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beej67 06-16-2008 04:50 PM

Non-Firearm Piracy Deterrents..
The "firearms" thread is a sea of politics, testosterone, and powdered donut residue, and all I really care about is the piracy deterrent angle.

Given that having a firearm aboard is more trouble than its worth, due to local laws and customs and being outgunned and whatever else, what are some other ways to ensure the safety of your boat? Someone mentioned throwing a bunch of thumbtacks on their cockpit at night, almost assuredly in jest, but it got me thinking. What are the other options?

Does anyone have any experience with electrifying their top lifeline, with a capacitor that charges off of a DC 12V system?

Are there any records of someone repelling pirates with mace?

What weaponry passes the "firearms" test that might work? Spearguns? Big flare guns?

I'm not worried in the least about pirates in my normal sailing grounds, but I might have an opportunity to move to Thailand next year, and that seems like it'd be a lot more ripe for petty crime.

Plumper 06-16-2008 05:09 PM

I think the biggest deterrent is an old boat and conservative lifestyle. Difficult as it may be to do, just look like you've got nothing they want. Stay away from areas known to be problem spots. Any more aggressive approach will just get you more trouble than you want. Remember, petty crime is just that. Let them have whatever it is the want.

Freesail99 06-16-2008 05:19 PM

brak 06-16-2008 05:32 PM

Junky old boat.

eherlihy 06-16-2008 05:34 PM

I read somewhere about a cruising couple that equipped their boat with a ~$70 Passive Infrared Alarm system mounted to the mast. IIRC it alerted them to an attempted break in *before* it happened. The system was something like this.

eherlihy 06-16-2008 05:39 PM

I am pretty sure that this is the exact unit that I mentioned in my previous post....

beej67 06-16-2008 05:48 PM


Originally Posted by brak (Post 329790)
Junky old boat.

So, say, some sort of sprayable moss/crud for your boat hull?

They sell that at West?

arbarnhart 06-16-2008 05:57 PM

Paint your boat white with a big red vertical strip near the front? Of course, that might be asking for trouble sometimes...

I would think the passive infared would go off way too often and not deter the real hardened types. Looking like you have nothing worth coming after is my only real answer also. The more you put up defenses, the more evidence you offer that you are protecting something extraordinarily valuable (even if you aren't).

Cruisingdad 06-16-2008 06:02 PM

You could get a dog... but that is another set of problems.

I could not deal with a boat that looked like a piece of junk. And to make my boat look worse than the other boats out there.... that is scary since most are dong good just to float.

Just lock everything up with a thick chain. If it looks like a real pain to get it, most will go on without bothering. I think a really good lock on the companionway door is a big plus. You have kitchen knives and those are not illegal.

But if they are willing to take the time to break open a companionway door and threaten you with something more than a kitchen knife would defend, seems like you need to be very cooperative or check that life insurance plan.

My opinion.

- CD

lbdavis 06-16-2008 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by brak (Post 329790)
Junky old boat.

Yea, just make your boat look like boats from this thread:

Of course, it'd be hard to get this boat anywhere, no boom and all...

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