Equipping a boat


January 29, 2003, 01:32 PM
This seems to be the place for fun 'what ifs'.
We are trying to move back to the East Coast. I'm a salt water fisherman at heart, and buying an off-shore fishing boat isn't a matter of if, but when.
Just for fun, though....
How would you equip a salt water fishing/pleasure boat? We're talking a cabin cruiser, with live aboard amenities, probably in excess of 25'. This boat would see family and friends that may not be familiar with firearms.

My thoughts:
2 SS .357 4" to 6" bbl full frame handguns with rubber grips and lanyards (Taurus Tracker jumps to mind immediately).
2 SS 12gauge pump shotguns, with synthetic furniture, 20" BBL and 8 shot capacity

The .357 is an obvious choice. Easy to operate, FTF isn't an issue, easy to clean, high power, etc.
The 12ga would serve dual purpose. Will fire slugs, buckshot, and saftey flares.

Salt air and water can be hard on ammo and guns. Any thoughts on ammo choices, or on special cleaning techniques?
Any other thoughts?

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January 29, 2003, 01:35 PM
Stainless Defender. That's what they're made for. :D

January 29, 2003, 01:40 PM
You also want something that can reach out and touch someone. If you have a problem with pirates, and drive 'em off with the close in guns, and they back up 100 or so yards, and proceed to try to sink you with rifle fire, you want to be able to shoot back.

Stainless is good.

January 29, 2003, 01:46 PM
Not overly worried about pirates, perse, but for that purpose, what about a SS Mini14 or 30?

Main concern would be bumping into drug runners or unsavory characters while pulling into or out of port at obscene hours.

Story time:
I was 16, and going out with a neighbor across the street (6' black bodybuilder) at about 3am to get our fish on. We put in at the public access, tied off and began loading up on finger mullet with the cast net when a CC twin outboard jobbie pulled up not too far away. Suburban backs out of the shadows and two guys begin loading flourescent dry bags wrapped in duct tape into the suburban. Thomas, who isn't scared of anything, tells me to "not make eye contact, get on the damn boat, and start it up". He goes to his vehicle, gets the last of our supplies for the day, scurries abord and we violated the no wake zone getting the hell out of there....

Freedom in theSkies
January 29, 2003, 02:04 PM
I would also get some dry boxes (with the rubber seals) to store the ammo,HG's and flares in. That way salt air will not be a concern.
A good sat phone and vhf radio with a 6db gain antenna would be a good idea.
If drug runners are your main concern, you probably won't be able to outrun 'em, so you may want to outgun 'em. I'd consider a semi-auto hi capacity rifle with folding stock if possible. Either in .223 or 7.62x39. And the shotgun is great for close up suppressing fire with 00 buck.

January 29, 2003, 02:12 PM
All good suggestions, especially about looking into a rifle.

You may also want to consider Remington's Marine Magnum. Made for sea vessels/salt spray.

January 29, 2003, 02:36 PM
If the Glock Tennifer finish is all it is made out to be, I would get that. It should reduce you maintenance time.
If you have the money a hard chrome finish on any and all of your guns looks good. It should wear better than NP3 or Robar, although those finishes have their adherents also.
If you do not get a rifle, how about Brenneke (sp?) or sabot slugs? They are supposed to have power and accuracy past 100 yards.

January 29, 2003, 02:48 PM
Blackhawk and Bacchus both offer a sensible solution. I concur.

January 29, 2003, 02:49 PM
Saboted slugs would make sense, as it may become necessary to fire at a hardened target such as a boat motor. Accuracy at that kind of range would require a rifled barrel, though.
How does a short rifled barrel handle firing buckshot though?

January 29, 2003, 02:55 PM
A handgun would be a joke on the open water in a shall (yes, 25' is small) boat.

Shotgun. Secured under the rail. Reomoved when boat is out of the water or slipped.


