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Old 13-07-2012, 15:18   #1
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Security - What do You Do ?

With the ongoing and never ending discussion of Piracy (really break and enter's at anchorages, armed and otherwise), security and self defence i have gleaned some worthy points and suggest the following.

Most sizeable possessions in our life we protect with alarms in one way or another, on some motor vehicles we setup tracking devices or at the very least the car comes equipped with entry alarms. With our boats we do little.

I put forward the following points interested to explore others ideas that may be added.

Secure/lockable: Hatches should have a removable bar inside preventing easy entry. Windscoops should be setup to provide breeze, Rain? Well they gonna be shut!

Cockpit: Motion detector from 2 sides scanning the main entry. This needs to be connected to a LOUD audible alarm and also connected to a relay to switch on ALL external lights. Maybe with a flasher?

Deterrent: Maybe a dog, short in leg big in Jaw, as someone said it's easier to check in a dog than a gun. Depends on your cruising style. I think most victims or marks are sussed out in daylight hours..

Notification: Flares, even out of dates can easily be placed near hatches or ports, thieves dislike becoming the centre of attraction it really is simple to shoot off a couple of reds out of a hatch if you are convinced you are in a situation.

Radar: If you have one set up a small circle around your boat setting the alarm off if anything/anyone comes into the area.

Radio: Establish a net, talk to others, LEAVE it on to protect them and yourself.

Innovation: I would like to see a remote flare launcher developed, one that is in the form of a tubular launcher that can be bolted externally and high up. Flares should be the Very Pistol style that can be fired but as in a revolver.
An Arming/Fire button inside would be the go. By the bed?

Weapons: Make up your own mind but one word of warning NEVER reveal your ace card without full commitment and ability to use it... We are all different.

Now you notice that all of the above is more effective if your boat is secure, if you sleep with the hatches wide open and the companionway door open then there's not much of this that can help simply because you may wake with a gun in your mouth.

Also notice that every one of the above items will assist and you have not stepped out of your boat to confront anyone.

Actually our Catamaran has an escape hatch in each hull, thats a bonus!!!!

Ok lets see some good ideas/smart ideas ones we can install to protect our being.
Please no electric fence rants

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Old 13-07-2012, 17:11   #2
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Re: Security ..What do You Do?

We have always had a small dog or two that make a big bunch of noise if anyone gets even near our boat we also have inside locking hatchs, and a dedicated light ondeck in the cockpit area, that we turn on at dusk along with lighting our anchor lights (two of ) the deck light has its own battery and seperate charging source!! these things have kept us safe so far as others have lost things at night at anchor and we have not !!in the same places at the same time !! we bring our dink aboard and chain it and also lock the motor! Yes I carry a couple of Bad Flare guns both a 12 gauge and a 10 gauge, but have never had to use them in self defense Our noisy dogs and our lit up deck seem to keep the bad folks away so far !! just our 2 cents after 30 + years of anchoring out all over the world
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Old 13-07-2012, 17:15   #3
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Re: Security ..What do You Do?

I think the thieves always prefer the easy route. Good approach
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Old 13-07-2012, 17:27   #4
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Re: Security ..What do You Do?

Hatch-bars.....downside is if they can see you they may be able to shoot you, or get you to unlock the bars. Also denies rapid deck access to you, especially in case of fire, or using the outside head. Still, a good thing, especially when you're not there, without turning the cabin into a sauna.

Motion detector.....ultrasound detector like on convertibles? Could be a useful thing....but false alarms will make the thing annoying, or have the kid-crying-wolf effect. On the positive side, if you leave it set when you're away it could go off and drown out the noise of windmills and halyards slapping, or the dinghy wars between the sloopies & ketchies/rocnas & mansonites.

Deterrent....The Dog.....probably room for a thread about our furry friends. In my opinion, that wonderful nose and ear combo is hard to beat, possibly more important than the ripping-off-limbs ability. Plus, dogs are just cool. Er, I hear sharks love them too, so careful when swimming....

Notification....I guess you mean alerting the world that something is amiss. As long as Mr Artillery doesn't think he's being shot at and hose you down.....or you set your boat on fire. Foghorn & Siren & Deck lights would be easier and less risky, and also last longer than a fleeting flare. Now a trip flare across the easiest access point, the sugarscoop stern or swim platforms, might be a nice Welcome Aboard surprise....as long as you remember to deactivate it on your rocking boat in the morning when you go for your morning ablutions. Revolver flares on the mast....fire...short signal duration....still, would be an interesting setup, especially for illumination.

