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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 05-12-2014
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Re: Concern about lightning strikes

I once attended an SSCA webinar on insurance for boaters. The insurance agent giving the seminar said that (at that time) more catamarans than monos had filed claims for lightning strikes.

My takeaway: stick close to a catamaran during storms with lightning.
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Old 05-12-2014
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Re: Concern about lightning strikes

I don't know about the Catamaran thing.
They do not tell you to stand under a tall tree on a golf course in an electrical storm
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Re: Concern about lightning strikes

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Originally Posted by helmsovr View Post
Sure. You must take every situation into consideration. However, given an aluminum mast with sufficient grounding and cables you should be able to offset your concern of lightening damage.


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I agree with this, the only issue is what gauge wire is needed for a couple hundred million volts at 10 kiloamperes? I imagine the typical "grounding wire" is not anywhere near big enough, I doubt it is even commercially available. Even good jumper cables are only 4 gauge wire, not going to do much but melt. Basicly won't do much more than piss the electrons off! Heck I have seen cheap jumper cables melt when connected incorrectly to car batteries. But if you can find some three inch thick wire you might be good to go.
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Old 05-12-2014
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Re: Concern about lightning strikes

The best strategy for lightning storms is to try to not think about it. There's nothing you can do but hope you don't get hit. I mean, what's really wrong with holding onto a stainless steel wheel attached to a metal pedestal, wired indirectly to a 50' high metal pole reaching up to the sky anyway?
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Re: Concern about lightning strikes

By the way, before the multi-hull contingent gets upset. While the claims comment was said in the seminar, I'm joking about using one as a lightning rod.

Our Naked Lightning dance does just fine.
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Re: Concern about lightning strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
The best strategy for lightning storms is to try to not think about it. There's nothing you can do but hope you don't get hit. I mean, what's really wrong with holding onto a stainless steel wheel attached to a metal pedestal, wired indirectly to a 50' high metal pole reaching up to the sky anyway?
Do sailboats get hit by lightening? Yes. How often? not very.
I'm at a marina with at least 50 sailboats. Almost all are bigger, or a lot bigger, than your trailer sailer. The majority are in the 40-60' mast height range. Been there 20 years and have never seen any boat, power or sail, get hit and I've seen MANY nasty thunderstorms roll over us.
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Re: Concern about lightning strikes

If you are a golfer run a 1 iron up the mast. Not even God can hit a 1 iron.


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