What would you do, in case of a Pirate Attack at Sea? (Sailing La Vagabonde) Ep. 39

Pirate Scare!

The next 150nm of ocean until we reached the Galapagos Islands was quite enjoyable and we saw the most incredible things in the water. I started hearing things and Riley got a tiny little crab in his ear after scraping the hull. Each day we spend on the water these days seems to be full of surprises.

As the sun was rising, I spotted the island of San Cristobal. Seals galore.

They stuffed up my salad (A SALAD) and the world gets to see grumpy Elayna.

Muddy shoe walkers leaving muddy tracks onboard. Surrounded by bird watching/explorer humans in cargo gear. I wonder what adventures tomorrow may bring. Thanks for watching, and for those on Patreon supporting my art.

I am seriously stoked on making these videos for you guys and I wouldn’t be able to keep on doing it without you!! Lots of love, Elayna (and Riles). Please comment and let us know what you would do in the case of a pirate attack out at sea.

Comments 205

  1. Why not check in with sv Delos or sv Sailing Totem or any number of other sailors to see how they prepare for potential pirate attacks? They both have plenty of sea under their hulls. Sounds like you have been talking to the Pardy’s, ask them? My opinion is no guns but I only have local sailing experience and have never been faced with what you have been through. Take care, I love your videos – including the history!

    1. NEVER carry guns. You will always come off worse. As did Sir Peter Blake, the skipper of Steinlager II in the late 1980’s – he won every single leg of the round the world race in 1989. Tragically he was killed by being shot in the back while doing environmental work in the Amazon. By carrying a gun he was killed. Give the prates what they want – life is too precious.

    2. Pirate Control:
      Elayna looked pretty scary having been deprived of her salad for several hours. I rekon that would be motivation enough for any pirate to bugger off.

      Better Pirate Control: – Best defense is offense – keep them out of range.
      Hunting rifle with stainless steel barrel – keep them along way away
      Shotgun with stainless steel barrel – in case they get too close
      9mm Handgun with stainless steel barrel – for any close quarters defense

    3. At the end of the day, your talking about…a gunfight. For those who have not been around guns, this is a terrible thing. Riley, the real question comes down to how does that make YOU feel? Being on a giant ocean where the lowest bugger with a simple pop gun can take your boat, and all you hold dear. I tell you this truth. Every American vessel has a gun. If they come to steal your stuff, your boat, your life, your wife….at least go down shooting. The choice in the comments is good. Rifle for long range. Shotgun for. Deck handgun for up close. Personally I sail with the “stagecoach ” 20 gauge Shotgun. Good for defense. You can use different loads and is a good defense. Nobody is going to fucked with you while you hold a loaded Shotgun.

      1. Correction: NOT every person from the US has a gun! (Americans can mean Canadian, Central American and South AMERICAN)

        There is just a fringe group of about 30% of US residence who feel this way.
        Carying guns around the world can e problematic as you know. Each counrty requires that you declare your weapons and if you dont AND get caught you can spend your time in jail and will never see your fire arms again.

        Best advice is utilize what you already have on board like you just did.
        Gasoline cans and flares (if they get too close)
        What you did was text book. Speed up and dont slow down

  2. For your own safety put a couple of guns on board . Keep it to yourself and don’t mention it to anybody.keep them out of harms way but where you can acces them if every you sadly would need the use of them.
    Keep enjoying your travels , love the lifestyle you have taken .
    Love and best wishes

  3. Hey, why did they poison your boat? Did you request it? Was it obligatory?
    kind regards and be safe !

    1. I also had a piracy attack in the careabean see. Since then I follow up quite a lot of available info. My conclusion is that you have to decide immediatly what kind of piracy you are facing:
      a) If they are professionals (1-2%), do what they want – and no wappon will help you anyway!
      b) If they are intrested in your money (e.g. young agressive guys / 98%), take s.th which can help you to protect yourself and demonstrate, that you are not giving up immediatetly – long knife, fish spearing or distress gun next, to you or even a havy torch or winch crank in your hand.
      b) happened to you. So you reacted the right way and instinctivly – as I did then.
      I am convinced that weapons will lead to an escalation and as you are on your own, you will end up as the loser when its getting tough.
      I learned quite a lot on piracy and continued sailing. Hope you will not face any new piracy and will enjoy your trip again – just a little bit more observant and prepared 🙂
      All the best to both of you,

  4. If you consider guns, please know that it is illegal in many countries you visit, where they can be confiscated and worse. In other countries one has to give them for safekeeping until departure. Often the guns have been used by the authorities for a nice little test run with your ammo…

  5. Riley, that would be a very scary situation for anyone.
    I have never sailed and I don’t know what the rules and regulations are but if allowed I would have a weapon of some sort. Shotgun would probably be my preference and a handgun. I had asked previously what you do with your trash and I see you take it off when you go into port.

  6. I would ask the coast guard or law enforcement for advise. See what they have to say. But id have a shotgun and a rifle with a scope. Fire a warning shot if that doesent discourage them them use the rife an defend myself. But thats my opinion. Anyway you two be careful and keep alert. Thanks for the great videos. Mike.

  7. Hi ….firstly much peace and love …….I have a40 foot Roberts spray and have also pondered the protection thing I have guns but it’s not worth it (if you get caught with them ) but I have a bow fishing outfit as well as a couple of compound bows they are very effective and both will be able to pick it up relatively easy and depending what tip you use it will punch a hole in a dinghy no probs …….. I watch your vids and it helps me put my head down with work so I can finish putting auto helm and radar on my boat and get out of here …… Fair winds Michael xx

  8. Love You Guys !!! I am so Jealous!
    Pirates,,,,,,,I would try to have Mace or something.
    Gun would always make me feel better hidden until you need it… Peace N Love

  9. Hell to the Yeah I would have Guns on board !! You had a close shave guys and I reckon Helena will sleep a lot better if at least you have a couple of ‘last resort options’. Don’t let this incident wreck what has been a fantastic journey so far. I bet Pirates are like burglars, cowards who want an easy pinch. At least if they see a firearm it might be enough for them to pick on someone else. They are not going to risk their lives over an unknown haul. A couple of Molotov Cocktail kits which can be deployed quickly too would be a good idea….. Not something any pirate wants tossing into his boat!! I certainly don’t see how it will do you any harm. If someone boards your boat with intent, expect the worse. At least with weapons you have a chance of avoiding it and defending yourselves. I have loved your whole series. Thanks for sharing the adventure. ! I want to hear Helena singing again, she rocks!!

  10. Hello guys!

    We will soon be in the cruising circuit too! One thing that my fiancé would recommend is to travel with a crusing circuit while sailing through sketchy areas, that way there are other boats there with you which would make it a little less appealing to approach your vessel under sail. Hope the rest of your trip is safe and your sails are full!

  11. Hey guys, love the adventure!

    Scary situation. The canned bombs you threw seem to do the trick. Bastards, should know better than to approach at high speed in the middle of the night.

    Obviously a gun in most countries is considered a crime, and there is no need to get busted for having a firearm (unless you can hide it really well).

    I’m a fan of spearguns, big knives and hand held crossbows, some even say travel with a loud noise gun.

    No great answer to an age old challenge.

    Hang in there and count your blessings.

    Following seas,


  12. For pirates, I would have an ample supply of flare guns, and for distress but also for protection. Many countries of port would have an issue with guns, which I would recommend first, but they may me illegal.

  13. We could see your fear in your eyes guys, couldn’t stop thinking about it. Glad u r ok, Couldn’t begin to think the best way to avoid or handle this sort of thing. Pray it doesn’t happen again, u have been blessed thus far, may it be a one off. We hope it doesn’t continue to dampen your spirits, it will take some time to resolve in yr head & hearts. Talk to others, see wot they do, protect yourselves but don’t let them rob u of yr joy or your dreams. Love watching you guys. Thanx for allowing us to share yr adventure. Blessings

  14. In response to guns, in my opinion bad idea.
    1. In some countries they are illegal and could bar entry as well as ground for arrest and impound of vessel.
    2. Salt water rusts a gun throughout making them un reliable. Also requiring constant cleaning.

    I could go on and on. Use a flare gun instead or the spear gun. I’d imagine e most pirate vessels have bad engines with leaks In the engine. One flare should catch their boat. And no one wants a flare to the face!
    At anchor with both sleeping spread tacks on the deck to warn of new comers with no one is on watch. Some pirates don’t wear shoes!
    The hiding hole is a great idea. However if your boarded and the pirate notice girly stuff laying about they will wonder where is the the girl.

    Lastly I wanted to mention a sailing tactic called heaving to or hove to. On your 30 ft Rawson if I back wind the jib and tie the tiller to Lee the boat will STOP! which is great in storms, taking noon and star sights. Waiting outside of an anchorage till conditions improve, or keeping the boat still while we make cocktails! There is a few videos on YouTube. Take a look it’s a very handy trick.

    Final note. I love you guys and very happy your living the dream. Stay safe and may the wind be at your backs!


  15. What a wonderful video! One of your very best! Cleaning the hull while floating in the middle of the ocean. How cool is that? Big bunch of dolphins! Beautiful sunset. Finally got to the Galapagos Islands—-hurrah!

    As for those bloody pirates, I think you should have a gun—preferably a pump shotgun on board. You’ve got to go down fighting mate!

  16. Definitely a couple guns . I had a near home Invasion and people threatening to kill me . I wish I had a gun with me at that Time .

  17. Sorry guys, not a comment about guns or Pirates but I’m trying to get my bearings on your travels. Last I saw your boat was on the hard in Granada for the Hurricane season. Then I look at your travel map and compare these videos and it seems you’re well past Granada and just arriving the Galapagos Islands. As of May 20 2016 where in the world are you excatly at?

  18. I don’t sail (yet), but I’ve been following your videos for a while and the gun question has often been on my mind. I think you did the best you could have done during your recent encounter; perhaps they would have pursued you further had you not shown any aggression by accelerating and throwing cans.

    Some have suggested that pirates will always outgun you (probably true), and that firing at them would just encourage them further, so therefore you shouldn’t have guns. I just can’t buy into that argument though. To me, having a gun on board gives you options (you could always choose to not use it.) Maybe a situation could arise where you wouldn’t be sure whether or not to use a gun, but my guess is that the vast majority of encounters that could occur would make it absolutely clear to you whether using a gun would be the best option.

    I agree with one commenter on YouTube who suggested that you have a gun on board while in international waters, and then drop it in a wet locker on bottom when entering ports. A lot of people have suggested assault rifles of some sort, but maybe one of these two corrosion resistant shotguns would be a good option (easier to hit your target on a boat that’s bouncing around on the water):



  19. I guess I would have some guns. Especially in that hiding spot for Elena. The question is what will you do to protect yourself for the next time. You may have gotten away this time. Better to have a weapon and not need it, than to need one and not have it. Or you can carry more cans of tuna. Peace.

  20. hi you guys,
    I did sailed big ocean going tugboats and in one ocaision I was on our tow it was an oil tanker who explode in the Irak – Iran war….suddenly I heard a small engine and although the gangway was lifted 10 mtrs above sea level they still manage to come onboard…what would I have done ? shoot all of them …that is ridiculous.
    They turned out to be friendly ppl who just looked around for something they coult sell on shore from this burned out tanker.
    and….I do not believe in guns

    1. You dont have to believe . Just point, sqeeze and watch in dis-belief. Then stare at those you just protected and believe they appreciate it.

  21. Instead of a gun, just do what Macaulay Culkin did in Home Alone when the robbers thought no one was home.

  22. Personally, I’d have a gun (undeclared) and plan on sailing with one near where I sleep. With that said if you can get inside and had a bear spray or pepper spray system that sprayed outside the boat if you were boarded. Or get a dog. Floating Pepper spray grenades should be legal…

  23. I say get a gun, and Eli, you when you’re tucked away in that space you’ve made. Shoot anyone other than Riley who opens the door.

  24. I love watching your videos but have just one request. Please wear life vests/harnesses when you are on watch alone. I know you are careful and try to avoid heavy weather but it should be something you do automatically after the sun goes down. Not criticising you. Just concerned!!!!

  25. I’m glad it all worked out OK in the end. The part of the story where Riley was chucking food cans at the approaching vessel gave me an idea. What if you made a canned food cannon out of some piping that could mount into one if the fishing pole holders. It cold be fired with compressed air (a scuba tank might work) and lob a can of food quite a distance with a good bit of force. It could be small enough fetch and mount quickly and to dismount and store below when not needed.

  26. if you’re positive that what you’re facing pirates in the open sea? i’d use the element of surprise and whatever i could do to fight back…no doubts

  27. Great episode again. Thanx.
    As aussies keep away from guns. They could become problematical for many reasons including country entry issues or some one getting their hands on them and using them against you.
    You tighten the risk of being killed or injured buy having them
    I have heard of people using a flare gun as a weapon as you possibly have one on board anyway.
    cheers guys


  28. Me again!

    Here’s a great list of marine-grade shotguns. I personally recommend shotguns, because they don’t carry the stigma associated with handguns (portability) or military-style rifles such as AKs and ARs. Shotguns are almost universally considered “sporting use” in countries with those sorts of laws (e.g. France), and ammo is plentiful.

