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Boat security?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Pelagic Dreams, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Pelagic Dreams

    Pelagic Dreams Senior Member

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    How do most experienced yacht'ers secure their boats at night when on the hook or at a mooring? It seems you could easily be boarded while all are asleep. Parked on the leeward side of an out island would seem to be at the mercy of a passing rogue vessel. I would think being armed would be at the minimum, deck alarms.....is that an option?

    What about running during the day, and hearing a distress call only to find out that the distress is going to be your own since the call is to lure an good citizen boater to a hostile takeover?

    What are your common precautions to boat security?
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    It all depends on where you cruise. Cruising the eastern U.S., locking your doors is barely needed. Depending on the area I may use the deck alarm when at dock, but not on the hook. Off the coast of Somalia there'd be no stopping. In any questionable location a deck alarm would be a minimum. Better to post a watch so as to know of potential trouble before it's on board. Same goes for distress signals. On the eastern U.S., always render assistance. In questionable areas or situations relay messages to the authorities and stand off at a safe distance. Anybody brought on board must be scrutinized for weapons as they are boarding. Never put your vessel at risk.
    I always have a knife close at hand, but mostly for in case of accident (such as a line wraping around a limb). Mace & pepper spray are acceptable in most places. Many jurisdictions prohibit firearms and stun guns and having them may get you in more trouble than they'll save you from. If you carry lethal weapons be sure to check the regs in the areas you're cruising, and never pull a weapon unless you will immediately use it. It may well be taken away and used on you.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Keeping a radar alarm set while you are anchored will alert you to any boats in your vicinity before they come alongside. Keep all of the doors locked. I have not seen a deck alarm installed on any yachts but it easily could be done with a motion sensing device or several.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Motion sensors don't work too well on most boats; too much moving about. The alarms I've seen are the beam type, generally installed on steps and at cabin entrances but can be placed anywhere. I don't recommend the magnetic type as they are too easy to spot and thwart, plus, by the time it sounds the intruder is already in. Best bet though, if you have doubts about a place don't be there or post a watch. There are also computer monitoring programs for when you're away such as Sea Key (I believe) that will track a stolen boat like Lojack or Northstar for cars.
    There are also cheap local (battery operated) alarms that can be placed on doors or under a mat, but I wouldn't recommend them. As a temporary measure you can also "string" you deck using fishing line to trip an intruder.
    The radar alarm will not offer much protection. It will not detect a swimmer and most likely not detect a small inflatable unless the sensitivity is set to also alert when a bird passes.
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    in the US i dont ' always lock my doors at night... in teh bahamas, i do although in the Exumas or Berrys i'm not too concerned.

    being armed is an option but you need to research the rules for the islands/countries you'll be visiting. Some places have very stricts rules and you may end up behind bars if you dont' follow them to the letter.

    couple of years ago, the captain of a SF spent some time in a mexican jail because he was boarded and a gun was found, before he even got a chance to clear customs from what i recall.

    there are places, like Jamaica, where you probably dont' want to anchor overnight without someone on watch ready to repel boarders.

    leaving deck lights on helps too..
  6. Pelagic Dreams

    Pelagic Dreams Senior Member

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    The gun problem would be very hard to figure....If in some waters/countries allow them, but others don't, you don't have much of an option. You can't "have them" and then next stop "not have them."
    Most of our cruising will be almost all Carib.... with a trip through the Canal to California maybe once a year.
    I like the watch idea, and can see even more reasons for a captain and deck hand.
    Where would one find out the regs on having arms onboard from country to country?
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Google: Gun laws in....
    Then contact the local customs office.
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    local customs offices are a good start although in some places local cops / militray may interpret the rules differently. Pay close attention to the details, not only the kind of weapon but also how they are to be stored (locked, unlocked, unloaded, etc...) as well as amunition (in a separate lock box, etc...)

    some country (bahamas) require an count of amunition when clearing in...

    heck, even in US waters rules vary by state and municipality. In florida for instance the concept of self defense is respected and law abiding citizens have more rights than thugs... in states like the Socialist Republics of California and New York, you do not have the same rights and criminals get more protection.

    a month ago, the captain of a 100 footer was arrested in NY harbor for having a gun on board even though he informed the CG that there was a gun on board when boarded. Later on he was arrested for possession after docking the boat in NJ.

    most thieves are lazy and will move on another target if obstacles are in the way. a well lit boat is a deterrent as well as someone on watch and visible (maybe just a manequin like some PD do to deter speeders...).
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That's like walking up to a cop with crack in your hand saying you found this.:D You're in possession. In NYC I believe that's an automatic year on Riker's Island.
    "New York’s gun and weapon crimes are among the Nation’s toughest. Most gun crimes, even the simple possession of concealed handgun, carry jail time. Even in situations where you defend yourself, you may be charged with possession of a firearm if you have no license to carry that weapon."
    BTW, "Socialist Republic"? Please! Take a walk through Tiananmen Square with a gun in your hand some time and draw that comparison.
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    no it's not the same... you know very well that the first question a boarding party ask is "captain, do you have any weapons on board?". If you do, they will secure the weapon first and give it back to you when they leave.

