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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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    So as I understand it....no one has said straight up that if the boat is in international waters there are no gun laws to enforce. The issue arises when entering a country/state waters....is that correct? I just don't seem to get it, do countries expect you sail between remote islands far away from any legal protection agency and protect your life and property with....to quote Aliens...."what are we supposed to use, harsh language?"
    I can see if you are entering a port, you could surrender a weapon for holding by the enforcing agency and have it returned upon leaving said port. But to deny a yatchsman the ability to protect themself while on the water seems wrong on many levels.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The problem is that each country enforces whatever gun laws it has on the books, and those laws include visitors. There are no special exemptions in most countries for visiting yachts, they treat them the same as if you drove into the country in a vehicle or on a plane or walked through the border. Some countries do allow you to surrender the weapon and pick it up when leaving the country. But, what if the country is a group of islands like the BVI's, you would have to stop at the same island you surrendered it in to pick it up on your way out of the country. And, they don't take care of the weapon. So 3 months later you may pick it up and it's a rust bucket. A shotgun is the most normally accepted weapon in a lot of countries, whereas a lot of countries don't allow handguns.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    This subject has been covered in several different threads. In one a poster said that he sinks his guns when entering waters where they're not welcome. In another someone suggested carrying rockets or nukes or something equally ridiculous. Those who feel the need to carry guns should do so. Just be aware of the rules where you're landing. Holding a philosophical discussion won't get you far in front of a judge in a foreign port. You won't change the laws because you feel you have justification and feel you should be free to carry. Simply determine if you're more afraid of being attacked on your boat or in a foreign jail where you're staying for a few years. All the rest of this is reminding me of a day cruise I once had with a bunch of sudo-wiseguys from Brooklyn. It was a gorgeous day in Ft. Lauderdale, bikinis and mega yachts everywhere. As we cruised, the girls laid on the bow while the guys sat in the back of the boat reading Guns & Ammo and holding a conversation that sounded just like where this thread has been for several posts. I was left wondering why they bothered to leave Brooklyn.
  4. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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  5. luckylg

    luckylg New Member

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  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    K1W1, that was almost good enough for boat jokes. Gave me my first laugh of the morning.:D
    Luckylg, I rest my case. Next come the rockets & nukes.
  7. ThirdHatt

    ThirdHatt Senior Member

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    C'mon now NYCCap, "quite a while"? Let's be realistic. Merely four posts above yours I stated, "I consider my Socom 16 the main (distance) defense rifle for the BOAT..." and my entire post was about what two rifles I chose specifically for boat security.

    Guns, whether you like them or not, do play a major role in boat security and especially pirate defense. Discussions about what types of weapons that different boats use for protection directly relates to boat security which is what this thread is all about. Sure it can get a bit technical at times and I agree that some folks are far more into their guns that I personally care for but it certainly pertains to boat security and discussions about guns do belong in a thread entitled "Boat Security".
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    It is a pity to limit the boat security discussion to small arms as there are a lot of situations these days where you need larger calibre high output units to send the appropriate message to those who might not understand your native tongue but will have no doubt as to your actual intentions once your boy begins to roar.

    This is a not an unusual sight these days.

    Attached Files:

  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Being "realistic", whether or not to carry guns is definitely a consideration in boat security. As to what gun or what ammo to carry, far better info can be gleaned from a gun website than will ever be found here (hopefully). Here it just sounds like a testosterone exercise for 15 year olds. We've already gotten to a fold up, pocket sized machine gun that doubles as a flashlight. Come on.:rolleyes: Would anyone care to be found with that during a CG or foreign customs inspection? Now I would be interested to hear how many times guns and different weapons were actually used to repel boarders, the results, and how that compares to the guns that have been seized from boats, turned on their owners, bystanders shot accidentally or boat owners jailed. That would be helpful info. I'd also like to know how much time these posters actually spend in piracy prone areas which is the the only place where a gun is likely to be of more help than hindrance. Also, since the main threat really seems to be a boarding while at anchor the only real defense would be hand to hand combat. How many of these people promoting gun possession on board have bothered to train and keep training in martial arts and the use of small weapons such as knives that would actually be of use since waking up to an intruder seldom allows time to locate and load a gun (hopefully you don't carry loaded and readily accessible guns on a boat where your kids bring their friends).
    Whoops, I missed K1W1's post. Now there's something that should be standard equipment on the bow of every 50 footer.:eek:
  10. ThirdHatt

    ThirdHatt Senior Member

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    Wow Cap, this thread sure seems to have struck a nerve with you. By being "realistic" I was just referring to you saying you had not seen the word boat in "quite a while" which was simply untrue because I posted it four posts above yours. Please understand that I am not defending any of the "black scary" weapons posted or suggested on this thread. I am just a guy with a couple of wooden classic hunting rifles that I chose for boat security because I would gladly show them during a CG or foreign customs inspection. To each his own, and I do not condemn or judge those who choose the black scary guns nor those such as yourself who apparently choose to have nothing on board.

