Join Date: Jan 2011
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Re: My pet fear
My physics grad school research was on applications of High Voltage discharges, essentially man-made lightning so I know a bit about it. At 10 million volts, EVERYTHING conducts whether bonded or not. Bonding simply equalizes the potentials to avoid side strikes. An "ungrounded" boat is grounded as far as lightning strikes are concerned, a few mm of fiberglass or wood makes no difference. The entire purpose of a lightning ground is to provide a very easy path to ground so it follows that instead of going through a thru hull or similar
Once did a calculation of the probability of a lone sailboat underneath a thunderstorm getting hit. It is considerably higher than you'd expect. Insurance statistics in FL seem to verify my calculation although I forget the actual result.
Lightning does not necessarily go to the highest point around. Instead, once the conducting path gets within a couple hundred feet of earth, THEN it finds the easiest path, normally the highest point within a few hundred foot radius. This is why lightning often strikes the water instead of your boat, you just happen to not be within that few hundred foot radius where it will strike.
I am a doubtful agnostic on whether or not lightning dissipators work.