My pet fear - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree18Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-28-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 619
Thanks: 0
Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 4
Frogwatch is on a distinguished road
My pet fear

In another thread, someone was discussing the fear of being knocked down, a fear I have now managed to control. However, my pet fear is thunderstorms. I think my fear is fairly rational considering how nasty they can be here in FL. Even if you know the direction the storm is moving, the direction of the wind is often unpredictable from one minute to the next. Wind speed also changes radically in a very short period of time.
Add to all that, lightning. I am totally convinced that lightning will eventually kill me as I have been nearly hit several times in spite of doing all I can to avoid it. A lone sailboat in a thunderstorm has a fairly good chance of being hit.
Fortunately, you can often avoid them when you can see them coming. Next, they are mostly short lived, an hour would be a very long one.
How do I avoid them? Mostly I don't sail in the summer it is too hot anyway. When I hear thunder, I come in. I won't even go out in my 20' powerboat when I think they are likely except I might go out in the morning when they are less likely. If I cannot avoid one, all the sails come down engine goes on , the anchor is gotten ready, everybody puts on lifejackets no matter what, instruct everyone not to touch rigging, rails, etc.
I'd rather be anchored in a thunderstorm because then I can deploy my lightning ground, a 2' X 2' sheet of copper bolted to a 20' length of 00 guage tinned stranded wire that is then bolted to the mast up high near the boom to avoid much bending of it.
Do I sound paranoid?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 08-28-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 885
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 7
GaryHLucas is on a distinguished road
My pet fear

I like your grounding plan. Now if you could get struck we'd know whether it works or not. of course one data point is not really proof of anything, you may just get lucky, or not. So you need to overcome your fear and sail a lot more often. In the name of science!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 08-28-2012
Irrationally Exuberant
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,296
Thanks: 6
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 7
arf145 is on a distinguished road
Re: My pet fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
However, my pet fear is thunderstorms.... Do I sound paranoid?
Totally. For example, right now I'm sitting out on the Chesapeake with thunderstorms in all directions, lightning stabbing down within a mile of my boat and nothing has happ
__________________
Tom K

2000 Beneteau 331
Northern Chesapeake Bay

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy ~ Steven Wright
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 08-28-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Posts: 1,946
Thanks: 0
Thanked 22 Times in 22 Posts
Rep Power: 4
MarkSF is on a distinguished road
Re: My pet fear

After those recent deaths I did a little research and it seems there is no easy solution when you see a storm coming. However the consensus seemed to be that in the cockpit and on deck were the worst places to be if struck. The best places to be were either on land, or down below sitting in the salon, well away from the mast.

So your plan to head in if there's time to do it seems like a good one.

If there wasn't time to head in, and if I had the sea room I'd heave to with well shortened sail and get below. But that's assuming the boat has an effective lightning ground arrangement installed.
__________________
1984 Bristol 31.1
Alameda, California, USA
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 08-28-2012
BubbleheadMd's Avatar
Chastened
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Edgewater/Annapolis
Posts: 2,631
Thanks: 0
Thanked 43 Times in 41 Posts
Rep Power: 5
BubbleheadMd will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Yahoo to BubbleheadMd
Re: My pet fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by arf145 View Post
Totally. For example, right now I'm sitting out on the Chesapeake with thunderstorms in all directions, lightning stabbing down within a mile of my boat and nothing has happ
Dude, you are ridiculous.
__________________
S/V Old Shoes
1973 Pearson 30 #255
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 08-28-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 1,994
Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 9
PalmettoSailor will become famous soon enough
Re: My pet fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
I'd rather be anchored in a thunderstorm because then I can deploy my lightning ground, a 2' X 2' sheet of copper bolted to a 20' length of 00 guage tinned stranded wire that is then bolted to the mast up high near the boom to avoid much bending of it.
Do I sound paranoid?
Where does the 2x2 sheet of copper go? In the water?

It seems to me you are just creating a path ground which is exactly what lighting is looking for.

My boat is not bonded, and therefore presents a much higher resistance path to ground which minimizes the chance of being struck. Unfortunately, it also likely increases the likelihood of damage to the boat if I am struck.

And yes even though lightning is my biggest boating fear, I think you are being a bit paranoid. On a mid sized cruiser, I don't think you are likely to have injuries even if struck. Damage to the boat, possibly severe, yes, but I believe the mast and rigging will tend to carry the current around and away from the occupants so long as they are not near any rigging.
__________________
PalmettoSailor
s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 08-28-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Posts: 1,946
Thanks: 0
Thanked 22 Times in 22 Posts
Rep Power: 4
MarkSF is on a distinguished road
Re: My pet fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor View Post
Where does the 2x2 sheet of copper go? In the water?

It seems to me you are just creating a path ground which is exactly what lighting is looking for.

My boat is not bonded, and therefore presents a much higher resistance path to ground which minimizes the chance of being struck. Unfortunately, it also likely increases the likelihood of damage to the boat if I am struck.

And yes even though lightning is my biggest boating fear, I think you are being a bit paranoid. On a mid sized cruiser, I don't think you are likely to have injuries even if struck. Damage to the boat, possibly severe, yes, but I believe the mast and rigging will tend to carry the current around and away from the occupants so long as they are not near any rigging.
Rigging is not the only hazard. The wheel is another, the rudder being in the water. The worst case scenario is if you are holding the wheel in one hand, and the rigging in the other, and the lightning grounds through you. That's why you should stay out of the cockpit.
__________________
1984 Bristol 31.1
Alameda, California, USA

Last edited by MarkSF; 08-28-2012 at 05:49 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 08-28-2012
therapy23's Avatar
Back to just the Jon boat
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 906
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 7
therapy23 is on a distinguished road
Re: My pet fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Rigging is not the only hazard. The wheel is another, the rudder being in the water. The worst case scenario is if you are holding the wheel in one hand, and the rigging in the other, and the lightening grounds through you. That's why you should stay out of the cockpit.
You got that right!!

I was holding the wheel when a strike occured close by. Boy does that make you jump. Smarts a bit too!

I say nearby because the flash and bang were simultaneous. The bright flash and concussion was debilitating (so was the shock (and the shock)). But everything electric/electronic was fine.

Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 08-28-2012
Brewgyver's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 299
Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Brewgyver is on a distinguished road
Re: My pet fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Rigging is not the only hazard. The wheel is another, the rudder being in the water. The worst case scenario is if you are holding the wheel in one hand, and the rigging in the other, and the lightening grounds through you. That's why you should stay out of the cockpit.
Another reason for liking my wooden tiller!
knothead likes this.
__________________
s/v My Sweet Girl!
Catalina 30 (Mark I)
Atomic 4
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 08-28-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 580
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 6
NCC320 is on a distinguished road
Re: My pet fear

You are not paranoid. Lightning is something to be afraid of, but unfortunately, when you are caught on the boat, there's not much you can do.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cape Fear 38 goduke Boat Review and Purchase Forum 24 06-21-2008 11:30 AM
The Lessons of Fear Kristin Sandvik Cruising Articles 0 08-28-2003 08:00 PM
The Lessons of Fear Kristin Sandvik Her Sailnet Articles 0 08-28-2003 08:00 PM
Fear of Heeling carol b herSailNet 22 05-15-2003 03:56 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:20 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012