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Security while offshore
I think folks reading this thread need to notice the limited geographic area referenced by the comments. There is in fact rabid piracy in select areas of the world (e.g. the Straits of Melucca), so much so there is a website dedicated to recording incidents so they can be tracked by insurers, shipping companies, etc. Closer to home, there have multiple boardings and attacks around the Caribbean Rim (off the Honduras islands and the N coast of Venezuela). Murders have occured up the Rio Dulce and boats routinely are reported missing, tho'' usually "found" at a later date (tho'' not always).
To put this in perspective, can you imagine driving your Jag into the heart of a depressed section of any U.S. city, leaving it unlocked with the windows down, and expecting to exclusively enjoy casual, friendly conversations. You''d have a far tougher time in the depressed city than out in the boonies of a developing country, but problems can pop up anywhere.
Some cruisers deal with this by installing wire mesh crib boards & hatch inserts so boarders can not physically get belowdecks. (Guns are not commonly carried by boarders, it appears, tho'' there have been clear exceptions such as when the Dutch teenager was shot & paralyzed). Whether one would enjoy cruising waters that require you to lock yourself inside your boat is a topic commonly discussed by cruisers as they move south & east towards the N coast of South America. Car alarms, motion detectors, dogs and other methods are routinely employed down here; it isn''t just for show. OTOH many cruisers resort to none of these practices and experience no problems.
This whole topic is very difficult to address with simplistic or broad answers; it''s a very situational issue but seems to concern cruisers of all nationalities.
Aboard WHOOSH, lying Port of Spain, Trinidad