    As far as going to a gun site to choose what gun to get for your boat as opposed to discussing it here with other like-minded boaters looking to do the same thing, I respectfully disagree. That is where the hardcore gun lovers will easily intimidate and scare away a regular individual that simply may need a bit of direction in what to get to protect this boat and those aboard. If you want testosterone, just visit some of the gun sites you suggest and maybe you'll be a bit easier on the casual discussions here.

    Pirates are known for running down cruising yachts because their skiffs are faster than yachts, so when at anchor is certainly not the only threat. Cruising through international waters anywhere near a questionable country means elevated risk. I do not know where exactly I will be traveling in the future but I do know that I would like to be as prepared as possible. At anchor radar watch, people on watch and thermal imaging all serve to help ensure that the uninvited never make it on board but it can and does still happen and not just in the official "piracy prone areas". If or when it does a rifle would not be the weapon of choice, a shotgun would be much more appropriate. Your best bet is always to suppress any potential threat from the farthest distance possible. Once the threat is on board, your chances of survival are greatly reduced no matter what training you may have.

    I spend some time each year as a guest on a >100' boat that sometimes travels through the less secure areas of the southwestern Caribbean and the Pacific side of Panama below the canal. All seven full time crew members were sent to FBI Tactical Training school to learn hand-to-hand combat and how to handle weapons in such situations. There are very specific instructions on what each crew member is to do if boarded and what is to be done with the guests on board, etc. so please don't assume that nobody takes the time to get the proper training for such situations because many actually do. The boat was down there for much of 2002 and 2003, then again in 2007 and 2008 so I believe that would qualify as a significant amount of time spent in those waters to justify weapons on board and of course the proper training for the crew.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    In the interest of (semi-) full disclosure, I never said that I do not own, carry, use or enjoy guns... and other weapons. It's something I don't discuss. Let he who comes be surprised. I also never said that I'm against the practice of carrying guns on board. There is just so much more involved in that decision than most comprehend. The ramifications can be life altering, especially when traveling internationally. A gun in the wrong hands is so much worse than none at all.
    . That is a statement that I hope all take note of. Very good. I once worked for an owner who carries on board and off. He once got ticked at a salesman and pulled it in the middle of a boat show. I've also stood between more than one owner and a stranger who were nose to nose after a couple of drinks and a gun would have made that a whole different situation. I'm afraid to say that guns are more often than not in the hands of those who aren't responsible or educated enough to handle spur of the moment life and death situations. That's why I try to provoke thought rather than testosterone in this thread.
  12. Anderschou

    Anderschou New Member

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    Right on, NYCAP.

    Too true, sad to say; from one who has owned, carried, and exercised firearms for 50+ years. Still think Slocum's carpet tacks were an act of genius!

    Anderschou
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Yeah, but they now wear shoes.:D
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I have had one instance where I have used a gun to twart a threat. We were doing a crossing heading to St. Marten and we were doing 10 knots on a 103' MY, those on watch alerted us that there was a small object on radar that was circling the boat and staying about a 1/2 mile off of the boat at a high rate of speed and had no lights on. We were 5 miles off of this tiny island north of the Dominican Republic, I forget the name of it at this point, but could look it up on a chart. We tried to raise them on the VHF to no avail. This went on for another 15 minutes, they were on our port side, off of our stern, off of our starboard side. We fire 1 round of 12 gauge straight up into the air, and watched them on radar make a beeline back for the island and never came back.

    On one boat, we do keep a loaded handgun on board and ready, except that it is in a handgun safe with a 4 digit electronic code. It is perfectly safe and not accessible, yet is ready within 10 seconds.

    I have spent a lot of time in piracy prone areas such as central america, DR, PR and other places in the Carribbean where it is not 100% safe.
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Very good illustration of my point. I myself have been out playing around when upon seeing a large yacht ran over to check it out. To respect their privacy and not make anyone nervous I stayed about a 1/2 mile off. I'm glad you fired "straight up into the air" since you fired a deadly weapon without having a clue to their intent and not seeing if they were armed.
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It was 3am, we were literally in the middle of nowhere, underway at 10 knots, and they had been playing around us for 1/2 an hour and for 5 miles at 3am in the morning. I don't think they were on a pleasure cruise, and we weren't about to find out what their real intentions were.
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Not saying you were wrong or that I wouldn't have done it myself. Wasn't there. Just pointing out that if that was a bunch of guys out fishing who got curious when they saw your yacht they could be heading to shore with tales of this yacht that was using them for target practice (not conducive to a welcome arrival). Or if they were in fact planning an attack you alerted them to the fact that your defense is a shotgun which would be of little use against an automatic weapon. All they'd need do then is come in fast and hard whereas if they had come in close on a sneak or a rouse that shotgun could be useful. What I'm saying is that it is a complicated decision with dire consequences. It should not be made on machismo, but on reasoned logic taking in all possible factors.
  18. cabobo09

    cabobo09 Member

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    Here is a post from another forum related to firearms aboard a yacht. Disclosure: I am not the author of this material, it is here for informational purposes only............

