MedSailor, I will direct this to you, No I am not trying to keep the bats as pets. I look at it as the fact that there is to much killing going on and I do not wish to be part of it, even if it is a flying rodent. I went thru the rabies shots when I was young and it is the last thing I would want to try again or have happen. It is a very painful treatment.
As to the bats, this is the fourth time they have taken residence in the sail, why I do not know or really care ... it just seems that they like my sail for some reason so I am makeing a bad situation into a good one, or trying to. nThe bats have a place on this planet so if I have to deal with them in my sail then the bat box seems to be the way to go. I have also noticed that the bug population seems to have gone down quite a bit.
I am cautious when near them and understand they can carry some bad things, rabies being only one of them. I would disagree with you that just being around them you can rabies.
The CDC's definition of "exposure" IS a bit trigger-happy isn't it? I honestly don't know much about bat behavior, but a friend of mine runs a wild animal park with 150 resident bats. I mentioned to him that statistically at least one has rabies, which he agreed with. They never bother anyone, nor any of the guests and kids a the park. My assumption is that you won't be bitten/exposed unless you're in a confined space with a scared bat, or if you intentionally mess with one.
My advice to be careful was based on the thought that a sailboat owner with one in the rigging might very well either mess with it to get it to go away, or might end up down below with a scared bat. Knowing what I know medically on the subject I thought I should encourage common sense on the subject as there are higher consequences then say, a ferrell cat bite.
You mention killing of bats in your post addressed to me. I do not endorse killing bats period. If any of my posts sounded like I do, then I can assure you that they were misinterpreted. Personally I quite like bats. We used to have resident bats at our hose in Indonesia, and we loved them because they ate the mozzies during a dengue fever outbreak. I also just feel a certain kind of wonder at these well adapted cute flying weird things.
As for the risk of rabies, it sounds like you do not intend to mess with the bats, and more to the point, you've been vaccinated!
So you, personally, have very little to worry about.
You've had the rabies series, so you're one of the few who know. The series itself it the other part I was trying to save people from. Scary rabies aside, most people don't realize that if they were go to the doctor after being down below with a bat on a boat, the series would be recommended
and if you don't have good insurance it will cost about 10K, and as you know, it is NOTHING like a tetanus shot after stepping on a rusty nail is it?
Enjoy your pets!
PS How did you get "lucky" enough to have the rabies series?