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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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Hey, Vulcan 1600! You'd have to go to places like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malacca straits, Somalia or the Gulf of Aden to find piracy prone areas nowadays. Check out the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) for recent reports. I've never sailed in Hawaii but my guess is that it's pretty safe there these days.
When I do get a boat, I don't plan on just sailing around in my backyard. Those places you mentioned, Franc, sound like places I might like to go. But, even in "safe" waters, aren't you still vulnerable to those dangers? You never know who you're going to come across. I'm sure 99% of the sailors i will meet are probably going to be nice people but there is that 1%. I'd like to have a backup plan if things get ugly.
I agree with the assessment of piracy; it is primarily in a few places in the world but if you wanted to get some reading on it, try PIRATES ABOARD. It should be at any Barnes & Nobles or Borders within the sailing section. It contains about 40-stories about cases of piracy in the world by the person/people who's ship was boarded. They also give their perspectives on the what they did right & what they did wrong.

Try that and see how much it helps!!!
I'm sure I could go out and get a book but i was hoping to get some input from this "social network" of sailors. Funny, when I started this discussion, the History Channel had something on about modern day pirates. Anyway, thanks for the tip.
I plan to have an air cannon and launch gasoline balloons. When they get close enough to see what is in my hand (as if the smell of gas isn't clue enough), they will see a flare gun!

Seriously, Hawaii is safe- haven't heard of any piracy out here. Not sure there is anything you can legally have on board that would equal their armament. Have to be creative I guess...

Reading Pirates Aboard sounds like good advice.
I like the air cannon idea but I don't think it will work. As soon as you fire the cannon, your balloon will burst. And if you use a stronger balloon that doesn't burst when you fire it, then it surely won't burst when it impacts your target since the amount of force will be greater at launch then at landing. A trebuchet would work but then your boat would be top heavy : )
However, seeing a trebuchet on someones boat would be a deterent. LOL
Sabot napalm balloons should do the trick! :-)

Yea... or a trebuchet...!

I have wondered about a propane flame thrower with nozzles mounted at strategic locations (perhaps around the rub-rail) and controlled from a hardened position but it seems a little elaborate. Fire at sea is right up there with sinking and is feared by any sailor worth his/her salt- pirate or not.

I think of my boat as trading up from my Harley- As you already know- it's all about get'in in the wind and enjoy'in the ride. You never know what each corner has in store and you do yer best to keep it between the ditches (God! Those steel grate bridges!!!). The biggest difference is... the highway is a bit bigger, sometimes a lot trickier, and the ride is a bit longer! I've encountered many a good soul... on my scooter as well as out here on the water....
Look'in forward to see'in ya trade up!!
I plan on getting a boat one day, but I'm not getting rid of my bikes, and I'm keeping my car too. Even when you own a boat, you still spend most of your time in harbor or on shore. Takes forever to barhop on foot. Too expensive for cab rides everywhere, especially when you go to half a dozen places in one night. And I need the car for shopping or when I'm too lazy to get geared up.

One day I'd like to custom build a 50' catamaran with a ramp that can carry one or two of my bikes. I'll take along my Vulcan 750 (the 1600 would be too big) and an enduro type bike for on/off road. I'd love to take the enduro to a deserted island and tear it up! People will trip out when they visit a deserted island and find motorcycle tracks all over it.
Cool... let me know when you're ready for sea trials. I'll cruse around the island and we can do a flotilla!

Hey- you could fit a trebuchet on a 50' cat!!

:-)
LOL . . . How about we just make over-sized slingshots and shoot eggs at each other : )
Yeah, thats the attitude......find some place thats pristine and tear it up.

Veranda

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