7 Ways To Protect Your Motor Yacht or Ship Against Pirate Attacks

A Motoryacht is also known as a power vessel. It is used primarily for pleasure cruising and has amenities that guests can use overnight.

Cruising on a yacht is quite a luxury. Although movies romanticize pirates, and it all seems like fiction pirates do exist. In real life, a pirate attack can be quite traumatic.

When pirates attack a yacht, they rob guests of their money and passports, and often they have guns. Piracy rates have increased dramatically, so before you set off on a cruise, you need to ensure that the area you are visiting is safe. Ensure that you also have security.

Since piracy is on the rise nowadays, new amenities and technology are being added to yachts to ensure guests’ safety and comfort on board. The shipping industry continues its fight against piracy.

Yacht owners are spending millions to set up military-style technology on their yachts, and they train their crew on how to avoid conflicts. The security on vessels ensures that the guests, assets, and staff are well protected.

Most yachts are now equipped with some of the best non-lethal weapons, hidden armed panic rooms, and secret escape pods for the utmost safety. Listed below are ways to protect your yacht or catamaran against pirate attacks.

1. Citadel Armored Escape Room and Escape Pods

The concept of hidden citadel rooms is gaining popularity and being incorporated in both new and existing superyachts these days. They are fully equipped with their water, ventilation systems, communications, and food supplies.

In case of a pirate attack, people on board can get into the hidden citadel room and stay put until help arrives. The advantage is that the room has the amenities mentioned above while ensuring that everyone is safe.

As a yacht owner, you can have a sense of peace knowing that everyone aboard your yacht will be safe and protected in case of an unforeseen pirate attack. Ensure that this room is only used during an emergency.

A citadel escape room can only be installed in a yacht that is 60m in size and above since it requires a lot of space. You should note that you are more likely to be a target if you have a large vessel compared to a regular-sized yacht.

Some developers are in the process of attempting to create emergency escape life pods. The pods feature high impact resistance with a global positioning system, temperature control, air purification, fire barrier control, and watertight.

2. Anti Drone Protection

It is essential to have anti-drone protection because it identifies and detects drones up to 20km plus within your range. It also provides the drone’s speed, where it is heading, and the GPS position of both the pilot and the drone.

If the drone spotted is established as a threat to your yacht, the anti-drone protection system will enable a 500m plus electronic zone to be created around the yacht. This zone is an exclusion zone, which means if the drone approaches the exclusion zone, its video or control signal will be blocked by it.

Once it is blocked, it will be forced to go back to its operator, or it will have to land. There are various anti-drone protection systems in the market that you can choose from depending on your needs. Some offer features such as capturing and recovering rogue drones while they are intact and with their payload safe.

It is essential to have an anti-drone protection system since you can prevent pirates from spying on your yacht, which helps prevent your crew and guests aboard from getting attacked. The use of drones for spying purposes has been on the rise since anyone can buy and learn to operate a drone.

While shinning a bright light at a drone to prevent it from getting any footage is also a solution that could work, you may not always be aware of drones capturing footage from your yacht. Understand the system so you can tell when you are being attacked and how to retaliate.

Pirates can use drones to deploy explosives or poisonous gases, so you need to ensure that you can defend yourself against such an attack. With a unique system, you will be able to identify a threat in good time. Therefore, ensure you get a protection system that will best protect your crew and guests from any danger.

3. Underwater Sonar Detection Systems

Underwater sonar detection systems can detect, identify, and track divers or any underwater vehicles that could be approaching your yacht. It does not matter which direction they are coming from.

Once they are detected, the security personnel will be alerted of the imposing threat. Underwater detection systems can identify any impending targets or threats for up to 1200 meters range.

An example of an underwater sonar detection system is the sonardyne sentinel. It is lightweight and small. It can quickly deploy off a boat, install in a fix, or port along a coastline. This gives your yacht an underwater security shield instantly. There are various underwater sonar detection systems, but some can only be used by the Navy.

Underwater sonar detection systems also give out the position, distance, and type of underwater threat that they detect in real-time. It is essential to know the intruder’s position because it is easier to deploy the right security measures.

You could either emit acoustic signals or send a boat to the position the diver is located. An element can be incorporated into the system to send a message to the diver, letting them know they have been detected.

You could either send this message in real-time or pre-record it. However, note that underwater detection can be complex and complicated as it is affected by an environment. For instance, sonar surveillance tends to be more complicated in warm waters.

If you find the right underwater sonar detection system, it will offer you a comprehensive detection system even in warm waters. Ensure you consult with an expert so they can help you pick the best underwater sonar detection system.

