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  #1  
Old 03-26-2009
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Flare-guns and other alternatives (excluding guns) as weapons

I recall some time ago (2 yrs maybe) there was a thread on some sailing forum (on Cruiser, SSCA, or this one ... my first guess is on this one) but I don't recall which one. It was a lengthy discussion on weapon options other than guns, which included as I recall how to use flare guns, camelflouging shot gun shells for this purpose, etc

In light of the latest tragedy in Thailand, and one who currently lives in NZ so am well aware of Peter Blake being dead likely because he carried a gun (pls no debate on that), this latest tragedy reminded me of that old thread.

I'm interested in learning more about the Flare Gun option, or for that matter other options cruisers have used (other than guns and a machete). If anyone knows of the thread I am referring to, I would appreciate being able to access it. I'm also intersted in learning about other alternatives cruisers have had on board (again other than guns).

Again, and at the risk of repeating myself, I'm NOT AT ALL interested in starting another "guns-no guns" debate.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-26-2009
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There is as you may be aware a healthy guns vs no guns debate going on in the 'to be armed when cruising' thread anyway....

To start anew another thread looking at good alternatives is a great idea.

I have already presented some options over there( Ones I have heard of and researched, I have no first hand experience on this) , so apologies for some repeat posting but I figure that there will be some who may wish not to go through that thread and all it's sordid controversy and heated discussion.


1) As has been suggested Buddy boating. Avoid VHF chatter however that may give away location and activity. Potential 'Pirates' may be monitoring. Keep on the HF.

2) Toy Guns. Plastic AK47's from Toys R Us look pretty convincing from a distance. The apporaching slightly hesitant would-be pirate may be fooled enough to not take the risk.

3)Piracy at night is common. Keep good watches, dim Nav lights and avoid any unidentified vessels in suspect areas. Have a very bright spotlight handy, directed in the eyes of an approaching vessel it can make boarding or aiming very difficult. Followed by a shot from the flare gun it might have some results.

4)Piracy or theft at anchor is probably most common. Remember that even a modest yacht to alot of people in this world screams of oppulence. Keep cash and jewellery out of sight when visiting villages, place noisy pans, or marbles etc on deck as your early warning system of your vessel being boarded. Tapes of barking dogs have been used by cruisers as well.

5)Loud alarms/sirens??

I guess the best thing to do is to have a plan of some kind. Piracy is very uncommon. Attacks are often by poor fisherman, not modern day Blackbeard types, so deterrants can be very effective. The professional Pirate is generally not interested in your average cruising yacht, Larger cargo vessels are their focus.
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Last edited by chall03; 03-26-2009 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 03-26-2009
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I believe "Bear Bangers" can only be purchased in Canada at any tackle or sporting goods store. They could be available elsewhere but I'm not sure, in any case I'm sure they can be purchased online. A lot of cruisers carry them up here and I'm sure they're quite effective against bears anyway. I don't have one myself but I'm considering it. They also shoot flares.

YouTube - bear banger
YouTube - Bearbanger in Action
Tru flare pocket launcher for flares and bear banger
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Old 03-26-2009
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Someone in a thread a while back suggested that throwing/splashing a container of gasoline in/on the hostile's boat and then demonstrating a willingness to follow it up with a flare gun shot might persuade many offenders to pick another target.

A second suggestion I recall was towing a large length of floating line behind your boat while underway would make it more difficult for a hostile to come up behind you.

I thought both those ideas were feasible.
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Last edited by erps; 03-26-2009 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 03-26-2009
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Ok..what is a bear banger?
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Old 03-26-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineHaden View Post
Ok..what is a bear banger?
This is an excerpt from the "Ursus International Website"



