I don't own a boat yet, but one of my major concerns about owning one is getting hijacked or robbed or killed out at sea where I would be a long way from help. Is this something that rarely happens, or does everyone have to arm themselves?

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Now we're contemplating!

Stephen, Ye got me thinkin' about mooring a pawn shop at either end of said passage(s)!
What do you mean, "attacked three times"?
Lol! I'd think getting out away from civilization is the point of it all. If you get hijacked, try to be accepted and become the pirate they arrrrrrr!-at least till help arrives then claim the fifth! Robbed?- well try to recover. Killed, well, what better way to die than doing something ye love.
Truth is "ye never know!"

I would certainly watch out for groggy old men hollering, gesturing and rowing out to cut me from a mooring. LOL!!

Just dont tell all your secrets to survival, I may be practicing the same ones.

I'll watch yer back if you watch mine!

G'Day Matey, Like your attitude. This is off subject but... By the way, it is not so much the old groggy guys but the sailing wenches that are the problem. After feeding me more food and grog than I can handle, they then demand/expect that I perform like a young stud, needless to say I fall asleep on the way to the job. It nearly drives me to give up drinking. Why can't they make their demands before feeding me? or why can't I refrain from the grog? Oh well such is life. All of these secrets are only between you and me, no sane person would believe it anyway.:)
Joking aside, cruising is really a safe and great way of life, you will meet many wonderful people and experience many things that most people can only dream about. Happy Sailing.
Save the grub for breakfast (best meal of the day plus she may be happy to know she wont have to cook in the mornin'), and supplement dinner with grog. Take a lunch during the "job" (does she dock ye for lunch?) if nec. Its a win win. What the hell am I sayin', I think ye'll manage, ole dawg! LMAO

Ye suckered me into that one!

I know I'll have the butterflies when finally make way, but nothing the grog wont stifle.
I know several have already mentioned some reads but again, Sensible Sailing (book) is proving to be quite a read for a wanna-be-cruiser (me). Seeing already, though havent read the chapters yet, are accounts of others' single-handed, passage makers...long ago and during wartime even. My confidence has magnified since cramming page after pageI and am growing more and more impatient as read. I lose sleep to anticipating. I say keep listenin to others advice but just get on out there and worry more about keeping your boat afloat, or who ever's boat ye may be aboard.

Strive for life. Live for the moment!

For the record I will have guns onboard. I will also be travelling thru the carribean, central america panama and pacific thru indonesia and spending alot of time in Thailand, Australia, and NZ.

I don't anticipate piracy as my boat will be small and without much to attract attention (IE antennas etc) but I believe that something as simple as showing a gun can be a big deterant against pirates. Most of the cases I have read about are larger ships where there was much to be gained in taking them and holding people for ransom. Most of the cases involving smaller yachts are armed vs unarmed with the only deaths resulting from people being stupid (attacking gunmen with nothing more than a stick etc). Many times simply knowing who to call and making a call can prevent anything bad from happening. This could be as simple as talking over a radio with another boat and saying you are coming to help.

All this aside the greates acts of "piracy" happen right at home by your fellow cruisers and guns won't do anything. Things like stealing outboards, dinks, things left on deck etc. If you are in a marina illuminate your boat as best you can, if you are going to be there a while hook up a motion activated light.

Just my $.02
Issues to consider regarding anti-piracy protection:

Where are you planning to go sailing? Like Franc said, some areas are far worse than others, and there are plenty of sources of info as to the best and worst of the bunch.

As far as weaponry on board, there's always the chance that any pirates will be better armed than you, whether you're packing a napalm-balloon launcher, a trebuchet, a squirt gun or a 12-gauge. And you also have to remember that it's not just having the weapon, but being ready, willing and able to use it. You hesitate, and you either lose the weapon or your life -- or both.

Also, if you plan to ever make landfall, customs agents in most places will be very interested in knowing if you have weapons on board. If you do, and you declare them, at the very least they'll be impounded for the duration of your stay. If you do and you don't declare them but they're discovered, they'll be confiscated and you'll be spending your sailing trip in a foreign jail.

Personally, I think avoiding high-risk areas is the best way to go. But if you're really, really intent on cruising the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea or the Malacca Straits, maybe the best thing to have on board is a speargun or two.
I plan on sailing everywhere! I'll try to avoid the dangerous areas though, but Australia,Thailand and the Phillipines are on the agenda.

I would rather have a weapon and have options rather than being at the mercy of anyone who comes along with a gun. They may be better armed in some cases but probably not better shots. I'm an expert marksman. Plus an M-14 would come in handy for shooting fish or wild boar.

So is that how it works when you enter a foreign port? Customs agents meet you at the peer and inspect your boat? So its not that big a deal then if you have weapons as long as you declare them.

Spearguns are a one shot deal, and if you miss . . . you're f***ed!
Vulcan, during my 3 Year Cruise from Cape Cod Ma. thru Leeward and Windward Islands and back thru Purto Rico, Deminica Republic and Bahamas (1982-1985) I had just one insident.
Traveling you end up in long conversations with fellow Sailors you invite for Happy Hour (every afternoon) at anchor. To make a long story short, never tell anyone were you hide your Kitty. Not even a hint.
Thats how I got robed of $1000 in Granada. 5 other boats went aboard another boat for happy hour and tho we met up several other Islands the subject came up and all confessed were there hideing place was and I was last. Next happy hour one boater didn't show up and my dirty sock hidded in the laundry was epty of the Kitty.
Granada at Georgetown was exciteing as we were told to leave 2 weeks before US invaded.
So on to Venezuala were we spent 4 mo. and did extensive travels with body guard as bolivar was 19 to 1 US dollar. 1 week plane trip to Angel Falls (largest freefalling in the World)with cabin,food for 2 people $85 total.
The body guard was a Luetinate in the police department and didn't cost a thing except some wonderful sailing with his family.

I just took a quick look at your profile. Nice scooters! Back to yoiu question. From the looks of your profile I assume your a biker. On the east coast, where I live, riding a bike on the road is far more dangerious then cruising.

When riders die on the roads, everyone knows about it. It gets recorded in the police records. You know what happened to the rider. But, when people die at sea, they just disappear. Everyone ASSUMES it was probably bad weather, but who really knows. I wonder how many of those really died from "natural" causes.

Since I'm new to sailing, I'm more apprehensive about sailing than riding a bike. I feel I have a lot of control over what happens on the road to a much greater extent than what happens on the water.
...maybe the mind-set just isn't there.
Not everyone is cut out for it.


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