Loved your most technical and informative response, I quote you as saying "A strike will be proportionate to the attraction of the mast and the negativity of the stormcloud. The strike needs a route from the masthead to saltwater in the shortest path with the least resistance."
SOUNDS GREAT IN THEORY... however the unexpected can also happen. We were struck by lightning on the stern of our boat while anchored out. We were sitting in the cockpit at the time (no, I wasn''t holding a mast in my hands)... when it struck I dove down the open companionway just as my husband grabbed me by the strap of my bra... to keep me from falling on my head! We laugh about it now... and I think he actually wasn''t trying to help ME as much as he was trying to get me out of HIS WAY to safety! BOTTOM LINE: Be prepared for anything, it can and will happen. Sometime, somewhere. We weren''t injured and the boat was fine... but I''ll never forget that sound and the light show on our stern, it was something like right out of the Twilight Zone!