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  #31  
Old 09-13-2012
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Re: My pet fear

I got directly struck last May, while my boat was at its dock. Witnesses said a 20 ft. diameter explosion occurred at the top of my mast. Needless to say, much of my electronics was fried, but many were unaffected. When we hauled the boat to check the hull, it appeared that the strike grounded through the steel keel. Hurray for inexpensive construction! I can only assume that is what saved me from major damage.
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  #32  
Old 09-16-2012
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Re: My pet fear

I sail out of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, FL. I went out a couple of weeks ago & saw a nasty thunderstorm forming over land & decided to go in only after sailing for a little bit. As I was entering the inlet the storm moved North instead of over the ocean. I don't know where in FL you are but in Fort Lauderdale during summer their is a constant fight between the Land breeze and Sea breeze. The Sea breeze usually prevails. Thunderstorms form over the Everglades @ 3 o'clock like clock work but don't seem to make it over the ocean do to the prevailing Sea breeze. On the other hand if they form over the sea they will almost always head over land. If you can hear the thunder then you have a chance of being struck even if its sunny out and the storm is miles away.
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  #33  
Old 09-16-2012
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Re: My pet fear

"during summer their is a constant fight between the Land breeze and Sea breeze. "
Not really. You are confusing the terms. The "land breeze" and "sea breeze" are generated by the land and water heating/cooling at different rates when the sun rises and sets. Those terms don't just refer to the direction of the wind, but to the direction and the specific phenomena causing them. There's a good explanation in the wiki:

These two breezes may or may not be masked by larger weather systems, but the land breeze and sea breeze can never "fight" each other since they are each produced in the same location, by the same thermal shift, and never present at the same time.

Florida being a large flatland sticking out into two oceans has its own problems with being walked over by conflicting weather systems, so one can expect local weather to be wiped out by larger fronts steamrolling through.
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Old 09-16-2012
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Re: My pet fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"during summer their is a constant fight between the Land breeze and Sea breeze. "
Not really. You are confusing the terms. The "land breeze" and "sea breeze" are generated by the land and water heating/cooling at different rates when the sun rises and sets. Those terms don't just refer to the direction of the wind, but to the direction and the specific phenomena causing them. There's a good explanation in the wiki:
Sea breeze - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

These two breezes may or may not be masked by larger weather systems, but the land breeze and sea breeze can never "fight" each other since they are each produced in the same location, by the same thermal shift, and never present at the same time.

Florida being a large flatland sticking out into two oceans has its own problems with being walked over by conflicting weather systems, so one can expect local weather to be wiped out by larger fronts steamrolling through.
Thanks for the clarification, very informative wiki. I'm just going by what I've experienced & must have got the nomenclature mixed up. When I go sailing its generally in a high pressure system w/ winds coming from the East, which is the prevailing wind in my area. These summer storms generally come from the West & usually don't make it far into the ocean & stay over land for the most part. They can change the wind direction though. Its better to be safe than sorry. Lightning saltwater and a 40' lightning rod don't mix very we'll. Sometimes I feel more at risk going in than staying out when I see these storms form.
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Old 09-16-2012
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Re: My pet fear

"Lightning saltwater and a 40' lightning rod don't mix very we'll. Sometimes I feel more at risk going in than"
I confess, I'm happier inside heavy masonry walls, or a basement, when there's a million volts zapping around. And Florida has so few basements to bunker down in!
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: My pet fear

We got side hot by lightening 8 weeks ago sitting on a mooring with over 700 sailboats surrounding us on Back Creek in Annapolis. The boat is grounded to a plate on the bottom of the hull. Lightening struck the wAter tower 200 yards from us, side hit the water, canme up through the prop we beleive and left upward through the mast as the people on the boat next to us were sitting in the cockpit and saw it jump from our mast to theirs. The path was determined by a surveyor and marine elctronics expert after the boat was hauled the following day.

We had been getting ready to go into our dinghy and thought better and went below in the salon turning all electronics off. The lightening melted the Yanmar engine panel, but didnt affect the engine or alternator, The lightening created a large blinding flash and hair standing ozzone smelling in the salon as it traveled though the Blue Sea circut panel apparently trying to find its way off and out of the boat. Cartplotter, depthfinder, wind instrument,windex, shorecharger and the white lights in the LED fixtures were fried ( the red stayed intact and worked). Windex blown up all over the boat. Radar and TV powered antaenna on a stern pole unaffected.

I do not beleive there is anyway to dissapate or redirect a 1 billion volt surge of static electricity. It goes where it waants and affects what it wants. Bonding may be what save us from blowing out through hulls as it gave a path for the elctricity to exit along with the mast so it didnt have to blow a hole in anything to escape

Handhelds and other electronic stuff like cell phones, I pad were not affected and not in the oven. We were certainly not out in the open. The only sure fire way to prevent lightning from hitting you is not to sail. Owning a 55 ft mast or boat on the water has inherent risks.

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  #37  
Old 09-17-2012
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Re: My pet fear

Dave, I don't disbelieve you at all, but I've never heard of a lightning strike grounding (cloud to ground) and then RISING again up out of the ground in any way.

Which would indicate that either these are widely unreported, or there was something more to, or different about, the strike you are describing. Lightning is, in my limited knowledge, always an 'escalator' never an 'elevator'. It only goes one way, whether that's up or down, never both.

Leaving the question of WTF actually happened to slag down your gear and grab the next boat.
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  #38  
Old 09-17-2012
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Angry Re: My pet fear

I was discussing this thread with a friend, and he said his greatest fear was being shot by an irate husband.
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  #39  
Old 09-18-2012
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Re: My pet fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltsn View Post
Some of you might find this interesting to read (this was on the net a while ago for free but the free link is now gone so I scanned my copy)
http://analogengineering.com/lightni...od_study_1.pdf

If you noticed that in the last 10 years or so, lightning rods went from being very sharp (Franklin) to being more rounded, it was because of the research these guys did. There are a bunch of very technical papers by the same phd guys but the one linked to above is somewhat of a summary.

These guys put sharp lightning rods near blunt lightning rods on a mountain top over a bunch of years and while there were 12 strikes to the blunt rods, not a single sharp rod was struck. All of these rods were grounded.

Also interesting that they shot a wire up into the air that induced a lightning strike. This wire was NOT grounded - strike happened when the wire was about its own length above the ground.

It’s always a stretch to make conclusion about what happens on water from what happens on land.. but if I kept a boat in a marina, I think I would put a very sharp tipped rod at the very top of the mast (i.e., a Franklin rod) and would also make sure there was some mechanism to "ground" the mast so that the Corona current mechanism at the tip of the Franklin rod was happening.

Note, Frankin rods work fine as lightning rods, the blunt tip ones just work a little better when they are competing.

I'm not only going to bond my boat, I'm sharpening my mast!


BTW I think I was hit while aboard at my marina. Witness on another dock saw it hit my boat. There was a blinding blue flash in all the windows (both sides) and a huge kaboom. The cat about turned inside-out. It turned on my neighbor's chart-plotter for him and it fried (burned) my shore-power cord and fried the dock receptacle. All my electronics survived. Once I figured out what happened I should have gone out immediately and bought a lottery ticket....

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  #40  
Old 09-18-2012
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Re: My pet fear

I was told to wrap a heavy chain around the base of the mast and drag both ends of the chain in the water. Makes sense to me.
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