OK - I've gotta ask - there seems to have been a lot of these "what's the best weapon to carry for self-defense against pirates" threads lately....is that because there is an actual increase in piracy in the areas most people cruise?
Though the commercial shipping in the Indian Ocean may be a bit safer (or better defended?) "piracy" against yachts is definitely on the increase. In some areas of Central America there has been an increase in crimes against cruisers. Some of these have been in areas that one might pass through to get to another destination, not necessarily where one wants to cruise. Venezuela is plain dangerous to visit in any way, but for yachts it's really stupid. We've many friends who have had to give up going there in the hurricane season, even though for many years it was a favorite.
But even here in Bequia, an island that depends primarily on yacht tourism, there was a yacht owner shot this year aboard his boat and many more break-ins while folks were ashore for dinner.
Being boarded while underway is a situation that I want to have a defense for, and with the Dragon Breath perhaps if I got one shot in the attacker's boat at close range and on them (hopefully including the gas cans), we might sustain some damage, but we'd be alive and no longer under siege.
I do not know if this little 12 gauge shell would do the job, but it appears to be a viable option. It definitely will not work in any auto gun; not enough pressure to co*k the gun. One or two (double barrel) shots is all you'd get and if the attackers are not instantly incapacitated, well, I guess we can all imagine that outcome.
Things are changing and it's unfortunate, but true. This is our life, full time voyaging, and I'm damned well going to live it without worrying a great deal about what might happen. But, just as so many of you new to cruising have plans for this and that, and back up plans for those, I don't see the harm in searching for a fairly intelligent, effective and non-illegal form of self protection.