Lightning protection on 1991 Hunter 30 - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2007
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Lightning protection on 1991 Hunter 30

Does anyone know if Hunter installed any type of lightning protection on 1991 Hunter 30"s?
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Old 02-05-2007
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It depends... I doubt it... it isn't installed as a default feature on most boats...

An easy way to figure out if it has been or not is to look for a heavy copper grounding cable, #4 or heavier, running down from the mast to the keelbolts or so... If your boat has an encapsulated keel, rather than an external keel, there would also be a copper or bronze plate below the waterline.
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Old 02-05-2007
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Windswept,

I seriously, seriously doubt it. Very few production boats run LP... and you will find many customs that do not either. It may have been added later by a previous owner if it is there.

Are you considering grounding your boat?
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Current theory is that boats that are grounded get hit more often than boats that are not grounded. However, it seems that boats that are grounded suffer less damage when hit than do boats that are ungrounded.

So, it really depends on what your risk tolerance is... are you willing to risk getting hit more often, which is still relatively rare, and suffer a less catastrophic strike, or willing to risk a more catastrophic strike with a lower chance of getting hit to begin with.

Generally, even on a well-grounded boat, the electronics are toast if you're hit.
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You don't have to get hit for the electronics to get toasted.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
You don't have to get hit for the electronics to get toasted.
True...but on even on a boat that has a fully-bonded lightning grounding system, the electronics are generally toast in the case of a lightning strike. Some people mistake a lightning protection system for a system to protect the boat from the effects of a lightning strike, which it will not do. What it will do is minimize the effects of a lightning strike and help protect the passengers of the boat in such a case... but does almost nothing at all to help protect the electronics on the boat.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
Windswept,

I seriously, seriously doubt it. Very few production boats run LP... and you will find many customs that do not either. It may have been added later by a previous owner if it is there.

Are you considering grounding your boat?
Not sure about grounding the boat, we experienced a severe electrical storm last summer while sleeping on the boat in a marina........family didn't want to stay on the boat for fear of being hit so I am looking into lightning protection before we start the new sailing season (we have a bit of time yet, it's -8 to day)
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On my old 1982 Hunter 33 there was a a heavy ground wire attached to the compression Post to the keel bolts. The mast cradle was thru bolted to the the compression post. One of the features of the hunter line is that the keels are cast lead and not encapsulated so this might in fact work. Given the shortest distance theory I tend to agree with SD that providing a path may increase risk. Best bet is to be next to a 40' boat with a mast taller than yours.

Dave
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Windswept,

Grounding your boat is more than just running a #4 to the keel. It is VERY involved and detailed and a half-ass job IS MORE dangerous than not doing it at all. You can ground to the keel, but the current "Theory (to point this back to our glbal warming thread)" is not using the keel as a ground point but a special gound strip (and for God's sake, not your bronze ground plate for your SSB).

Here is an OK write-up for grounding. I have a print off that is better, but will need to find it if you are interested. It is very nicely detailed. Both of these are proponents of grounding your boat, and as a note, the second is just a scientist and is not selling anything. However, even reading Nigel Calder's Bible, he is a huge advocate of grounding and seems to portray (as they all do) that grounding DECREASES your chances of getting hit. For me, I do not see how that is possible... but am grounding anyways.

http://www.marinelightning.com/

This is a good way to get you started. It is a very detailed subect. I don't know where you are based out of, but I lived (and am about to live again) in SW Florida which is the lightning capial of this hemisphere... and ever day we weathered a strom and never got popped. Boats around us were not as lucky.

Take care.

- CD
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Grounding

As usual there are a number of prior threads on this subject. Here's one: lightning. My post in that thread has this link http://www.kastenmarine.com/Lightning.htm which is required reading on this subject.

As I recall all the material, you want to have your mast gounded, and that will provide primary protection to the people on the boat and to the intergrity of the hull, in the case of a lightning strike. If your boat doesn't have one, which I would find surprising even on a low budget production builder, then you should install such as described in SD's first post above.

I make a distinction between grounding the mast and a full protection system that bonds all metal parts to ground. The first is essential and should be universally provided, the second is less common and expensive, and in my personal opinion, the retrofit cost not worth the benefit.

Last edited by sailingfool; 02-05-2007 at 11:59 AM.
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