Forum

09-Sep-08 09:54:00 PM UTC
Ian Fagg

United Kingdom, Cornwall

I have noticed that most piracy attacks in the Caribbean have happened when the victim has been the only, or one of very few yachts in the bay. In the evening If the bay begins to clear out I definately feel my blood pressure rising a little. Safety in numbers folks!! I have always felt safe in the Med, this attack on Tiara definately puts a new spin on things.
Ian G. Fagg
Capt. SV Extarordinary
09-Sep-08 10:25:36 PM UTC
Bob White

United States, California

Not exactly piracy, but another precaution we take when cruising in the Caribbean is we always lift the tender out of the water. We made a 3-position bridle that connects to D-rings on both stern tubes and a D-ring at the bow with adjustable straps for balance. We connect a spin halyard and take that to an electric winch, and just like magic up she comes and we rest the tender on the rail. We\'ve been in some anchorages where others lost a tender overnight, but our\'s has always been there in the morning with this method.
Randy White
President SailAngle.com
10-Sep-08 02:48:29 PM UTC
Ian Fagg

United Kingdom, Cornwall

Good idea Randy, I do this too. The only thing I have had stolen from the boat ever, (to date) is our tender. We were anchored off Simpson Bay in St Martin, we arrived late, and truth be told, I was too tired to be bothered to lock it or lift it as usual. The next morning, gone! Situation was a little embarrasing as I had guests to get ashore, and they had flights to catch. I managed to get the attention of the yacht next to us in the anchorage and they kindly helped out. As of now, I always lift at night!
Ian G. Fagg
Capt. SV Extarordinary
11-Sep-08 08:04:12 AM UTC
Bob White

United States, California

One other thing we found to be important is when you enter an anchorage in the Caribbean, you know you will have 5-6 locals rowing out on anything that will float. They offer to take your garbage, sell bread, ice, trinkets, run a stern line to shore, etc. Our practice has always been to make sure we do business with ALL of them. We buy bread from one, ice from another, hire one to take the garbage ashore, and then buy a trinket or two from the rest. Although I can\\\'t prove it, we believe that treating them all fairly has been a big part of us not experiencing one single problem in four years of cruising the Caribbean. My advice - - spend a few bucks with the locals and its very cheap insurance.
Randy White
President SailAngle.com
26-Nov-08 06:35:08 PM UTC
Gary Carroll

United States, Florida

That is the best piece of advice. I lived in Honduras for a year and ran a bar/restaurant. I had close to 20 Hondurans working for me. Whenever they showed up begging money I simply put them to work and soon I was very well looked after as I may have been the largest employer in West End.
26-Mar-09 03:56:42 AM UTC
Bob White

United States, California

I found this article by Elaine Bunting from Yachting World and thought it was valuable as a post here. How can you minimize the risks of an attack at anchor? This is a subject we've often covered in Yachting World and here are some suggestions to improve on board security that have been put forward by long-term cruisers: 1. Lift your dinghy alongside the toerail or on board at night, and if possible rig up a strop and halyard to make that easy. One of the easiest and highest value things to steal is a dinghy and outboard, and it will draw robbers to and possibly on board your boat. On the first reports, that's what appeared to happen on the Robertson's boat 2. Lift up the transom boarding ladder. This simple precaution will make it much more difficult to board your boat 3. Fit bunk fans and keep the companionway hatch and other cabin hatches shut in areas you feel could be a problem (eg, some parts of the Caribbean). Ideally, all internal hatches should open toward the companion, and jamb toward the cabin 4. If you are worried about being boarded, fit an inexpensive infrared alarm in the cockpit that will emit a loud shriek. 5. Always stow knives and any other items that might be used as a weapon 6. Fit a concealed safe for valuable possessions. Some cruisers also keep out of date credit cards, other fake valuables and some cash ready to give up if attacked. In my view this is risky - if a robber wants valuables, give him the real thing and don't rely on fooling them; cash and items are replaceable but you and your crew are not. 7. Keep a hand-held VHF beside your bunk if you are in a suspect area 8. If you're in a dodgy area, set up an anchor and VHF watch between nearby yachts 9. When you anchor, do pre-start-checks so that you can make way at a moment's notice and keep a safe course to steer out written down by the wheel 10. Keep a red parachute flare handy so that it can be fired out of a hatch to raise the alarm Elaine Bunting, Yachting World, 25 March 2009
Randy White
President SailAngle.com
12-Nov-09 11:41:01 PM UTC
Joann Powers

United Kingdom

My husband and I have been cruising the Venezuela coast for the past six months and we have visited so fairly isolated bays. We have followed three precautions: 1. We never anchor with fewer than three other boats; 2. We always purchase something from the locals, bread, fish, vegetables; and 3. We always lift the dinghy on board at night.

We experienced a few minor problems, our fresh water filter was stolen from the tap at a marina, a bumper was taken, a coil of line and the like, mostly small opportunity crimes. But, we were in an anchorage where a boat's dinghy was stolen (it wasn't lifted on board) and we were also in a marina near Caracas where a couple were assaulted and their money taken, our understanding is they were walking back to the boat late at night from a nearby tavern.

Of course we heard terrible stories of a cruising couple killed and their boat stolen, but we don't know the details. On the whole our time in Venezuela was relatively free, but we follow the precautions above and never leave the boat unattended past 2100.

Cheers,

Joann Powers