Nick Berry, president of a data mining company in Seattle, goes into some considerable detail here about the best way to increase your chances of winning in the old game "Battleship." Berry's blog entry is pretty complex, but a lighter-math version of it can be found at this Slate article.
The boiled-down version is this: Rather than call out random points ("B-4!"), simply start by picking every other point on a row until you make a hit. If I remember right, I used to try crossing the board with two diagonal lines to narrow the potential ship locations.
Another, more complicated strategy assesses the probability of certain ships in certain areas of the board, as those probabilities are more and more constrained by each move.
Berry does not offer a sure-fire strategy for not winning the game, but Universal Studios may be consulted for advice on how to make a Battleship loser.