Join Date: Jun 2007
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One point that can be made amongst all the confusing and contradictory data regarding lightening strikes, is the important difference between protecting "people" and protecting structure.
Caging works to protect people. No doubt about it. Its why airplanes and cars rarely have injurious strikes. Its why they lay chicken wire into composite aircraft structures that have otherwise lost their caging capability. How practical it is on boats? I don't know.
Back to the confusion for a sec.....I'm not convinced that grounding a boat does anything except offer the electrons an easy path to the ground (water), but offers no guarantee that it will take it, or if it does, that it still won't harm anything. I believe that's been stated several times here, even by those who have disagreed on other aspects.
My question (based on experience in antenna construction for Ham radios also) is will grounding increase the attractiveness of masts to strikes? After all, the argument for their effectiveness is that lightening will "prefer" the simple path to ground. I'm not saying I buy that, but it does seem that given boats are often the tallest (if not only) elevated structure (and aluminum at that) on the water, lightening strikes upon ungrounded boats really seems pretty rare. For some reason, fiberglass floating on water, even with a mast, just seems to not be very attractive. JMO. Good thread.