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  #31  
Old 02-10-2013
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Re: In regards to Lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post


Uhhh, bonding in itself has virtually nothing to do with 'preventing' or decreasing the likelihood of a strike...
Geeze jon, I think I am past that point. I obviously know what bonding is for.

Maybe i wasnt clear enough ...(grin)

I have it ( bonding) and in fact I believe it is what allowed the lightning strike to travel into our boat and into the engine as well as the elctrical panel. That was the diagnosis of 2 experts, one insurance and the other a certified marine elctrician which none of us are.
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  #32  
Old 02-10-2013
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Re: In regards to Lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
I generally don't take too much direction from the dictates of insurance companies... If I did, for example, I'd never head south from Norfolk before November 1...
That statement doesnt apply and certainly doesnt mean everything they say is wrong. If we decided not to follow a directive or recommendatuion from anyone who we thought was wrong or made a mistake wed not even follow what you say.

If their was a preventative way to decrease lightning striking a boat, the insurance companies would be all over it. They will do anything to save money and make more money for their company. Thas just common sense not a hypothesis.
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  #33  
Old 02-10-2013
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Re: In regards to Lightning

Back in the 80's I was working as a computer service engineer. This was back in the days when a simple basic computer cost $5000. One of the contracts our company had was for a commercial real-estate company. They had computer rooms full of computers and used them to keep a data base of real-estate listings in.

A storm had came through the area with very frequent lightening strikes. One bolt hit a tree across the street from the real-estate building. Agents watched a ball of lightening come off the tree and go through the closed window and into the side of one of the computers. It jumper from one computer to another until it passed through all 10 in the room. After that the now smaller ball exited and bounced down the hall and out the window at the end of hall.

Out of the 10 computer systems to be hit only half were damaged and none of the dozen or so people in the room were hurt. Also the damage done was a crazy mix of things.

I have been in the electronics service business for over 30 yrs. I have seen dozens and dozens of electronics damaged by lightening and I'd have to say none of the devices sold as protection can really help. There are a few that can help protect from power surges that come from the power supplied to the building or your boat. Say you are docked in a area with power that varies from 100 volts up to 150 volts. A good battery backup system can help level out the input voltage.

Another note about surge protectors, although they may or may not protect you from lightening damage, many of them are better built. Look for solid construction and a built in resettable breaker with a heavy cord.
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  #34  
Old 02-10-2013
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Re: In regards to Lightning

I am as superstitious as all of you as my boat is bonded and has and had a dissapator. The bonding is to give it as many oppertunities to find a way out of the boat as possible as Maine sail said.

My point is it was useless in my lightning strike or it didnt work. Thats the point. After seeing 10 boats around me with all sorts of systems, dissapators, air terminals etc get struck and damaged by one bolt. It causes me to question its prevention. I am not leaving it up to chance at all as some of you have said. There is no gaurentee by any of these companies with their methods. They all admit that and none of them has any empirical data to back it up.

So if you chose to take thier leap of faith go for it. Its your money. I have wasted my money on plenty of things in life which didnt work as advertised. When someone says they are not sure if it works it doesnt give me a whole lot of sense of security it will, bu thats just hardheaded me.

My examples are are real life and personal ones with real life results vs hypothesis, theory, or personal opinions. One bolt...ten boats struck...some by water....some by mast to mast... all damaged to varying degrees....all bonded...some with dissapators....some with air terminals with invincability cones....none avoided being hit. Just the personal experience of one SN.

TDW...same thing maybe.....Mainesail...struck also... bonding may help direct....Maine/ TDW did you have an air terminal or dissapator?
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Last edited by chef2sail; 02-11-2013 at 12:02 AM.
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  #35  
Old 02-10-2013
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Re: In regards to Lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
If their was a preventative way to decrease lightning striking a boat, the insurance companies would be all over it.
But... but... but... there is no way to "prevent" lightning strikes. The best that can be done is to try to reduce the potential damage in the event of a lightning strike.

What I find interesting in your situation, is that the lightning struck tower a 100 yards away, and then traveled through the water, entering your boat, proceeded up your mast, and hopped to the neighboring mast. Makes for a curious electromag fields theory problem.