    Not sure how easy it is to buy a shotty in your neck of the woods, but for your perusal:


    I’m partial to Mossberg, myself.

    Sail safe!

  29. Armas de fogo não são legais, no Brasil são proibidas, mas mesmo assim considero ter uma 12 (gauge) de bomba a bordo do meu barco, e com munição especial.

  30. Throughout history pirates have sought out soft targets. In all likelihood even the mere display of an identifiable firearm to an approaching suspicious vessel would end the encounter. However, the regulatory mess in the vast majority of countries, concerning the possession of firearms, makes the prospect of cruising armed nearly impossible. So, although I would far prefer to have firearms aboard, when cruusing outside of the US and Bahamas, we reluctantly leave our firearms ashore. Sadly, whether or not we cruisers “believe” in guns or not, pirates, rapists and murderers on the high seas do so believe, and we’re all placed at risk accordingly. This is a lamentable situation, as you can see from your freightening experience. As for alternatives, they are poor substitutes, possibly more dangerous to the user, and in some jurisdictions, also possibly illegal (various pepper sprays, edged weapons, etc). It’s a real shame nations that cannot control their local waters for the safety of their visitors, also ensure we are defenseless. Very sorry you had this experience.

  31. Hello!
    I am happy that nothing bad happened to both of you…
    Again, thanks for sharing all this with us…
    Keep smiling and enjoy your trip…
    Take care

  32. I’m ex Navy/underwater Explosives, small arms etc…. The problem with a gun is that if you got it, you got to use it. Trust me pulling the trigger at a target when they are not shooting at you is really tough!
    Honestly. I would keep a side arm hidden be able to pull it at close quarters…. If they don’t take the offered food and clothing etc., I have to protect my family!!!!

  33. Riley,

    You should only have firearms if you know how to use them. It is like any other tool. A ripsaw or chainsaw can be just a deadly to the operator as a gun. I would recommend a few shotguns located in accessable locations (quickly). You should practice gaining access when you have some down time. I would recommend the mossberg mariner version it has stainless parts and has waterproof storage tube. Double 00 buckshot makes a mess but it is very effective especially at close range. I would also recommend in the hideout a handgun with a large clips ready to go. Remember these cowards are going to out number you so. You have to take the offense away from them. They are betting on little to no defense. Personally i would have a 50 cal barrett and reachout and disable the boat or someone before it ever gets close. I still say minimize your opsec.

  34. Throw a jar of vegemite at them, once they taste it they won’t come back..Happy sailing guys..

  35. This is a difficult topic. I always had a 20 gauge shotgun on board. Thankfully never had to use it. The choice of shotgun over a rifle or handgun is accuracy while bobbing around. I went with the 20 gauge to cause less damage to the boat. The question is would you be willing to use it without hesitation. The only time I got boarded I remembered a story about a wringer sponge mop and the sound it makes, just like a pump shotgun being chambered. A tough choice but one that only you can make.

  36. A couple cans of bear spray and a stainless steel machete can go a long way if it looks like you are going to be boarded and you have no firearms. A loudspeaker to tell them not to attempt to board can also communicate a clear message that boarding may be hazardous to their health.

  37. If it’s one gun against one gun then you might have a fighting chance. But if it’s one gun against 5 or 6 AK47’s that’s not so good. I think you have a better chance of survival if you don’t fight those odds and talking your way out of it.

    And last but not least, would you really want to kill a person? That’s not something I would want to live with for the rest of my life.

  38. It’s very easy to say what you would do in that situation until you are actually in that situation, adrenalin takes over you think the worse and it’s easy for panic to set in. With that said my friend I think you did an awesome job. You had a plan and it worked both are safe. Perhaps work on tossing the cans, for all they knew you were throwing it at them. Maybe next time have a bag prepared in advance to toss to them instead of pelting them with cans lol. Stay safe and thanks for taking me along on your journey

  39. No guns guys. It’ll only make thing worse. Next time, let’s hope there is not a next time, just give them what they want and make them leave. Your life’s worth a zillion times more than whatever you have on the boat.

    Keep it up.
    All the love.

  40. Guns on board could be a problem to move from one country to another because of customs checks . Besides that , if you have a gun on board you should know how to use it and be willing to do so. You never know what can happen, and some innocent may get hurt , even you. Luckily , you will navigate waters relatively free of pirates till you reach Australia . I would recommend having a good satellite phone with emergency numbers loaded

    1. Double agree on this one, donno which countries inspect boats, but a gun being found could be a huge prob if they’re not allowed. Mexico will jail you immediately.
      There are risks in life, we accept that when we fly, when we swim in the ocean, when we go desolate miles from a doctor, and when we sail oceans. The ethos of living life in nature is the polar opposite of living life with a gun.
      Maybe keep the spear handy in the cockpit 24/7, or get a small spear gun; you can always claim they are for fishing.
      Flair gun might work too, but keep in mind when you think of shooting at someone from the boat – Elana is right there too, right below the cockpit, right where you’d be ducking down as your shooting, and fiberglass will not even slow down a bullet from someone shooting at you.
      Best bet if you can’t shake the thought of this on another passage, is to see if you can hook up with others and passage in a group where you’ve heard say it’s sketchy.
      Glad your safe tho, big hugs all around, cheers.

      1. you all keep saying that it is illegal to have weapons on a cruising sail boat, No it is not you simply have to declare your weapon upon arrival and either have a locker container for it or turn it over to the port authorities until you leave. Any civilian boat travleling internationallly can have weapons for warding off pirates that is the international law and all nations are signatory to it. Check it out!! But a rifle is the best weapon semi auto or bolt action. shot guns are good for close range but you do not want close range gunfights you want to show the weapon at a good distance and make the bad guys leave.

    2. All to true and in the fast boat 5 guys scenario if 4 of them have AK47’s what are you going to do with your gun? Make them very cranky. After the shoot out fairly obvious what the result will be they will still get their way.
      Unless you bolt a 20mm on the bow and if you could use it shoot their boat? But doubtful many customs would smile at that.

  41. Get a gun…this is the real world today. Maybe a pistol that can be hidden away really good.
    If it helps you live you can deal with the authorities lately on bringing a gun to their country later.

  42. In general I would not recommend guns in general unless you have expert training and keep current, but in your particular case, I wouldn’t recommend them for the sheer nightmare it becomes when comes the time to enter a new country and declare it. Some countries allow, some don’t, I heard some go as far as prohibiting camo clothing, so forget about going there…

    But if you decide it’s worth it, then you think it’s worth it, so you don’t just need a weapon but the whole training and discipline that comes with it, and you’ll need those at all times from that point forward, and that goes for the extra steps of protecting it against theft and misuse.

    I’m not going to argue pro or against, that’s a personal choice and I’m just one guy on the internet. It’s necessary however to understand all the ramifications of such a decision.

    Disclaimer: I’m from a country where having a gun is heavily regulated so there’s that, but at the same I can see where a weapon could have its uses, and pirates at sea is definitely one of these cases. I’m pretty sure I would still prefer not to go through the trouble of getting one myself, too much hassle, for me anyway.

    In my opinion, whether you get one or not don’t say it in your videos or blog. Actually, on a related note, I probably would stay discreet about hideaway locations too. It’s unlikely pirates have internet but you never know who might be watching.

    Blue skies and stay safe!

  43. Having a gun is an important thing onboard if you are sailing through those areas, you don’t know who you could come across neither their intentions… Take care and keep safe all the time! Good sailing!

  44. Do you carry a fire extinguisher on your boat? You don’t expect a fire but if one arises the fire extinguisher will come in handy!

    A gun serves the same purpose! And like the fire extinguisher, you can have too many and the bigger the better! lol

    A shotgun a pistol and a carbine with lots of clips should do the job. If not at least you didn’t go down without a fight. But for sure a shot gun at the very least.

  45. Also, I forgot to say that a few years ago I met a captain that is charting around the Mediterranean and he said he had a dismounted pistol hidding its pieces around the boat. Just another idea. Greets!

  46. No guns, man, be cool. Sit them down and try and get them to express their feeling s of anger, this will help. Maybe a cup of herbal and a slice of Elayna’s special banana and coconut crumble. You remember everyone’s beautiful on the inside.

  47. Hi, dont really believe in guns, however when it comes to ur home and the one you love I would have to agree with a weapon, u can get compressed air guns that will do the trick, and you can get a permit to have a gun on board your boat, to carry at all times all countries as long as it doesn’t leave the boat. Any country that would have a problem with ur permit can be found online, an might not be worth visiting anyway, hope for wind at your back and full sails, you guys are amazing…..

    1. Sorry, but no. A compressed air gun will not do the trick. Get yourself a good AK and stash it away so you don’t have issues with customs checks. At the very least get a small pistol that you put in the hide out spot for Elay if nothing else. Love you guys, cheers!

  48. I do not have a gun on board.
    I do have a Bridger Line Thrower in 12 GA, which I declare upon arrival in port, as such. It is a standard marine tool used by the US Coast Guard. It is used for line deployment or line throwing and life saving. It also serves as a rescue flare launcher. If an uninvited party attempts to board they can be greeted with a flare (the Dragon’s breath variety puts on quite a show). Or the line thrower will knock them down and you can retrieve them with the line. Or not ;>).

    Nothing says NO! like a flare lit near your gas tank. The high speed boats are almost always leaking gas somewhere.

    Sounds like you handled it well. Elayna, you could do well defending your self with the spear fishing equipment you’ve had on board. Suspect Riley you have had a scuffle during your time on the oil rigs, maybe consider a great skill builder on self defense – Krav Maga.

    It is your boat and no one should board uninvited.

  49. If you had a gun you would have grabbed it right? And that might have escalated into you shooting at them, how would they have reacted? What if you killed one of them? As it is, it turned out fine and that probably happens more often than not. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have one?

  50. Hi Elayna & Riley,

    Here’s my approach when it comes to guns. You are all alone out on the ocean you have to be prepared for any eventuality. Most sailors are nice and friendly as a rule, but there’s always someone looking to take advantage. I’m refitting my boat and one consideration was building a hidden opening behind one of the shelves in the galley that I can quickly open to quickly retrieve either a 12 gauge shotgun, or an M-14 that I keep fully loaded. I also keep a false bumper that is spit down the middle on one side where I keep a 45 caliber piston along with 4 spare clips of ammo. This is just incase someone should come aboard under friendly pretenses and changes their mind. No one I have ever sailed with has been able to find my hiding places and I have been boarded several times by the U.S. Coast Guard and they have not found them either after a fairly exhaustive search one time. I certainly hope I never have to use these guns but sleep my better at night knowing they are there and ready to go.

    It’s a hard decision on whether to carry guns aboard or not, and I appreciate it that you don’t take it lightly. Good luck with your decision and good sailing!

    Your friend,

    Capt. Bill

  51. unless you are trained to be cool in the heat of the moment with a gun in your hand you will be shooting any thing that moves and be a target for low life people.Flair guns, pepper spray ect. a good plan and many options.Please don’t let the fear weck your awsom fun.

  52. I’m with Maxi. I own and use guns. Handguns are difficult to use effectively–especially under stress–unless you commit to practicing with them regularly. The odds that you’ll ever need to use one in self-defense are low, and if you don’t put in time at a range you won’t be accurate if you’re forced to use it. I don’t think it’s worth the hassle. Hell, I’m a gun enthusiast and I don’t even have one for personal or household defense!

    You could get his and hers 12 gauges, and present a wall of buckshot to anyone trying to board your boat. If you really want a gun for self-defense, this is what you need.

    Rifles are useless. If you’re using a scope against “pirates,” you probably haven’t confirmed that they are pirates, and killing them preemptively, just to be safe, would be foolish.

    If a gun would make you feel safe, go ahead and get one, but if you don’t put in the training and practice time you’ll be less safe with it than without.

    Piracy is real, but you guys seem smart. Stay away from known trouble spots and you’ll–statistically at least–not receive any threats.

  53. You should above all try and outrun your pursuers, it’s a sailing vessel after all. If you get into conflict with somebody whose career is to seek conflict you are going to lose. So outrun them if you can. Avoid known lawless areas. Don’t worry too much about it with proper planning. After all, you’re still more likely to die in a car accident.

    I don’t recommend firearms.

  54. Love you guys,I’m pro gun and have a few but in your case you prob would get into trouble with one. Maybe a crossbow,or a stun gun or two.

  55. No guns, but a taser and some extra shots. Also another cruiser suggested that you carry bottles of gas that you can throw and break inside the launches….then hold a flare gun up. The smell of gasoline with you aiming a flare gun up sends a strong message. Otherwise, I’d say guns are a hassle and you’re likely to be outgunned by an AK-47 anyway. The hiding spot was pretty cool. Great Video!!

