Join Date: Apr 2006
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You will find many opinions, contradictory "studies", and no one set of rules for how to protect against lightning or mitigate the damage from it. The bottom line is that when a jillion volts decides to come calling, there is NO way to be absolutely certain of what it will do on your boat, no matter how it is rigged. Because it can jump, or induce currents, or create plasma balls, your best bet is to do some serious work on creating a good direct ground path (down the mast and into the water) and then learn that when the gods are bowling, you need to be ashore and indoors. Or, curled in a ball as far away from all metal parts of the boat as you can.
Very few things scare me the way the brute force of lightning does, and that's after reading all the opinions and studies. If you've ever been on a boat and felt your hair standing on end and heard static crackling off your radio antenna...."lightning protection" becomes a very remote concept.