Thinking of someone coming aboard your boat and taking your possessions whether you are on board or not is enough to make everyone angry and even a little uneasy. The thought of being boarded in the middle of an ocean by a fast moving small boat filled with armed men is terrifying.
Pirates are not exclusively off the coast of Somalia or cruising around the Caribbean on a ship with black sales and Johnny Depp at the helm. The reality is that pirates are simply what thieves who take things from a vessel on the water are called. So how can you combat the problem and protect yourself from this type of criminal?
There is always a forum debate on guns onboard and the rights of people to protect their homes whether or not it is stationary, a motor vehicle or boat. The truth is that the rights that are afforded to an individual by the U.S. Constitution do not apply in foreign countries. The supreme court has stated that while a state can not take away your 2nd amendment rights, the state can however impose laws and rules on the registration of a firearm, even making it next to impossible to register. So it may be legal for me to have a firearm aboard my boat in my resident state of Texas, when I travel to or through New Jersey, I must comply with their laws and rules. The same is true for any foreign country. What many people overlook is that you may be able to enter the country by listing your weapons and ammunition with customs, but heaven help you if you have to use that weapon to protect yourself while in their territorial waters. Keep in mind that many Caribbean countries define a ‘gun’ as anything that shoots a projectile, even a Hawaiian Sling.
So how are we planning to thwart the piracy problem aboard our vessel? We have two distinct area of concern, at anchor/port and at sea/underway. We plan to incorporate the same technologies you find with car alarms. While not designed for water craft, you can use and adapt the same components found in car alarms to a water craft with little issue, you just won’t have a warranty. While not full proof, it may serve to detere some criminal elements when the horn starts sounding and lights come on. Over simplistic, sure, but at least its a little piece of mind while we are off the boat or sleeping.
The second issue is how to protect ourselves while we are underway. The main thing we will have working in our favor is speed. With a potential top speed, according to manufacturing information, of 30.7 knots or 35.3 mph, we should be able to stay far enough ahead of a problem to not be worth the effort. Should the person or persons be persistent then we have mass on our side as well. 33000 pounds traveling at 35 mph head on into a small boat weighing only a few hundred pounds makes it a very interesting game of chicken.
But what is actually going to happen if people come aboard the boat while we are on it? The reality is that I will fight, my wife will jump over to get away and we will hope for the best. I know, it sounds crazy to have this mentality but the truth is, we are going to try very hard to avoid areas where there are known problems. While it is not the most ideal of plans we have to make do with what we have or what we feel comfortable with having aboard the boat. As far as we can tell knives and machetes are legal everywhere and the tight quarters even the odds a little bit.