    1. Chuck.
      Taser’s are a challenge to use successfully for even trained individuals. They are best used when you can hit the back and thigh of the attacker. Not an easy or reliable task on a boat, even then you have a (60/40) chance of stopping the individual. They are not good close in and not good as a standoff tool.

  56. so you have a gun (that sort a shotgun a rifle a handgun.. I would imagine on a rolling boat it could be quite hard to actually hit your target with a handgun if they are also on a rolling boat?) and you are about to be boarded by pirates but they have not fired on you (they may or may not have guns) what are you going to actually do? .. are you going to fire the first shot? If you are how are you going to fire the first shot, a warning shot into the air, a shot to wound them a shot to kill them (if you’re that calm and good you can be selective where you hit them).. they are pirates they have come to rob you they might not think twice, but you are a peaceful laid back none aggressive couple .. are you really going to shoot (possible kill) someone .. with no hesitation and instantaneously ? .. if they have guns and see yours .. they might well shoot first, they might not hesitate. So if they don’t have a gun are you actually going to shoot? If they have a gun are you going to shoot first? There may well be more of them than you, are you actually going ‘win’ (there will only be losers) a fire fight? If you have guns you may well put them off boarding you .. but if it does not put them off you have possibly escalated the situation by having a gun .. what could have been a simple robbery (ok with female crew you have the possibility of a sexual assault) you have now turned into a life threatening situation. leaving the sexual attack possibility to one side for the moment. what percentage of pirates are attacking for money and want as little confrontation as possible and what percentage as well as money will get some sort of ‘satisfaction’ from attacking/killing their victims.. the percentage that will attack you may well fire first and be hardened to doing it? to enter most countries with firearms may be difficult and costly, you may have to deposit them (and pay for them to be kept) you need a licence from your own country (may be easy to get for an Australian/ American but difficult for many nationalities) If its a case of a simple robbery it may well be safer simpler and more cost efficient to give up the money?? I have often travelled alone I always try to split my valuables, I try to have an amount to give up after token resistance. then we come to the sexual attack this is more difficult and as a man more difficult to comment on. I guess after all the waffle I have just put the key questions are .. if you are going to carry firearms 1) are you going to use them 2) can you effectively use them. and 3) is it just easier to take the attack and live to sail another day

    1. Warning shots from any firearm are very effective. Even if a boat loaded with pirates has a full complement of modern rifles, a blast from a shotgun is a damn good warning that you’re not going down without a fight. The spread from a 12 ga shotgun with bird shot at 50m is sufficient to wound a number of assailants, and a shot at less than 5m is going to severely harm if not kill.

      Warning shot at first contact. No power boat has any business approaching a sailing vessel, even one under power, at 1 AM, at full throttle in open waters. If attempts at hailing the oncoming boat are unsuccessful, chances are you’re not dealing with a merchant or fishing vessel. Game on.

      If they do not break off, a shot across their bow, at their captain, or toward the engines gives you a chance to flee by showing them you are willing to use that shotgun, disabling their vessel, or at least forcing them to break away temporarily. If they open fire or continue to close distance, retreat to the cabin and prepare to be boarded and ready to open fire on the boarding party.

      Pirates are not going to just come aboard, steal your valuables, and leave. Chances are, even if they both lived, Elayna would’ve been a target for rape, and Riley would’ve likely been assaulted as well. And if you think they wouldn’t have figured out that Elayna was on board, you’re a dolt. Any observant human being would see bikinis and multiples of common items such as snorkeling gear, shoes, and clothes, and they’d know there’s another person on board. A firearm is an equalizer in these situations.

      Your scenario of rolling around in turbulent seas and trying to make an accurate shot with a rifle sounds like something out of a Hollywood war movie. Real life self-defense is frightening, stressful, and tests the limits of one’s mind, body, and psyche. A shotgun gives you a “fudge” factor by allowing for spread and the opportunity to hit multiple targets with small projectiles. In my years, the very distinctive report of a shotgun blast is always enough to make an assailant think twice about continuing their assault. Riley got away with his life, his lady’s life, and his boat. He was quick-thinking, but he’ll never know how close he was or wasn’t to a life-or-death scenario.

      I’d personally rather have it and not need it than not have it and wish I did. Declare it at every port, follow the country’s rules. If they don’t return it, it’s “lost” or stolen or otherwise misplaced, you’re just out ~US$500. Is your life worth more or less than that?

  57. Sadly to say I say yes for a hand gun, but first your best defence is Elayna. They do not know she is there or where she is. Vocolize that there are other men on board, not to them but down below as if worning them. A 41 remington mag would be my choice. Anything stronger ma be to much for Elayna. They make lock boxes that open with finger prints of both of you. There is a boat and an engine out there to put holes in and that could keep them bizzy Sorry about the speeling, never could spell.

  58. Stainless 12 gauge
    large caliber handgun, like a stainless .45 and a smaller caliber handgun for Elayna, 9mm.
    Plenty of ammo and plenty of practice.
    Gun control=hitting why you aim at.

  59. In the book, “The Handbook Of Offshore Cruising”, Jim Howard covered this subject and I liked what he said. He said he only carried a flare gun because it’s just one more thing customs will drag out your checking in.
    In some countries, they may even confiscate your gun(s) and give them back when you leave. Thus, creating the hassle of going back through the check-out process. Some of the poorer countries may even try to keep your weapons and that increases the hassle. If you want guns on board, you can learn where you have the least hassle and only go to those places.
    As I have demonstrated in this post, most people consider them more hassle then they are worth. And it sounds like the present day pirates of the Caribbean are really just bullies who like to scare people and requisition some food. Not enough danger to have a gun for.

    What would I do? First, “know thine enemy” is the first rule of combat. Back in the day, Columbia was a very dangerous country to be around. Best to just avoid sailing within 50 miles.
    In Somalia, they are serious pirates that will kill you, ie. :


    In my opinion, it is best to avoid the areas well known for pirate activity. The question remains why the above mentioned yacht was in Somali waters.
    Sorry so long a post, but no I would not carry guns, but I would do my best to stay very current on pirate activity. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” type thing.

    1. By the way, what would I do in the case? If there was no firearms visible, I’d be cordial and jovial and hope to appease them until they left me alone is one way I’d try to deal with it.

      There may be other ways to deal with them too. Best come to this decision before you sail in any dangerous waters.

  60. I think you passed the most dangerous part now, keep the hiding spot ready at all times

    Spear guns and flare guns can serve as double duty rather than guns going rusty.



  61. I would certainly carry a firearm on board. My choice would be a 12 ga. shotgun with a 22/24 inch barrel.

  62. Hey guys,
    You would know Hugh Edwards the author I’m sure. He wrote a book called Treasures of the deep that chronicled the life of Capt Mick Hatcher.. An awesome book. Hatcher spent most of his life in the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea treasure hunting and fighting off pirates. He describes it better than me but says that you must fight back. They don’t believe in the word Freeze or hesitating and they will kill you without thinking. Then the worst is yet to come as they find your woman and do what they want. When I did the trip you are doing I had guns and only fired warning shots a couple of times in situations like yours and nobody ever got close. I would do that again. You are very exposed and vulnerable out there. Having said that, your worst days are over and if you were to experience pirates you would have already. You shouldn’t find it too bad from here on in and I don’t think you want a gun around Indo etc because If you shoot someone there you won’t get away with it. Love ya work. Keep cruisin.

  63. What about flare guns, a couple of those on board. Also flares, if they come up close touch one off and send it onto their boat.

  64. I would first check out the laws to where I would be traveling. I would at least have flare guns. Most bullies will move on if it isn’t easy but then you have the real deals and I would sail as far away from that area as possible. You both seem like nice fun people. I hope your travels are safe and full of adventure. Always have plan A B and C . Having been in law enforcement I always over plan. Life is like a song waiting to be sung.Sing it loud!!!

  65. Riley & Elayna
    I think the type of people that you’ll encounter as pirates will be after anything of value they can sell or trade. They will most likely be armed so producing a gun will increase the likely hood that you will be shot or killed yourself. Your current plan worked in this situation, keep a stock of food or items you can hand over if approached again. I’m interested to see the replies you get to this question as Aussies we have a generally different attitude towards arming ourselves compared to a lot of other countries. Thanks for the great videos, looking fwd to the next.

  66. Guns in a foreign land guns can be trouble. If you shoot the chief’s nephew it’s doubtful you will get a fair trial. If pirates are heavily armed they are going to get what they want if so determined. I think you have enough options on board to defend yourself. Spear guns, cans of gasoline and flares make for a good defense. Adding a stun gun and taser as mentioned above is a good idea too.

  67. Hi guys that was very frightening! Its such a shame you have to be worried about this sort of stuff but I would definitely much rather be prepared than sorry . I would probably have a stung gun or cattle prod incase someone tried to board and after you used that you would either deter them or know that you were in serious danger then use a gun if you choose to carry one. When your out at sea your very vulnerable and alone and may not get just the nice robbing type of pirate ! Hand grenades and an rpg and a sniper rifle would be an asset and maybe electrifying the hand rails and some sort of chemical weapons if you have a gas mask, actually not a bad idea lol ! Only joking guys be safe and I hope that was your only encounter!

  68. Hi guys !
    I can’t comment about guns or firearms but there are plenty of thoughts from other people. My initial reaction when you started explaining the series of events Riley was ‘ don’t tell us where the hiding spot for Elanya is ! ‘
    So just on that point , try and find another hiding spot and remember a secret is a secret until you tell someone .
    I always reckon well thought out contingency plans are critical . Have the hard convos and stay safe in your travels guys !!!
    Wishing you safe and happy travels and thanks for sharing .
    LOVED that sunset , it was a cracker !
    Cheers ,
    Sharon ( on a rainy , stormy Perth Saturday morning )

  69. Terrifying prospect, Pirates on board!
    I’ve often wondered about this subject.
    If people force there way onboard without your concent its probably to late to do anything, your stuffed.
    My only comfort would be to go down fighting. I’ve decided a flame thrower, made from bits and pieces on the boat would sort out most attackers on the first hit, people soon get distracted when there “on fire”.
    Forget guns, unless your a crack shot, chances are they would shoot you first, anyway!
    A Flame thrower could be constructed from modified boat hook, as the nossel and barrel, petrol-(gas)filled metal outboard fuel tank and fuel line, pressurised from LPG bottle and any spark ignition device. Point and fire at reasonably close range and you’ve got a boat full of crispy crooks. They wouldn’t have any idea what you were capable of doing to them until it was all over.
    You would only have this “gadget” assembled at sea, and authorities would be none the wiser when in port about this self defence device!
    Maybe this sounds crazy but theres always going to be more than one person to deal with in an attack situation, and people clustered together in an approaching boat are sitting ducks. Its going to be you or them, ask any returned service person.
    You can be passive or aggressive, if you were killed first Riley they would surely have found Elayna and I don’t want to think about the end.
    Happy adventures, Andrew

  70. when i start watching that episode i was very scared to hear something went wrong, but thank Jesus u both are safe.for me no guns is safer and also just use ur logical approach to the current and sudden problem . and if u need my opinion just stay away from pirate activities . love and respect for both of you guys .

  71. Unless I was in places such as the Sulu Sea, Red Sea, New Guinea, West Africa or the Malacca Straits I wouldn’t want the responsibility of a fire-arm. Mostly the people you meet at sea will be fishermen, and normally very poor ones at that. It would be a hell of a situation to have a death on your hands when the only thing they wanted was a bit of food, water or maybe only a light for a cigarette.
    I was once advised by an Australian customs official to buy a rifle on the black market, have it as security and dump it over the side before arrival back in Australia!
    I should also imagine there would be all sorts of extra red tape involved when arriving and departing a port with fire-arms on board.
    I also look forward to reading further comments on this topics.
    Fair winds and following seas.

  72. Hey guys,

    Been following forever and never commented! As background, I’m a Federal Agent and have investigated the same pirates that you speak of. While I’m a believer in guns (one has to be in my career), I can say first hand that the gun(s) you would carry would have nothing on the 5-6 assault rifles the Pirates will have.

    Doesn’t matter how good you are, you’d lose every time!

    Stay safe out there.

  73. I think someone told me a trick was to use a shotgun cartridge in a flare gun. Sounds dangerous. What about a wrist rocket?

  74. 1) Molotov Cocktails and a Flare Gun
    2) Several spear guns around the cabin
    3) Look up Pepper Ball Flash Launcher ( Legal to carry as it is a Flashlight Co2 powered fires Pepper balls that when they hit will spread the Pepper ) this company also sell flare guns that will fire pepper spray cartridges . Saw them at Miami Boat show. I intend to have several of these Flash launchers on my boat. ( PS ) they fire Ceramic paint balls ( solid ) 200-300 feet with great Accuracy.
    4) Mossenberg PUMP Stainless Marine Shotgun 3.5 inch Magnum with 00 buckshot and Slugs
    If you see an American Flagged Vessel Bet your ASS they are Loaded VERY loaded.
    5. Zig zag a Line out the stern to Foul their Props Heavy Nylon they prob won’t see it.
    6. Radar with Alarms of Closing boats when in Open Seas.
    7. AIS identification and Epirb and Distress Alerts on VHF sending your current Locations.
    8. A Male Mannequin Sitting out on watch with You.
    9 Night Vision scope.

