parachute when I flew.



It's all about safety. There really isn't much to discuss.

Come on -your kidding?
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Old 27-03-2009, 14:21   #107
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Didn't mean to get into you knickers. Here in the US cruising, off shore, I've always been armed. Read in National Fisherman about a trawler captain ferrying, that went from being a 220# man to 97# in a Mexican jail for having a shot gun on board when unexpectedly having to fuel in Mexico. Your question was too broard.
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Old 27-03-2009, 15:37   #108
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Fine, I'll chime in.

When I lived on land I had a pistol and a rifle. Grew up doing some deer hunting, but never really found the time anymore, so I gave it to my brother in law. Kept the pistol. Now it's on the boat.

Do I carry it with me into other countries? No. Will I when we leave for the big trip? Probably not, but the vote is somewhat out. When we sail into Mexican waters I keep it off the boat.

My reasons for not wanting an armed vessel are essentially four fold. Again, these are my reasons; I don't expect them to convince anyone else:

1) In the big pirate areas, you're up against 6+ dudes with AK47's and RPG 7s. They are armed to the teeth,
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Old 27-03-2009, 15:40   #109
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Didn't mean to get into you knickers. Here in the US cruising, off shore, I've always been armed. Read in National Fisherman about a trawler captain ferrying, that went from being a 220# man to 97# in a Mexican jail for having a shot gun on board when unexpectedly having to fuel in Mexico. Your question was too broard.
Yup. That's why I take the gun off when I go into foreign countries. Razor thin odds that you'll be able to use it effectively, with razor thin chances you'll ever even need to use it.

But pretty huge chances that you'll be boarded and searched a lot.
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Old 27-03-2009, 17:31   #110
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Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
Didn't mean to get into you knickers. Here in the US cruising, off shore, I've always been armed. Read in National Fisherman about a trawler captain ferrying, that went from being a 220# man to 97# in a Mexican jail for having a shot gun on board when unexpectedly having to fuel in Mexico. Your question was too broard.
I have a feeling he argued like a 220# fisherman who chose not to declare his arms upon entry.

How would you feel if someone came into your house and chose not to declare he was carrying a weapon?

Never had any issues declaring an arms list in Mexico in the past, they simply bonded onboard. I know things have changed and become more tense, but my point is that working legally with local authorities is the only way to carry arms in transit when entering a country
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Old 27-03-2009, 18:39   #111
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Obviously every situation is different and so whether you are armed or not will also be different. But percentage wise what will be likely to get you into more trouble than out of trouble? Why do police not aim at suspects legs etc rather than upper body which seems to kill more often than not? The reason given is you are likely to miss which gives supect more time to shoot back. So if you carry a gun I guess you are less likely to be a great shot, that is, better than a serving police officer SAS etc. So you are going to shoot to kill are you? Or are you only carrying the gun for effect? If so are the bad guys carrying weapons and do they know you are not going to use the weapon so they do not shoot first just in case. Example on previous reply about shooting in the air from below and they fled. Well as you are below and do not have any idea of numbers, guns etc what if they were armed and they started firing back what then? Quoting one incident and using that to justify guns on board is ridiculous.
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Old 27-03-2009, 18:59   #112
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Guns? No. If I were to travel to unsafe areas, I think I'd prefer a good sturdy steel door that locks from the inside. I imagne that a properly built cruising sailboat would make an effective fortress, if necessary.

Add to that a loud siren, floodlights, and the ability to raise anchor and motor away while down below.
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Old 27-03-2009, 19:09   #113
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A lot of silly talk by some.
Very unwise.
IMO and in the interest of all boaties it will be better if this thread was to be deleted.
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Old 27-03-2009, 19:27   #114
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IMO and in the interest of all boaties it will be better if this thread was to be deleted.
Not really we close the thread and leave it available at some point. Sometimes making it restart adds something new the next time around. Guns threads always end badly. Usually different but always badly. We used to delete them but we don't do that any more. The length of the thread is not always proportional to the merit of the topic. You get the silly with the serious for no extra charge. In general people know what matters. We do draw the line from time to time. Don't worry this topic comes back regularly.
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Old 27-03-2009, 21:34   #115
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Originally Posted by meyermm View Post
Obviously every situation is different and so whether you are armed or not will also be different. But percentage wise what will be likely to get you into more trouble than out of trouble? Why do police not aim at suspects legs etc rather than upper body which seems to kill more often than not? The reason given is you are likely to miss which gives supect more time to shoot back. So if you carry a gun I guess you are less likely to be a great shot, that is, better than a serving police officer SAS etc. So you are going to shoot to kill are you? Or are you only carrying the gun for effect? If so are the bad guys carrying weapons and do they know you are not going to use the weapon so they do not shoot first just in case. Example on previous reply about shooting in the air from below and they fled. Well as you are below and do not have any idea of numbers, guns etc what if they were armed and they started firing back what then? Quoting one incident and using that to justify guns on board is ridiculous.
Meyerman…I honestly have trouble understanding your logic.

Does that mean that police are also unwise to carry guns?

To take my robbery experience to the extreme…. If the robbers showed that they were armed and serious by firing their guns then I would know that I am in a nightmare survival scenario.

Without exposing myself, from the barrier of my safe haven down below I would bargain to try and satisfy their commercial interests.

I would offer them whatever they want in cash or materials explaining that no one wants to get hurt, but we will not come out until after they leave as we don’t trust them and we will not give up without a fight. (Money would be air bagged and quickly shoved out a porthole to float away from the boat and entice them to get off without any further risk)

At no time would I ever consider going on the offensive to willingly take a life.

I know my abilities to cover that one access to our safe haven and I assure you, after trying every trick to humanize and diffuse the situation…. if it ever came to their forced entry…I would not be aiming at their legs.

