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lawson08 01-25-2002 06:02 PM

theft, pirates, anyone?
Hi all, (caution: newbie)

I have some small experience sailing a Laser and loved it. Soon we may be moving to FL. and I''m thinking about getting involved in sailing seriously.

Now I read about people who live on their boats and/or let people hire them and their boats for custom cruises. What are the dangers/experiences that anyone here knows about the following:

- When docked, are boats easy to break into? Do things often get stolen? Or for that matter, can''t the theif just sail your boat away?

- Are there still real-life pirates in the caribbean? Is there any naval force that can be counted on for assistance?

- How do you know the people chartering your boat aren''t smuggling drugs back with them? Or psycho killers?

- Do many of you carry firearms? What are the laws and juridictions covering guns on boats?

Just wanting to know how scary it is out there... Thanks.

duffyM 01-26-2002 02:47 AM

theft, pirates, anyone?
yes ...:)...get Insurance,travel with other boats,make friends with the authority''s do all you can to be ready.But be ready for Murphy he''s always waiting to catch you off guard,,,,,stop watching those movies and enjoy sailing !

HHJ 01-26-2002 06:19 AM

theft, pirates, anyone?
OK, as a newbie, first thing is lighten up. The things you seem concerned about are either extremely remote or, at worst, no more likely to happen to your boat than to your home.

Most marinas have decent security - gates, locks, cameras, burglar alarms, etc. Your boat should have a lock on the companionway as well. Remove your winch handles or store them below to make sailing your boat away more difficult. Ditto with snatch blocks and sheets. Besides, most thieves are powerboaters who couldn''t even get a sailboat away from the dock.

If you''re thinking of putting your boat in the charter business first check with your insurance company and next do it through a reputable firm like The Moorings, Sunsail, etc.

Yes, pirates are real but rare. Non-commercial vessels have less to fear, but caution in certain parts of the world is always advisable. Firearms are a personal choice. I would no more carry a gun aboard than have one in my home (though a brass 4 pounder might be nice).

As far as who you can count on for assistance - your fellow sailors to a limited extent, but really just yourself. But most of all, don''t let your fears keep you from doing what you love.

SailorMitch 01-26-2002 06:49 AM

theft, pirates, anyone?
Best advice any of us can give you is to be especially careful should you sail near Pine Island in Florida. That''s where BigRed56 hangs out, about as fierce a pirate as one might find these days. Rumor has it, though, that you can placate him with a large bottle of rum, or with female company. Normally he''s a regular on here but he must be sleeping through this topic.


lawson08 01-26-2002 08:36 AM

theft, pirates, anyone?
Thanks for the replies.

I didn''t mean to sound super-paranoid; it''s just a topic I haven''t seen discussed anywhere.

BigRed56 01-26-2002 09:43 AM

theft, pirates, anyone?
Ahoy , Newcommer, Ye ask a solid cask of questions for wit I''d give ye the answers.First ye need to be mindfull of the tone of yer voice. Iffin youse was to come near me Id as like to run ye through and take you vessel as me prize. Wot id do to yer women is illegal in most states though I d say they enjoy it once the waves started crashing in. As far as real Pirates , ye better bet you life the sea tolerates no fools wot don''t see the truth of it. Aye there be many a safe looking haven in reality bee a nest of cutthroat seamen willing to feast on ye ignorance. As far as weapons ye best be able and of the heart to use em else jibe about and flee. Aye there be some whats can''t afford to loose thier vessel or posessions and pay the captains of industry for protection. Ye can pay me if you''ve a mind to keep close off me quarter for protection. As far as the wharf is concerned I need a few things so send me an inventory of ye stores . AARRHH Big Red 56 Pirate of Pine Island.

Sailor Mitch ye be a good mate what I get done cutting yer tounge out for me dinner. Bes no wonder the Harbor is empty and me hold bone dry. Avast there mind yer warnings lest I make an example otten yer hide.

SailorMitch 01-26-2002 12:04 PM

theft, pirates, anyone?
Aye, aye, BigRed. Keeping plenty clear of Pine Island here.

EtherCat 01-26-2002 01:20 PM

theft, pirates, anyone?
Boats are slightly more difficult to break into than cars and slightly less difficult than homes (which is to say, not very difficult) Ive heard stories of boats being broken into, but overall it seems much less likely than a car or a home. Even if someone did steal your entire boat, theyd be making their escape at 6 knots or so, and could be caught by *any* powerboat. There are still real life pirates, but piracy is very rare in the Caribbean... if you were going to somplace like Indonesia you might want to be concerned, but for most parts of the world, the crime rate among boaters is much less than among shore-dwellers.
Ive never read up on the rest of the Caribbean, but the Bahamian Navy (which fulfills the function of navy and coast guard, and is supported by the US Coast Guard) has a reputation of being very competent and efficient.
There is a very informative discussion on carrying firearms aboard in the ''cruising'' section of this message board - in the US the laws of carrying aboard a boat are the same as for land - ie crossing state lines, it must be unloaded and in a locked compartment. The Bahamas requires that a firearm be declared when clearing Customs, along with the amount and type of ammunition, and a permit will be issued for it, explaining that it must be neither fired nor taken off the boat.

The chances of being involved in a violent confrontation aboard are certainly less than they would be in most US cities... there are scary things out there, but (with the exception of Pine Island) pirates arent one of them.

duffyM 01-27-2002 10:38 AM

theft, pirates, anyone?
arrr what be yer L and LAT uvv thiz pine isl. place .

FTHOMSON 01-27-2002 08:30 PM

theft, pirates, anyone?
Second star to the left and straight on till morning? :-)

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