    "You have only one good option, legally available.
    A long range hunting or sniper rifle.
    You must be willing to engage them at ranges of 200m plus, and shoot until you have killed enough that they abandon the effort.
    You must also be able to hit people from 200m plus.
    Everything else is totally useless, and will make virtually certain that you die, and most likely everyone onboard, most likely in unpleasant ways.

    Now, AK47/74 variants fire a military shell that has an effective max range (unaimed) of 600 m in the hands of an expert, when using an accurate version of this gun, be it automatic or semi.
    They are quite accurate to 300 m.
    In point and spray mode, in the hands of any idiot, used to it, it is easy ! note *easy*, to sometimes hit someone on a boat, at around 200 m, if you do not care how much you fire and who else you hit.
    Any semi-competent shooter will hit a boat, somewhere, around 10-30 % of the time. Not necessary a person, but somewhere in a boat.
    The round will penetrate both sides of the boat, unless it hits a major structural component, which it will damage/destroy/incapacitate.

    Given it is a well established fact that the Ak variant guns are cheap and well available,
    + the pirates are used to their weapons and totally without regard as to your property and life and collateral damage,
    The key question is this ?
    Do you know for sure that you have the stones, skill and weapon to do the required thing ?
    Remember if you are wrong, everyone dies horribly.

    As a credential, I am trained on the same round with the worlds most accurate military automatic rifle using this cartridge, the Finnish Valmet-Sako Rk62.
    It uses the same Ak 7,62 mm round (so in a battle we can use captured russian ammo).
    I could hit a target, 5 years later in refresher training, at 92% from 100 m out. The target dimension (black area) was round 100 mm Diameter.
    (Out of 10 round, every one was within the head, fwiw).
    I could also hit a man sized silhouette at 90%+ from 300 m out, in this case I do not speak from hearsay or internet opinions.
    The weapon I used was a stock RK62, made in 1968, issued me temporarily that day.

    I have never, and would not, carry a handgun, for pirate "defense"Â in these situations.
    Handguns are useless, in these situations.
    A handgun will NOT frighten the pirates off, it will encourage them to kill you.

    If you can swing the paperwork, any belt fed weapon is far superior (missiles, rockets etc), but these will present difficulties when entering anywhere. Grin ;)
    So, the msg of my post is;
    Dont think handguns help (I am not sure, but I do think a case can be made for them in the USA. Elsewhere, not so much).
    IF you carry rilfles, be sure what, when, where and how you plan to deploy it.

    And don´t think a single lone rifle is very effective, unless you are an expert shot. If you are the expert shot, you already new all of the above.

    This is what you must do, if you carry weapons:
    ...If you are the expert shot, you will be required to shoot the pirate helmsman dead, from outside their effective range, about 200m.
    If you shoot the next one as well, it is almost 100% certain they will leave you alone.
    A ringle shot rifle is much more long ranged and accurate than the skills and weapons the pirates carry.

    The pirates are not trained commandoes and will not press the attack through.
    However, they are experienced thugs who have shot and been shot at dozens of times. They are also desperate to maintain their status in their peer group.
    And if they get in their effective range they can, and will pulverise your boat by simple blasting full clips.

    Disclosure (my stance):
    In above-mentioned situtation, given any decent bolt action gun and ammo, I personally would engage the enemy.
    That would be my last option, and I would be fully committed to following through.
    I dont think one should generally carry guns, but if you do, I believe it is vital to know when, why and how.

    I also believe only people who have had training and experience of tight situations, should be allowed to make the call.
    I think most people do not belong in that category.
    I have been in 1-2 dozen very tight spots, and not had a gun, and made it through in one piece.
    Having a gun makes your getting killed much more likely.

    All above deals only with the only sometimes real threat of weapons/guns/shooting vs pirates.
    Casual robbers can perfectly well be discouraged by the threat of any handgun(s), and are not related to above in any way.

    My post is only meant to make people think.
    By all means, voice your opinions, and reasons.

    There is also the moral and legal question and practical question to consider, but like many I am of the opinion that in a clear-cut case a pirate crew deserves their fate.
    Only a pirate crew will continue after a warning shot is fired."
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    And he didn't even take into consideration that both boats are moving erratically.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    If your boat is moving at a constant speed, it moves constant. You count the seconds between when the port gunnel goes down and comes back up. Sort of like trap shooting. When someone is hunting, the prey moves erratically also. They don't just stand there and say shoot me now. It's all about training and practice.