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Old 01-08-2018, 06:26   #151
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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Originally Posted by coastalexplorer View Post
How did we get from a story about a kid swimming around the thousand isles of Canada at 2 AM in the morning? to all this writing about world wide incidents...and all the imagined blood thirsty aggression that many members advocate doing to anything that comes near their vessel? Are they looking for an Adrenalin rush? spoiling for a fight? or even considering the likelihood to loose and end up dead?



Didn't we have a very similar thread to this about a year ago? About the dangers of guns on boats? Isn't that where I first read the story of Sir Peter Blake, famous New Zealand yachtsman, is shot and killed by masked robbers on his boat anchored in harbor near mouth of Amazon.


I thought that I received an email to the effect that the Moderators were closing this one out? Do I get a vote? If so I say close it!
Well, I started the thread and I have asked moderators to leave it open.

I am interested in learning what others due to secure their boats when aboard.

So we've heard the pro and con gun or weapon idea.

That's done, lets move on.


We've heard about motion detectors. It may be OK for some, but I would be concerned about nuisance tripping. Especially if there is any wind.

My plan, as a result of this "intruder" experience, is to:

1. Install latches so our companionway can be locked from the inside. In summer, we only have framed screens in, but if someone tries to get through them, that's a very aggressive action that tells a story.

2. Turn on the spreader lights, to let the perp know, they are not alone and someone is awake.

3. Activate the loud hailer siren.

The thing is, in this case, I thought there was another kind of animal trying to get on the boat (goose, varmint, carp bashing the hull, etc.), so I was not prepared for an intruder, did not turn on the spreader lights, and did not grab the compressed gas horn at the helm. (Again, I was awakened from a dead sleep, not bright eyed, bushy tailed, and sitting at my computer sipping coffee, contemplating in an alert state for however long before rendering judgement.

So what I'd like to hear, is there anyone that has devised a security protocol, plan, or system, other than the weapons or motion sensors already discussed (so the thread can stay open).
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:16   #152
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Real life, not supposition .

We do have crime in the good ol U.S. of A.

I personally believe that responsible people should have the right to have a legal weapon or two that was purchased legally , with back ground checks,. And have them attend and complete a gun safety course.

They do not need a armory of weapons for self defense, and they sure do not need them holstered to their hips on a daily basis. And you cannot shoot more than one gun at a time.

When I ask super gun advocates , that have many, many guns, just when did you ever have to shoot at anyone that invaded your home and endangered you or your family ?.

The answer is ZERO. And , I also asked them what foreign war did you volunteer for, and actually served this nation ? The general answer to that is " Never did join the service ".

However, I do strongly believe that if a person wished to go thru weapons training and purchasing a weapon legally, and kept that weapon safe from kids in the family. Yes, those kids, and was one, found every gun that we had in the house. We were a Marine Corps family. I had my own .22 rifle at about 12 or 13 yrs of age.

Point being as a responsible gun owner, and if anyone invades your home, have the family trained to retreat to a safe room, take cover, dad , in the retreat room also takes cover, mom calls 911. The low lives enter that room and dad blows the bad guys away. Wounding them is B.S....they will sue you for everything you have.

As to crime in the U.S.

Personal experiences.

Lived near the Disneyland area in southern california. Gated community. Lakes , rivers and ducks. Good hardworking neighbors.

* Condo broken into, my roommates AK-47, AR-15, shot gun, and hand guns stolen. His car stolen...we was a Disney exec and on a sales trip overseas. My room torn and ripped apart, VHS stolen, plus other items. The had climbed up one of the support beams to our upstairs lanai, and jimmied the slider.

* Later date, same place, I heard a loud crash down below our upstairs unit in the carport. ( actually was bad dudes breaking my car window). I went out the front door and down to the alley drive along the car ports. Two hispanics were standing at the rear trunk area of my then fairly new 1973 Caddy coupe de ville.

