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Old 16-02-2010, 23:04   #46
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That is very true hummingway but to the guys who wanted to use the old pirats wepon of choise go to the site called gunbroker.com it is the biggest outdoor stuff site in the world. Yes there are guns for auction there but there are also a spot for knifes, and swords up for auction. There are real old time wepons there so you can get a sword from the time of the pirate or the romans {those will cost you} and repel boarders me matys lol.
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Old 17-02-2010, 00:06   #47
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Well, blunderbusses and cutlasses and away with ya but watch the shrouds and the little pinky.
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Old 17-02-2010, 09:00   #48
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Ok I have had fun watching some of the more entertaining responses to this ill conceived thread of mine and I have gotten as much useful information (thanks Gordmay) as I could have hoped for under the circumstances.


But with this last entry I would like to speak to the big picture and to the "spray sayers"

1st off: I had no interest in debating the modern interpretation of the 2nd amendment. This subject has nothing to do with it. I am not afraid of rabbits and birds nor do I have any desire to do them harm. I do not believe the govt. is afraid of gun owners, some of their constituents may be, but i believe the status quo is safe for some time.

To the point:
Why would I or anyone else who is not a gun freak or a paranoid alarmist (and as I said, I am not) want a weapon on their boat?

Well, to me it is not of any use while tooling down the ICW (which, it seems is ironically the only place one could do it with out much hassle). I see it as one of those tools that are reserved for eventualities that are so rare that the vast majority of people will never need them...yet are real and terrifying enough to want to be prepared, just real enough that it may warrant reserving a few square inches of precious space for a hopefully, useless tool...comparable to perhaps an EPIRB (for lack of a better example).

An EPIRB is a relatively expensive item that will likely (and hopefully) do nothing for you other than take up space. But the thought of the circumstances that require its use, however rare this may be, are terrifying. So too is the thought of the circumstances that would require the use of a weapon (rare yet terrifying). And I mean an ACTUAL weapon.

Having seen some of the responses here (the ones outlining the clever alternatives to an actual weapon) I am compelled to explain exactly what it is I would hope to gain from a weapon. To me the main point of having it is to prevent an injurious confrontation to begin with. To me it has the singular purpose of contending with one particular situation: premeditated organized piracy where the goal of the other party is to take your home by force.

It is not to prevent the sticky fingers of petty thieves and in reality, probably would be of limited use, if any, in contending with the surprise situation of intruders already aboard while sleeping at anchor (chances are a weapon is secured out of immediate arm's reach). IE: if yer unfortunate and caught with yer pants down not much can be done anyway. Sort of like an EPIRB's usefulness if you fall overboard unexpectedly and unbeknown to your fellow crew mate(s) in the middle of a night watch...

The usefulness of a bona fide weapon is in a fairly narrow set of circumstances as I see it, however rare they might be. When you are off the coast of Peru, the west coast Africa, or tooling through Indonesia and that "fishing" boat steaming toward you begins to look a little too interested in what you are doing and not too interested in fishing.

It seems to me that at this point if your possession of an actual weapon became known, that the dangerous and abhorrent (not to mention messy) notion of a sword fight, flare gun, spear gun (which incidentally seems to be treated the same as an assault rifle without the benefits), bug spray, or neptune forbid, a blackwater cannon incident could be avoided all together. The point is to AVOID a confrontation, not what to do once in one (i can throw a frying pan with the best of em).

I have read as many accounts of actual piracy as I can get my hands on and the majority involved somewhat amateurish, even reluctant, individuals sizing the victim up and gathering up the nerve to make an attempt at taking a vessel. With the minority being perpetrated by more purposeful, experienced, and determined pirates with little regard for human life, sizing the victim up.

What they all had in common was that the victims were virtually helpless and once this was apparent to the attackers they were screwed. And it seemed to me that even the more purposeful could have been deterred by the mere presence of an actual weapon. I doubt very much that the prospect of an actual confrontation (ie: getting shot at) is any more desirable to a would be pirate than it is to me (i have better health insurance).

I was not kidding when I eluded to my staring down would be attackers with a can of bug spray in hand being less intimidating than staring them down with nothing in hand. I would in fact be more intimidating without it, as I can be a rather intimidating looking fellow...but with it, as intimidating as i might appear, it is quite obvious I cannot do jack squat....leaves nothing to the imagination and tips your hand quite clearly.

All that said, it appears that the "rules of the road" from country to country have more to do with corruption than public safety. That it is 1000 times more likely that an encounter with foreign maritime law enforcement whom are looking for ANY excuse to extort $ or to take ones vessel outright would lead to more trouble than it is worth. Even our own maritime law enforcement seems to intrinsically be designed to take your stuff without regard to public safety (thoughts of seized vessels over a marijuana seed come to mind)...basically because they can....I have been to the police auctions.

So now that I have a little more research under my belt than i did when i posted this: while I am as concerned as the next guy at the rare but terrifying prospect of piracy, I am also not crazy about rolling the dice with my freedom, $ and property every time I enter a new port...While I would prefer to just have an actual weapon it just does not seem feasible given this reality...

So perhaps I will just obtain a rubber assault rifle (pretty sure these are legal) and get a pet skunk (cute) and a katana (cool) for those quiet nights at anchor and hope for the best
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Old 17-02-2010, 09:22   #49
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Irony that a stranger appears and starts (the millionth?!) gun thread.......and then turns out to not only be freindly and rational , but is also genuinely seeking help to inform his own choices. Oh that all gun threads were started on the same basis, and continued like this

Glad no one shot da stranger on sight


FWIW before I joined this site I was firmly in the no weapons camp. I now have an axe and will shortly be acquiring a Sword (honestly! - pics to follow )..........if I ever leave the dock will probably take a shotgun, not as a magical cure all - but as a possible solution in some circumstances. or I might not bother - for the same reason as unlikely to get an EPIRB.
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Old 17-02-2010, 09:22   #50
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The usefulness of a bona fide weapon is in a fairly narrow set of circumstances as I see it, however rare they might be. When you are off the coast of Peru, the west coast Africa, or tooling through Indonesia and that "fishing" boat steaming toward you begins to look a little too interested in what you are doing and not too interested in fishing.

