Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombies at Sea

The safest place to be during a zombie apocalypse is at sea. Last summer’s blockbuster hit World War Z proved this by setting the story’s base of operations on a battleship stationed off the coast of the United States. For my Monday Mayhem series, let’s have a look at a few reasons why it would make sense to live on the ocean during the undead’s reign of terror on dry land. Similarly, we can’t ignore the one problem that would exist should someone think about employing such a survival strategy.

Yacht [Photo Credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
Yacht [Photo Credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
Becoming a castaway at sea during the course of a zombie apocalypse would entail many hours of planning and plenty of resources. Much of that planning would involve lists of supplies, access to waterways and the type of boat used for the expedition. Let’s not forget the most important aspect of such a venture—security. How will a survivor defend the ship should a sudden attack take place, by military or otherwise?

First off, what kind of supplies should a potential survivor plan to take with them should a zombie apocalypse take over the world? To answer this question, we’ll have to know what kind of boat will become the home away from home at sea. Will it be a sailboat, motor boat or yacht? As luxurious as the idea of purchasing a yacht is, the cost for a twenty-five to thirty-five footer can go for more than $20,000. That price does not include docking fees and crew. The price for motor yachts jumps dramatically once fuel and mechanical maintenance comes to play. Of course, someone will have the bright idea of stealing a vessel once the apocalypse goes full swing, but we’ll see why that won’t work in the real world.

Yacht [Photo Credit: This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication]
Yacht [Photo Credit: This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication]
After determining the boat we’ll take to sea, we’ll need to head over to the mall for some supplies. From the onset, this is not going to be pretty on the pocketbook. Are you ready? Here we go. Depending how many passengers travel with you, you’ll need paddles and oars in case the motor has a bad day and you’re stuck wondering what to do next. On the list go life vests, boat seats, fishing rods and racks, anchoring equipment, boat lighting, first aid, and pumps in case you hit something and need to get rid of the water flooding the hull. In addition, guns and ammunition will come in handy when defending your floating paradise. That’s why it’s a bad idea for some geniuses to think they can steal a boat from their owners, not knowing if said owners are packing heavy.

This is all very well and fine, but why would it be a good idea to dock in the middle of the ocean during a zombie apocalypse anyway? I can think of several reasons. The big one is zombies can’t swim. Try as they may, they can walk the ocean floor and that’s as far as they’ll get to coming close to your boat. Also, in the ocean there are no zombie viruses to fight since that would constitute someone already being infected with the contagion and spreading it onboard. Easiest way to combat the spread of contamination is to throw the infected off the ship. Problem solved. Lastly, other than storms surprising us in the middle of the night, a certain peace comes with living on the ocean. We can have a good night’s sleep without worrying the undead will have a field day on our bones during our slumber.

As promised, the one big problem facing those choosing the ocean as their refuge is food, or rather the lack thereof. After several months at sea without a grocer in sight for miles, the fresh fruits and vegetables will be gone. More than likely, so will the meat, if the vessel does not feature a freezer in the galley. Dry goods will eventually disappear as well. As much as anyone would enjoy living out at sea, food supplies will dwindle, tempers will flare and someone will want to go back to shore for a fresh supply of avocados.

Surviving at sea during a zombie apocalypse is a great idea, but it comes with its costs and challenges. Knowing what those costs and challenges are will aid with the decision making process. Are we ready?


Have you thought of what it would be like surviving at sea during a zombie apocalypse?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

17 thoughts on “Zombies at Sea

  1. As far as surviving at sea goes it might make a good temp shelter, but you can’t escape the fact you’ll have to go a shore eventually to restock supplies. Also what happens if your ship is damaged by a reef or stuck on a sandbar when you do go a shore? On the East coast of the US hurricanes would be a serious issue. Boats normally need routine maintaince as well, including going to a dry dock. Unless you’re a skilled seaman I think going to sea is a mistake.

  2. Being a TWD fan, I’ve only thought about what you’d need if surviving on land.
    Fleeing out to sea would be temporary situation. Not only are your supplies dwindling but tempers flare causing all sorts of backlash.
    Most likely the sea option would be too costly and lack of communication with any survivors be impossible to overcome in regards to going back to land. Which would be a decided disadvantage to the survivors at sea.

    My opinion…stay on land, hole up, forage and find defensible ground.

  3. Hi Jack
    You know you’re in danger of describing Waterworld, don’t you? $300million and you can have a kick-ass catamaran like Kevin Costner’s – and gills 🙂
    A bit on the tedious side, day in day out on the ocean. I think you’re biggest risk would be the desire to cage fight with sharks after a couple of months!
    Kind regards

  4. I’ve always favoured the ‘survival at sea’ strategy for dealing with a zombie apocalypse, but the more I’ve actually looked into the logistics, the more I begin to realise how difficult it will be, especially for people who are not already experienced sailors. As you pointed out, food and water are going to be issues, but so is the fact that you’re stuck in a confined space with other people who you may, or may not like/get along with. The resulting cabin fever would be just as damaging to your chances of survival as the zombies themselves (the longest I’ve been at sea is only 17 days, and there were people I’d have happily pitched over the side if I’d been out there any longer!). There’s also the issue of piracy, which would most likely be rife under apocalyptic conditions.

    The way I now see, a boat is only a means of getting safely to some uninhabited, out of the way island where you can ride out the apocalypse with enough space to grow some food and get away for a few minutes from anyone who’s getting on your nerves!.

  5. i’m with karen on the island thing. i would use the sea just as plan A to get to plan B. plan A – to escape the immediate danger. plan B – to find an uninhabited, tropical island where there’s the ability to hunt and gather food. hopefully, you’ll have some type of magnifying glass and a mirror, as shown from Beth in last week’s walking dead episode where she used those two pieces to help create a fire. you’ll need the fire to boil salt water so it’s drinkable.

      1. Your welcome and I’ also currently writing a book but instead of the undead , it about burgulary and I hope this book of mines once I finish it with it I could publish it fast ! Fingers crossed !

  6. Charles has got a point: What happens if the zombies run out of food? If they starve – I would stay on board until I find a zombie-free island, stay there a while to recover, get back – hopefully still owning my binoculars – to check if ‘my’ area is zombie-free…

  7. I’ve thought about it and figure fishing would help. I’m not sure how useful seaweed would be in terms of vegetables. Although, how long would fruits and vegetables last in a world where there are no farmers? You’d have to find wild sources during an expedition to the shore. Maybe have a rowboat or an inflatable raft, so you don’t have to worry about a motor or losing the main ship?

    There’s one big question that I’ve always had: what happens to zombies when they run out of food? You always see humans around, but it seems in reality their prey would either escape out of reach or get eaten. And zombies aren’t aware that if you devour your prey faster than they can breed, you run out. So, I’m curious if it’s a matter of waiting it out and then having people go out in flamethrowers to burn the starved bodies.

    1. Hey Charles! I thought about fishing, but how much fish can a person eat? I know in my case, I’ll probably die for something different since me and fish are like oil and water. We don’t mix well, but that’s just me.

      As for the zombies starving? Hmm… never thought of it, really. I suppose they’d moan their way to a slow death. They can survive by eating other animals, yet, they too, fall apart at the seems if they don’t get human as their main course. Of course, I am only thinking out loud, so how true is that? 🙂

      1. Eat what you have to for survival. Maybe pack a lot of sauces. There are fish-based diets out there somewhere. Though I’m like you and not a fan of fish.

        Didn’t the end of Warm Bodies touch on this? I haven’t seen the movie for a while.

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