I have no problem with fiscal confrontation if required...I called out to them and they jumped into their beat up ol DATSUN...before they were Nissan....and mashed on the accellerator. To my left is a very high retaining wall that boardered the church next door parking lot. To my right is a shorter 6 ft. retaining wall. I jumped up and grasped the top of the wall on my right as the car sped under me.

Last time there, after this next incident, I moved to Huntington Harbor at the beach.

* Back to the Disneyland area...My room mate at this later time was a very nice German Lady, worked at several jobs, and had put several boxes of clothes and items in her car he previous night. Donations to her church.

05:30 am. I was up and getting ready to go to the gym for my daily workout, Martina had just gone down stairs to her car to go to work. I heard her screaming .
I am out the door running to her. Some low lifes had broken into her car and stolen all of those boxes of clothes she was donating to the less fortunate.

That was it for me, I moved to very nice area at the beach, called huntington harbor. Marina bought a condo closer drives to her employoments.

Well, Harbor Lights in Huntington Harbor was was also as gated community with a large underground parking lot.

One of my room mates, at the time was a previous F-14 driver and a fellow instructor pilot out at Air Combat U.SA. Currently , he has been a long time, a special agent for the FBI, Back then at our HH resdience, he had is vehicle broken into down in our parking garage.

Huntington Harbor. Erica, my lady of now 35 years had her miata stolen, and also broken into at another time. Last time, they , as usual, ripped open the soft top, but unable to steal the car since she had the CLUB firmly installed on the wheel. They did however not only destroy the soft top, but totally damaged the steering column in attempting to wrench loose the Club.

Eventually, Erica could retire from her M.D. position with the LA county health dept. and I was pretty much done with the last 17 yrs at Air Combat

We did move to Kauai after all of that thieving had actually subsided back on the mainland.. Not one problem on kauai in 10 years. But, we always locked our car, Mazda RX-8, and our condo when we were gone for the day, or at night.

We have since returned and are now living in Dana Point, another wonderful beach community, and no problems of with any crime involving us .

We have bare boat sailed for 34 years on international two week or more sailing vacations and never had any sort of a problem. But, we lock up the dinghy, and the vessel when we go ashore. At night it is just to bloody hot to close up the vessel. same for catalina trips or coastal passages here in southern california.

As to the OP's actions.

I could care less if it was some drunk turkey trying to climb on board our boat at 2 am.
I would put the binders on that action, since I do not have time to psychoanalyze and pat the hand of someone who could be out to do us harm.

Good on the OP, he acted instantly, and did not need to conviene a committee to discuss it and in a week or two come up with a solution. Good on him. Took care of the problem, the outcome could not have been better.

There are evil doers out there, and mentally whacked psychos, alcoholics, and druggies. We, the good guys, can only put every thing in our favor to NOT to allow them into our lives. Have situational awareness, lock up when leaving, and at night, lock the car, leave nothing out in the open to tempt some donkey to steal from you.

And lock up your dinghy, and boat as required.

Oh, and as to those weapons that my old room mate, a former marine, had stolen, the local police were not happy about those weapons now being on the street in the hands of the bad guys.

The above is not supposition or B.S. All facts.

Stay safe, stay smart,
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:30   #153
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
Vep, homicide rates are calculated per capita, so the size of the population (or area of the country) has no bearing. I don't know where you got the idea that the UK has a higher homicide rate than the US. The UK rate is 1.2 per 100,000. The US is 5.35 per 100,000 (4 times higher). I'm not bashing the US, but you've got to admit that the murder rate in the US is much higher than that of any other western industrialized country.

Have a look at the UN ranking by country:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._homicide_rate

The violent crime rate is an overall picture of a country. Obviously, it doesn't tell the whole story. I live in what would be described as a "violent" country, and yet I live in a town with a crime rate that is almost zero.

