While the cost to private yachts might be prohibitive, the insurance
to the larger shipping
vessels is getting out of control as well. There are some lines that will not go by the Gulf do to the cost of going through that area in insurance
premium is higher than the cost of fuel
to go the long way around (even with the dangers off Nigeria). So you might be able to get a convoy that is mixed to go through on a weekly or bi weekly basis.
While I believe that the use of firearms is at time warranted (I am not going to open that can up at all). The problems and control of those firearms in an area that is already violent would not be the best idea in my view. Mainly due to the fact that you do need a good bit of training to be able to hit a target while on a unstable platform (having been part of a M60A3 crew and a MG gunner on the Old Jeep's, I can tell you it ain't easy). Now building a mortar with PVC pipe and a scuba
tank is another item that can be done rather easily and a used wine bottle with the proper filling could make someones day less than pleasant.
The real option is bringing to bear a collective voice of the Sailing populace (commercial and private) to the government
that can do something about it. There are many routes that this can be prosued though they would require that those involved can see beyond their own nose and not all of humanity is capable of that. The best thing to do is get a Boycott going of the whole area to include those who have mega yachts and the cruise
lines in showing them that the area will remain unstable until the government
of the region decide to take matters into their own hands and clean it up.
Than there is going back to gunboat diplomacy (Worked in Tripoli all those years ago), only that gets you accused of Imperialism (still say that Italy
should not have given up their colonies, but hey).
The above is opinions and 2 pence worth only, please take it as such.