  75. Guns beget guns. Don’t listen to all those seppo’s!

    Following you guys from Freo


  76. No guns. It’s a major hassle with customs as you’d have to declare them. Plus if you actually end up having to shoot someone, it likely won’t end well for you as foreigners. Also you probably don’t really want to get into a firefight with people who likely outgun you.

    Better alternatives are bear spray or pepper spray. Anti boarding carpets with carpet tacks facing up will make a mess of bare feet.

    You might consider bang sticks ( anti shark sticks with shotgun or pistol cartridges ) but they would be close in weapons that work on contact with the target.

    Boarders are at the most vulnerable when boarding, it’s a choke point for them so you can use that to your advantage by using sturdy boat hooks to keep them off. If things get hairy you could resort to a Molotov cocktail but that is almost as dangerous to you and the boat as they are.

    Stay safe and fair winds.

  77. Hello Elayna & Riley,
    Each person should maintain the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones. Three options / tools could clearly help in several situations for your protection. 1. Guns are only tools but you need to take the time to be trained and then practice from time to time monthly. Yes, you need to be ready to shoot someone if needed. Email me if you want specific recommendations.
    2. The pepper spray that is used for bears can spray about 30 feet and is fairly cheap. Keep a can handy inside and outside. 3. A couple of gas filled glass filled jars that could be tossed into a boat and a handy flare gun might make any approaching craft go find someone else to mess with that is not so well prepared.

    Always enjoy your videos and love the idea of your trip. Fair winds and safe travels.


  78. My brother, and sister! I am so happy that this situation turned out as well as it did. Thank The Lord for that.
    As for what would I do topic. Well first, IM a retired Lawman here in America. Over my years I’ve seen many situations where innocent people were kept safe by having access to firearm. So yes IM very pro gun. I would check the laws regarding any country’s waters, make sure you are within the laws, and just flat avoid any country that denies me the right to protect the lives of the people aboard my vessel. Life is precious. I would find me an easy access point to conceal my weapon(s), but would have weapons aboard, no question about it. With that said I think you handled the situation pretty good, but being at the mercy of thugs just aint where I would wish to be. GOOD luck to you both, y’all are awesome humans!
    Best wishes from Florida USA!

  79. You have shown us the best weapon to have Riley and how to use it, “You’re Head”weather or not you have a gun! You may be alone and vulnerable , but what if you had shot at those hungry people, we might be looking at a very different story. Be smart, do what you can to reduce the risks .Be prepared for the worst and pray for the best. Good luck from Darwin NT.

  80. Very tough question. And too easy to give you my solution which might not work for you in an attack situation. I can use guns so would definatly have that as one of my options. I stress my option. 7.62 FN FAL and .45 Colt for preference. The FN is heavy duty and good for long range, you are dealing with cowards and it might persuade them to try else where. the Colt has huge hitting power at close range.
    So my thoughts are…1). Avoid known problem areas (you already know this)
    2). Have a plan and practice the drill. Guns or no guns. My wife commented that she would be right there beside me. (She’s a mother and can be very scary)
    The petrol/flare gun option appealed to me, but if the bad guys have and are using an automatic weapon, holding a glass jar of petrol might not be a good idea.
    Come south to New Zealand haven’t had pirates here for ages. They got jobs with the Inland Revenue or became lawyers and accountants.

  81. Hi Guys, Here’s my 2 cents worth. There’s a series of episodes on Youtube “SV Sea Wolf” about a guy , his wife and various crew sailing from Florida through the Caribbean. His wife flew home and he and a mate were returning his 46 foot Grand Soleil home from Cartagena. Episode 42 (3 parts) pretty much shows his experience with Pirates. Lots of interesting comments, too.
    On the other hand I read “Hostage, A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Pirates” and in that true account, I don’t believe weapons on board would have made any difference as those guys were out to get what they wanted.
    It’s a tough choice, but I would want to have the option of protecting my boat and crew with a rifle or shotgun and deal with the paperwork of the countries I visit.

  82. Good Evening,

    Some ideas:
    1.) don’t have a gun unless you are prepared to use it.
    2.) people can sense fear so it’s best to play cool.(acting nervous may indicate that you have valuables.)
    3.) be crazy, nobody wants to mess with crazy( picture approaching a vessel with a nude man angrily filleting a fish with machete haha. seriously. maintain nonstop eye contact
    4.) keep non lethal self defence in easily accessible areas.
    5.) I would have a 357 mag concealed and one in the “hiding place” last resort all options have failed you are now fighting for your life
    6.) listen to gangsta rap, if it gets real your girl comes out gun sideways talking about don’t mess with my sheeit.
    7.) you guys sailed across the Atlantic so I know you have heart!! you arrrrr pirates!!


    How much do pirates charge for corn?

    A bucc’an’ eer =]

    Love & Respect

  83. I’d personally go for a well hidden firearm and keep it in a location where it could go overboard if too intensive a search of the boat were occurring. If that isn’t feasible, or if you want to remain more compliant with the law, a flare gun is a possible alternative. The Geko 26.5mm is a great choice and the Kennesaw Cannon Co makes inserts to shoot regular bullets through it. I’ve also heard of people using spearfishing rigs, which would work in a pinch, but I’d be concerned about the lack of power as a primary defensive weapon.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!

  84. I think these comments are thoughtful and interesting. Guns are definitely a mixed blessing. There’s always the danger of the “Pistorius effect” – in a situation like that you’re so close to outright panic that your brain is of hardly any use to you. You can’t steady your hands, you can barely even take in visual information. You’re just a bunch of wildly firing neurons inflamed with terror. You could lose track of who is where and wind up shooting one another. You think someone might be on board, you are afraid to make a sound and start sneaking around … you get the drift. Or, you could misinterpret a boarding and kill someone who only did want food, or help of some kind.

    On the other hand, if someone handed you a gun in that situation, I doubt you’d have turned down the offer. Just the feeling of having an option – even if it’s a bit of a mirage as some people above have sensibly suggested – can tamp down a feeling of helpless desperation.

    A fake gun? Just to be able to brandish a threat counts for a lot, without exposing you to the dangers and legal hassles of a real gun. If you’re out pirating and someone points a shotgun at you, are you really going to rush him just to see what happens next? Pepper spray/mace/bear repellant? Could certainly help to even out the odds against a small number of people without killing anyone. Put on a diving mask, hold your breath, and let ‘er rip.

    A really really kick-ass spotlight or a “tactical” flashlight is something useful just in general for searching shorelines, visualising underwater obstacles, making yourself visible to searchers if you’re in trouble, that you can blind people with and hide behind, with the excuse that you were just checking them out, sorry-that-was-so-bright-mate. Some hand-helds these days can crank out 5000 lumens, and enough heat to start a fire. [ http://m.wickedlasers.com/torch ] They were confined in their boat, there’s no way to dodge out of the beam or to guess how many people or what kind of defenses are behind the sun shining at them. Only much use at night, obviously.

    And then I suppose, the possibility of a kind of aquatic bolt-hole. You’re both really strong swimmers. You could prepare slightly negative-buoyancy over-the-side bags that you could drop in the water on tethers if a weird situation was developing, so that if things got really hairy you could pitch yourself in, dive to the bags and swim away. Include water, food, epirbs, snorkels, some kind of inflatable flotation, flashlights. If you disabled the engine – lots of ways to do that with the flick of a hidden switch – you might be able to float around just below the surface out of sight in the middle distance until the looting was done and the pirates left. Maybe not that practical an idea, but it would work great in a movie. And sometimes just the feeling of having an emergency exit is helpful even if you’re not really likely to use it.

  85. Gun. When you’re all alone out there in the middle of the night and you see a blip on the radar moving toward you, you quickly realize how vulnerable and helpless you are…I’m sure that’s how you felt. How scarey! I would carry a 12 gauge shot gun for security. I would dismantle it and hide the various pieces in different places all over the boat. I would not declare it when checking in to a country. But when I was offshore and at the mercy of potential pirates who could board my boat, kill my loved ones, steal my possessions and sink the boat with immunity… I would have that gun assembled and at the ready. As the saying goes: don’t take a knife ( or a can of food) to a gun fight…

  86. Ok, so in dealing with this specific situation that you faced, here would be our sequence of actions.

    1. I’d wake Carolyn, just as you did.

    2. My super powerful spotlight (we have a few) would be trained on them. They would not be able to see a thing, and I would be able to check out the situation. We could also use a super powerful strobe light, which they would have to be very determined to overcome.

    3. Meanwhile, Carolyn would be following our standard protocol, and grab a couple of our heavy duty flare guns (military grade), and our bullhorn.

    4. I speak sufficient Spanish to communicate, but–since this could happen anywhere–let’s say that we could not speak the language. In ANY place, begging for food at 2AM in the morning is not cool, and more probably a test of your will and to see if you will just roll over.

    5. Oh, and meanwhile our decent sized dog will be putting on quite a loud unwelcome.

    6. If we were “pretty sure” that the approaching party was not some military or police (THAT is a very vital guess to make!), AND they appeared hostile, then a flare across their bow would be next.

    7. In our personal case, we would also have a whole other, more serious line of defense, if it grew more serious. Some of these would be legal anywhere, and some not. Some would not be used unless we were under fire or in imminent danger of being boarded.

  87. No one should board your boat without your permission. You should be in the position of strength and not at the mercy of the good will of a pirate. Be armed, practice, and have a plan.

  88. Bear spray for sure! Having got it in my eyes once ( the smallest amount you can imagine) I can tell you that it makes want to get away from wherever it came from as quickly as possible. A couple tasers wouldn’t be a bad idea for inside the the boat either. Also there are mace paintball guns of a sort that I think could be highly effective. See links below for all four recommendations!





  89. I would say if you had a gun and fired it, they might have more fire power. If you have you flare gun for close range use then that would do damage to someone anyway. Hopefully you don’t have anymore encounters like that.

  90. for those advocating no guns or you might be out gunned anyway, i say your wrong out gunned or not, if they mean business you had better be prepared to at least try to stop them boarding, specially with a female on board, pirates usualy rape & kill, take anything of value , steal the boat or scuttle it

    i don’t say shoot 1st ask questions later but the sight of a good size rifle barrel pointed in the direction will slow them down some, if they get belligerent , shoot there motor 1st, dead in the water they can’t get at you, acquire a large caliber rifle with a big magazine, learn to be accurate with it

    1. I’m staggered at the cavalier passivity in this chat as if being boarded is not that big a deal. And indeed sometimes it might not be but there’s no way any of us should leave that to chance. I have a circumnavigation in mind which almost forces me through the Gulf of Aden and the Straits of Malacca plus the Philipines. I’m ex-military, vehemently anti-gun on land and live in the US. For me to do the circumnavigation, I would have relatives that are active duty Special Forces along for the high risk legs. As a starting point, weaponry would include multiple automatic weapons. If an illuminating flare doesn’t make suspected pirates back off, the next “greeting” is surely a burst of automatic fire over their heads; I don’t care about language skills – – automatic fire is clear to anyone. If they still don’t back off, then the gloves are off. In the interests of full disclosure, I’d honestly prefer to have something heavier on board for some of the route though I think that might get more complicated. As a couple of people have noted, being boarded is not a last resort; by that point your goose is likely cooked.

  91. If you have a gun, both of you need to learn to use it well and keep practicing with it. Learn how to keep it clean and well serviced. Just like MOB situations and on-ship/sinking emergencies, you need to practice what you would do if you should require the brandishing/use of the gun. Work as a team always.

    I’d say that the torch is a better tool. (never hold it in front of you, always off to the side so if it becomes a target, you are not behind it.) Flares can be handy as well. Worst case scenario, dropping a lit flare into the cabin of the attacking boat can be a real distraction but I’d be careful to make sure that other options are explored first. The bolt-hole should have provision to bar the door so that it’s a major effort to get in. Defensive tools should be stored in there too. Maybe have a means by which bear spray/mace can be dropped into the cabin without opening the door.

    Whatever you decide, practice. Repeated behavior helps fight off the lizard-brain. Sitting there mentally screaming, “What do I do?” leads to mistakes.

    I wish you all the luck in the world. More importantly, I wish you all the wisdom in the world. Prepare for the worst, and whatever happens usually isn’t as bad.

