Friday, December 7, 2012

Shock Waves on Nirvana?!

When I recently went to the Jewelry Show with my daughter, I was surprised at how much stuff they had!  I wasn't looking for jewelry, and had gone with my daughter for the quality time together.  However, this place had all sorts of stuff and I wound up buying a few things for the boat. 
Most of the items that I bought are a surprise for Ken, so I can't tell you what they are just yet.  However, one thing that I bought isn't a secret to Ken.  When I saw it, I had to call him and get his opinion.  It was a stun gun!  I never thought about owning one of these.  However, when I came across the guy giving a demonstration ... my mind started spinning.  "Protect yourself and possibly your life ... for only $45"!  Our lives are worth $45 aren't they?
Would a stun gun be useful when cruising?  We don't have a gun, and don't plan on getting one since most countries don't allow them anyway.  Safety is a concern in any walk of life, and we need something on Nirvana for our protection.  Would this be the answer?
In the past, I've heard about wasp spray and other options.  I think the wasp spray idea is great, and we'll be having a can on board.  However, don't we need a back-up plan?
After Ken said he didn't oppose to the idea, I bought the stun gun!  As I was making the purchase, I couldn't help but second-guess my actions.  Is this safe?  Will it really help if we're in a seriously dangerous situation?
I hope we'll never need to use this thing, but for $45 I felt it was worth having on Nirvana.  The gun can hold a charge for up to 5 months, and it has a wrist band that disables the gun if removed from the device.  In other words, if one of us had a good grip on the gun  with it wrapped around our wrist ... it won't work if the um, loser, pulls it out of our hand.  He (or she) wouldn't be able to turn it around and use it on us.  I liked this added security feature, since in order to use the gun we'd have to be close to the offender.
Before purchasing this little security device, we'd never heard about stun guns on a boat.  We wonder what the laws are concerning these devices.  Like guns, are they confiscated when entering a country?  Are they not considered guns and therefore allowed?
We'd love to hear your thoughts about this.  Do you know the laws about these zappers?  Do you own one, or know anybody that does?  Let us know what you know!
Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Tate said...

Definitely suggest to check on individual places you wish to visit.

We have no actual experience but I've read a lot of conjecture online about the use of "weapons" onboard and I believe many countries would consider a stun gun a "weapon". But it will probably vary by country.

Sandee said...

I carried one for years while I was working. I only used it once and it worked okay. Some people it doesn't work on so having several backup plans are in order. I don't have one now, as we have weapons we depend on. Anyway, if this is something that needs recharged then you need to make sure it's always charged. Not much good if it doesn't work.

Have a terrific day. :)

Verena said...

You can do some serious damage with a flare gun! That's all we have. We also never had anything to protect ourselves when we lived in a house. We just pick our neighborhoods/marinas/anchorages/destinations wisely. Also, to use a stun gun or bear spray these people would have to be pretty close to the boat. If some people with guns come aboard I will just hand them the keys. I imagine the stun gun or bear spray would just piss them off.
We had scare sailing off Columbia. A boat followed us closely all night. We talked to our buddy boat on channel 16 about how we were getting the guns ready and they turned away. In reality we had no guns, of course, but it worked.

Colin said...

I got robbed in Jamaica by a scary looking Rasta with a rusty machete
I handed him my money clip with 20 folded Ben Franklin's and my Rolex. Then I got aggressive and told him "THAT'S ENOUGH, LEAVE US ALONE". I bought another cheap blingy money clip and filled it with 20 more photocopied bills and grabbed my spare 'ROLAX' Knock off. No doubt he got busted for passing fake bills. Don't fight with them, just have a routine ready. said...

I am interested to hear what others have to say about this. I've never had a problem on land. Like Verena, we choose our locations carefully and are alert. But being on a boat might feel a little more vulnerable, especially when in some troubled areas. What an experience, Verna! I'm glad that the radio call about guns worked. I guess that's another good reason to have others close by, something we will have to consider, too, because we do tend not to run with the crowd. There is safety in numbers.

Drew Frye said...

Please Google some of these. I think you will find that the wasp spray is mildly irritating and damaging to eyes, but quite simply ineffective. Like many, I've gotten some in my eyes, and it is barely even annoying. Pure urban legend, don't do it unless it is for wasps... and then hope it doesn't go off by accident in a locker, ruining whatever is there.

Google flare gun and defense too. while a hit in the face might be disorienting for a few seconds, the attacker will then kill you. If you hit the body, he'll barely notice.

The stunner on the other hand seems reasonable!

I've always felt a club is the thing I'm most likely to actually use. Martial arts will teach you to aim for a knee instead of the head which will be defended.

Tasha Hacker said...

This is an interesting idea. I am uncomfortable with the idea of having a gun on board, but a stun gun could make me feel better when sailing into potentially hairy waters. How far do you need to be from your attacker for this to work?

Mike M. said...

After 17 years [and counting] as a police officer, I've given some though to the "hardware" I'll have aboard for defense of myself, my family and my property: 1 rifle [AR-15], 1 shotgun [12 gauge with 000 buckshot], and 2 handguns [Glock .40].

Each of these has a specific application that the others won't perform. The rifle is good for longer-range use. Say a situation where hostile boat(s) are approaching and I can see they're armed. The handguns are more medium and short-range use. I say two since there'll be two of us aboard. The shotgun is to be used in case of hostiles actually boarding us. It's extremely effective and very difficult to miss your target at close-range.

I plan to keep the rifle and shotgun locked away [but accessible quickly if necessary] and the handguns will be readily accessible from a couple different locations onboard.

Of course, when I'm entering a new country, they'll be declared and local rules will be followed.

I know this doesn't have anything to do with the stun gun topic of this post, but in my opinion, if you have a hostile person onboard, a stun gun will be completely ineffective. First, you have to be CLOSE have to BE TOUCHING the attacker with it. Secondly, that type of stun gun only works while it actively being held against the attacker. Once the attacker breaks away, the effectiveness is lost. All that leads to is a ticked off attacker and probably increases likelihood of the attacker being even more aggressive. If you don't want actual guns onboard [and I completely understand that], I'd get a civilian style Taser that can incapacitate your attacker for 30 seconds even when you drop it to get away.

Just my .02 cents.


Colin said...

The one time those guns will be needed is the time when the Port Authority has them in their locker. Most of the Islands follow British or French rule of law and that means No guns on your boat when operating in their waters. You can go to jail for possessing Ammo in some places.
I go with Captain Fatty's experience
and he gave up on then a long time ago.

Ken n Cheryl said...

Thanks for all the input! I don't know if I'd have bought the stun gun if I'd had written about this before. Your mention of it being considered a weapon and not always being effective makes it a less desirable option. However, we're now talking about it and sharing info!

Tasha ... the bad thing is that you have to be really close to the intruder with this gun, but we thought it may be a good last option. Hopefully we'd never be so close.

Drew, thanks for the heads up about the wasp spray!

Sounds like a good flare gun and bear spray should be a good option.

Verena, how scary and great idea to "talk" about the gun!

Mike said...

Even OC spray (bear spray) is apparently illegal in some places. I heard some people on the net making an issue of it when we were in Trinidad. As suggested, check

I sold all my guns before we left to go cruising. As mentioned, in most places they have to be turned over upon clearing in. You would then have to re-acquire them from the same place when clearing out, something that is often not convenient when traveling from anchorage to anchorage.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...