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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2012
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Re: sailing in a thunderstorm

Recently, we completed the channel crossing from Catalina to Avalon. There came up to 20% chances of thunderstorms in L.A. and San Diego, but none forecast for Orange County. I heard a couple distant thunderclaps and the last 1/4 of the way, we got a bit of sprinkles from the leading edge of the hurricane Fabio in Mexico and some good wind as well, but not too much, whew! Still getting used to the boat.

BTW, regarding sailing in heavy stuff all around the world, I talked to a sailor once (a very, very experienced sailor and long time captain) who lost steering with the rudder stuck to one side in a major storm sailing with up to 50 ft. waves. Captain Voyle asked me, "what would you do?" It took me about a week, but I think I've figured it out and will ask him in person when we soon meet again, in Avalon. In the meantime, think about it, what would you do?

So, there are myriad considerations in sailing, which keeps things interesting.

Last edited by Mark S.; 07-22-2012 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 07-22-2012
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Re: sailing in a thunderstorm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
BTW, regarding sailing in heavy stuff all around the world, I talked to a sailor once (a very, very experienced sailor and long time captain) who lost steering with the rudder stuck to one side in a major storm sailing with up to 50 ft. waves. Captain Voyle asked me, "what would you do?" It took me about a week, but I think I've figured it out and will ask him in person when we soon meet again, in Avalon. In the meantime, think about it, what would you do?
Heave to on the tack that the rudder was jammed on?
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Old 07-22-2012
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Re: sailing in a thunderstorm

The only certain thing about lightning strikes is that there is no certainty as to what it will and will not destroy.

I've seen lightning bubble and crack a nonconductive fiberglass radome on a business jet, but the aircraft was not otherwise damaged.

A few years back, my parents had a lightning strike hit a tree about 200 feet from their house. Running near the tree was a wire for an underground dog fence, running to the transmitter in the shed about 300 feet away from the house. The buried fence wire was destroyed, all that was left was a few scraps of charred insulation with a green powder. The fence transmitter was not visibly damaged but no longer working. The current traveled through the wiring from the shed to the house, and destroyed a microwave and an alarm clock. Computers, TVs, everything else was fine.
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Re: sailing in a thunderstorm

Some years ago a boat racing on our inland lake was hit by lightning. Being a trailer-sailer you would think it would go through the swing keel. Instead, it came down the shrouds and entered the water at the waterline. It looked like someone had taken a .45 caliber pistol and walked around the stripe shooting holes in the boat. When I asked the skipper what he had learned, he said that he would not go out again if there was a thunderstorm in Outer Mongolia.
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Re: sailing in a thunderstorm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denr View Post
Read all about lightning strikes at Page not found
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Error

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Old 07-23-2012
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Re: sailing in a thunderstorm

Lightning has never hit my boat but it hit one of the pilings on my pier once. The top half of the piling was completely turned to splinters that were blown outwards and driven into the surrounding pilings about a half inch.

The weird thing is my neighbor's sailboat with a 50' aluminum mast grounded to the water was docked directly across the creek. I would have though it would have hit his mast or the tall trees on either side of the bank before hitting my pier.
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Old 07-23-2012
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Re: sailing in a thunderstorm

A. Never get underway during or when a thunderstorm is near by.

B. When offshore and you are caught in a thunderstorm; you shorten sail and learn to live with it. Or; It's to late to worry about it.
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Old 07-23-2012
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Re: sailing in a thunderstorm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denr
Read all about lightning strikes at Page not found

Link is no good. Message received was:

Error

This page no longer exists.
May be because that was posted a decade ago.

Here are a few recources:

Lightning Examined

Lightning Strike!

Lightning Attenuation Onboard
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