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post #2 of Old 03-27-2002
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Several years ago I had a similar situation on a Hunt 17 swing keel with outboard. The boat was on a fresh water lake near Ft Worth TX so the lightning issue was major. I ran 1" wide copper as my ground buss for radio, house lights, etc. I kept the buss isolated from everything not using house batteries. Two lengths of 15'' chain (with a large battery type clip at one end) was modified with a piece of #4 copper wire. The copper wire ran nearly the entire length, was soldered to the chain at 1'' intervals and trimmed to make a fine point at the end. I would attach the clips to the shrouds on each side and drop the chains in the water as a storm approached. When possible I would try to get the chains on the bottom (in the mud). Never had a direct strike and never fried any electronics in five years of that kind of sailing. My current boat is setup the way Mr. Casey suggests, however this boat has an auxilary engine, deep fixed keel, galvanic isolator and is in salt water. Hope this helps. Greg
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