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, its just tire tracks on sand. There is no damage, permanent or otherwise. Lighten up!
Sailing the open oceans and visiting remote places is not a risk free pastime. I would say that piracy is the least of your worries unless you go places where it is a known local industry.

As far as defending yourself goes, dream on.
To assume that you can't defend yourself for all situations and therefore shouldn't defend yourselves for any situation sounds less than intelligent. Lets not forget about what happened down south, killed with a machete or ice pick simply because they didn't have "enough" cash. With todays world you can travel with plastic instead of lots of cash. Now in my mind if you are not going to arm yourselves make sure you carry enough to cash to apease anyone who might board your boat. I have heard of cases in parts of the world that are not known for piracy.
do not watch dead calm--is a total lie---do not pick up strangers for rides--do not give rides to anyone---leave boobytraps on the boat whenya leave--i leave boatkat in charge whern i go provision--do not leave boat in unsafe areas---life on th ewater is goood and so far not unsafe unless in somalia or some such area.....gooood luck....
Get 'cha one of these guys:

Id put a bike on each side to distibute the weight and a small crane-wench near each to lift it on and off. Not that Im an advocate of bikes.
Weapons in international waters is one thing but could cause you problems in some of the places you visit
I know you have to declare guns on customs documents in many of the places you may sail to and best case senario is it may bring alot of searches and hassles with the locals.If you sail into dangerous areas you probably won't have the fire-power needed to out gun a pirate.,don't let the paranoia eat at you,relax and enjoy the moments is TOO short to worry about what might be,live in the moment!
I don't think I'm being paranoid. Modern day pirates are real, and there are bad people in the world and not all of them are from third world countries. One of them may be docked next to you right now. You never know.

But I think you're right about the problems I might have by carrying weapons. I think I would need to have a good hiding place for them when I enter foreign ports. And not every pirate is heavily armed. You've been watching too much History Channel, like me : )
Its not just the heavily armed pirates that I'm worried about, its also the occasional bad seed that I'm worried about coming across while I'm exploring some deserted island or something . . . or maybe a gang of unarmed or lightly armed thugs or fellow sailors that might cross my path.

If I did get a gun, I would make sure to have a really good hiding place for it on my boat, maybe have something custom built for that purpose, and aside from a hand, I would also have an assault rifle and lots of ammo. The rifle would be to intimidate and hold them off at a distance and the large cache of ammo cause I don't know where else I would be able to get anymore if I run out of it. It may not be convenient to go to the gun store for more ammo in the middle of a siege or gun fight : ) Am I overly paranoid? hehe

Are you greeted by the coast guard or customs when you visit foreign ports?
hey there wanna-be sailor,
Like others have said, don't be paranoid dude. Enjoy the moments and have fun.
If you are international waters, be cool, don't be a loud, arrogent, drunk, or brag about your inheritance or your gun(if you have one).
Try and be courteous and smile at those that do not speak the same language as you do. Much better than raising your voice!
Let the wind take you to places of enjoyment and have fun.
Just because I believe its a good idea to have a weapon to be able to defend myself doesn't mean I'm advocating being an a**hole. Being nice is always good but that doesn't mean everyone will return the favor. I think it was Theodore Roosevelt that said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick".
You should follow your own advice. Your condescending arrogant tone doesn't sound very nice to me. And I can see right through your phony smile.
Hi Vulcan 1600,
It is wise to consider all the risks of sailing and to make preparations that you are happy with. We are all different and therefore our plans and preparations are different. Some sailors are happy having guns aboard and others find/think that they cause more worries than they are worth. For the most part I feel safer out sailing than I do when ashore in 'safe' cities. There are places where yachts are at a greater risk of theft, robbery or piracy, but these are few and are well known among the cruisers and can be avoided. As a person who is written about in the book Pirates Aboard, I recommend reading it. I have sailed thru the area where I was attacked three times, but I did it armed the last two times, picking up weapons just for that transit and then selling/dumping them.
The only trouble I have had with other sailors is getting invited aboard their boats and being forced to have a good time and way too much to drink. :)
Attacks on yachts are rare, so do not let that put you off sailing. Good luck with getting your boat and Happy Sailing when you do.


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