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Here’s a topic that might spark some discussion. After hearing the report of the vessel being boarded, a couple of conversations have arisen among the boaters here about keeping guns on board. To give some background, one of my past hobbies was IPSC pistol shooting. My friends and I would travel to clubs in Canada and the US almost every other weekend to compete during the season. So, although I had numerous guns, I sold them all when we decided to head south. That’s right… any potential burglars reading this should know that there are no guns onboard our vessel.

Burglars beware… although there are no guns onboard, I do have a trained “attack wife!”

Rebecca, popping some rounds off in our back yard. Sorry neighbors.

While in Washington we met a (cool!) senator who, sporting his NRA t-shirt, was obviously pro-gun. When he asked why we had decided not to keep any guns onboard, I told him that our conclusions were that it would just be more trouble than it was worth. For example, I have read that in most places, upon checking into a country, your guns will be taken from you and held until your departure. So, you wouldn’t likely have them with you for much of the time anyway. In addition to that, when in said country, you will likely be moving from anchorage to anchorage, probably downwind. When it comes time to depart from that country, you would then need to sail (upwind?) back to the port you initially cleared into to reclaim your guns. Huge hassle, and that’s only some of the potential problems. There are no doubt others.

Anyway, not having guns onboard, I have often heard (even here) of people keeping a flare gun nearby for self-defense. While I have never shot one of these, I don’t think they would be super accurate, and I do know that I surely wouldn’t want to trip one off inside our boat! But, if you are going to keep a flare gun around for defense, I think you should get the real deal and invest in one of these guys, which I first saw on the Boat Bits blog, one of my favorite sites to check out. 🙂