January 29, 2003, 02:59 PM
I'd probably go with some sort of Ak variant with 30 rd. mags for my rifle and a glock 17 with full cap mags, for their durability and ease of maintenance, and a marine finish shotgun like you already mentioned.......tom

January 29, 2003, 03:04 PM
Handgun would be for on the boat defense or for close range defense while in port.
Yes, I agree, 25' is a small boat. However, we are talking about a boat with 1 or two berths and a small galley. Basically a small living area for vacationing (like cruising the outer banks :neener: )

January 29, 2003, 05:27 PM
Don't forget a Mossie 12ga line launcher :D

January 29, 2003, 05:43 PM
Mossberg 590 or the remington marine whatever. I like my 590 and do not have the military one.

I like revolvers since they don't toss brass around unless you reload. I love my ruger gp100 with the 3 inch barrel, I plan to get a 6 inch version and swap on the smaller grip from another 3 inch.
Can't help on the lanyard thing though.

I would skip stainless requirment for the rifle. Keep it in a nice case and take good care of oiling it as needed. I like the ak as a budget choice, but for a boat I would go fal or m1a for a 308 message. This is the one place where the long m1a would not bother me much. Overall, I prefer the fal in this situation since you can have plastic instead of wood.

I would say a garand tossing clips is to be avoided. but if you want 30-06, I could agree with that choice.

Lucky you to be asking the question. Enjoy it with whatever you choose.

January 29, 2003, 06:52 PM
That's a lot of firepower for a 25' vessel. You may only need to drop down to one of each for a locked cabinet.

Additional firepower may be some sort of Mini 14 which you can bring aboard whenever you spend time on the vessel. Unless you are a commercial fisherman spending all hours at sea, I think that the rifle won't need to be stainless. -proper cleaning regimen is more important.

January 29, 2003, 06:55 PM
Dont shoot down...! :D


January 29, 2003, 07:00 PM
I would go with the stainless steel or nickel finish "Marine" shotguns for a boat. Especally if you are out on the salt water.

http://www.winchester-guns.com/prodinfo/catalog/images/512908308m.jpg Model 1300, Coastal Marine (http://www.winchester-guns.com/prodinfo/catalog/detail.asp?cat_id=512&type_id=908&cat=012C)

I would go with a six inch barrel on that .357 Magnum. The longer sighting plane will give better accurracy for longer shots. Go with heavy 158gr loads for penetration at longer range.

Colt Python (http://www.colt.com/colt/html/a2h3_python.html)

Dave R
January 29, 2003, 07:14 PM
No one's going to recommend a .50BMG? That's the way to deter them drug runners from way out there. ;)

January 29, 2003, 07:21 PM
No one's going to recommend a .50BMG? That's the way to deter them drug runners from way out there.

How about a .30 caliber belt fed semi-auto gun? :evil:

Browning 1919 A4 .30 caliber (http://www.valkyriearms.com/a4.htm)

Modified for semi-automatic operation only.
BATF Approved Design.
Complete with tripod, pintle, and T&E.
Belt linker and 200 links.
Pistol grip.
All re-conditioned military parts.
Transfers on a 4473 Yellow form. No tax stamp required.
Standard .30-'06; .308 available.
A6 configuration available at same cost as A4, if preferred.
Other options available (negotiable with owner).
Shipping included.
Only $2,850.

January 29, 2003, 07:25 PM
Go cheap, because anything on that boat is in danger of being ruined if anything happens to the boat and you have to be rescued by the Coast Guard.
Say, a Taurus stainless 357 six inch, a Mossberg Mariner 12 gauge and a Savage 30-06.

January 29, 2003, 07:48 PM
If the Glock Tennifer finish is all it is made out to be, I would get thatThe slide will be fine. But the metal lining in the magazines will corrode, causing failures. Skip the Glock.

I'm not a big fan of .357. Lots of noise, lots of recoil, lots of flash. If you want a wheel gun, go with a 625. .45 ACP is just as good a stopper as .357, but you can reload with stripper clips much, much faster (and with less chance of all the rounds winding up scattered on the deck at your feet) than you can with a speed loader.

January 29, 2003, 08:54 PM

Jim March
January 30, 2003, 12:56 AM
What about the stainless Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70? Compact, accurate, same kinda engine-nailing power as a 12ga slug?

Travis McGee
January 30, 2003, 01:11 AM
I've done this and can offer some insights.

This subject must be approached two ways: all US cruising, and foreign cruising. If you are going to Mexico, the Bahamas etc, all new considerations come into play. So I won't tackle that unless you want me to, I'll stick to US cruising and gun laws.