  92. Protecting your boat is the same as protecting your home. Get a gun and learn how to use it. Know the rules and think through as many potential situations as possible and make up your mind ahead of time what things would cause you to actually shoot. If you feel life threatened and the pirates clearly have the ability and apparent intent to do bodily harm, shoot. Better to be tried by 12 jurors than carried by 6 pallbearers. Just the fact that you have a gun will dissuade most of the petty pirates to go somewhere else and it will give you a fighting chance against other intruders/pirates.

  93. Get a shotgun. If someone gets on your boat it’s far too late. You ever hear the sound of a shotgun cock, it’s terrifying and it should be. I hope you never have to go through it but listen, hiding her isn’t a solution, her clothes are all over the boat for starters, they are going to know there is a women aboard. Activate your becon get on the radio, get a bull horn and use that spotlight. If you feel threatened enough fire a warning shot or flare above or at them. The two of you are an awesome team and a situation like piracy needs you both in action. My wife and I have similar plans as yours and I for one wouldn’t hesitate for a second if some POS tried to attack me and mine, bad things can happen to good people but planning for the worst and hoping for the best are two completely different things. Riley, Elaina, if you are worried enough that it’ll be an issue, and after the Galapagos I doubt it will be, sail in a flotilla. Fair winds to you both, keep those videos coming!!

  94. Elayna – You HAVE someone to “love & pat & feed” RILEY!

    Riley – good luck on deciding your defenses. I don’t like guns but in cases like those, maybe it’s a good thing. Thank GOD they left you two alone!!!

  95. Uh, totally off topic, but you two might like the novel, The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated to English by Ken Liu.

  96. I’ve read that having a gun on board going from country to country potentialy opens up a big can of trouble…. A good friend of mine encountered pirates approaching his vessel off the coast of Central American and successfully pulled out a flare gun, imitating a real gun in the process which thwarted the approaching pirates. So, thoughts on pulling out the flair gun, particularly at night and making it apparent you have a gun like object in hand? Obviously not something that will necessarily ward off invadors if they are very persistent however; the main objective is to place some uncertainly in the minds of the operators of the approaching vessel….

    Your off to friendlier waters after this so hopefully you never experience this situation again!!!

    Thanks so very much for recapping your unfortunate experience and thoughts for us whom are dreaming of the day of replicating your adventures…

    Fair winds and safe sailing back to Oz guys!!!

  97. False Evidence Apearing Real – we want guns out of this world, so don’t bring them in 🙂 make you’re energy good like you do

  98. Hey team SLV

    To gun, or not to gun?

    My friends were on Peter Blake’s Research vessel in the Amazon when he was boarded by pirates. Peter came up on deck from below started shooting and was killed instantly. Peter was obviously one of the most capable and confident sailors in the world, possibly a little too confident in that scenario and he endangered all his crew.

    Peter had a big crew and guns, lots of experience and capability, but still they were not match for the pirates who baorded them. You will always be outnumbered and outgunned. It’s not a smart strategy. It might feel empowering but that feeling is wrong.

    I believe that the 99 times out of a hundred, anyone boarding your boat does not want to rape or kill you. They want your money.

    Bro, I’m cruising with my wife and 3 daughters soon. There is no way im start any hostile/conflict situation, I’ll hide our most valuables, proactively show them I am not a threat to their safety. They can take our stuff, i’ll make them a freak’n coffee, and hope that they leave as quickly as possible…….

    Unless, they leave with my daughters, then my plan sucked, but they probably would have anyway with me dead on the deck!

  99. If you guys are sceptic about guns you can always use bear pepper spray. I mean it is more efficient than a gun in a close range encounter with bears here in Canada. So if the bear can’t bear it… I bet the pirates will regret it.

  100. If you have gun you can scare them off at a distance and they may seek a softer target. If you are unlucky they seek to outgun you. In that case take as many as you can with you to Davey Jones locker. A bullet in their outboard will stop them. How close do they need to be for you to hit it from a rolling sailboat? However high seas is sailboats blessing and the skiffs nemesis.

  101. Stay away from guns you two, and stay away from areas known to have pirates. PLEASE! We would all hate to have anything happen to you. I was so shocked to see this episode I had nightmares.

  102. Hi guys.

    I don’t think that guns are you as I don’t think they are me either. I have thought about this for a while as I want to do the trip as well but fear the Pirates.
    Firstly I think prevention is better than cure, try and stay away from hot spots. Secondly, apart from flare guns, what about having the biggest baddest spot light to shine back at them so they can’t see jack shit. I realise this doesn’t help so much during the day but I believe the main issue is at night anyway. I have even heard of one couple having an electric fence set up around their boat. I think doing a combination of everything and having a drill is the best defence. Hopefully it’s enough for them to leave you alone. It sucks that you even have to think about it.

    Take care

  103. I think you are out of any dangerous areas now so wouldn’t worry too much. Personally I have a small fire arm. That said your harpoons are probably a pretty good deterant and likelyhood is if they want to come aboard they will and they will most likely have guns if they plan on boarding so it would escalate quickly. Better to be robbed than killed. I think stick with the hiding place for Elayna and throwing cans of food! But keep a harpoon on deck within reach during any potentially dangerous passages. Also a strong spotlight you can shine at them would be good then they have no idea what they are up against so will be reluctant to board. We had it once, they boarded with knives stole a few things and were gone all in about 5 minutes. Horrible experience and made me get a gun but to be honest it was really a better outcome than some shootout and lots of dead peeps to deal with. Enjoy the galacticos ??

  104. Guns r tricky, u may not b able to live with the outcome of having to actually use one. But u do need some sort of protection even if its just to make time to jump overboard? Pepper spray hidden through out the boat for easy access, taser too if need be. Elayna, put couple of locks on the inside of the door in yr hidy hole with pepperspray at the ready. Maybe try and do long distance hauls that is known for pirates with another yacht close by? Hopefully this is all hyperthetical & u never are put in thus situation again.

  105. Hey guys,

    Do a YouTube search for Antares 44 Barefeet.
    There is a series of 5 or 6 videos about cruising. One of them has some thoughts about guns on board.
    They talk about a whole range of things from their time cruising, some of which you may find useful.

    Good luck

  106. Hi guys. Both Bill and Bob have some excellent points. Having worked in the security industry and the military, I personally would definitely have firearms BUT if you do go down that path, you MUST learn how to use them! I don’t mean just being able to make them work and hit something with them. You need to be so familiar with them that you don’t need to think about it. If a situation arises when you are afraid, the last thing you need is having to stop and try to remember what to do and how to do it. Be familiar with your firearms. Know how they work and how to maintain them. The more familiar you are with a firearm the safer everyone is. A firearm is just another tool and you need to learn how to use it safely.

    As for what type of firearms, I would definitely opt for a decent caliber rifle, a 12g shotgun with 00 buckshot ammo, and a good stainless steel handgun. Stainless steel firearms are a good option for carrying at sea as they will be less susceptible to corrosion and easier to maintain.

    As for some of the other options others offered, these are my thoughts on them. Stay away from anything that causes fire. I have been a firefighter for 17 years and fire on/in/or near a vessel at sea is one of the most dangerous things you can ever have. Any risk to a possible pirate could easily be as much of a risk to you both and your vessel. I’d keep those totally out of the options list.
    As for pepper spray etc. and tasers, I would also put these in the bad options list. These are really close in weapons and can also be detrimental to you guys as well as any possible pirate. You want to deter or deal with any pirate situation well before it gets to the point where they are aboard.

    I’ve seen people hit with tasers and they did not go down or stop, they just got angrier. The same with pepper spray. The added problem with pepper spray is if the wind is blowing the wrong way from the direction you need to spray it, you could well have it blow right into the cabin and por Elayna could end up copping a load of it. Thats the last thing you want to do, especially in an emergency situation. It can happen so easily. I was helping a police officer chase a criminal and we cornered him on a boat. The officer opted for the pepper spray instead of getting too close and it had the desired effect on the criminal. Unfortunately due to the wind, the police officer also copped a good dose himself and was rendered helpless while I had to deal with the criminal.

    In my opinion, tasers and pepper spray etc do have their place but I don’t believe either of those are good options for you. Unless you have both had some sort of hand to hand combat training , I would leave these well alone. In such close quarters they could do more harm to yourselves than the attackers.
    I hope this has been of some help to you both. If you ever want more info on these subjects please don’t hesitate to ask.
    I wish you good weather and fair winds.
    Above all stay safe. I watch every episode you guys film and love every minute. You two are great!

  107. Don’t buy into all this .
    If you think you can shoot someone and still sleep well with a clear conscience I don’t think you know yourself as well as you think you do.
    You guys are living the dream . Why risk turning it into a nightmare.

  108. HI Guys
    No guns – too easy to use and often fatal – leading to big problems if the people are innocent.
    Brilliant move to lob cans of food at them – that hurts! Maybe a giant slingshot to help the food they asked for on its way? For twice the effect?
    You have spear guns – Takes some sort of lunatic to ignore that in your hand…..
    Have you got a hand held rechargeable spotlight? Nothing like it for a pirate staring into 9 million candlepower. Ruins their night vision and gives you a much better idea of what they are carrying. Have one mounted in the cockpit ready for use.

    One useful weapon to have on board is a mini or pistol grip crossbow and maybe a hundred or 2 shafts. Pass them off as fishing kit – which they are – the Chinese and South East Asia still use them for this purpose. Other advantage is that they are not illegal anywhere in the world that I know of – so no problems with police or immigration – just another vital part of boat equipment kept handy in the lazarette.

    You wont use them lightly as it is only single shot. And you wont let fly until you know there is no other option. They are silent which creates more chaos as the other guys try to work out what just happened – giving you time to reload. Only use them where they create most problems – the helmsman or the first boarder as he gets on. Drawstring weights are from 50 to 150 lbs. 80 lbs will put a shaft through a 2 inch piece of timber.

    Buy good quality – no use in having something that breaks at the crucial moment and buy top quality replacement strings. Oh and make sure it has a cocking device that works well….

    I agree with Achim – make time to make your energy good and let that guide you. Will often guide you away from trouble by just paying attention to it. Put your experience where it belongs – in your memories or even better in your memoirs.

    PS I like what Dave Davis says about know thine enemy – Noonsite.com or similar have latest reports of piracy attacks. Good to report your incident on there if you have not already done so.

  109. I have been a superyacht Captain for about 20 years. About 15 years ago we were cruising off the Belize coast on our way to the US. At about 0200 a crew member woke me to tell me we had a vessel approaching from behind at about 20kn. I told the watch officer to sound the general alarm and I got on the bridge to try hailing them on ch 16. No response. As I put the crew to work at locking the vessel down and readying fire hoses, I continually tried hailing on ch16 and tuned the HF set to 2182 kHz. By this time the vessel was about 50m astern of us and cutting back and forth across our wake. If we had guns, now was the time to open fire. I put out a distress call to the US coast guard on 2182 and as soon as I had released the transmit button, I received a call on ch 16 from the vessel astern. It was the Mexican coast guard who was currently engaged in a drug bust operation and were looking for a vessel that was supposedly on our course. Their boat was small and looked pretty shoddy, something that could easily have been mistaken for a vessel that would be used in a piracy situation, we had the spotlights on it. I had worked for a few owners who had asked my opinion on placing guns on board, I had always refused. As I stood the crew down and put the vessel back in to normal passage making mode I went through the options in my head. If pirates get to the vessel then it is all over, you must take them out before hand if you are going to take them out. Otherwise they will come on board and hopefully just rob you, but obviously anything can happen. If we had guns on board, and had of opened fire, 15 years later myself and most probably my crew, would still be in a Mexican jail. If you have guns you must use them, otherwise there is no point. You guys have it right, no guns.

  110. A S&W M&P 15 (AR15) or equivalent. ( A shotgun is good for Elayna in the hole for close range.) Buy a few cheap styrofoam surfboards and rig a pole on one and put a target on it. When you are out on the high seas drag it behind the boat on a line and practice shooting your bobbing target. You will get good, and it will be fun.

  111. hey guys, another great video. Thanks for always wearing a smile, it must be tough at times. Throughout the years I’ve traveled with my sons from Miami to the Bahamas to fish and have always carried a hand gun, although it’s never a life-safety guarantee it does give you an added sense of security. I always declare it on the customs form and specify how many rounds of ammo are on board. I would highly recommend carrying some sort of defense, a good option would be a short barrel shotgun. In either case, I never keep a round in the chamber and always have the manual safety on. I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to feel comfortable in handling a gun, God forbid you get startled while asleep… you know.
    As I stated in a previous comment, I live vicariously through your adventures and pray for your safety.

    George Perez,
    Miami, Fl.