4. Long Range Acoustic Device

Long range acoustic device (LRAD), also known as sound cannons, is a non-lethal anti-piracy device. It drives away any intruders by using pain-inducing sound beams. An LRAD is a sonic weapon that produces a high-pitched noise that is higher than the average tolerance level of a human being.

Initially, LRADs were only used in cruise and cargo ships. However, they are now being incorporated into yachts to ensure that any intruders are kept at bay.

There are various models to choose from, and they can be heard for up to a distance of 5km. An LRAD also allows your vessel to warn, notify and hail to any approaching ships at closer ranges with either a pre-recorded or clear voice message in any language you choose.

It ensures that the voice command messages are understood and heard unmistakably by approaching vessels that may not have responded to the radio call. This helps in creating a large standoff zone around your yacht. LRADs can inflict severe permanent harm such as tinnitus, hearing loss, barotrauma, and vestibular dysfunction.

5. Dazzle Gun

A dazzle gun is a laser weapon. It uses green light to temporarily blind and disorients pirates. Its concentrated green light blast can be used both during the day and at night. GLARE HELIOS is a non-lethal visual disruption laser or dazzler that the FDA has approval.

It can be used by both maritime and yachts. It can be used in various configurations such as rail-mounted, integrated into non-lethal systems like remote station operation, and being hand-held.

When an individual approaches the restricted area, the laser will hail to give off a warning to them before shots start getting fired.

A dazzle gun also has a red dot laser that can be used at night and in broad daylight. To ensure that the beam is eye-safe at any distance, it uses the following technologies:

  • Near field detection, which shuts off the laser emission if a person is too close to the laser output.
  • An infrared laser rangefinder determines the distance to a person, and the closer they are, the lower the laser output.
  • A motion detector that shuts the laser off if there is sudden movement and will turn it on when stability has been regained, and the accurate distance between the person has been re-established.

6. Cloaking System

If you are a first-time yacht owner, you may need to consider getting a cloaking system to protect your assets, crew, and guests from a pirate attack. A cloaking system is essentially designed to offer protection during a limited time, from when the alarm is activated to the time the response team arrives on the scene.

When the alarm goes off, the cloak emits a mist that will confuse the intruders or pirates, forcing them to retreat until help comes in.

The smoke is organic and is created using a special glycol solution, which reduces visibility to less than one foot. A cloaking system can also allow the guests onboard to safely get into an escape room if a yacht has one while the pirates are confused by the emitted smoke.

This way, if the help does not arrive soon, the pirates will not harm anyone on board, since they will be safely hidden in a citadel.

7. Robots for Surveillance

Technology has brought about the creation of a throw-able micro-robot known as a throwbot. A throwbot has a microphone fitted to it to ensure it records audio, and it also has a color camera that captures imagery at 30fps. Therefore, it allows the yacht operators to get instant audio and video footage both outdoor and indoor.

A throwbot is appropriate to use in anti-pirate operations since it is quite helpful. It can be deployed to board a ship then send footage back since it is remote controlled. It has infrared illuminators that help it see in darkness, so low light will not be a problem.

It can also locate objects, whether they are injured or armed, and reveal a room’s layout. It can also allow the operator to see around corners.

The video and audio of a throwbot can be transmitted up to 45m distance through the door, windows, and walls to reach the operator control unit. It is dust and water-resistant and can crawl over various terrains.

Depending on your need and requirements, you can integrate a throwbot with a range of equipment. Several builders have also developed robotic skiffs, which are used to send out distress calls. This is often a strategy used by pirates to bait their target.

If you are a new yacht owner, it will help if you attended safety seminars and consulted with experts in yacht security. You do not have to employ all the listed security measures. Only use those that make sense to your yacht’s size and the routes you plan on cruising.

You must do proper research before setting out on a cruise to ensure that your chosen route is safe. Ensure that you also work with professional and experienced crew members whenever you are going on a long cruise.

You could get bodyguards if you deem it necessary to increase the security on your yacht. Ensure that everyone is walked through the security measures and precautions to take when you set out on a cruise. Walking everyone through steps to follow in case of an attack ensures that they are well prepared and know what protocol to follow.

It is essential to protect your yacht because you will be protecting everyone aboard, and you will also be protecting your asset. There are various other security measures you can employ to ensure your yacht is protected against pirate attacks.

As mentioned earlier, get in touch with a security expert so they can guide you on what the best security measures are and which ones will best suit your yacht. Make sure that the security measures you employ are legal.

What Is A Boat With 2 Masts Called?

Sailboats have held and air of mystique and romance ever since the early explores sailed the globe.