The revolvers are fine, but S/S is not mandatory. Standard gun cleaning and storeage will be sufficient: you are not going to store your guns in a salty bilge! But if you want to get a S/S or marine coat finish, that's fine.

A 5.56mm semi auto is a great choice. It's different on the water, you can see your splashes, and can "walk" your shots into your target at long range, so it pays to have a fast shooter to take advantage of this.

A slow super accurate bolt gun is damn near useless, because you never have a stable platform to shoot from! Picture sitting on the roof of an SUV driving cross country, shooting offhand! That's boat shooting. Your bolt gun will be going up and down and all around while you line up the impossible "perfect shot". That ain't happening!

Much better to blam out rapid fire, you can see your misses in the water and adjust fire.

You don't want to let bad guys get close enough to hurt you: another reason for a semi auto rifle. Your objective is not to win a fight at ten yards where you are wounded far from hospitals, it's to keep them off 200+ yards.

And don't forget to stock up on bags of cheap party balloons! Balloons stick to the water, they don't blow or roll away. So as you drive or sail along, they get farther and farther out of range while you try to hit the head sized targets. Lots of great games are possible! Multiple balloons, etc.

January 30, 2003, 01:29 AM
Accuracy is inversely proportional to wave action.

January 30, 2003, 03:46 AM
M1 .30 Caliber Carbine, find you a 30rd banana clip.

A pair of Marine Binoculars is madatory. Steiners would be an obvious choice!

January 30, 2003, 03:58 AM

For the rifle, I'd go with either a FAL or an M1A with synthetic furniture. Iron sights only, and don't bother with things like bipods.

A Garand would be sufficient too. Sure, you're going to have clips popping out. But then, you're going to have brass rolling around anyway. Clips a buck apiece, so if you can afford a thirty foot boat, you can afford plenty of them.

Other than that...what others have said. Stainless revolver in .357 or .44, stainless or nickel plated shotgun to go with.

January 30, 2003, 04:34 AM
This boat would see family and friends that may not be familiar with firearms.

For newbies, I would go with the KISS rule.

Definately have some stainless steel or marine finish 12ga or 20ga pump-shotguns for passing out to the passengers.

I might also stash some stainless steel or nickel plated .38 special revolvers for passing out to the passengers as well.

Nickel plated Colt Official Police w/ 5" bbl .38 Special

January 30, 2003, 05:10 AM
At least one of each of the following:
6" .357mag revolver.
2" or 3" .357mag revolver.
SS 12 ga. pump shotgun (buck, bird, & slug loads)
Stainless lever-action rifle in .30-30, .45-70, or other hunting calibers (no pistol calibers).

The reason I recommend the lever-action is:
Ease & quickness of use.
Less "threatening" to authorities than semi-autos.
More reliable in hostile weather conditions.

Good luck.

January 30, 2003, 09:55 AM
Rifles? You like the FAL? I believe DSA offers their rifles in stainless steel. Yeah, it will be heavy, but its not like you're going to be hiking it around, right?


January 30, 2003, 10:25 AM
Wow! Lots of food for thought here.
For the size of boat I want, I'll probably cut down on the firepower. 1 readily available 12gauge in a 'marine' configuration and a kept high power high cap rifle, oiled and sealed from the elements. I'll just bring my CCW on board with me.

Lucky you to be asking the question. Enjoy it with whatever you choose.

Could be 2 years, could be 10, just seemed like a fun topic to start. Wife and I want to move back to NC...wife more than I. I've made this a requirement and the wife has submitted! :neener:

The tradition remains
the seas' in my veins
I'm just glad I don't live in a trailer....

January 30, 2003, 10:44 AM
And don't forget the water tight storage boxes for the firepower and the ammo. One can never have too much dry storage! And always have the Coast Guard frequency ready. (I come from a Coasty family so no wise crack about the CG, the most active duty yet not DoD military branch!) :neener: :evil:

January 30, 2003, 10:57 AM
No Coastie cracks here. I've seen them in action and respect them, mostly for thier seamanship and rescue abilities.
Spent time on a charter boat and various friends boats as a teenager fishing offshore and inshore NC. Have caught or hooked up with nearly everything that swims on the East coast. Love it, miss it, wish I could live it....