  112. Fortunately the number of hijackings of yachts like yours at sea is very minimal today as there are much easier richer pickings around.
    Theft/ being boarded at anchor or in a Marina is still reasonably prevalent.
    Prevention is better than cure.
    Every circumstance will be different.
    The hijacker/ thief is looking for an easy target.
    They want to get in and out again as quickly as possible.
    Any measure you take that wastes their time is a good start.
    Remember that you can make yourselves just as big an unknown quantity as they are. You’re scared shitless so return the favour.
    At Sea
    At sea in the worst areas many yachts now sail in convoy. Think like a pack animal and don’t be the first or especially last in line.
    Turn off all lighting and AIS.
    Strong rooms/ cabins where the boat can still be controlled/disabled while in the safe haven are becoming popular.
    Electrify your railings using an electric fence setup for instant use by the watch keeper.
    Powerful searchlight setup for instant use by watch keeper.
    Ear piercing audible alarms for instant use by the watch keeper. This also wakes up your crew in time critical moments and should automatically get them activating your emergency plans.
    An easily activated hidden kill switch for the engine/electrics other than your emergency power..
    Overtly make a performance of speaking over a radio even if you’re outside of radio range. They don’t know that. You could be speaking with the American fleet just out of sight.
    Setup your sat phone to automatically sqwark in an emergency.
    Threaten to use a camera on them. Don’t use it though as they will probably want to destroy the evidence.
    If they are armed with guns you’re instantly out gunned making it inadvisable to even show that you have one. Don’t use it as your boat and crew will probably get sprayed in retaliation. Ie. Don’t escalate whatever’s happening.
    If they only have machetes/knives then a show of your spear guns would be good.
    Be prepared to repel boarders with boat hooks, mace, molotov cocktails, flare guns and even pegging tinned food at them hey Riles etc. It sounds funny but it worked.
    A heavily armed boarding party probably want more than your wallet so jumping over board as a last resort might be a good idea. Use your free diving skills. Train your crew how to stall a yacht under sail as you won’t be able to out run them and it’d be better having the yacht handy if you do jump in. Perhaps even some handy knives for cutting sheets and halyards on your way over the side with your epirb plus some method of keeping the rudder hard over. Disabled sails and electrics/engine may just make you more trouble than it’s worth.
    At anchor
    In suspect areas always follow your gut instincts. If it doesn’t feel safe then it probably isn’t.
    Thieves/ kidnappers want time to study your habits so don’t hang about. Overnight anchorages doesn’t usually give them enough of it. I read somewhere that it’s typically the third night when the bad boys come out to play.
    Think like a pack animal and anchor amongst others but don’t be the outer boat. The same applies in a marina especially the closest boat to the entrance.
    Have a hidey hole/fixed safe for your valuables.
    Make friends in the local towns and above all totally respect their religious and cultural beliefs no matter how ridiculous they may seem.
    Befriend the local coast guard/navy presence and moor nearby if possible.
    Any boat or swimmer that appear to be scoping you out probably are.
    Use a watch keeper with all the deterrents at hand that you had at sea.
    Turn off your lights and AIS.
    Jumping overboard when near land is an excellent option if you feel there’s more than your wallet at stake.
    Plan everything and practise it, again and again just like a MOB drill. Write your plan down like you would a MOB emergency procedure and post it up probably next to your radios/phone. Watch the Delos MOB procedure clip on YouTube. Brilliant, and they practise it especially with new crew members.
    Don’t reveal your protection measures to anyone especially on the internet.
    Don’t advertise where you’re going to be before you get there and preferably have left again before you post a video.
    The list of things you could do is as endless as your imagination.
    These are just some ideas.

    1. Nice.. Good list.
      To the crew, whatever you choose, practice, be confident you can use it, keep it safe, keep it secret.

      BTW, they sell extinguisher size pepper sprayers. Might work boat to boat to sway a boarding… at least delay one.

  113. You need to get that Rambo chemical sprayer the officials used on your boat and fill it with laughing gas! That should do the trick.

  114. I agree with bringing weapons, but i would use layered defenses and not depend on one solution to rule them all.

    I believe first and foremost, try to find a buddy boat for your hops. Safety in numbers.

    At a longer distance; spotlights are ideal, guns (if you know how to use them) and/or flare guns and gas, but that is very risky and dependant on tide and wind to be successful in deterring them.

    For close distance, crossbow, wasp spray, bear spray, and the likes are a good option against a small crew with machetes, but only after offering a sacrificial few food items that may serve as a “way out” for them.

    For boarding, it depends on your enemies weapons and skillset. If you are willing, a strong machete chop to one of them will strike enough fear in the others to possibly ward them off, but you will need to leave asap, as you now face retaliation and a vested interest in your demise.

    I say always travel with a buddy boat if you can, know your defenses at different distances, be cautious of your actions and use your radio throughout the entire process.

  115. Not a big gun fan here. The pirates will most likely out-gun and out-ammunition you, as well as having experience and willingness to shoot their victims. That being said, a weapon of last resort for Elayna to use if her hiding place is breached might be worth considering.

    Have you considered running in “stealth mode” (lights out) at night in unfriendly waters? Even with other ships on the water it’s a big ocean and if you stay out of shipping lanes you might improve your odds of being undetected, especially on a moonless night or when you’re motoring sails down.

    Stay safe and keep E. fed; a grumpy Elayna looks like a bigger threat than any pirate.

  116. I would not leave my port with out some firearm. I would rather not find out what would happen to me and my crew if I needed one and did not have one.

    Look forward to your next video

  117. Ah, the gun or no gun dilemma. Well, first off, I’m an American. Second, I’m a Kentuckian. Third, I love to hunt for my food (not into trophy hunting at all!).
    I have a wife and 5 kids, all of whom know how to handle firearms. Oldest son is in the Army, so he really knows how to handle firearms.
    I am a peaceful man by nature, I don’t want to harm anyone, and it takes quite a bit to rile me (no pun intended). Even then, I don’t want to cause harm to anyone, I’d rather walk away.
    When the safety of those I love is threatened, I am a completely different person. I served 10 years in the Navy, expert pistol and rifle qualified. If it is mine, it isn’t yours obviously, therefore you need to ask. If you are armed and heading toward my boat, not affiliated with law enforcement or the military, you will see the glint of sun on the barrel of my shotgun loaded with 00. Great short ranged weapon, great for putting holes in hulls and people.
    If you are approaching my vessel at night, you will be spotlighted and questioned. If I see weapons, I’ll see how many I can dispatch with my rifle. My life and my family’s lives aren’t worth taking a chance. Avoid bad areas when you can. Walk softly and carry a big stick (boomstick)

    1. Very little of the world accept or allow the American view of gun ownership and use.
      It may be the norm for you but it certainly isn’t virtually anywhere else.
      Some countries will prosecute the whole crew for firearm offences. The Indian government recently gaoled the entire crew (37) of an anti piracy (vigilante) for 5 years for firearm offences.
      The weapon of choice for pirates seems to be AK47’s so I’ll probably turn down any offer to go cruising with you and your shot gun. You might get one or two before they’ve turned your boat and family into swiss cheese. Using a fibreglass boat for protection wouldn’t be my first or last thought.
      The kidnapping/piracy incident on Samal Is in the Philippines was thought to have eleven AK47 armed men.
      Amongst the cruising fraternity it was generally considered that all those who jumped over board probably did the smartest thing.
      Let’s not put the Philippines down too much though as there are any number of American cities where you can be killed for your Wallet, Running shoes or Cap and the odds of that happening are way better than being kidnapped anywhere else in the world.
      Good luck bringing a sawn off anything into Australia.
      Using Delos as a good example again they were made to lock up their sat phone when they cleared customs/ immigration into India.
      Would you really like to try declaring a gun?

  118. From a big picture security perspective, careful what you are posting online. Some things need not be shared. Hiding spots, what weapons are on board, etc. are not something you want everyone to know. Have a plan, escape routes, meeting place, things happen in a marina too. At a minimum have a small arsenal of legal anywhere weapons, pepper spray and bear spray, hand weapons, His and hers, know how to use them like any other safety equipment. There are good stories and lessons learned from folks that have been in your shoes (http://www.cruisingworld.com/destinations/stayin-alive).

    Stay Safe,

  119. As many have observed, guns are a legal issue and you need to be trained and willing to use them first, possibly committing a crime. They can also lead to an escalation – most kidnapped sailors get released eventually, for money, but not if they shoot at their attackers. Non-standard or non-lethal weapons are less of a legal burden, but less effective. They may scare away small time criminals or cause escalation with big time ones. You still have to use them first, be it blinding laser, spear guns or what not. You two are also likely to be outnumbered. I would suggest three things: first route selection. There are several maps out there but not very up to date. If you saw the “maiden trip” movie, she went north of Australia and then straight to South Africa, to avoid the Horn of Africa, then went across the Atlantic, avoiding the Gulf of Guinea, another hot spot. Second, try to give the person in the hideout the ability to call for help and provide coordinates. Near somewhat civilized ports, that may help. In the Horn of Africa, there used to be international patrols, but pirate activity is way down these days. In the middle of the Ocean, it won’t help, but there aren’t pirates there either. Third, it seems that traveling in a convoy helps. If you really have to go through some of the hotspots, you may want to link up with fellow sailors and travel in formation. Bonus advice, I’ve read that you can carry floating polypro line that will jam the propellers of a boat in pursuit. Never tried it myself, but it seems like it could be effective without the legal issues and without killing anybody. So if somebody approaches your boat with no regard for seamanship, you may feel justified to use it.

  120. You shouldn’t have a fire extinguisher. If there’s a fire, it might not put it out. You shouldn’t have a life raft. If the boat sinks, you might not survive in it. If there is an emergency you should not be prepared. Don’t even try. Really?
    Take the politics out of it and a firearm is just another piece of emergency equipment. You’re out there all alone buddy.
    Stay safe so we can continue to enjoy the ride wth you!

  121. All of my friends that have been cruisers always told me that you should never sail alone. You are less likely to be bothered if there are multiple boats as apposed to just one. I would also have a shotgun for added security. Be safe guys and I can’t wait until the next episode. ☺ ☺☺☺

  122. Yes! Carry a gun. Hide it where it can only be found by you.

    A warning shot would have repelled that boat if all they wanted was food.

    I’m guessing they were sizing you up to determine if it was worth boarding.
    If that happens, its game over.

  123. Bear Spray. Leave the guns. You don’t need that karma, not to mention gun laws very dramatically country to country and rotting in jail might be worse.

  124. Pirates? Looks like this was a false alarm but, most of the responses are correct, with extreme on both ends. You will have to decide what is right for you.
    I would advise a few things:
    1; Defend your property (boat first, woman second, money third, life last) with extreme prejudice against anyone who wants to take it from you.
    2; Make anyone who wants to take away any of the above pay more than you are to take it from you. (you can always get another boat, another woman, money)
    My advice, as an American is of course to have fire-arms on board. I know it’s nearly illegal in Australia now, but on the open ocean, YOU MAKE THE LAW.
    Forget rifles, shotguns, and automatic weapons.
    Drag a hundred meters of POLY rope behind your boat to snag their prop.
    Post cans of Wasp/Hornet spray all over the boat, with easy access.
    Get a .38 Stainless revolver, and load it with bird shot shells. (it’s mostly non-lethal)
    If you need your woman to hide, and not fight beside you; Provide her with a .45 in her hid-y hole; she will take out at least 6 invaders, after you are dead.
    Flares are good to let you see what is happening, and run them off, you can shoot the bird shot into the water to let them know you are serious, and if they actually get on board, you can injure them painfully, without death with the .38 and the Wasp spray.
    If they are determined to take your boat, you will be dead, you have no defense.
    Bird shot will not destroy your boat, but it could keep would-be boarders, and knife attackers away, at least for a while. The Wasp/Hornet/Bear spray should be used only from below deck, if you end up in that position.
    Personally, I would fly a Gadsden flag with a light on it to let any potential pirate know they will be in for a fight should they want my boat.
    I suspect, as you are Australian, you don’t want your property taken away from you without a fight, and would likely defend it jealously, and the government has told you that is wrong, so I won’t go into the ethics of protecting YOUR property and loved ones.
    Or you could just pay them to go away after they beat you, rape your woman, and eat all your food. (that’s the American in me speaking)
    From the rest of the video, it seems to me that the real pirates were the “government officials”, and lousy service you got on the island. I imagine Darwin was treated much better when he landed there, although I don’t remember him mentioning the nastiness of the sea life.

  125. I guess I missed the muddy feet on the deck in the video. Was that the GOV “officials”?
    Bird-watchers “killing the world” (burning up all that fossil fuel) travelling to Galapagos, to look at birds; how ironic. Did they swim there?
    Oh, and I’m still counting on Elayna doing cover songs for Olivia Newton John, or Karen Carpenter, rather than Adele. C’mon, Elayna, “if you love me let me know”, it’s what you are doing.

  126. Hi Riley and Elayna, I’m recalling enjoying following your videos and adventures. After your experience with the Pirates, could you look into a couple of high intensity strobe lights? very disabling and unexpected , kept near the helm, a couple more hidden inside the boat, they are very disorienting and with luck, the pirate could be epelleptic!, it’s the unexpected that will give you an advantage. At night, I’d turn all lights off and turn away, and run a ‘quiet ship’.

