Well, as a moderator here, I want to first congratulate everyone on keeping this out of the sewer thus far. I cannot remember a single other thread that has lasted this long in the open. It is a good discussion, so let's just all make sure it doesn't turn into a name calling bit or gun's thread.
I do want to share one real life experience here. Let me ask: Has anyone here actually used Mace/Pepper Spray in their boat?
We had a house built many years ago and the installer did not put in the strike plate correctly on the front door. SO, unless the door was slammed, it would not latch and a wind could push it open. That is what happened one day. The alarm went off and the police came out. They saw the door open and went in, assuming a robbery was underway.
Well, as it would so happen, I had a vicious attack dog (not really, she was a min Schnauzer that thought she was a Pit bull). She is pictured here -
She went after one of the officer's ankles. He sprayed mace or pepper spray (I have no idea what the difference is). About five minutes later, I arrived and pulled into the back drive. I opened the back door and my dog shout out of it like a cannon. I walked into the back door (not the front) and felt like I was on fire. It is a very weird feeling: It is hard hard to breathe, my eyes were watering badly, and my skin feel like it was on fire or being stung by millions of needles. I quickly got out of there and the officers came around to the back to meet me (around the outside of the house, not through the inside). They could not stay in there either and they explained what happened (Myra, our dog, did not mess with them anymore, btw).
So, what is my point? First, that stuff is quite potent. The lower floor of this house was easily over 2500 sf, and many minutes later, I could not stay in there nor the police officers. So I suspect the stuff would work on an intruder, but my issue would be how well it worked on the victims too? So that same scenario, in a sailboat, much more concentrated, might just have you (the victim) out there with the machete wielding attacker too before long.
So my question would be is that a practical solution for a boat? I suspect many of you would tell me that if it came between the mace and going outside with the intruders, you will stick with the mace. But I am telling you, it feels like you are on fire and it doesn't wipe off. I wonder what the cabin of that boat would feel like after a minute or two? Could you really stay below?
I am not telling any of you what to use or what not to use. I am simply relaying a real life experience and wondering how that would (in real life) work on a sailboat?
One of the things we do is we light up our boat. I mean we really light up our boat. I bought these LED lights from Amazon (this is them: http://www.amazon.com/SUPERNIGHT-16-4ft-Waterproof-Flexible-Multifunctional/dp/B00BMHLWSO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1381242187&sr=8-2&keywords=blue+led+light) that are on a string and wrapped them on a piece of PVC. They use a total of 2 amps but are seriously bright. I suspect that if I leave them on too much longer, they will put me on a navigation map. I don't necessarily do this to distract the robbers per se, but I suspect that if the robbers have two different targets, one that is dark and one that sticks out like Ohare's runways, they will go for the dark boat. Plus, it sure makes it easier for the 2am drunk sailors going through the anchorage at a full plane on their outboard to see me versus the other boats. And the latter IS a common occurrence... too common.
Just some thoughts.