Lightning ground cable - to where? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-16-2012 Thread Starter
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Lightning ground cable - to where?

We are installing an AC unit and there is a lightning ground cable going from the mast to the engine .
It needs to be moved over and so of course needs to be replaced because moving it makes it too short to reah the engine if we move it.
I was told that the engine is not the place to ground for lightning. That a lightning strike on the mast would go through the cable as designed and then possibly damage the engine.
On our old Perkins that is where the ligtning ground cable went is to the Perkins. Now that was in 1978 and things have changed, not the lightning but the way some things are done. We have since repowered and left the lightning ground attached to the new engine.
I however was thinking that if the lightning ground were to go to say a through hull it could blow the through hull out of the boat leaving a gaping hole. It would be preferable not to have the lightning and then to have a damaged engine rather than a gaping hole in the boat.
What is the thoughts on this please, there must be better ideas?
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-17-2012
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Re: Lightning ground cable - to where?


Here is what Stan Honey has to say about lightning grounding from this article: Grounding
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-17-2012
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Re: Lightning ground cable - to where?


you may want to research lightning protection, as much of what mr. honey presents is no longer in vogue, especially the idea of running more cable from the keel back UP to the chain plates...

His comment on static dissipator is dead on. Not so much with ground plates of a square foot or are setting up for a hull breach, should you take a direct hit. The same for using a through hull or anode

Many feel that short of a complete engineered faraday cage, you are better off doing nothing.

Your boat, your call. Best of luck.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-17-2012
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Re: Lightning ground cable - to where?

I have a 6ish by 9ish grounding plate on the hull. Its interesting that it has no electrolysis protection, which must mean it is isolated from any return electrical trip. However, with all the wires running down the mast, I find it hard to believe. Interesting.

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