Re: Flare-guns and other alternatives (excluding guns) as weapons
I agree. I don;t think the responses on this issue are very well thought out. For all the angst about having guns or sliding some kind of gun past customs, I sure would like to hear about some recent example where there is a country with significant crime and they still want to fine/sieze somebody's boat. After all Honduras has the world's highest per capita murder rate. And the rest of Central America, less Costa Rica are not that far behind. And then there is Mexico. I live in Austin, Tx. our hairdresser/barber who is a dual citizen, refuses to drive to Laredo, park her car on the American side, walk across the bridge and go to her doctor. Women disappear there. A lot.
And I am supposed to carry a plastic AK 47? Shoot somebody with a flare gun?
Part of the problem with this discussion is an inability to discuss magnitude of risk. In an isolated South Pacific island or maybe the Bahama's or Windward/ Leewards, if someone wanted to it would be hard to do a major crime. Everybody would know almost immediately. These places are so small and close knit.
So let me talk about petty theft, burglary and minor, poorly thought out hijackings or stick ups on the water. First, I can see why the local, mayor/chief/headman/cop doesn't want a bunch of jumpy first world yachties armed to fight Somali pirates. Might be best to have the firepower locked up. What could you do? For starters. lock stuff up. Hoist out your dink at night. Run a long cable from the motor, up the boat and and leave about 6 foot thru the front cleat. Tie up and lock up. Lock your door/hatch at night. I do it on land at night, why not make a solid screen door and use it? Come on, you lock your door in town.
There are some steps that seem obvious that I am not hearing in this thread. If the problem is a cat burgler or some kids out to unscrew a cleat or cut off some line, why not some form of alarm? One guy used tacks on deck. Better, how about rigging the top strand of your rail, which is your perimeter fence with a switch? Pull on the cable/rail and it turns on the spreader lights or trips an alarm. More serious but I still have not heard it would be an electric cattle fence. Doesn't have to be on or even deployed all the time. But sure will take the starch out of somebody real quick. And might make some US law enforcement types understand the phrases, "permission to come aboard?" or "do you have jurisdiction?".
Ok, what about a situation where you are not sure of someone's intentions? At least at night if someone has crawled aboard you can be sure they are up to no good. Is that guy an over agressive fish salesman or something worse? How can you say" don't come on my boat without saying I'm gonna kill you? " For starters, how about being real clear ? Be agressive" You, you don't have permission to come on my boat" " No Molestar!" Shine a light in their eyes. Turn on your spreader lights. It should solve the problem. If not you know something is up. You are justified to go to the next level in any country.
It seems that the big advantage you have against anyone in a small boat is simply height and the difficulty of clambering up. You did flip the ladder up, right? Don't give that advantage up. It seems to me that 2 obvious and "peaceful" weapons are wasp spray and a baseball bat. You do have a bat for fishing? Goes with the pole hook, the rum and the hacksaw. You keep these 2 in the cockpit. Someone tries to climb up you yell then tap them on the knuckles. They don;t get the idea, there is no upper limit as to how hard you can hit. But maybe you don't want/can't get physical? Wasp spray is a serious weapon. There is an awful lot in a can and it goes out 20 feet. Even with wrap around sunglasses, which is why the bad boys wear them, you can;t win. Being hosed with toxic, stinging spray in they eyes, stops anyone. You can't see, you can't fight.
Even if someone pulls a gun in a small boat, you still have height. You can back up to be a smaller or nonexistant target. You can hose them over the edge. And shout for someone to bring the gun. Even if you don;t have one.
I really haven't been impressed with most of the other solutions that I have seen in these posts. Maybe a spear or sword against one person. Be careful they don't take it away from you. There seems to be lots of macho posturing on threads like this. How many of these people have been in a real serious situation? Things happen fast. Most criminals are opportunists, they go for the easy stuff. Can't tell you how many situations I have avoided by looking the guy in the eye, smiling and saying Hi. Same for boats, stay out of harms way and have a real solution that is ready right now.
I guess I should go on into real shoot em up situations. They exist. Kidnapping is a big problem in Latin America. I worry that the locals will figure out how to take boats. A couple of guys in a dinghy is one thing, a whole boat load of guys in a fishing boat is entirely different. I read one comment from a former Brit SAS, that's Special Forces! He said that he doubted that he could hit anyone at 100 yards with a rifle. Make that 50 yards for an experienced deer hunter. Never handled a gun? Ten yards is more like it with both boats rocking.
The classic solution is a blunderbuss. Or in modern parlance, a pump shotgun. Which gets me to a question. Who wants to surrender your gun at your first port of call? That means you have to go back there to leave the country. You don't need one in the Med. Or the South Pacific, or the Windward/Leewards. Might be real nice in Indonesia, or the Phillipines or going south thru the Suez canal. My question is, can you get Fed Ex to ship your gun, under bond, to a specific port? Just Asking.
Sorry for the long post. And frankly, I have cut this down too much.