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post #16 of Old 10-23-2013
Maine Sail
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Re: Lightning protection- precision 18

Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Very good info. Maine Sail. It kind of supports the old idea of attaching jumper cables to the shrouds and dangling the other end in the water during a lightning storm. The way I understand the theory is that you want to make the boat "look" the same to lightning as the surrounding sea by equalizing the potential of water and rigging. Having well bonded metal objects like rails and chainplates, attached to a ground plate makes sense. Thanks for posting your experience with this.
Not at all. The point of adequate grounding is to attempt to take the brunt of the strike directly to Earth & not allow it to divert off path and go through your hull... With well bonded boats I simply see less of this:

This does not at all mean the strike won't damage your boat, but it can help to minimize hull-sinking damage..There are no absolutes in lightning strikes all we can do is to attempt to minimize damage and the best way I know is to bond your spar/stays to external lead or an external copper lightning grounding system.

When our boat was hit the lightning exited at the dead bottom of the keel and nowhere else. I know some "lightning experts" say this can't happen but it does.... Our hull was 100% perfect but all electronics were toasted.

Our spar is grounded to the longest J bolt in the keel (our keel has the bolts installed at varying depths with the deepest right under the spar. It is bonded with 2/0 wire.

If you have internal ballast then an option like this can be a good choice if you can keep the wire bends minimal.

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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