    I don’t favour firearms, rather gas, fire extinguishers, tasers, would be more to my liking, any weapon could be used against you, it’s the protection that isn’t obvious that will do you the most good.
    Trying to explain bullet holes in he boat to customs when you don’t own a gun could be difficult.

    I think one mistake you have made is revealing the hidy hole that Elayna uses, now we all know about it, I guess that you are limited in spaces to hide in, but please don’t show everyone if you create another one.
    Do you have radar? Maybe a one of the new small units could give you an advantage at night.

    Carry on the adventures, I’m really enjoying them, hopefully you will come to beautiful New Zealand someday.



  127. Ciao ragazzi !
    tell me : what they say in Australia about sharks ? it is easier to be killed by a car than see a shark !
    also here in Italy we do not go around all with guns and pistol just because we have mafia……
    Just avoid risky areas and you will be fine !

  128. As an American I absolutely believe you have the right to be left alone and protect yourself. How one would accomplish this is best left up to you. I personally would have a firearm onboard. However, that being said there are many ways of protecting yourself without a firearm. Find someway that fits your comfort level. Now, how about a little food for thought. If boarded and your cabin is invaded and Elayna is in her hiding hole it will take about 15 seconds for them to figure out a female is on board. All kinds of female tells will be strewn throughout the boat. Be careful out there!

  129. Wasp spay. Very painful in the eyes, inexpensive, usually 10 ft. Or better effective range, no hassle with the man. Safety glasses or goggles that can be put on very quick and kept with your spray. You don’t want to blind yourself. The only drawback is this isn’t a permanent solution, a very effective deterrent, but not lethal. That’s my two cents. I love your videos. I look forward to each one. Keep up the good work.

  130. Gosh, your decision is going to be tough. I’m not sure I could answer Riley’s request of; what do you guys think?. Without beeing in the situation. I do have an opinion, but it’s not popular, i have been on the ocean for years, and feel if you Daisy chain Polly rope off the back to get stuck in their props. Keep it in a duffle and out of the way. As far as close encounters… Spear gun and a long gaff should do it. Depends on the situation and circumstance. Well on a side note guys…. When’s the next video. I love your adventure….keep it up. See ya soon..we all love you out here….ttyl.

  131. I like the idea of a flare gun as your fall back. Not optimal but legal. Also when you pull a gun out you are elevating the stakes to loss of life and that changes things up a bit.

    Love your videos.


  132. Riley

    If you are highly trained special op’s guy then guns may be the way to go if not you are better off without a gun it will only get you in trouble.

    I was British SAS special operative and came to realize that most people even with training are not up to the task.

    Keeping Elayna safe in her hiding spot is a good idea however the girls clothing may give her away. Do your best to stay away from trouble if you get boarded be nice just let them take what they want and most will leave peacefully. As you do not look particularly wealth they probably won’t bother with you to much. So careful wanting that million dollar cat!!!

    Happy Sailing

  133. Well, you guys asked for comments and your viewers certainly replied! I think you got some good advice and some off the wall advice. So I can’t help but throw in my two cents.

    Generally, I like guns for self defense, but the circumstances you face make them a real problem and each incident probably calls for a different reaction. Had you had a gun on board when you were approached, the best reaction would still have been to throw cans of food at them; you can’t argue with success. Showing a gun or firing a warning shot might have only pissed them off. My feeling is that if you’re going to have a weapon, you need overwhelming firepower, making it clear that an attack would be suicide. Lacking that, if evasion and throwing food doesn’t work, I’d submit and hope they don’t take your life along with your valuables.

  134. Hello Rylei

    Would you please, speak a little bite slowly, could be better for a non native speaker like me.

    Ely is ok.


  135. You know what, guns and violence will only escalate the situation not descalate it.. You always be out numbered or out gunned in that situation .. Maybe a better situation is to concentrate on avoidance and escape and Passive detoriates.., take alertnative routes if you think their is pirate activity, stay further away from the normal routes, even if it means longer journies or detores… Be more sneaky,use your boat size to its advantage, flare guns are an affective solution if needed.. Even decorate the boat so its looks more shitty and less attractive to would be pirates…. There is always the option of having a more permanent large crew on board for those areas that you think are more likely to be monitored by pirates… I guess safety in numbers.. 4or 5 people maybe less attractive than 2. And may help will confendance and comfort… I guess if you think you are going to be in danger, plan ahead or evaluate the need to risk that situation… Listen to your inner voice and self preservation instinct… You have all the time In the world, you can always find another less problematic route.. Maybe even shadowing larger vessels and other boats maybe help, again safety in numbers where the situation allows.. More over just be safe… And keep going 🙂

  136. Dear friends, you just were extremely lucky. I have known of situations that have totally ruined a ten year sailing dream in just hours. Best scenario, thay take your credit cards, all your valuable objects and boat´s electronics, these only for selling them.
    Worst scenario, if they find nothing they like on board, they take the boat and leave you on the raft….or they get angry and resort to violence, since these people have nothing to lose….
    So the best advice around is very simple, sail some extra miles and opt for sailing a longer but safer route, keep an eye on the radar every two or three hours, not only at night, and do not use navigation lights. Beware potential fake local fishing boats.

    Safe sailing to Galapagos
    Francisco, Spain.

  137. Hi Riley & Elay

    It is a complex issue, what you can have at sea depends on where you are registered, if you are registered in Australia, you can have anything Australia says you can have with an appropriate Australian Firearms Licence.

    The problem arises once you enter somebody’s Coastal Waters, when you become subject to their laws, and owning an AK47 or AR15 does not always go down well if they are discovered on board.

    Regardless of what arsenal you can reasonably have on board, you are probably going to be outgunned by people who have no regard for the niceties, my personal preference is the one weapon which does not excite Customs attention, a very large flare gun, fired at close range into the boat which is attacking you.

    One fired into the air between you, as a warning on approach, also gives you a tactical view of what you are up against and lets them know you have it.

    Spear guns and gaffs are quite good close quarter weapons as well.

    Tactically, it is best not to start a fight at long range, as I said, you will always be outgunned in numbers, firepower and range.

  138. While I own several shotguns and rifles ( formerly used for game hunting ) I would never have them on board. The old rule ” live by the sword, die by the sword ” comes to mind as I believe the potential for them ( or something more powerful ) being used on me by “professional pirates” would be quite high. And the customs hassle such firearms create in many countries is a real pain…

  139. Riley
    Subject: Pirates
    First thank you for sharing your adventures, great job of keeping Eleyna safe.
    As for guns, if you were a gun guy, you would not need to ask the question. The hard part about guns is knowing when “not” to shoot. As my father taught me, don’t use a gun unless you are going to kill the person, all in or nothing. Since you fended off these guys with a couple of cans of soup, I would say you made the best choice. Could you live with killing these men. Having said that …survival is about getting away, so if you go the gun route, get one big enough to take out the motor.
    Indiana Ron

  140. i don’t go anywhere with out a gun and use it if needed buy a unregistered gun and if you need to use it toss it over an buy anther when you can being alive and protected its better then dead and raped use the 3 s’s shoot shovel an shut up!!!

    its easer to sleep at nite alive then dead

  141. Radar, flair gun with loads of flairs (expensive), avoiding waters with reported piracy activity and the reaction you seem to give naturally will make you more save than any gun aboard. Read the comments of the gun owners that advice against it. It’s a false safety and not to be used by people unfamiliar with fire arms. Further don’t tell your safety measures in any video or blog! I understand your fears but hee! it’s not a fair world we’re livin in. Best deal with it and on your way you go 🙂 Love your vlogs and hope to see many more. You’re livin the dream a lot of people have and use to drift away when thinking about their own fantasy travel plans 🙂 safe seas and Njoy

  142. A little logic please. It’s better to have a weapon to defend yourself and not need it or use it than to need it and not have it. Just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you have to shoot somebody. Elayna can hide in the hole. Maybe she will go undetected. And but if she is not, what is the alternative? If she sitting there with a handgun or shotgun and someone opens that door unauthorized, she has the means to remain not a victim.

  143. I’ve captained and crewed a lot of big boats for wealthy people, some of whom were “high profile” people with kidnapping concerns. One had a lot of guns and a bodyguard whenever the 22 year old daughter was onboard. The question you have to ask is whether you are willing to intentionally kill someone, and deal with local authorities afterwards. If you are not, you are better off without the gun.

    Guns onboard also add another level of bureaucracy – Customs in most countries will make sure they can’t be used in port, either by confiscating them or putting on a customs seal which needs to be broken to load the gun. And don’t even think about not declaring them – if you get caught you will go straight to jail, no questions asked. Plus there’s the maintenance aspect – do you really want something else to maintain? Honestly guns are a pain in the ass and after 100K+ miles at sea, I’ve never been in a situation where I could have justified someone.

    Your hiding spot plan is pretty good. Elayna knows how to use the spear guns, so maybe keep them and an EPIRB in the hiding spot when you are at sea. Rehearse using the flares – If a boat is approaching from downwind, set off a smoke flare. If they keep coming, use the flare gun. Most people who have spent a lot of time at sea realize the worst thing that can happen on a boat is a fire, so you shooting balls of flame at their fuel tank will make an impression, and if it’s at night the light and smoke will add a lot of confusion. As long as you have a plan, you should be able to convince them you are not worth the effort.

  144. Pirates…
    Elayna & Riley: I’m referencing “Handbook of Offshore Cruising by Jim Howard 1994” (the dream and reality of modern ocean cruising).
    As stated in previous comments guns or firearms are prohibited in many countries. Just listing a flare gun on your boat’s inventory
    can set off bells and whistles for search of your boat. Best list them as flares under safety equipment. The best advice I read was
    to have a 1M candlepower search light and keep the light on the boat approaching. The bright light will keep the people approaching
    blind and they will not be able to see what is behind the light or even the kind of weapons you may have. Normally they will motor
    away if up to no good. A flare gun makes a good close range weapon.

    Capt’n Mike

  145. Glad you got through that OK, and thanks for sharing the experience, you are right, there has to be a plan and you need to practice it same as for any emergency.

    Keep guns well out of it, they are going to make situations worse and stress levels high, all the experts say they are no use unless you are trained and current, you are not commandos, you are Vagabondos! So have a plan but don’t dwell on the negative.

    Pepper spray and machettes / clubs in hidden places. Flare guns too.

    Happy sailing.

  146. Hi and thanks again for a great video. And I dont blame Elayna for having a huff! Waiting all that time for a salad??! What! Were they waiting for the veges to grow??! And the pirate situation…very scary and a real threat. Guns beget more guns! But you need some kind of protection and you would probably be outnumbered. Shotgun and flare pistol to start with. Maybe a couple of grenades??
    Could be dodgy with a glass boat. Research the pirate-prone areas fully and steer well clear of them even if it means missing out on some great sailing destinations.
    And you will now have to find a new hidey-hole. In the mean time, take care,stay well
    and have fun!
    Counting down to the next one.

  147. Maybe consider getting bear spray it shoots 25 to 30 feet and forms a large cloud of burning hot mace around your target. the product clams that it can penetrate wet bear fur, yet causes no permanent damage. I would think that they would be jumping into the sea afterwards attempting to wash off giving you time to motor away. You can purchase it on Amazon, and there are videos on YouTube. Don’t forget to turn into the wind before using (-: I’m glad you both are safe.

  148. I am surprised nobody has mentioned filming them. Shoot with your video camera any suspicious vessel or anyone who approaches. If they are innocent np, if they have ill intent just tell them it has auto-uploaded to YouTube so any crime they commit will be on the 6 oclock news 🙂

    1. and how on the open seas do you post it to the internet? .. sat phone or I thing SSB radio will connect you to the internet .. but at a rate you can upload video?.. I stand to be corrected but I don’t think its possible (someone say if it can) … so you are now making it imperative for them to board your boat to get the images back?

  149. If you carry a gun you need to be prepared to kill someone with it. If not prepared to use it to take a life don’t bring one because it will be used to take your life. If you do decide to get one be sure to learn how to properly use it. More people are killed by accident with guns than on purpose. Finally, maybe keep your speargun handy. It probably won’t kill anyone but it sure would hurt like hell.

  150. Hey Guys,

    Love the videos and website documenting your adventure! I recently undertook a two month expedition with my girlfriend where we sailed a Hobie Tandem Island and, even though the trip was entirely in U.S. waters, many of our friends and family asked if were going to be carrying a gun for protection since we would be in some isolated places. We chose not to carry a gun but we did carry an offshore flare gun with plenty of rounds, a very bright but small spotlight with a “stun” setting, and a number of tactical knives for close hand situations.