January 30, 2003, 11:01 AM
I'm mostly a freshwater fisherman, but being so close the the Gulf always has me jonesing to go out on a boat just to be out there and away from everything. Packing of course :D .

January 30, 2003, 11:11 AM
I'm mostly a freshwater fisherman, but being so close the the Gulf always has me jonesing to go out on a boat just to be out there and away from everything. Packing of course

I'm hoping to buy something that will serve as a vacation boat. Since we'd be about 4 hours from the coast when we move to NC, it'd be used on weekends, etc. Lots of opportunities to cruise the inter coastal areas in NC, including the 'outer banks'.
Love freshwater fishing for warmwater species. I've had a good time fishing here in UT for brown and cutthroat trout, but would rather be tossing soft plastics to a bucket mouth or trolling ballyhoo for Mahi Mahi....

Attached pic is from the Green River, Ut. about 10 miles below Flaming Gorge Resv. Brown Trout, est. 16", on spinning tackle 6lb line and Maribou jig
To keep it gun related, I had my Ruger P95 (since sold) with me.:neener:

January 30, 2003, 11:13 AM
As I posted a month ago I outfitted and stainless welded hidden (ingeniously) water tight compartments in friends 54 ft Motor sailer. He is well below the Sea of Cortez now. He carries on his person a SP101 Ruger .357. He has a Marlin 30-30 stainless with scope, a Stainless Rem. Marine 12ga pump. with slugs buck and shot(1 box of 25 each) , and a 10-22 ruger stainlesswith a brick of ammo. He has a dink capable of taking his motorcycle onshore. He and wife and 1 hand are going to Panama at least. They avoid ports, instead remote moor. Yes they have big sat phone. He called me couple weeks ago from Sea of Cortez , no problems yet.He keeps guns/ammo in their hiding places which appear as engine coolers until electrically opened!

January 30, 2003, 12:03 PM
That sounds like an awsome rig you set up for your buddy. I don't think I'd want to go that far south without a small collection of firearms with me either. But one question, what is the fail safe opening procedure if he looses electricity? Are they just electric locks or are the secret doors on pnumatic pistons as well?

Travis McGee
January 30, 2003, 03:52 PM

That sounds like a nice setup, but it hightlights the damed if you do damned if you don't nature of taking guns to foreign countries.

If his hidden guns are ever found, he'll be in the klink for years. One pistol found aboard in Mexico will get you several years, no ifs ands or buts. At best, you will lose your boat, using it as bribe bait to ransom yourself a plane ticket out...if you're lucky. If you're not, it could be 20 years for the guns you listed, hard time in the roach motel.

I've been through te Bahama, Jamaica and Panama on boats with guns recently, but I won't go to Mexico with one, no way. "But if I did" I would only take a throw away that I would not hesitate to deep six. Say a 100$ tokareve or makarov bought for cash, ready to drop over board. The fancy s/s rifles in Mexico will just get you penitentiary time.

January 30, 2003, 08:01 PM
I've heard 2 versions of this argument.

#1 get a marine coated shotgun, it can launch flares, shot, whatever.

#2 arm yourself to the teeth and don't say a damn word about it.

I suppose it depends on where you are boating, right? Not like we are all facing S. China Sea pirates?

(I'd seriously check with the Coast Guard before choosing option #2.)

January 30, 2003, 10:49 PM



January 30, 2003, 10:57 PM
OK, that is officially Too Darned Cool.


January 31, 2003, 03:05 AM
WOW, nice model!


January 31, 2003, 10:18 AM
I would go for: - 4-guage flare-gun, rem. 870, and your favourite handgun because:

*You will probably not know another boats intentions before it is close and you see a gun in the other boat or they try to board you, so what you will need is a weapon that can be used to keep a BG off your boat (or get him back into the water), so shotguns and handguns would probably be do the job best.
*You will have no backstop so a bullet from a rifle will easily go several kilometers before it stops, not a problem in open sea but I am nearly always within 4nm of a havily populated coastline, and a bullet could go that far if it only hits water
*I will go for a pump action because shotgun-shells don't like water very well, and it would be nice to be able to get a new(and hopefully dry) shell into the chamber real quick.
*A 4-guage flare gun would be able start a fire in the pirates/BG's/wathever's boat and would probably disable a man if you hit him, and it is a weapon you can have aboard if you go someplace you can't bring a "real" firearm.
*I think stainless or not is not very important because all the small parts: springs, firingpin, etc. often is of black-steel in ss and nickel-plated guns.