I agree with you that if you deduct the gang/drug related violence (especially between criminals) from the statistics the picture gets much rosier, but this applies to all countries, not just the US. The fact is that if you stay out of bad areas and don't associate with criminals you have very little to worry about.
Nicely put all round Copacabana. Most violence happens between people known to each other. IOW, they have an issue to deal with. Most violence in developed countries happen between close relatives. The second category involves those involved in nefarious activity. Rarely is violence purely random (although obviously that does happen).

Property crime is far more widespread, but high rates are commonly related to areas of high wealth disparity.


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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
Well, I started the thread and I have asked moderators to leave it open.

I am interested in learning what others due to secure their boats when aboard.

So we've heard the pro and con gun or weapon idea.

That's done, lets move on.


We've heard about motion detectors. It may be OK for some, but I would be concerned about nuisance tripping. Especially if there is any wind.

My plan, as a result of this "intruder" experience, is to:

1. Install latches so our companionway can be locked from the inside. In summer, we only have framed screens in, but if someone tries to get through them, that's a very aggressive action that tells a story.

2. Turn on the spreader lights, to let the perp know, they are not alone and someone is awake.

3. Activate the loud hailer siren.


I think some sort of security plan is a great idea — it’s why I’m still here; to try and learn. I have always taken a rather lax attitude to personal safety and protection of my stuff. No doubt this is b/c I have always lived in fairly safe areas, AND I don’t have a lot of stuff worth stealing.

But I recognize that I should do better. So I appreciate your thoughts Rod. I too will be installing stout internal latches on my companion way. And if I do venture south to scary places like the USA ( — this is a joke folks) I’d like to have a steel grates made that would fit my hatches.

I view thieves the same way I view bears; they’re both looking for an easy score. The solution is simple; don’t make it easy.
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:45   #154
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Rod, what anchorage were you in exactly (PM me if you don't want to say it publicly)? We were there all last week, in and around Beaurivage.

We're pretty lax about securing the dingy at night and makes me second guess this policy. It would be a good time to put some of the old standing rigging I have to good use as a security tether.

Matt
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Old 01-08-2018, 08:28   #155
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Very well put Vep....saved me writing the same post!

As to how nice it is to live in Canada with all the “free stuff” they have. Please please try supporting the population on public assistance that the US had to.....

Interesting how a simple “get my gun” comment had turned into a political debate!
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:02   #156
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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Rod, what anchorage were you in exactly (PM me if you don't want to say it publicly)? We were there all last week, in and around Beaurivage.

We're pretty lax about securing the dingy at night and makes me second guess this policy. It would be a good time to put some of the old standing rigging I have to good use as a security tether.

Matt
I wasn't going to divulge, but it could be of value to other cruisers.

We were on the south side of Beaurivage Island.

Our boat attracts a lot of attention.

From a distance, she looks like a new, very traditional boat, with lots of cool stuff on it.

Until this event, I never considered her appearance could make her a target, as she is an old boat of very low resale value compared to other boats around.

Since, I have considered that it is possible that someone, perhaps a non-boater themselves, not knowing any better, could think we are rich based on our boat.

We just bought a new dinghy, (still powered by our old merc 2 stroke outboard).

The guy may have been "just out for a swim" at 2 am, or he may have been planning on swiping what he could from the cockpit and making his get away in our dinghy.

Due to our long overhangs and sensitivity to weight astern, we do not have dinghy davits. (We drag the dinghy while in protected waters, and roll it up and secure it on the foredeck for longer passages in bigger water.)

Time to re-evaluate our security measures. (Making the boat less pretty is not an option for my wife or my business.)

By day, we hang fenders on either side of our midship boarding ladder, for (welcome) visitors to land their dinghies at to come aboard for sundowners.

Before retiring this evening, as I was putting the boat in "quick getaway mode" (Silhouette Rule # 1027), I raised the ladder, but left the fenders.

It may be possible that the perp eyed up our boat by day, evaluated that he could swim to it, climb the boarding ladder, grab what he could and take off; but when he arrived at the boat in the dark, found the ladder retracted, and tried to get aboard by pulling himself up by the fenders (about 2' apart).