However, the early trade ships were somewhat restricted in their ability to sail into, or against, the wind. As a result, the ships that discovered the new world were slaves to the directions the trade winds were blowing.

Today, thanks to advances in hull design, sail orientation and mast placement, there are numerous sailboat designs that use multiple sail configurations that can travel around the world in any direction at any time of year.

Over the years the types of sailboats have been reduced to a few well-performing designs. These designs are divided into the two main classifications of one-masted boats and those with two or more masts with each mast being capable of supporting one or more sails.

The sloop is the most common type of sailboat and has just one mast, placed roughly at midship, with up to three headsails attached to the mast by guy lines. Boats with 2 masts or more are the ketch, yawl, brigantine, brig and the schooner, with the schooners having two, three, or in rare cases, four masts.


Many sailors like the ketch-rigged design for its off-shore performance, comfort and overall balance. This design has a main and mizzen sail, with the mainsail set in approximately the same position as on a sloop, The mizzen is a smaller mast sail set towards the rear of the boat.

The concept behind the two-sail setup on the ketch-rigged sailboat is that it provides two smaller sails that provide more overall sail area than the single sail design.

In theory the smaller sails are easier to work with in heavy off-shore winds, making the boat much easier to sail in storms. Because of the smaller and easier-to-handle sails, the design is a good choice for long distance short-handed sailing.

The mizzen sail also acts as sort of a “rudder” in helping to keep the boat sailing in the proper direction because of the downward force the mizzen applies to the rear of the boat.

Comfort is another strong selling point of this design. Whereas most sailboats are designed with the cockpit at the stern of the boat, this sailboat has a center cockpit design to allow for the placement of the mizzen sail aft.

Having the cockpit in the middle of the boat allows for more headroom below deck at the rear of the boat and a larger aft cabin. Additionally, unlike an aft cockpit that usually has the rear open to the ocean, a center cockpit is fully enclosed. This offers protection from the elements while at sea and makes for a much nicer sitting area.

The ketch-rigged sailboat is a time-proven rig that has made untold circumnavigations of the globe. For sailors who like the two-mast design, this sailboat is a hard choice to beat.


The yawl is also equipped with a main and a mizzen mast. However, a yawl typically has a smaller mizzen with the mast set aft of the rudder post.

There are as many arguments about whether the yawl is a practical off-shore design as there are species of fish in the ocean. While there are some that site the sail plan of the yawl as more aesthetic than functional, there are many long-time professional sailors who swear by the yawl design.

In theory, at least, the rear mast works as a rudder similarly to the ketch-rigged sailboat. The arguments typically start over the size and placement of the mizzen mast.

Some claim that placing the mizzen further back aids in helping to steer the boat. The other side of the argument is the reduced sail size makes it less efficient.

There is also the point that some sailors feel the mizzen being placed further back aids in heaving, or changing direction, and helps with steadying the boat at anchor.

Still, most sailors familiar with both the ketch and yawl say that the mizzen on the yawl is not a match for that of the ketch-rigged sailboat.

Brigantine and the Brig

Of similar, but not identical design, the brigantine and brig fall into the category of “clipper” or merchant ships.

Both are two-masted boats with the brigantine having square sails on the foremost mast and gaff sails on the mainmast. Here note that the smaller foremast is set forward of mast for the main sail.

Gaff sails are a four-cornered sail design attached to horizontal pole that hangs from the mast. Because of the smaller design, gaffs sails are more easily handled. In contrast, the brig uses square sails on both masts.

Both ships handle both coastal waters and ocean crossings as the square sails are well suited for sailing the trade wind routes.


A schooner is another boat with 2 masts, but can also have more. Like the brig and brigantine, a two-masted schooner has a foremast and an aft mast, the latter essentially being the mainmast.

The main characteristic of the schooner is the masts are almost the same size, with the foremost mast sometimes being slightly shorter. The schooner is equipped with gaff sails on all masts, making it better equipped to handle strong seas.

This makes the schooner very versatile and well suited to crossing the ocean on the trade-wind routes as well as sailing coastal waters with varying wind directions.

Closing Thoughts

Because of the versatile design, many pleasure sailboats during the 19th century were schooner-rigged.

While a square topsail is the most common schooner sail plan, some have sprit rigged topsails that run diagonally across the mast. However, sprit rigging is inefficient in adverse weather as the sails are not easily lowered.

Conversely, sprit rigging excels in coastal waters where the sails can more readily catch the light winds that tend to blow higher up.

While a schooner is easy to sail, can handle various wind and water conditions and is probably the most magnificent sight on the sea under full sail, the draw back of the schooner is it is definitely not the fastest sailboat design.

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