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Firearms onboard a yacht?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Packinair, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. Packinair

    Packinair New Member

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    Lets say you have a boat 70+ feet based in FL, you plan on bouncing around the Bahamas and other ports within a reasonable range. What if any firearms are legal/recommended? I have been told you do NOT travel out of site of land unarmed. Is there truth to this? What are the legalities involved? I am not talking a cruse missile or 50 cal mounted to the deck but more along the lines of hand guns or AR15. Your thoughts all knowing gurus?
  2. clnewman

    clnewman New Member

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    Rule #1: Don't even think about going into Mexico or Mexican waters with firearms or ammunition. It can cost you your boat. There are ways around this, but none are 100% guaranteed.

    Am not sure about the laws in other countries, but I would definitely contact their embassies/consulates prior to traveling there, just to be sure. Even then, I'd take their advice with a grain of salt, as they probably won't be held liable for bad advice. If you get the OK for firearms, I'd consider a stainless steel pump or semiauto shotgun, loaded alternately with shot and slugs. Makes a big mess of FRP and wood hulls, and can scare the hell out of the bad guys.

    Alternatively, if you can't have firearms, and there's a chance you'll be boarded, a loaded speargun or 3 can be quite intimidating, and is legal everywhere :eek:
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    clnewman- I agree with your advice about the pump gun but have to say that your statement about the spear guns is mis leading.

    There are places where it is illegal to have spearguns onboard at all.

    Here is one of my favourites

    http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=109

    This is another one, unfortunately I have never seen a stainless steel one of these.

    http://www.impactguns.com/store/SS-96929.html

    And looking here you can get one delivered through your letter box too.......

    http://personalsecurityzone.com/Shotgun_for_defense.htm
  4. C4ENG

    C4ENG Senior Member

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    Places like the Bahamas I believe you are suppose to check in all weapons upon arival.
    Then if you don't and you defend yourself in a bad situation you are still in another bad situation.
    I read a story once about a yacht being broke down waiting for repairs in a bad place out in Asia some where. There were no weapons aloud at that place and only the criminals had weapons. They hired security guards to protect the vessel while waiting but they were also not aloud to carry fire arms. The captain ordered some toy water guns that looked like real machine guns from a distance for the security guards to carry while on duty. The captain wrote that it worked very well in deterring unwanted guess and visitors....
  5. Packinair

    Packinair New Member

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    what about going out a few miles just fishing or hanging out in international waters? Is it a good idea or pretty safe? The way this world is now I am thinking it is better safe then sorry.. are there still pirates around? it is not like you can outrun them
  6. Lrgyot

    Lrgyot Senior Member

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    i have sailed into the Bahamas with firearms onboard. not my weapon & not my boat. it had to be checked in, but so did all amunition. the idea is that you have to leave with the same amount of bullets as you entered to show you didnt discharge any. was a pain because the captain i was with had a few cases of rounds.

    on another note, was recently contacted my a uscg helicopter on my way to sint maarten to advise that we were 40miles off the coast of haiti and we were within 'pirate' range. didnt have any firearms onboard, but if travelling that are i definetly would.
  7. C4ENG

    C4ENG Senior Member

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    In todays society of electronic banking, credit cards, easy cash money access at ports of call, there really isn't much need for cash on board. Most yachts I have traveled with have carried maybe 10 thousand at most for a given time that wasn't very long, so really just a few thousand dollars at any given time. Jumping on a yacht traveling offshore is not going to be easy and will be very dangerous, and then you might only find a couple thousand dollars to split between how ever many pirates involved? Plus all the fuel spent, maintenance and this and that for there vessels, at the end of the night they come home with a few hundred dollars apiece? Not good buisness for such high risk....
    Small sailboats in anchorages are probably at most risk for petty priate theft. Not the ocean traveling yachts...
  8. clnewman

    clnewman New Member

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    My bad re: the speargun comment. The context I meant to put it in is if you've weapons aboard, and are putting into a port of call, most places will permit you to "check" the weapons during the clearing in process if said weapons are illegal in that domicile.

    However, in a place such as Mexico, where firearms and ammo are illegal in all forms (i.e., you can't even bring them into the country, let alone check them with local authorities), the speargun route works when sitting on the hook overnight. Please correct me if anybody has found that you can now check firearms/ammo in a Mexican port, and still get them back in good working order (and without having your boat confiscated) upon departure.

    There have been recent reports of banditos boarding boats anchored in Mag Bay in the middle of the night. This is no bueno, and a perfect scenario for the speargun method.