In my opinion, it is never a case of “justifying” carrying arms since this is a matter of personal “choice” based on ingrained bias, real concerns, training and discipline.

Actual “Use” needs to be justified, which in that nightmare scenario above is a very last defensive resort that I could live with.

Lastly Paul thanks for keeping an open mind on this polite discussion.

My thoughts are not meant to sway anyone but are part of marine security training courses I have taken in Israel that are designed to negotiate from a position of defensive strength without taking a life.

It is not an emotional stress issue for me since I have come to terms with how best to manage and analyze various scenarios that also include co-operating if one crew member is taken hostage or we are caught facing overwhelming odds.

Normally it is opportunistic kids or fishermen (rascals) that see you during the day as a soft target and the choice is yours if you wish to be that.

Carrying actual Arms is only One solution, the key is to have a security plan and the discipline to support it with or without arms.

That is your choice and I sincerely hope no one ever is tested.
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Old 27-03-2009, 21:43   #116
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Guns threads always end badly.
Yep. Thats why I fail to understand why they are allowed at all.

Its just grist for dividing people who would otherwise respect each other.

Theres nothing more belittling to me to hear people thoughts on these matters.

I read this forum and the vast majority I respect with their good sailing stories, tips, mechanical help, general friendship and a lot more.

But this subject… well, just delete the thread when it starts, every time, in my humble opinion.


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Old 27-03-2009, 22:17   #117
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Hi Mark,

Sorry you feel that way as I try my best to take all “emotion” out of this discussion and just share some of my personal experiences and thoughts about managing violence.

I think there is a reason this topic keeps coming back as do Cyclone anchoring techniques or life raft choices. It addresses a basic survival concern that someone seriously wants council and options within our cruising community.

When the discussion becomes clouded in testosterone and filled with personal attacks, I am like you and hope it gets closed.

However, I don’t think you should blame the topic. Just those that loose sight of the intent to discuss options
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Old 27-03-2009, 22:50   #118
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I was aboard a vessel as paid Engineer. The owner had a gun locker with a Mini-14, 2 stainless shotguns, 1 9mmBeretta, 1 .357 magnum 1 snubnose .38 and a freakin ton of ammo.

It was a royal PIA to have it onboard.......and the owner didn't want to declare it on entry to XXXXX. When the Customs Officials came on board he said "Chief...get the gun locker.....I thought the owner was going to have a stroke...The Official and I carried it off the boat and it stayed ashore til we left.

I am all for the right to keep and bear arms....but I think most people who carry them on vessels do not have the training or the stomach to take a life.....to them it is like a security blanket. Meh!
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Old 27-03-2009, 23:53   #119
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Many years ago when I was much younger and foolisher, I was cruising remote areas of the Bahamas. Our skipper declared our rifles (2) upon entry and we were allowed to keep them aboard. Later in the cruise, while anchored in an area far away from law enforcement help, and any other cruisers or fishermen for that matter, we encountered some unsavory fellows. With about half our crew in the water, a few of them SCUBA diving and several snorkeling, I watched as a large older poorly maintained sport fisherman approached very slowly. There were no outriggers or any other fishing gear visible on the boat. The only things visible were the 5 or 6 crew on deck, one with binoculars trained on us the whole time.

As they got within hailing distance I pointed to our dive flag on the spreader and told them we had people in the water. They didn't appear to care as they continued to approach closer without acknowledging. I hailed them again the same way and received the same response...none. I was uncomfortable already and now am nervous. As they got closer one of their crew asked "Hey mon, which way is Nassau?" with a look on his face that made me even more concerned. Besides the look on their faces and their general countenance and the total lack of gear on their boat (more apparent now), one doesn't cruise to remote areas of the Bahamas and not know which general direction that Nassau lies. I am extremely nervous now. You know, the hairs on the back of the neck standing up and my heart racing. I told them to wait a moment and I went down below, woke the skipper form his nap and told him what was up. We decided on our plan and both came back on deck with our rifles so they could see we were armed. The skipper pointed in the direction of Nasssau and said "that way." Our visitors gave us a smile and waved goodby as they departed as slowly as they had approached. We were much more alert after that and kept a security watch at night for the remainder of the trip.

Were we stupid to react the way we did? Were they possibly just looking for fellowship? Were they just drawn to the pretty young women on our boat? Were they up to no good and checking to see if we were a soft target? It's all debatable I guess. And I am sure many on this thread will find faults with our decision to bring firearms and our reaction to this percieved threat. However, I am convinced that we did the right thing.

Short postscript to this story: on a subsequent cruise to the Bahamas we neglected to declare our rifle (see foolisher comment above) and were later boarded by the Bahamian Defense Force. The young Ensign's primary objective was a drug bust, but finding none onboard he decided to make his case with our (now realised) undeclared rifle. The subsequent arrest, interrogations (yes, interrogated as if we they believed we were insurgents...but no waterboarding ), boat impoundment, rifle confiscation, and being held in an unpleasant facility (no, it wasn't like the Midnight Run movie, but I still really didn't want to be there!) for two days while we had the money for the stiff fine wired from the U.S. was a very unpleasant experience.

OK. I am prepared to be horse-whipped and my decisions to be picked apart by some here. That's OK. Go ahead. I am interested in your thoughts and would like to know how some of you would have handled the situation. To answer a few anticipated questions: Yes I am trained to use firearms and yes I was prepared to use it...and yes I was scared s***less.
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Old 28-03-2009, 00:47   #120
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As you learned, not declaring was a foolish risk....lesson learned!

My own preference is to never show your hand if you can avoid it, but in your case you had people in the water and felt the need to assert control by showing you were armed.

Glad it worked out ok and everyone stayed cool
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