Anyway, at 2 am out of dead sleep, I didn't have my wits about me to engage the person in conversation to determine the risk level.

I'm not sure with my wits about me if that would have been a good idea under the circumstances. I certainly don't want ot develop a rapport with the kind of person that will attempt to board a boat uninvited at 2 am, regardless what their intentions are.

When I hear the lame claim, "I'm just out for swim" with no heavy breath, nor any sign of struggling or inebriation, my immediate conclusion was BS.

IMHO, someone who is "out for a swim", and not struggling, does not attempt to silently board a boat uninvited. Someone who is out for a swim and suddenly finds themselves struggling, would be splashing and yelling for help.

I have been out for a swim many times (rarely alone at 2 am), when I have become tired. I roll over onto my back, reduce my pace, rest up for a bit, and then continue on. If he wasn't a good enough swimmer to swim a loop 150 ft from shore without attempting to board a boat silently at 2 am, he shouldn't have been out there.

I was expecting to find a Canada Goose or Mink who had decided to take up residence on our deck for the evening.

In hind sight, I still think my action was appropriate under the circumstances. For anyone who doesn't agree, that's fine for you, it wasn't your skin or property that may be at risk.

So lets discuss non-weapon security equipment and practices.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:35   #157
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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Vep, homicide rates are calculated per capita, so the size of the population (or area of the country) has no bearing. I don't know where you got the idea that the UK has a higher homicide rate than the US. The UK rate is 1.2 per 100,000. The US is 5.35 per 100,000 (4 times higher). I'm not bashing the US, but you've got to admit that the murder rate in the US is much higher than that of any other western industrialized country.

Have a look at the UN ranking by country:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._homicide_rate

The violent crime rate is an overall picture of a country. Obviously, it doesn't tell the whole story. I live in what would be described as a "violent" country, and yet I live in a town with a crime rate that is almost zero.

I agree with you that if you deduct the gang/drug related violence (especially between criminals) from the statistics the picture gets much rosier, but this applies to all countries, not just the US. The fact is that if you stay out of bad areas and don't associate with criminals you have very little to worry about.

I didn't say 'murder rate', I said 'overall violent crime rate'. There is violent crime besides murders, such as assaults, rapes, muggings, etc. These vastly outnumber actual murders.

If you compare the UK Home Office Statistical Bulletin to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, and you look at England and Wales, where most of the UK population lives (N. Ireland and Scotland are calculated separately and have a higher crime rate) you will find that Wales and England have an overall violent crime rate 350% that of the USA.

There are some differences in how each country calculates their stats and what they call violent crime and how they classify that crime. However, those differences are not enough to account for a 350% spread.

Most of the USA has relatively low crime. What throws off the stats are a few areas like Detroit and Chicago. Most violent crime in the USA occurs in only 5% of the counties.

When one digs deeper it becomes apparent that this is due to social and racial issues, a drug epidemic, etc, and not specifically gun ownership. In fact, most of those areas tend to have very restrictive gun laws. For example, Black males age 15 to 35, a demographic slice that makes up only about 3% of the US population, accounts for 38% of the homicides. That indicates that the problem isn't a gun issue but something else.

If restrictive gun laws solved crime, then Brazil would be one of the safest countries on the planet.

Note that in the last 20 years both the overall violent crime rate and the murder rate in the USA has been cut by 49%. A lot of this can be attributed to the massive increase in concealed carry of handguns by law abiding people. Guns take self defense out of the stone age where might makes right and gives it to everyone. For example, a 100lb woman can't fight off a 200lb rapist very well, but give her a 9mm and it's a different story.

Its a big country and some places you just have to lock everything up, like southern Florida and a socially disintegrating California.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:37   #158
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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Originally Posted by Vep View Post
I didn't say 'murder rate', I said 'overall violent crime rate'. There is violent crime besides murders, such as assaults, rapes, muggings, etc. These vastly outnumber actual murders.