    Lastly, I've a question for the owners of larger vessels: Since it's illegal to take more than US $10k cash out of the country, how do you take on large volumes of fuel in those remote areas that don't take plastic?
  9. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    The large boats make arrangements through Bunker Agents just like commercial ships do.
  10. Garry Hartshorn

    Garry Hartshorn Senior Member

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  11. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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  12. clnewman

    clnewman New Member

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    ****... I want one (or 3).
  13. coismov

    coismov Member

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    Before Nuvolari-Lenard updated their site there had been a rendering of a proposed PJ's 120 for the coast guard, complete with gun turret mounted on the foredeck. It was a pretty imposing sight!
  14. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Aside from good suggestions such as stainless steel weapons and spear guns, flare guns may be better than nothing. Handy spotlights for blinding the bandito can maybe buy precious seconds.

    I recommend a secure hidden gun locker, retrofit if necessary. When entering harbors where weapons need to be declared, give them your Kmart 22 pistol; the Uzi and sawed-off shotgun remain in the hidden gun locker (one manufacturer I know builds it in behind a bunk of drawers; with a particular motion, the top of the dresser slides and the guns are vertically stowed.

    A suggestion I often recommend to clients is to have a safe in a rather conspicuous location. Put a ring and earrings with cubics and a few $100 bills. Have a very hidden safe to use for the real goodies.

    Most importantly, let all crew/guests know if there are loaded guns aboard and only touch a gun if their intention is to kill. And go to your local gun range frequently, stay in practice, and clean weapons regularly.

    Judy
  15. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    Hey, everybody, Annie Oakley's ghost is impersonating Judy!
  16. JCB-Va

    JCB-Va New Member

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    Too bad K-mart stopped selling guns after Columbine, customs officials will need to settle for the Walmart 22LR rifle.

    This is why Yacht Escort Ships are wonderful, you can keep them out a few miles and keep your armory aboard them. Or, just travel in groups when in dangerous areas (if possible).
  17. clnewman

    clnewman New Member

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    Theoretically, Judy's idea works well... and is what I'd do. However, it might not get past the ammo-sniffing dogs in Mexico... and there goes the boat.

    Then what? That's the Catch-22.

    As opposed as many counties are to firearms/ammunition, we've a serious conundrum when it comes to being able to defend ourselves on the high seas. We really need a way to convince these countries to permit vessels with firearms aboard to turn in the weapons upon arrival in port, and to get them back upon departure... in good condition and without fear of reprisal or vessel/weapon confiscation.
  18. jdpeterson

    jdpeterson New Member

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    Sound may be the answer for larger motor yachts

    Perhaps a better solution than firearms might be to install a sonic deterent. The system operates on the principal of amplified sound, either tonal or voice audio, focused in a tight beam to give a verbal warning or send a very strong message at a distance. The target person, or persons are subjected to what is reported can be extremely painful pressure on their eardrums.

    One or two (port and starborard or fore and aft) similar to that used by a cruise liner last year to repel a boat of pirates, off Somolia or Nigeria I believe, should be very effective. If my recolection is accurate, one of the major boat magazines profiled one of the solutions in recent months. Coupled with infared cameras for night vision and radar should be a very effective solution and neatly avoids the secret gun cache. Secrets seldom remain secrets...
  19. Garry Hartshorn

    Garry Hartshorn Senior Member

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    I can just imagine how the following conversation would go.................. "Boss we have a little problem, the boat has been confiscated and the crew are in prison because they found the firearms that we didn't declare, and by the way the insurance company will not cover it because we broke the law in xxxxxxxxxxxx country."

    Regions were there is some degree of piracy are pretty well documented, just don't go there. If you must then common sense must prevail, as most incidents around the world involve vessels at anchor, always keep the boat locked up and secure, don't leave tenders in the water overnight, keep all deck lights on, make sure you are moored in a populated anchorage, stay in radio contact with other vessels nearby. It would also be a good idea if you have the crew to maintain an anchor watch with radar and all other means that are at your disposal. The S.O.P. sould also include that any vessel approaching within 200 meters gets the spotlight treatment untill positively identified as to not be a threat.

    And in the areas where there have been reports of boarding while underway all the same applies but stay as far offshore as reasonably possible and don't dawdle around.
  20. C4ENG

    C4ENG Senior Member

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    Common sense?? What?? Good thinking Garry..here's a story you brought to my mind about using good common sense..

    The truth is unwanted crazy guest in marinas coming inboard with out permission is far more likely than a pirate attack in todays world of yachting. I was listening to a story that took place on the Nascar owners boat. A man swims across the marina in Paridise island to board up the swim platform, walks into the main saloon dripping wet, and asks the owner for his autograph. The crew did not know what to do as this was happening so fast. Mr. France then says "Wellcome aboard sir and surely I will give you an autograph and some free nascar memoribila and bla bla bla.." Treats this crazy man like he knew him. The crew quickly catch on to what he is doing. After a few minutes of pretend polite welcoming treatment Mr. Fance then says "It's late and I must turn into sleep, please allow my crew to escort you in my private golf cart back to your residents.."
    The crazy mans threat was nutralized and the where abouts of the crazy man is now known. That was using common sense in dealing with that situation oppose to using violence and weapons...

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