Bear bangers are readily available in Canada but harder to find in the US, is a "Pen-Type" bear banger launcher. As the name suggests, this item looks like a pen, and even has a convenient clip allowing it to be attached to a pocket, or pack sternum or shoulder strap. The body of the "pen" contains a spring and a firing-pin attached to a sliding trigger mechanism. With the trigger pulled back and slipped into the safety lock position, a "banger" cartridge can be screwed into the threaded end of the "pen". The unit is then carried in this way until it is either discharged or unloaded. The unit is fired by thumbing the "trigger" slider out of the safety lock position to the end of the opening it protrudes from, and then releasing it. The firing-pin strikes a .22 calibre blank round in the base of the cartridge, which propels the "banger" roughly 30 metres (35 yards), at which point it explodes.
The bangers compare in loudness to the report of a firecracker shell fired from a 12-gauge shotgun, and they should not be underestimated because of the appearance of the firing unit! They are potentially very dangerous, and have the capacity to damage hearing and to cause burns if used improperly. There is a second trigger lock position that allows the banger launcher to be carried "cocked", but it is advisable that it should only be carried in this way when it is likely to be fired at any moment. If the unit has been cocked in this way, the trigger should be carefully released and guided back to the safety lock position as soon as possible. Never carry the launcher in the cocked position!
The banger launcher should only be carried and used by people confident that they understand its capabilities and limitations. It should be used to scare off a threatening bear, and it is also suitable to be used with other threatening wildlife. However, it is of paramount importance to bear in mind that to drive an animal off, a banger device should be fired in front of an animal, i.e. between it an a hiker, and that misjudgment, resulting in the banger landing behind the animal, will drive it towards the firer! Any user, therefore, should know how to control the range of the bangers. This is achieved through recognising that holding the launcher at a 45 degree angle gives maximum trajectory, or range, and that steeper or lesser angles reduce range. By firing at a steeper angle, the banger will effectively be "lobbed" up, coming down closer to the firer than it would if fired at 45 degrees. Similarly, if fired at a lesser angle, the banger will hit the ground closer to the firer than if fired at 45 degrees. The risk in this is that hitting the ground could possibly cause the banger to break up and not explode, whereas "lobbed", it will either go off in the air or after hitting the ground at falling, rather than propelled, speed.
The best advice is to test the launcher before use, even if doing so uses several cartridges. A user must understand the importance of preventing a banger from going off behind a bear, as that will push it towards the firer. In addition bangers should not be fired directly at bears (or other animals), because of their potential to cause injury; ideally, they should be placed in front of and slightly to the side of the animal. Bear banger launchers are available in many outdoor stores in Western Canada, costing between $14-16. Cartridges cost the same, for a box of 6. Some launchers are sold with a combination of banger and flare cartridges, giving the unit the dual purpose of being able to function as a distress flare launcher. However, this combination pack only provides 2 actual banger cartridges. If you buy this package, be sure to buy a separate box of bear banger cartridges as well, to allow you to practice with the launcher.
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Old 03-26-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSovereign View Post
I recall some time ago (2 yrs maybe) there was a thread on some sailing forum (on Cruiser, SSCA, or this one ... my first guess is on this one) but I don't recall which one. It was a lengthy discussion on weapon options other than guns, which included as I recall how to use flare guns, camelflouging shot gun shells for this purpose, etc

In light of the latest tragedy in Thailand, and one who currently lives in NZ so am well aware of Peter Blake being dead likely because he carried a gun (pls no debate on that), this latest tragedy reminded me of that old thread.

I'm interested in learning more about the Flare Gun option, or for that matter other options cruisers have used (other than guns and a machete). If anyone knows of the thread I am referring to, I would appreciate being able to access it. I'm also intersted in learning about other alternatives cruisers have had on board (again other than guns).

Again, and at the risk of repeating myself, I'm NOT AT ALL interested in starting another "guns-no guns" debate.

Thanks in advance.
The thread was on Sailnet. I am afraid that it too slipped into a gun debate. Such is the life of forums.

I say just take a flare gun, 12ga and 25 mm. Some country's will not even allow you to take those so carry a shark bat too. In all honestly, I think the incidences of actually needing a weapon are so very few and far between that it is not something I would be overly concerned (if you cruise in reasonable areas).

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Old 03-26-2009
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Wow..the bear banger sounds dangerous to the operator...think I'll just stick with the simple things...flare gun, bear spray....and most of all prayer
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Old 03-26-2009
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The problem with any type of pseudo defence is that once you have scare the bejeezus out of them, nothing stops them from coming around again and spraying your boat with gunfire from a distance.

I think I've suggested this somewhere before, can't remember.

If an obviously belligerent vessel comes alongside and a parachute flare is fired into it's accommodation, the resultant fire will keep them busy for a while. A second may be too much to stop and the vessel will burn to the waterline. Whichever you manage to achieve, they will be reluctant to come back because your flare has range enough to be dangerous from a distance. Of course a Molotov Cocktail tends to attracts the receiver's attention as well.

The next problem is at what point do you decide that the occupants of an approaching boat mean you harm? Some of the "naval" vessels we have seen as well as many a well-intentioned fisherman look like a bunch of cut-throats. And by the time they're on board, unless you're Jacky Chan, you're toast.
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Old 03-26-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
The thread was on Sailnet. I am afraid that it too slipped into a gun debate. Such is the life of forums.

I say just take a flare gun, 12ga and 25 mm. Some country's will not even allow you to take those so carry a shark bat too. In all honestly, I think the incidences of actually needing a weapon are so very few and far between that it is not something I would be overly concerned (if you cruise in reasonable areas).

Brian
A SHARKBAT ?

One thing I wish to make perfectly clear is that a Wombat is of absolutely no use as an offensive weapon. (Unless loaded with chilli beans the night before. Then they can be very offensive indeed.)

What in heavens name is a Shark Bat ?
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