Safety on board when sailing alone - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 54 Old 07-12-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

Funny I have a CC but hardly ever carry.... I don't lock my cars, house etc.... I live in the city...right now my keys are in my car out in the driveway...

Having a gun onboard is the last thing I would want/need...

so you are sleeping and someone breaks in, I guess it's happened, so grab your glock 17 and shoot him all that noise now the boat that has his friends come onboard with ak47's well at least you got 1 of them before you are a lead dumpster...

same thing this time you are unarmed hey what are you doing here? give me what you got old man. go ahead and take my rum just leave me a little to drink to calm me down after you leave. OK man sounds fair have a good night

lol somewhat silly but in reality not really....

if you are in the v-berth you are pretty much a sitting duck, nowhere to go....

I drove truck for a lot of years, people texting killed so many people way more than the drunks by the way. Driving at night that high up I would say 80-90% of the drivers are playing with their phones.... Roads are way more likely to get you killed than some bandit!!!!

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post #32 of 54 Old 07-13-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

I was thinking this thread might be about keeping on the boat while you singlehand, how to manage night/day watches alone, being able to do things using 3:1 purchase even if you don't have upper body strength. I seriously wasn't expecting it to be about needing to shoot it out with someone. I haven't read the posts, but have spent quite a bit of time on many of the Caribbean Islands, and I can tell ya, you're much safer there than many places in the US.

Do bad things happen to good people; yeah, no doubt, but overall, your fear is mostly misplaced. I live in Oakland, on a boat with homeless in abundance, a pot dispensary across the street, and lots of crime, but it was at my previous marina in San Francisco where I had to step around a dead body to get to my gate, had multiple broken windows in my car, and had to duck whenSF PD tried to shoot someone in pursuit who had stolen their police van. I think once you get out there you'll see the world is not such a scary place, even as a single woman. Just talk to any young European woman. They often spend their gap years traipsing all over the world by themselves. I think much of our fear is a cultural dogma that nearly paralyzes most Americans from travel except for "all inclusive" resorts. Shame, really...

[Post Script - I see you're from the South. I was raised there, too (and I'm a single female), but my mom was from France and dad was from Texas so I can relate to the fear, but not to the reality. I suggest you get out there a bit before you worry too much about it at this stage.]
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post #33 of 54 Old 07-13-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

I have never even thought a moment about personal safety on my boat now going on 32 years... in NE, Caribean and even Spain.... The only theft I had was at the boat yard in Greenport during winter storage and someone stole my reefing lines!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dink was stolen in RI... that's it.

I see no need to lock the boat.... it's on a mooring... or anchor.

Can't speak for marinas... don't stay there and would never...

I do lock the dink at the town dock..

Safety is more about capability to deal with the loads, the navigation, weather and the other idiots boaters out there... just as on the road. Wifey is from the Bronx and very suspect and paranoid.
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post #34 of 54 Old 07-13-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

It did occur to me after this thread dragged on a bit, that my greatest safety concerns are the weather and falling asleep during watch at night. While there are certainly humans that pose threat, none of them scare me as much as the possibility that I'll accidentally get myself into a nasty storm that's more than I can handle.
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post #35 of 54 Old 07-13-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

Since your departure is so far off..What are you going to do in the meantime to develop the skills necessary to cruise?

Think you should go out a buy a small caltalina, 22 with a pop top. Plenty of places for you to gunkhole around in. Bring your dogs, guns and lots of beer. Plenty of spots for you to get far away. Maybe some good duck hunting and bass fishing where nobody else gets to go....

Think you could get a nice little boat for the cost of a good Sig Sauer P226..


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post #36 of 54 Old 07-13-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

