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Novice but Stubborn
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Discussion Starter #1
I am a complete novice. I've never sailed but my brother is going to teach me all he knows which is quite a bit. He has been racing boats for umpteen years. My plan is when I retire to buy a sailboat and live aboard in the Caribbean. I'm doing all my research now as it is a good 12 years until I can retire unless I win the lottery or find some long lost relative who just left me their fortune, lol.

I will most likely be doing all this alone and I am good with that. I am very self-efficient and am not afraid to do all this on my own. My one concern is safety. I plan on having my pistol with me and really more than one. I am not sure what the laws are about guns but am looking at that.

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.

Anyone heard of this kind of thing?
 

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Administrator
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Motion detectors at every hardware store about $20.

Just because many local people in the Caribbean are black it doesn't mean you need a gun.

You need a gun more in your own country than the Caribbean.

Yes, you can sail by yourself unless you are a compete idiot.

12 years is self imposed. Get off your fat bum and save more money now and retire in 5 years. I retired at 48 and it was the best decision I ever made.

:)
 

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Many Caribbean countries don't allow guns and you could be charged with smuggling an illegal weapon into the country. I would think that a motion sensing system will be set off often by movement of the boat. You could use a trip wire to trigger an alarm if someone tries to climb your swim ladder or come over your life lines.

Lots of people travel there with little incident. Some travel in travel groups for safety.

There is Caribbean sailor's group that shares info on safe places and problem places. They communicate with one another to plan trips together or anchoring together for safety.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/341518759227037/


There is also a website where sailors share incidents of theft, vandalism and piracy to alert other sailors to problem areas.

http://www.noonsite.com/General/Piracy
 

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Master Mariner
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8,256 Posts
There are literally hundreds of threads on the sailing sites on security aboard and I doubt there is one definitive answer, other than having any sort of firearm aboard a cruising boat is a very, very bad idea.
They sort of frown on visitors using firearms on their citizens, even if you think it was self defense, and you most certainly will go to prison.
 
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Alert dog and sharp end of a lion fish spear...:)
Motion detectors do lights and also audio alarms.
I suggest not making this an over-riding concern.
If you aren't comfortable, just go somewhere else.
Would you leave your dinghy outboard out by the curb where you live now?
 

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Joshua Slocum used tacks. :laugh Kids' jacks would be the equivalent.

Wondering where you'd staying the Caribbean, and if you'd sail north for the summer. I'd thought to sail north next summer then winter down south somewhere. Now I'm rethinking it--getting tired of the humidity in the southeast.
 

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Of all the safety-related considerations that are related to sailboat cruising, those that are resolved with having multiple firearms aboard are the least likely to occur.

If you like to have guns nearby, be thankful that you live in the USA, and stay there.
 

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... I plan on having my pistol with me and really more than one. I am not sure what the laws are about guns but am looking at that....
"Novice but Stubborn" under your user name. Please don't let stubbornness about firearms in foreign countries land you in jail. Chances are it will and all your research will be for nothing. Our over-excitement to be able to carry a firearm (let alone a small arsenal), does not extend outside our borders.
 

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HANUMAN
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2,836 Posts
I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess you haven't traveled much. Just the notion of being permitted to take a handgun through customs is a dead giveaway. If you feel you need a gun to protect yourself when traveling it's probably best you stay at home. You will likely end up in foreign jail.

There will always be someone stronger or more heavily armed, if one can't use one's brain to keep oneself out of trouble....

This is not a flame.
 

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al brazzi
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2,076 Posts
Don't rush it, use the 12 years to gain water experience any way you can, whether its the boat you cruise on or not sometimes just getting what you think you want helps develop the one you want for later. Im not sure my current is my last. If you know what I mean.

Get creative with self defense follow the advice given.
 

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Novice but Stubborn
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Motion detectors at every hardware store about $20.

Just because many local people in the Caribbean are black it doesn't mean you need a gun.

You need a gun more in your own country than the Caribbean.

Yes, you can sail by yourself unless you are a compete idiot.

12 years is self imposed. Get off your fat bum and save more money now and retire in 5 years. I retired at 48 and it was the best decision I ever made.

:)
Trying hard not to hear snippiness in your post.

Did I say anything about black people in my post? I don't think I did and actually when I picture someone sneaking on board I see a white male in his 30s for some reason.

I am not a paranoid type person but I am realistic. I carry my pistol all the time. You just never know. I am very careful, raised with guns.

I glad you were able to retire at 48. Even if I was able to retire right now I have family obligations I can't just up and abandon (my mother is 87 and needs me).
 

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Novice but Stubborn
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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you to the ones with the kind replies. I am a total novice and am in the planning stages. That is why I am asking questions. Of course I would check the laws of the countries I am near or visiting. I'm a paralegal. I know that stuff.

Some good advice about the motion detectors and such. That is what I plan on doing.

As for the ones who were rude, said for me to just stay home, etc., why do you have to be ugly? If you can't give helpful advice then I suggest you stay off a message board.
 

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Traveling with a dog, outside of the US can be a hassle. The Bahamas and British Virgin Islands, and other countries, require a pet import permit which includes an APHIS health certificate and a rabies titer blood test (It requires blood to be drawn and sent to one of the certified testing centers). Even the US Virgin Islands requires a certified health certificate and a 6 month current rabies vaccination. My state only requires a rabies vaccination every two years, so the USVI has more restrictive requirements.

So, if you want to travel with a gun or a dog, it is easier to confine your cruising to the continental United States.
 

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Freedom Chip Counter
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259 Posts
just sharing my opinion for what it's worth....