In Peru and Indonesia the fisherman are probably just that - fisherman. Off the coast of Africa they are carrying AK-47s and RPGs. Seems the circumstances for usefulness are even narrower than you might think.
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Old 17-02-2010, 09:54   #51
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I read many threads on the subject and briefly studied the laws of some of the countries that I planned to visit and concluded, as you have, that the inconvenience of carrying a firearm outweighs the advantages.
There's no guarantee that you will need it but having it is a guaranteed hassle.
I really do plan to make a crap cannon. Really.
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Old 17-02-2010, 10:21   #52
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Hope it don't back fire!
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Old 17-02-2010, 11:06   #53
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The best weapon against an intruder at night is fright.
Sleeping at night my wife heard a slight bump, felt the boat list a little so she looked out the companionway and was face to face with a boarder. She let loose a volley of high intense screaming (125 db) that caused the poor fellow to leap over the side.
My heart went out to him.

We can reassure ourselves by having firearms aboard but how much use would they be against the pirates around Somalia.
Any boat trying to come alongside at night while sailing may be the officials of some country or another. It happens quite frequently in the western Caribbean. No lights, darkened boat, dark clothing, a bright light lighting up your cockpit. I wonder what would happen if you waved a gun around.

For the midnight sneak thieves better to have a lockable grill or grate over the companionways. A person who is trying to get through that would be exposed to spearguns, compound bows, etc.
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Old 17-02-2010, 11:12   #54
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In Peru and Indonesia the fisherman are probably just that - fisherman. Off the coast of Africa they are carrying AK-47s and RPGs. Seems the circumstances for usefulness are even narrower than you might think.


Actually, the fisherman everywhere are probably just fisherman (why i said "rare" a half dozen times). And while the prevalence in Africa is markedly higher, I cited those other places for a reason...read at least one account from each of the other places I mentioned along with some others outside Africa I did not cite for the sake of brevity (Asia is BIG).

And for what it is worth, none of the reports I read indicated the presence of RPG's. Can't afford em and apparently would be better off selling them, as all some of em needed to take a sailboat from unarmed cruisers was a machette anyway, hence my assertion that the presence of a weapon would be an effective deterrent.

Of course the ones I was interested in reading about were against yachts not tankers and freighters....those crazy Somalians in the gulf of Aden clearly have taken it to a higher level. And I would avoid that particular place no matter what anyway.

I would however, love to cruise from Cape Verde to say, St. Tome and Prince someday....or the Indian Ocean
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Old 17-02-2010, 11:57   #55
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I had left The USVI's bound for Antigua as a singlehandler. I was doing the 15 minute nap thing in my cockpit. About 3am, there suddenly appeared abrest my cockpit a group of youngmen screaming and flashing lights in my face. Upon boarding they identified themselves as US Goast Guard from a 40 footer trailing along 200 yards off my stearn with their lights out.
They did some paperwork and never did a safety inspection, none were over twenty-two. As they left, one admitted that they were just practicing.
If I'd had a gun in the cockpit, I'd have opened fire before they ever set foot on my boat. They scared the heck out of me!
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Old 17-02-2010, 11:59   #56
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DangerCell - I was agreeing with you. But, it does appear that at least some of the bad guys off Somalia do have RPGs - at least for their tanker-taking activities: Piracy in Somalia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 17-02-2010, 12:39   #57
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I had left The USVI's bound for Antigua as a singlehandler. I was doing the 15 minute nap thing in my cockpit. About 3am, there suddenly appeared abrest my cockpit a group of youngmen screaming and flashing lights in my face. Upon boarding they identified themselves as US Goast Guard from a 40 footer trailing along 200 yards off my stearn with their lights out.
They did some paperwork and never did a safety inspection, none were over twenty-two. As they left, one admitted that they were just practicing.
If I'd had a gun in the cockpit, I'd have opened fire before they ever set foot on my boat. They scared the heck out of me!
Holy **** huh? Yeah they really should be more careful...that seems like a silly thing to do...

sneuman- yeah I am with ya....freaky stuff man...

Sheesh, between the "good guys" jumpin on yer boat in the middle of the night, and the "creepy" guys shakin ya down in port, and the scary guys wantin to take yer stuff it is a wonder more mishaps don't occur.....maybe I have been coming at this all wrong, I should be looking into a cloaking device
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Old 17-02-2010, 22:18   #58
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, I should be looking into a cloaking device
The US navy has such a device.
A number of cruisers I know never saw anything on radar, then poof, a searchlight and a US Navy ship "materializes" close by, still no contact on radar. Then a boarding without permission and when asked will not identify themselves.

I like the Mexican Navy who come by, polite, gracious, ask for permission to board. A bit of socialization, offers to help us if a problem should arise, offers of fresh water, and upon leaving wish us well.

I wonder how effective a pressure washer would be, say 3500 PSI, 5 GPM.
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Old 17-02-2010, 22:36   #59
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While coming down the coast of Mexico, when about 50 miles offshore, a shrimp boat filled my 3 gallon bucket with fresh shrimp for a Playboy magazine.
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Old 17-02-2010, 23:15   #60
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It boggles the mind. How did that deal come about?
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