I am a US citizen. I hunt and shoot at the range when home. I spend 8 months a year cruising. The guns stay home in a safe or with shooting friends.
There are innumerable spaces on a sailboat to hide valuables. There is nothing on my decks. My dinghy is not marked T/T "anything " so no one can look at a dinghy dock and know I'm off the boat.
Pragmatic fears cruising alone ( have done this for months on end when wife is back in the States).
Getting hurt or sick. Who takes care of the boat?. If acute illness or injury how do you get help?
Having dinghy stolen while you're on the boat. How do you get back to land to deal with it?
Need repair or to go up the mast requiring two people. Who do you use?
Solutions-
Get the best locking system for your dinghy you can. It's this theft that's the major concern. Raise your dinghy before sleep.
Join a cruising group like OCC or Salty Dawgs. You'll have a friend in every harbor.
Get active on the ssb and vhf cruising nets. Make friends and help others. It's fun and increases your security if things go wrong.
Use common sense. I like getting truly off the grid and on anchor. I'll find folks to buddy boat with so I can do this safely by myself. I pay attention to noonsite and what other cruisers tell me. There are so many beautiful places there is no reason to expose yourself to high crime places or islands.
Lastly fall in love. It improves your life😁
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post #37 of 54 Old 07-13-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjarman123 View Post
My question is though is there any kind of security system for sailboats to let you know if someone came onboard while you were asleep. I got to thinking if nothing else I could rig up a motion detector in the companionway which would be pretty simple.
Since you plan to keep a dog on board, that would work very well as an intruder alert. I would trust it more than any kind of electronic motion detector on a constantly moving boat.
I sense that you like to have a weapon handy so that you can even out the odds between you and a potential attacker. I can definitely relate to that. I have raised 2 daughters and taught them how to defend themselves using guns and other weapons. As others have mentioned, having firearms outside US is a major hassle. But there are other things that can be used as a weapon, like proper flare guns, spear fishing gear, knives, bows, and so on. You do not need to feel defenseless when you are on a boat.
And yet, in the grand scheme of things, the most dangerous things you will face as a solo sailor will not come from other folks being up to no good. Bad weather, navigation hazards, lack of sleep, gear malfunctions, errors in judgement, falling overboard - are far more likely to kill you than other people. So go sailing and start developing survival skills as soon as possible, because it takes time to get comfortable and be able to handle what the reality throws at you. Don't get discouraged, it's a great plan.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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post #38 of 54 Old 07-13-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

You could travel with your dog within the US, but I'd suggest leaving the gun off the boat if you are going to make port in other states. Your license isn't going to be accepted everywhere, at which point even in this country it's a potential weapons charge.

In other countries, the rules are far more strict, more complicated, and the need people here perceive for being armed is just completely alien. In Germany, I can't even carry my Benchmade, because they prohibit a knife which can be opened with only one hand.
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post #39 of 54 Old 07-20-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

Well I guess I'll throw out another slightly varied view. Things have changed. Opioids have changed the landscape. I have owned guns forever and I am not a young man. I have always had guns locked in safe in garage. People ask me what gun do I have in the house I answer a nightstick and a big maglight by the door. It use to be if someone was home you were probably in good shape. Burglars usually avoid occupied homes. They may steal from your car or garage but they wouldn't come into an occupied house. Those rules are changing rapidly. Lives are no longer valuable. It is sad. This fall when I cruise the US waterway there will be a dog and there may be a shotgun on my boat (definitely not viewed the same as a handgun). I want to anchor out. I want to feel safe. I haven't brought it in the house and haven't decided about the boat. We are no longer living in the world we grew up in. The decision is not an easy one. Just sayin', things have changed. Everyone has to decide for themselves...

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post #40 of 54 Old 07-20-2017
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Re: Safety on board when sailing alone

Jjarman, I think it's been well covered that most countries don't appreciate foreigners wandering around their streets armed with hand guns, so I'm not going to go into that.

However, if you are still concerned with security, there is an international guideline created by the International Maritime Organisation. The name of the document is the International Ship and Port Security Code. The ISPS code is focused entirely on commercial vessels, however, many of the concepts contained in the code can be adapted to a yacht. Might be worth some research if the topic is of interest to you.

Some of the concepts that are encouraged include, communications equipment to call for help, lighting and signage as a deterrent, conducting drills and maintaining situational awareness, alarm systems, speed etc.

In terms of an alarm system, I think you'd find a door and window sensor alarm will work better on a boat than a motion sensor. Those are the style where there are two contacts that are normally closed and an alarm is triggered when a door is opened and the circuit is broken. One set of contacts on each hatch would not be a difficult install. If you like gadgets, you could connect bilge and sewage level sensor and smoke detector alarms to the same system.

In terms of weapons, I've travelled a decent amount in out of the way developing nations, and my greatest concern has always been stray/wild dogs. For that reason, I will sometimes carry a stick or a trekking pole and a few stones in my pocket if I think I might be in an area where dogs could be an issue.
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