Radar....good, but false alerts/missed contacts. There may be other dinghies moving about, unless it is really isolated where it would be good idea. Hydrophones with software recognition of engine (ie not natural) noises, but that's my pet project...

Innovation...by all means! But watch out for radio operated stuff, such as someone opening their garage door on land....ooooh, looky, fireworks on a boat in the harbour.

Radio....wonderful idea. Comms are great....as long as nobody can listen in and get info on where the weak spots are, or join in the chat pretending to be someone else. Watch out for codes, especially when written, too obvious, too complicated, or past use-by date. Light signals (everyone kows morse and has a signal light and filters) and flags don't need explanation to sailors, and the hydrophones are available at Micah's Marine for a tidy, er, affordable sum.

But the one thing you missed is keeping the suckers off the boat in the first place...the world starts trespassing at the rail, not the hatches. Boarding net, like those compact luggage nets...preferably not with a DIY Ol' Sparky enhancement either, too much risk of a Crispy Cruiser, Charcoal Customs-dude, or horror of horrors, the ac and freezer crapping out at midnight in the tropics because the batteries are flat. Oh, and toasted seagull is fishy and stringy....not like chicken at all. Needs a marinade first...

Weapons....there are ways and means to slay the wicked, or persuade them to behave, or to buzz off, other than the cartridge-fed kind. Bowfishing, anyone? Or, you can be like The Jackal and make your artillery look like something else, but watch out for customs doggies, they'll find nitrates easy. Unless of course your projectile projector uses something else other than burning propellant to deliver the good news. If it goes hand to hand, better the blunt implements than the sharp ones, and keep in mind it may be below decks; so no two handed Conan swords, and if you're in the mood for saloon kendo or baseball practice make sure you can swing your implement. Boarding pikes were popular in the old days too, and the Zulus had an interesting little spear for close quarters. Souvenir from Africa, your honour. Any problem that can't be fixed with a hammer is probably an electrical problem....so if it refuses to go away after a thorough application of hammer, give it a squirt of fire-extinguisher, or you may wish to squirt first and then hammer. If you have no hammer, use the extinguisher.. Mono-ammonium phosphate (wood, paper etc) or Bicarb of Soda (oil, fats etc) in those powder extinguishers makes a nice dense white cloud, stings in the eyes and other mucous membranes, and also screws up electronics and fine machinery and takes three billion years to clean out of nooks and crannies, so weigh the risk. CO2 extinguishers might cool off an attacker, or at least a sixpack or three (heh heh), but using them below decks might sufficate you. NAF-III smells sweet and I think is not so good for eyes either, again, gassing yourself is not safe, but at least there isn't a white christmas in the saloon. Those good old yellow BCF 's, the same, though I'd save that for fires if the ecofascists haven't taken yours already. Pepper-spray etc....in a small space, you might get as much enjoyment out of that as your guest....but you have a gas mask handy too, seeing as how there are other ways of making a whole lot of smoke and unpleasant fumes; perhaps by cooking for the visitor. Tasers can be useful for washing.....throw the volunteer laundry crew in the dinghy with the socks and undies, add water and tazer away. Don't forget to rinse after. Or, just set the Taserto medium-rare and let him know how you appreciate surprise company dropping in unannounced.

Bear in mind the saga is not over when the guests are gone....there may be explaining to do, or messes to be cleaned up. Or, a relocation before your hospitality makes the local rumourmill and you get more visitors looking for some interaction with foreign cultures.

Just use your imagination and common sense, be friendly, and clean up after yourself. Nothing to see here, just another boring poor cruiser on a shoestring budget, minding his own business...with his eyes and ears open, and his mouth shut.
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Old 13-07-2012, 17:36   #5
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A friend ran into a guy in the carribean a long time ago with a very loud alarm. Most fire and engine room alarm sirens are 12 or 24v dc . I have considered putting one in with a panic button in the berth. The sirens can be heard in a running engine room, really loud!!
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Old 13-07-2012, 17:44   #6
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Re: Security ..What do You Do?

Other than a dog, I think the motion detector connected to alarm and lights is the best way to go, but I wonder how to avoid false alarms in any kind of windy situation. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has successfully used one. An alternative that I saw posted on another thread is a pressure sensitive sensor(s) in the cockpit floor. Just make sure to turn it off before you go out to check the rudder in the middle of the night

My sense is that dinghy theft is one of the biggest problems, even if they are locked, so an alarm trigger connected to the dinghy might also be a good idea. I do a lot of bareboat chartering out of St Martin and dinghy theft has been on the rise there (bareboat insurance does not cover the dinghy). I have been trying to come up with a simple alarm system that I can pack in a suitcase. There are lots of different travel alarms on line, any recommendations?
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Old 13-07-2012, 18:18   #7
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Re: Security. What do You Do?