If you compare the UK Home Office Statistical Bulletin to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, and you look at England and Wales, where most of the UK population lives (N. Ireland and Scotland are calculated separately and have a higher crime rate) you will find that Wales and England have an overall violent crime rate 350% that of the USA.

There are some differences in how each country calculates their stats and what they call violent crime and how they classify that crime. However, those differences are not enough to account for a 350% spread.

Most of the USA has relatively low crime. What throws off the stats are a few areas like Detroit and Chicago. Most violent crime in the USA occurs in only 5% of the counties.

When one digs deeper it becomes apparent that this is due to social and racial issues, a drug epidemic, etc, and not specifically gun ownership. In fact, most of those areas tend to have very restrictive gun laws. For example, Black males age 15 to 35, a demographic slice that makes up only about 3% of the US population, accounts for 38% of the homicides. That indicates that the problem isn't a gun issue but something else.

If restrictive gun laws solved crime, then Brazil would be one of the safest countries on the planet.

Note that in the last 20 years both the overall violent crime rate and the murder rate in the USA has been cut by 49%. A lot of this can be attributed to the massive increase in concealed carry of handguns by law abiding people. Guns take self defense out of the stone age where might makes right and gives it to everyone. For example, a 100lb woman can't fight off a 200lb rapist very well, but give her a 9mm and it's a different story.

Its a big country and some places you just have to lock everything up, like southern Florida and a socially disintegrating California.
OK can we drop the geo debate.

Violent crime can happen anywhere, and it doesn't matter one IOTA what the stats are if/when it happens to you.

If the stats are low, should one not still protect themselves as they would if stats were high? There is still a reasonable, measurable risk; what the exact figure is here or there is of little consequence, considering the severity of the possible outcome.

What can we do to help prevent all of the above, by product or practice, that has not yet been discussed?
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Old 01-08-2018, 14:05   #159
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

WARNING: This thread will be closed rather than allow it to drift into a discussion of crime statistics. The basis for this is the following Community Rule, to which we all agree to follow when we join CF: Discussions about politics, weaponry and religion are permitted only in association with the topic of this forum and will be closed or removed if they become disruptive.

Please keep this discussion focused upon humane methods of preventing intrusion.

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Old 01-08-2018, 14:40   #160
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

I’m curious how a64pilot installed his motion light. I think I want to get one.

Any comments from anyone on how it would be installed, meaning is it installed on the mast and in what direction is it pointed to pick up motion?

Is the light removable or permanently installed?
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Old 01-08-2018, 14:54   #161
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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What can we do to help prevent all of the above, by product or practice, that has not yet been discussed?
There is only so much you can do without running afoul of local laws or turning it into a confrontation. The matter of a confrontation is an entirely different subject.

Locks, cables, and lights, maybe a loud alarm. A dog can help, but IMHO they can be problematic to travel with.

If you need more than that you need to re-assess why you are there.

Some of the more complex systems are intended for bigger boats, 'super' yachts, etc. One of the better defenses of a small boat is to not look like a rich target. For example, have a dinghy that is intentionally ugly.
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Old 01-08-2018, 15:23   #162
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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...If you need more than that you need to re-assess why you are there.
THIS strikes me as one of the most important points. The world is a big place. There are far more places where you don’t have to feel under threat all the time vs places where you need to worry about where you gun is stored (like in the 1000 Islands for example ).

Taking reasonable precautions against crime is certainly wise. Property theft of the kind plaguing cruisers is mostly opportunistic, so don’t give them the opportunity. Don’t leave shinny things lying around on deck. Lift up the dingy. Anchor close to rich looking boats .

The great thing about cruising is that if you don’t like a place, you can move on. If the threat of crime, or worse, violence is that real, then what the heck are you doing there .
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Old 01-08-2018, 15:32   #163
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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OK can we drop the geo debate.

Violent crime can happen anywhere, and it doesn't matter one IOTA what the stats are if/when it happens to you.

