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Old September 26, 2007, 04:26 PM   #1
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Boat defense training

I may be doing a lot more boating in the near future in the Gulf and eventually on the East Coast, and the issue of dealing with maritime threats has come to my attention a few times. Plus being in more heavily populated areas on the East means more people with more boats yet mostly unarmed = crime waiting to happen from what I gather. My dad always kept a .357 on board and most often the other guys who came with us would bring a carbine, an extra pistol, and various other stuff. Pretty good but in the future I won't have them with me, just the wifey and maybe one other so it'll likely be just me providing the defense and I'd like to be a little more prepared and more educated on dealing with scenarios that come up. What might I read, think about, and do to be optimally prepared should a worst case scenario arise? How could one train/practice? Does anyone here have experience?
Yellowfin is offline  
Old September 26, 2007, 05:11 PM   #2
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If you are going to have firearms aboard your boat, and you are going to venture into the waters belonging to other governments, I strongly encourage you to learn how to deep-six your stuff in ways so that they cannot be recovered. You also need to do the deep-six-ing in international waters in a way that will not draw attention to your actions as polluting the seas.

If you are going to cruise the east coast you will need to know the state boundaries as they apply to how far from average high-tide seaward, as well as any wierd zigs or zags from coastal reference points. For example, the Chesapeake Bay is "governed" by about 6 states and their various firearms laws, as well as by USCG/Homeland Insecurity/ICE and perhaps some taskforce of the month.

You may also want to get up-to-date on the favored drug smuggling routes so as to avoid them. Cruising can get awfully interesting when you get visited by black rubber boats. Houseboating on the Great Lakes can be exciting when you explore various coves & inlets that "happen to be" within some undetermined nearness to Canadian waters or shores.

Do NOT try to hide anything from the JBTs who board you to conduct various safety and/or customs searches. Do NOT engage in "repel boarders" drills as they are approaching. And DO NOT allow anyone to "slip over the side" as they are heading your way - that airborne FLIR you never spotted will be a source of never-ending grief for somebody.

In spite of all this, 12-guage slugs in the magazine for standoff work and 00, 000 or #4 buckshot for social distances are all decent recommendations. Flare guns work just fine, but are nowhere near as accurate as shown in the movies. A short, stout boat rod rigged with 250# line and a snap-on rig of half a dozen or so treble hooks can serve as either a grapple or as moving razorwire as well as a trotline for lunch/dinner. Be creative, and remember that you will have limited room to swing anything.

Check with the local marine LEO outfit to lear what the biggest problems are encountering. I suspect it will be boating while intoxicated and failure to carry required safety devices. Unless you are runing an open-ocean fastmover, there is likely to be little that will attract the attention of the unsavory to you. (But it never hurts to be prepared.)

stay safe.

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Old September 26, 2007, 09:31 PM   #3
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I've sailed many places over the years. My boat is a USCG documented vessel. You need to displace 10 tons in order to document. Being aboard the vessel (documented or not) in US waters, you are on private property, and thus, you are able to defend it as you would your home. As for foreign ports, documentation provides you with the (supposed) protection of being US property, and thus subject to US regulations.
In MOST waters where piracy may be an issue, you have little to worry about from any government agency EG. Carriean Islands. If you sail to Central American places, well... you're bold to say the least. I haven't done it, but I know some who have sailed to Cuba - just mind the rules.
Little need to worry about dumping anything IMO, but the CG regulations are easliy found - on the web or at any marine store. In fact, You will need to post these regs on a sticker near the head. It is Illegal to dump plastic ANYWHERE.
Only the ignorant find ignorance to be bliss. Only those of us who know better will suffer from it.
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