In the old days they used Carpet tacks on deck to keep the natives off. I have 3inch nails on the top rail of my boundary fence they stick out an inch and it stopped the person from entering my property
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Old 13-07-2012, 18:35   #8
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Re: Security. What do You Do?

lets get another gun thread going, along with flame throwers, potato guns, electric life lines and private security guards
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Old 13-07-2012, 19:15   #9
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Re: Security. What do You Do?

How bout we all hire a X- Pirate for a night guard !! Ya know the kind !With a big beard and well armed but a local ya know ?? just a thought
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Old 13-07-2012, 21:37   #10
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Re: Security ..What do You Do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
Other than a dog, I think the motion detector connected to alarm and lights is the best way to go, but I wonder how to avoid false alarms in any kind of windy situation. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has successfully used one. An alternative that I saw posted on another thread is a pressure sensitive sensor(s) in the cockpit floor. Just make sure to turn it off before you go out to check the rudder in the middle of the night

My sense is that dinghy theft is one of the biggest problems, even if they are locked, so an alarm trigger connected to the dinghy might also be a good idea. I do a lot of bareboat chartering out of St Martin and dinghy theft has been on the rise there (bareboat insurance does not cover the dinghy). I have been trying to come up with a simple alarm system that I can pack in a suitcase. There are lots of different travel alarms on line, any recommendations?
cut an 8" round hatch into the bottom of your RIB and store the port away from the boat. Take it with you on shore.
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Old 13-07-2012, 21:56   #11
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Re: Security. What do You Do?

Rig a set of bright deck lights, such as high intensity discharge headlights to your spreaders and foredeck. Place two switches near your bunk, one to turn on the lights, the other to set off an alarm siren. You hear a bump in the night, on go the lights, turning night into day and alerting anyone conscious in the neighborhood. The second switch makes everyone else conscious. Bad guys are surprised. blinded, and no longer enjoying the element of surprise. I'm sure you can figure out what to do with the remaining blinded, befuddled idiots who are hanging around for the neighborhood to welcome them. The brighter ones left them on deck to greet the neighbors.

This is simple stuff. Bad guys need surprise on their side. Deny it.

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Old 14-07-2012, 00:19   #12
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Re: Security. What do You Do?

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Old 14-07-2012, 00:44   #13
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Re: Security. What do You Do?

Powerful photoflash....random strobe....hey, whatever happened to arbon arc lights, suntan your visitors's retinas. Or, just attract a whole lot of fish and top up the pantry.

Flamethrower? No thanks, self-barbecue is not high on my list of must-have cruisng experiences. Greek fire or some hypergolic mixture pumpable to a decent distance sounds intriguing, but too dangerous.

Tape recordings of a pump-shotgun being cycled, or of an angry dog with a deep voice, homebuilt wooden replicas of Browning's Finest on a pintle mount for that retronaut look, a malnourished ex-pirate languishing in a gibbet dangling from the bowsprit, renaming your boat the S/V Hannibal Lecter.....endless possibilities for puzzling folks and provoking caution and prudence in the audience...

In an anchorage, getting to know the locals and cruisers, taking turns as guard boat, anchor watch on your own boat if possible, sensible patrols....

Under way is a bit trickier, particularly if the other boat is faster and has more freeboard, letting the visitors step down. Smokescreen? My junk rig enables me to pull the boom up and still have nettings fitted and still work the rig, though it would be an inconvenience.

Avoidance, prevention, deterrence, deception...all very appealing rather than DIY naval warfare.
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Old 14-07-2012, 00:52   #14
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Re: Security. What do You Do?

"Avoidance, prevention, deterrence, deception...all very appealing rather than DIY naval warfare." Hence the thread
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Old 14-07-2012, 01:03   #15
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Re: Security. What do You Do?

This was a post I put on the Bocas del Toro thread...

"I agree with the panic alarm and mentioned it earlier in the thread. First, a simple 12V auto light over the outboard near the boarding ladder. You could add a low volume back-up alarm to wake the owners up. Second the companionway ladder hinged to swing up and block the companionway or a grate that could replace the boards and locked fro the inside. Then third...after you confirm an intrusion, hit the panic button connected to a 130+db. siren paralleled wired to the spreader or deck lights. Now the perps have to really think if it's worth it. It also buys you time to get on the VHF".
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