    in this case, the captain was truthfull and answered yes as he should have.

    yet, for some reason, local cops were alerted.

    so what are transiting vessels supposed to do with the weapon they may have on board before entering NYC waters? dump them overboard?

    i've have been to eastern europe, east berlin, etc... before the fall of communism, so thank you I know what it's about.. that's why i often wonder if this country isn't on the same path, with some states leading the way.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Yes if it's an assault weapon. Otherwise contact the NYPD in advance for a permit. That's why I suggested earlier "Google: Gun laws in....". NYC is considered a hightened security area. It has nothing to do with Socialism or libralism. We are a major target for both gang and terrorist activity. Security and protecting the population is not taken casually.
    You have to ask the right question of the right people in the right place. The CG doesn't interpret the local laws, just enforce. Guns are considered very serious business everywhere, even in Florida (try driving through Miami with a gun visable in your car sometime. Not recommended.). BTW, I assume that captain is no longer a captain or at least he will no longer be when his case is finished. The year in jail is only the tip of the iceberg he's facing (fines, community service, lawyers, revocation of his Master's license, he could even find himself on a no-fly list).
  12. ScotL

    ScotL Senior Member

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    Was it the owner's wish to have a firearm aboard? I have seen no answer to that question(or if it is even relevant). Pity the captain will take the heat if that is the case.

    Can you get away with this anywhere? Maybe Texas, where not everyone has a stick up their $#@.

    Well said.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Completely irrelevent. I used to tell my mom that the smokes I was carrying belonged to a friend. Just about everyone caught with drugs says they belong to someone else. The results are the same (although I'd rather get caught by the cops than my mom. :D ) Possession is 9/10 of the law.
    P.S. I think Texas executes more people than any other state with the possible exception of Louisiana. So I be careful about using a gun there as well.
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    th specifics on the NY case are unclear, the original report raised many question since it's unclear whether the USCG notified NYPD and how NYPD had jursidiction to go arrest the captain in NJ...

    I love the excuse about being a target for gangs and terrorists... as if gang members are going to follow the law! they love to prey on unarmed citizens...

    i'm not a gun fanatic, I don't own one and don't see the need to own one. But saying "get a permit from NYPD before coming to NY" doesn't make a lot of sense.. imagine having to contact dozens of municipalities and counties to find out what their specific rules are. Logic and common sense should exempt transient vessels from following local street rules. You shouldn't be harrassed, arrested and loose your job and carreer if the gun is kept under lock and key on board the vessel. If you step ashore with it, then yes... you should know the rules and follow them.

    I really wonder if this case is going to stick.. again, the triton report is not clear and i haven't found anything else on the case.

    reason i brought it up is to illustrate how difficult it is to get it right when it comes to guns on a vessel
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That's life when traveling with guns.
    About getting busted by NY cops in NJ, that's unlikely (but possible). It may have been NY/NJ Port Authority cops. BTW, if the case was an innocent transgression or the owner accepts responsibility the worst case scenario probably won't come about, but it won't be fun or cheap for anyone involved.
  16. Pelagic Dreams

    Pelagic Dreams Senior Member

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    What ever happened to "Full Faith and Credit?" That's like saying if you have a marriage license in one state it is not honored by another. Why doesn't that apply in gun carry laws? If one had a legal license to carry a concealed weapon in one state.....wouldn't that be like having a drivers license for your car from state to state?
    I am not a gun person by any means, also don't own one or want one. But, on the water in foreign lands.....maybe.
    Also, are we talking hand guns, or any gun at all?
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Baring PMS your marriage is only dangerous to you. Plus, if everyone had the option not to renew when they moved to another state, well...:D There are places where $5.00 gets you a carry permit for a full auto with no background check. Thankfully that's not the standard in NY. That's why it doesn't cross state, county, city or country lines. In NY and many other place there is one standard for an open carry permit, another for concealed, another for home protection, another for assault weapons, automatics and machine guns, etc.. still another for hunting rifles. Most places in this country have the most relaxed standards for (unaltered) shotguns. When it comes to something as dangerous as a gun I'd hate to have people coming to my door carrying because they were authorized to have a gun by Georgia or Texas. There probably would be a national standard, but the NRA has a very powerful lobby.
    BTW, in NY it is also illegal to have a stun gun; pepper spray cannot be bought by mail order and the owner must register.
  18. jbk4001

    jbk4001 New Member

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  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The reason crime is lower in the US then other countries it's because they know private citizens MAY be armed and they are facing that risk when breaking into someone's home or robbing someone.

    When the UK took away the guns, homicide went up 48% and home invasions went up 52% and have stayed there. WHY, because criminals can always get guns, but when they know the good citizens can't they have nothing to fear.

    There are PLENTY of criminals walking around NY right this minute with illegal guns, rest assured that someone authorized to carry a gun and has passed FBI background checks is 99.9% of the time not going to be knocking on your door with harm in mind.
  20. twnich

    twnich Member

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    This is not true anywhere in the US. You are joking, right?

    You evidently don't know much about firearm laws. Most of this is totally inaccurate or simply not true.