I served 6 years in armed forces and members of my family belong to the NRA. I just don't see any scenario in where having a firearm on board a vessel in another Country ends successfully. If the intruder possesses a firearm, he has already made the decision to use it due to desperation. Unless you can disarm him with a single shot on a rocking boat, expect to see plenty of return fire. If the intruder is not in possession of a firearm there are many more safer, persuasive means of getting them off your boat other than brandishing a firearm in a foreign Country. You'll find many great counter tactics on this forum during your research.

Safe travels -
 

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Administrator
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Just go cruising in the Caribbean like everyone else.


What makes you need to look like Rambo when no one else does or needs to?

Reality is the price of rum, not anything else.


Mark
 

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Man ... a lot of people getting snippy about the question.

The fact is that carrying a firearm on a boat these days is complicated and difficult. Laws change each time you change ports. As a foreigner, if you ever _use_ the weapon you're going to have a lot of trouble with the local authorities.

But there is a _really_ good reason _not_ to have a gun on board when you cruise. And I've heard this repeated over and over again by many, many experienced cruisers: 99.99% of the people who would board your boat with malicious intent can be scared off with a spotlight. Stories of people being shot because they came out of their cabin brandishing a gun and caused panic in the boarders are frequent. Stories of cruisers keeping watch in the cockpit in sketchy anchorages and the simple act of them shining a spotlight was enough to scare away suspicious persons are numerous. Stories of people spending totally safe, uneventful nights in anchorages are so frequently it would be impossible to count them.

Stories of anyone protecting themselves with a gun while on a sailboat are non-existent. I've never heard a single one. If you know of any stories of this tactic being useful in the last 20 years, I'd be interested to hear it.

So, the reason for not carrying a gun is simple statistics: The chances of you needing it are near zero. The chances that attempting to use it will make the situation worse are small, but existent. And the chances that it will actually protect you are so small that there are no recorded incidences of it. Add to that the likelihood that it will prevent you from entering certain harbors, and make entry complicated in many more ... well, it just doesn't seem practical.

An experienced captain explained his theory on why this is the case: Cruisers bring money to the local economy, so those economies have a vested interest in keeping cruisers coming in; and cruisers talk, so incidents of theft and violence spread and reduce money coming in to the local economy. This alone isn't enough to completely _stop_ crime in these areas, but criminals have learned that there are LOTS of boats to steal from. They want the easy, low-risk take. So any indication that the boat is keeping a watch, or that there will be any resistance and they just move on ... eventually they'll find a careless boater to steal from with no worries. They know that there's lots on deck they can steal without making enough noise to wake anyone, so they almost never go below decks. They know that cruisers have insurance, so a stolen MFD is likely to create a police report that the police don't have time to follow up on, and an insurance claim. But they know that if they go below decks, and if someone gets hurt, then the local police will have the motivation to track them down, as a story spreading about an assault will cause cruisers to stop spending money at their anchorage. Just a few stolen MFDs a week makes pretty good money on the black market, so they aren't terribly desperate to take any risks.

It _is_ unintuitive. At least it was to me. But the facts support the conclusion that carrying a guy while cruising just isn't worth it.

But, of course, you've brought one of the more controversial topics to this forum, so you're going to get heated answers. The fact that you're surprised by that is somewhat funny to me. You might as well start a pro-life vs. pro-choice debate -- it would be equally ponderous to me if you were surprised by the heated responses you got.
 

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Man ... a lot of people getting snippy about the question.

But, of course, you've brought one of the more controversial topics to this forum, so you're going to get heated answers. The fact that you're surprised by that is somewhat funny to me. You might as well start a pro-life vs. pro-choice debate -- it would be equally ponderous to me if you were surprised by the heated responses you got.
That's true, much of the rest of the world does not share our American frontier penchant for everybody being able to carry a loaded firearm around in our glove compartment or into Starbucks.
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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2,640 Posts
i believe you will find travelling with weaponry a hassle--even worse than the dog.
i travel mexico sola with only a cat for protection--hahahahaha donot need to lock doors and donot need to worry about my personal safety.
caribbean was same.
if you are not comfortable in your own skin, stay home until you are so., is important.
if you cannot trust folks enough to mix with em, stay home.
if you feel the |NEED to carry a weapon, stay home.
once you get out into the cruising lifstyle, if that is actually what you willbe doing, you will learn much much more than you could imagine.
if you donot make it out here, it will not matter. there is much to learn that is not learnable without wandering out into reality.
 

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Novice but Stubborn
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Discussion Starter #19
Traveling with a dog, outside of the US can be a hassle. The Bahamas and British Virgin Islands, and other countries, require a pet import permit which includes an APHIS health certificate and a rabies titer blood test (It requires blood to be drawn and sent to one of the certified testing centers). Even the US Virgin Islands requires a certified health certificate and a 6 month current rabies vaccination. My state only requires a rabies vaccination every two years, so the USVI has more restrictive requirements.

So, if you want to travel with a gun or a dog, it is easier to confine your cruising to the continental United States.
I will be sailing with at least one dog. Can't imagine my life without one. But I can meet the requirements. My dogs are always up to date on shots and living in the south we do heartworm prevention year round already anyway.

Its funny what to some may seem a hassle but to others is no big deal. But thanks for the heads up. It is something I will be researching.
 

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Novice but Stubborn
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Discussion Starter #20
Just go cruising in the Caribbean like everyone else.


What makes you need to look like Rambo when no one else does or needs to?

Reality is the price of rum, not anything else.


Mark
Ha. Its not like I am going to be sitting in the cockpit with a machine gun. If it is a big deal and a huge hassle or just downright illegal I won't have a gun. If I am allowed most likely it would be kept in a drawer or box somewhere below deck.
 
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