Thousands of sailors once steered their yachts across the warm Indian Ocean without a second thought, but now they are rerouting, hiring replacement crews, packing their boats aboard cargo ships and contracting armed guards or canceling dream voyages because of the threat of pirates.
With Somali pirates seizing vessels and killing hostages in an area as vast as the continental United States, boatyards, restaurants and other establishments on yachters' routes have seen their business fall, according to an article in The Washington Post.
Somali pirates killed four American yachters last month and kidnapped a Danish family aboard their 43-foot sailboat last week. A South African couple who were taken off their sailboat in October are still being held.
"The latest attacks have certainly changed the game completely," said Paul Gelder, the editor of Yachting Monthly.