If the stats are low, should one not still protect themselves as they would if stats were high? There is still a reasonable, measurable risk; what the exact figure is here or there is of little consequence, considering the severity of the possible outcome.

What can we do to help prevent all of the above, by product or practice, that has not yet been discussed?

There are some REALLY bright flashlights out there... that put the old 6 cell mag light to shame. Light of that intensity shined into the eyes is immediately incapacitating and the receiver of it will be thinking only of blocking it. Then a few gentle taps with a fish billy and he should get the message. Pepper spray comes in more than one type. The aerosol type can blow back on the user and has limited range. The foam type has much greater range and sticks where you spray it. Pepper spray is highly regulated or even illegal in some places so check first. A REALLY loud alarm will frighten off a casual thief, and that describes about 90% of all those who board boats at night with larcenous intent. Stun gun? Pretty dicey. You got to get within arms reach of the bad guy to use it, but the good ones are highly effective. Taser? Fires electrode darts into the subject and so is even more strictly regulated than these other nonlethal measures. But extremely effective and if you don't hesitate, the bad guy is going to get about a quarter million volts long before he can reach you. Two bad guys? You are outta luck unless they realize the peril that one of them is in and there is doubt as to which one it will be.



Simple thievery of removable objects is one thing. Drug runners wanting your boat for a throwaway one time use pickup and delivery vehicle have apparently simply shot the skipper/guests/crew, made their run, and scuttled the boat. Okay, probably not an issue in Canada but something to think about in South America or Caribbean areas. There are probably no effective nonlethal countermeasures that would in any way influence the outcome of such an encounter. Lethal countermeasures either, for that matter. So I won't presume to touch that sort of encounter. Chances of this happening to you or any particular boat are astronomically small. Too many targets to choose from.



A common thief more than likely won't have a firearm, and also he REALLY wants to live to steal again another day. He wants an easy target, not a hard one. Bright lights, loud alarm, should usually do it. Motion detectors? Absolutely, but maybe out of consideration for the neighbors, don't hook it up to your alarm and have every pelican or seagull waking up the entire parish. A smaller alarm to alert you might be a good idea or it might just be a PITA. A dog, even a little yap yap, can be a great addition to your security setup. Some are better than others. A few are just useless but most will wake up and alert you before footsteps on your deck get your attention. Then its lights and siren time, before he kills the dog to shut it up. He should figure game over at this point, and bail. Hopefully not in your dink.


I know a guy with a most unusual cockpit sole... a copper plate. Kind of a psycho sort of guy, can't legally posses a handgun in the U.S. due to numerous felonies. But he can own a boat, and he can own a nice big battery bank and some wire, and he knows that a lot of guys who invade boats do so barefoot, and his cockpit shower pump switch is inside the hatch. Not recommending this, obviously. This paragraph is for entertainment and shock purposes only. Oops pun alert. But other shock type devices such as large capacitors connected to metal objects would add slightly to the general deterrent atmosphere onboard.



It might be advantageous to have an exterior speaker for your VHF. Hearing it come on and hearing radio chatter and your mike keying it off would be a real buzz killer.


Basically I think it boils down to two categories... deterrent devices and actual defensive devices, and one should definitely concentrate on the deterrent picture first, then consider non lethal (or lethal as preferred and as circumstances allow) defensive devices. Not having to engage in actual combat with some desperado in the middle of the night definitely has its plus side, but no harm in being ready for it should it come to that. Especially with women and/or kids aboard. Could be some deranged predator type, rather than a thief. Odds are against it but people do get struck by lightning or win the powerball so unlikely isn't the same as impossible.
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Old 01-08-2018, 15:53   #164
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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It might be advantageous to have an exterior speaker for your VHF. Hearing it come on and hearing radio chatter and your mike keying it off would be a real buzz killer.
Now THAT is a really good idea.
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Old 01-08-2018, 16:37   #165
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

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For example, have a dinghy that is intentionally ugly.

Like a dingy dinghy?
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