January 31, 2003, 10:37 AM
If the selenoids fail on the stainless. er , exhaust cooler, you unbolt the what appears gasketed water chamber and voila. The exhaust does pass thru the center of 48" x 14" box but it is already cooled by manifold cooler and I Insulated the pipe, guns dont get above 120 degrees and THAT drives out moisture!He is out of Mexican waters and into Central America Mosquito coast, He said in certain countries he would toss Ruger.He never keeps ammo around unhidden. Also hiding place is the bank vault, I think he took $100.000 for planned 18 month cruise.Yes he does have flare gun of course.

January 31, 2003, 11:36 AM
I think he took $100.000

I'd sleep with one eye open, and the guns at ready. Jeeze.

January 31, 2003, 12:36 PM
one more thing to add to your weapons: a ruger m77 in .308 or 30-06. stainless steel, accurate, quick, smooth bolt, and pretty cheap. you can pick them up at wal mart for $400. now just add a nice scope and your set.

January 31, 2003, 01:09 PM
quick, smooth bolt, and pretty cheap

I agree that a bolt gun doesn't have much place on an open water fishing boat. Ever shot a gun from a boat? Unstable platform that pitches unpredictably, even in mild seas. I've shot skeet off the back of a moving off-shore boat...and its not easy.
personally, I'm mostly concerned with in ports and mooring areas.
Of course....finding out lately I might be stuck in UT for awhile.....:banghead:

Freedom in theSkies
January 31, 2003, 09:51 PM
...And then if you really want the best in subtle but modern firepower for the 'ol fishin' boat...

February 10, 2003, 05:44 AM
Since the issue of legality has only been lightly touched on, I will ask.

Obviously in international waters it's anything goes. What about the territorial waters of the U.S. or inland waters? What's legal to have on board? Let's take Puget Sound, for example. I'm guessing Washington gun laws would apply? So does the USCG have any jurisdiction to enforce state law?

What about in a state that does not have firearms law preemption? The laws of the closest municipality apply? Or is there some martime law that trumps everything?

Lone Star
February 10, 2003, 08:57 AM
Travis McGee-

Yes, I recognize that you're using the name of a fictional character. Didn't he live on a boat, maybe in Florida?

Please do discuss considerations, legal and otherwise, of having guns on boats in the Caribbean and in/around the Latin American countries, and any US Coast Guard or other regs pertaining to US-registered boats.


Lone Star
P.S. Wouldn't FN-FAL or M1-A .308's be sound rifle choices? I'd think a stainless .357 or stainless .45 auto would be sound ideas, except that many or most American countries ban military calibers. That'd eliminate the 7.62X51mm/.308's, too...

February 11, 2003, 09:04 PM
Don't forget Depth Charges, Surface to Air Missles, and Torpedoes


February 12, 2003, 07:33 PM
I just carry my Glock in a dry box if I carry a gun at all when boating around FL. I have a Remington 870 Marine Magnum, but that's for home defense and the Bahamas.

Protect yourself from the real threats which face boaters. The biggest ones are dehydration and exposure. Always have at least one or two sealed gallon jugs of water, some foul weather gear, some warm clothing in winter, and some way to get out of the sun.

February 13, 2003, 10:58 AM
Thanks for the words, but I knew that already. :p

Seasickness remedy:
2 cups

Pour soda into 1 cup. pour back and forth from cup to cup until fizz and carbonation is gone. give to motionsick person(s).

Its not a matter of if I move to NC and buy a boat, but when :D
The seas in my veins
the traditon remains
I'm just glad I don't
live in a trailer....

February 13, 2003, 11:15 AM
I'd say every well-equipped boat needs a Cannon (http://www.cannon-mania.com/CM8gauge.htm)!

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