    One day we would like to be on the ocean, in a larger vessel, and this topic will certainly arise in our planning and preparation. One item I ran across in my investigation is the LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device). These devices are used by military, police, coast guard, and some ships as both a hailing device and a non-lethal crowd control device. The company that makes these is called LRAD and it looks like their smallest model, the 100X, is fully self-contained with its own power source and is water resistant. https://www.lradx.com/lrad_products/lrad-100x/#

    I have never seen or heard one of these devices but I suspect, if nothing, else, it could be a day or night deterrent that when added to the arsenal of deterrents other commenters have mentioned will make you less of any easy target for the scum bags. I’m definitely going to be putting it on my list of things to look into more to determine its feasibility for a cruising boat.

    Can’t wait to here more about your Galacticos adventure!!!


  151. if you travel internationally you should document your vessel with the coast guard of your nation and get some sort of a masters certificate then you can legally carry weapons to every country which has signe the international Maritime treaties ( that would leave out North Korea) you will of course need a secure arms locker. I would not carry a machine gun however my personal choice would be a 50 cal Barret semi auto. If the is too steep for your budget then a 50 cal bolt action with a decent scope, which you can get for under 2 grand ( not I am not talking about a sniper grade weapon just one that will let you hit anything at 300 yards. use high explosive rounds, and you also need Radar a good searchlite and a spotter scope. The idea is to warn them off before they get close enough to think about using their weapons.
    Give them a strong warning tell them not to approach or they will be fired upon. I f they ignore you and approach or do not leave put a round in the bow just above the water line. . 50 BMG high explosive will blow a hole as big as two fists. More important is it is loud as hell. 20 mil would be better but you will have to go through a lot of government red tape to get one..
    Pirates want only to rob and be comfortable Guarenteed death for some of their number will send them fleeing

  152. You have two choices!
    1. Let them board
    2. Don’t let them board
    When you have made your minds up which one its going to be make plans ! If you choose 1 and they want to harm you and Elay then you’ll wish you had chosen 2. No way of knowing that till it happens but you can’t turn the clock back . A couple of warning shots will deter most if it doesn’t at least you know they mean business before they have come alongside,which gives you time to activate you well thought out plans. Hope it never comes to that all the best Russ

  153. Don’t care if it is against the law or not. I always travel with a pistol. My philosophy is that only slaves can’t have a gun. Take if for what it is worth.

    Off topic: I would like to know more about the govt. BS you have had to put up with and what ports you find have the least govt intrusion in your travels.

    The less govt BS the better I like it.

    Keep up the vids…….love you guys.


  154. Riley;

    As an ex-special forces soldier I am highly trained in weapons and combat. While having them on board may make you feel safer – it is a false sense of security. Most scenarios can be resolved through a calm demeanor and good negotiating skills. It is unlikely that you will be able to keep distance from them in a sailboat and confrontation armed or otherwise would simply put Elayna at risk, not so much you. Stay alert – Stay Alive.


  155. There’s really not much you can do in my opinion… even if you had a gun or defense they surely would out number you and it could also work against you.. the best bet is having her hide like she does at least she could get help afterwards maybe have a secret way of communication down there for her to use, too.
    It’s definitely a wake up call, but enjoy the Galapagos, I thought it was a magical place where animals are not in fear of humans…. life is good. keep safe.

  156. I believe in defending myself and my loved ones. That means a gun. Relying on the good will (not to injure, rape, kill) of people who have already proven their criminal intent isn’t very bright, in my opinion.

    The concern about legality is a legitimate issue and a risk that only you can decide on. Were it me, I’d rather take my chances with the authorities than with the pirates.

    As for shooting people. Well from what I have heard most pirate vessels seem to be open boats powered by outboards. Those big outboards make great big targets and a couple rounds through the engine block will disable their engine. Then you just sail away. You don’t have to shoot anyone that way.

    Love sharing your adventure.

    Thank you,

  157. Wow. Scary moment and as usual excellent vid
    How you going to access a concealed weapon when they board your vessel?
    You were sleeping no?
    A watch system and cruise in a group seems the likely solution.
    If they are professional pirates – a gun or two will only add to their stash after they have their way with you. Legit booty
    If they are opportunity hacks – being in a group will likely prevent a close encounter.
    Guns on board seems silly as y’all about peace and love. It would seriously harsh the mellow.
    We were boarded in golf of Mexico. Approached by a high speed off-shore unmarked agesive vessel. I was in a trawler doing 10 knots. They did not identify themselves. (after repeated requests) They flew no colours. Their uniforms were very discretely marked. It was just after sunset.
    I am usually calm and collected, however I was so panicked if I had a gun I would have used it. No doubt in my mind I would have.
    Turned out to be American authorities. Long story not the point. They were acting well within their rights – serving and protecting.
    It was that episode that convinced me never to carry guns.
    Please consider protecting Elay in that cubby hole with at least stun gun.
    We have a safe room that can be locked from inside with no chance of getting in. It’s steel heavy and intrigated. So they can’t steal the box either.
    I completely agree with the earlier post re. the horrific realities of being boarded. Be thee ware.
    Continued success

  158. Hi U2

    have a look into that forum


    I posted your question in Germany. The anserws were 50/50 against and for weapons. Big problem if you take arms will be to declare them in new countries.
    I would suggest gas pressured arms – used also by police and a gun for maritime signals. Both are legal.
    Have a nice continuation
    Bon vent la vagabonde and its two “pirates”
    Jens – Berlin

  159. Use a flare gun. In fact, I believe you can get shot gun shells that will also work in the flare gun. I don’t think a little pellet spray will kill anyone, but, I do believe it will turn them away.

    1. A phosphorus flare could indeed be a strong deterrent. Adapters are available that allow flare guns to shoot .22 LR, .38, pistol .410 and 12 gauge shotgun shells, the shotgun options likely being the most affective option. A flare gun included with a complement of standard flares shouldn’t raise too many “official” eyebrows. However, a box of 12 gauge 00 buck or even standard field loads might. You would want to be able to stash these away and understand the consequences of them being found.

  160. I would advise caution when considering the use of mace or pepper/bear spray for personal defense in closed quarters. Although a reasonable approach to prevent a boarding attempt, the discharge of mace or pepper spray inside the cabin of a boat will subject defenders to the same result as the assailant. This is also true if down wind of your attacker when outside.

    Bear spray might be the best choice as these products typically dispense a focused discharge up to 30 feet/10 meters. With good aim you could reasonably prevent a boarding attempt. Wasp or Hornet spray dispenses in a similar fashion and contains a strong neuro-toxin that would likely drop an attacker in his tracks. Effects however, might be more than temporary leaving the defender open to assault or even assault with a deadly weapon charges after the fact.

    Additionally, mace and Taser like devices are considered weapons in many countries and carry the same penalties as possession of a firearm.

  161. Personally given the choice, I’d be armed to the teeth. However, for many reasons this may not be a viable option. Most cruising yachts carry many “potential” weapons among their complement of standard equipment, flare guns being arguably the most obvious. Winch handles, boat hooks and the potently effective machete (for opening coconuts of course) although not a firearm, can be used. The most important weapon we all possess is the one between our ears. Practice avoidance when possible, don’t allow yourself to be a target of opportunity (as functional as it is that Rolex wrist watch is a dead giveaway) and be prepared to outsmart a more heavily armed opponent. If you can’t carry a firearm, at least you can use your brain and the element of surprise to tilt the scales in your favor.

  162. As you probably already know as long as you are in international waters then you are covered by Maritime Law . Therefore as Aussies you are covered under Australian law and whatever their laws are pertaining to gun ownership. However once you are within 12 miles of any nation’s coastline then you are subject to follow their laws.

    Does this mean I am saying don’t carry a firearm, No. I am simply saying look at the countries you are planing on visiting or even passing through and check their laws pertaining to firearms. Many countries have harsh laws due to the drug trade. Some may require special permits, some not, others may ban you from entering. (Note: this is if you declare it) This also depends on your experience of how many times have you been boarded and searched by a host country.

    It’s a tough call, I personally would try and find a really good hiding place and probably carry a compact rifle as the old saying goes…”It’s better to have and never need then to need and not have.”

    Also as a side note, I would double check and see how well my hatch is secured. It seems a lot of boardings take place in the middle of the night while the boat is anchored in a cove/harbor. I would also add motion sensor lights with alarms (they are all in one and work really good) on the outside of your boat, this may be enough to deter someone trying to sneak on-board or attempting to steal your dingy outboard. At least you won’t get caught dead asleep and it will give you some time to tuck Elayna away, make a call for assistance, or prepare yourself if they attempt to gain entry.

  163. Wholly Smokes, lots of suggestions/opinions on firearms, some revenant & some nutty!
    I was in the military (Cdn Navy) & I was intimately familiar with small arms (handguns/rifles/shotguns) through my trade. I currently work in the Cdn Arctic as a conservation officer and am issued w/t a .44cal revolver, shotgun, and rifle. All our issued firearms are marine grade or nickelled for the salt water environment.
    The big question you need to ask yourselves, before buying any firearm for self defence is, can you take another persons life? If you do buy one, practice, practice and become very familiar with how it works and how to clean it.
    My wife & I own a westsail 32 & sail it in the Pacific NW when we’re out of the arctic & have long term plans in the next couple of yrs to sail permanently. That said, we carry a pump action marine grade 12ga. shotgun w/t a 16inch barrel & pistol grip, capacity 5 shot. We carry 12ga rounds of BBB, slugs, #6 shot, 12ga bear bangers & rubber bullets. The way I load it, rubber bullets come out first (2), followed by the BBB if necessary. The shotgun will also fire standard distress flares; bear spray is great if you know how to use it properly. If you’re going to carry spray on board, get someone to spray you with it so you know what it’s like. Sounds crazy I know but I’ve been sprayed for training purposes at work 5-6 times over the yrs. The purpose, to know how to work through a cross contamination or accidental exposure which is sure to happen if you use it on your boat or in the cabin. If you want more info on this, drop me a line or talk with someone in law enforcement (they might help you??)
    My best. Rob & Sophia

  164. Hi guys, scary situation. The question is are you willing to kill someone? You are likely dealing with someone who has nothing to lose so you can’t beat them in raising the stakes, so if you have a gun in your hand and they don’t back down…
    At all costs avoid problem areas and make the boat as secure as you can. Outside of that is it any different from the risk anyone anywhere faces being robbed on land? Give them money or food but don’t let someone rob you of who you are by becoming a killer.
    Happy sailing! I hope it’s peaceful from here out

  165. Bro! FIRST OFF… I would go through each of these comments & completely ignore those that are written by people who are not blue water cruisers (i.e. landlubbers, racing sailors, day sailors, and people who live aboard their boat but never leave the harbor – they love to give advice about things they think they know but have never experienced). I didn’t read all of the posts but most of the ones I did read are obviously misinformed. My qualifications – I’ve lived on board a 53′ 28 ton ketch with my wife and three children for three years and spent half of each year at sea (with only anchoring stops). I will give you three bits of advice. (1) Only take advice from fellow cruisers you’ve authenticated as actual cruisers. (2) Think of this… if you take some of the advice above and cruise into Mexico and do the “right thing when entering a country” (i.e. declaring your weapons), even though you’ve declared your weapons Mexico will arrest you. If you hide them then you are really in trouble if you get caught. You are not allowed to bring weapons there. Period. The point of (2) is that you need to do research for each country you visit regarding what you are allowed to bring into their country and, unless you like being a pillow biter in a third world prison, respect their laws. None of the jokers who aren’t cruisers above giving random advice will be there to bail you out. I’m not being sarcastic, I’m being dead serious because your life and happiness and that of your crew / family will depend on you sorting out BS advice from proven and tested advice. (3) Pick up & read “The World’s Most Dangerous Places” & “Come Back Alive” by Robert Young Pelton. They are outdated by full of common sense in dangerous situations like piracy. He is not a sailor but has been in situations, many, that would make a common man crap his pants. He is very practical (like if you’re being mugged, you throw money on the ground to distract and run). Some of the jokers above would probably say to karate chop a mugger. Think about it and get advice from people other that Monday night football coaches.

  166. I’m from Canada and cruise to the Bahamas usually. For ship defence I keep a 12ga shotgun, tavor tar-21 rifle (soon to be upgraded to a x95 tavor), and a SIG mk25 p226.

    The only downside is that we need to completely avoid American waters since they do not allow foreign vessels to import firearms, nor do they have provisions for bonded locker storage, or being surrendered to customs and picked up on departure. This limits our routes south to going off shore and heading towards Bermuda vs going down the coast/ICW towards Florida.

    Aside from America most other countries are far more accommodating including anti gun countries like Australia that allow for surrender and pickup on departure.

  167. As Ben mentioned you want a variety of guns if you planning to defend. I’d settle for some sort of semi-auto rifle like maybe AK-style 9mm or something, a shotgun (12 GA should be more than enough) and a pistrol(just your normal carry like Glock or Sig, my personal preference being Sig P365 XL I’ve got from https://gritrsports.com/ gun store, but it’s up to you).

    Other option is, ofcourse, to give pirates what they want. It’s basically letting situation out of your hands and letting them decide if they had a good day or a bad day, which I don’t really like notion of.

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