Importantly, it gives rise to the question, how does one protect their boat in that sort of scenario? After all, the papers I've read, thus far, seem to only account for direct lightning strikes as opposed to your situation.
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  #36  
Old 02-10-2013
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Re: In regards to Lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Geeze jon, I think I am past that point. I obviously know what bonding is for.

Maybe i wasnt clear enough ...(grin)

I have it ( bonding) and in fact I believe it is what allowed the lightning strike to travel into our boat and into the engine as well as the elctrical panel. That was the diagnosis of 2 experts, one insurance and the other a certified marine elctrician which none of us are.
If it came in though the ground, it often does, then bonded or not it makes little difference. Your prop shaft or "ships ground", is connected to the engine, engine is connected to ships neg DC bus. Negative DC bus connected to DC panel, VHF, Anchor light, electronics etc. etc..... I have worked on boats where it came in though the ground one of them was not bonded for either corrosion or lightning... Also seen just as many boats with fuzzy bottle brushes hit as boats without...In my experience strikes that come in though the ground side often destroy nearly all the electronics. My assumption is that there is no "switching" in the neg leg thus the current goes straight in the back door of the equipment.. On boats that take a mast hit sometimes some devices are skipped right over and still work after the strike where others are blown to smithereens..

And BTW I am a "certified marine electrician"....

BTW IIRC the customers policy was held by Marsh.
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  #37  
Old 02-11-2013
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Re: In regards to Lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
If it came in though the ground, it often does, then bonded or not it makes little difference. Your prop shaft or "ships ground", is connected to the engine, engine is connected to ships neg DC bus. Negative DC bus connected to DC panel, VHF, Anchor light, electronics etc. etc..... I have worked on boats where it came in though the ground one of them was not bonded for either corrosion or lightning... Also seen just as many boats with fuzzy bottle brushes hit as boats without...In my experience strikes that come in though the ground side often destroy nearly all the electronics. My assumption is that there is no "switching" in the neg leg thus the current goes straight in the back door of the equipment.. On boats that take a mast hit sometimes some devices are skipped right over and still work after the strike where others are blown to smithereens..

And BTW I am a "certified marine electrician"....

BTW IIRC the customers policy was held by Marsh.
Thanks. What you said is exactly what happened to us. It did come in the back door so to speak, which I here is very common in side swipe type of lightning. That makes sense.

We did lose virtually all our electrontics, charger, lights almost evrything which was opanel connected. Didnt affect pumps or the engine, but it fused the Yanmar Panel. A few LED lights the reds worked but not the whites. Didnt affect the refrigeration which I had turned off also. Didnt affect handhelds.

The flash ball in the salon was pretty scary. It was a humbling experience as we were sitting on the setee watching thes storm through the companionway not touching anything. Funny this was one of the most vicsious lightening storms I have been in and something said to take extra precautions.
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  #38  
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Re: In regards to Lightning

if you really want to see just how crazy high voltages are just watch this video.

This was only 500K volts. Many lightening bolts are 100's more powerful.


And someone wants to try and sell you a little device to protect you...lol
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  #39  
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Re: In regards to Lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by neverknow View Post
And someone wants to try and sell you a little device to protect you...lol
Well, you do have to marvel at the success of some of these Lightning Protection Snake Oil Salesman, those guys are GOOD...

For example, imagine selling the entire aviation industry on the need for devices that are completely useless in reducing the buildup of static electricity on an ungrounded aircraft in flight, and thus acting as a conduit for step leaders... Who'd a thunk the engineers at an outfit like Airbus could be so naive, to buy into such nonsense?

So, would you care to fly into Dallas or Tampa late on a summer afternoon, in an airliner on which all the static wicks had been removed? If, in fact, one could find a pilot crazy enough to do so, or the FAA would have permitted the plane to take off to begin with?



Nah, pilots... they're probably even more superstitious than sailors...

Me, I'm thinking about replacing the air terminal at the top of my rig with an old 1-iron...

The golfer Lee Trevino probably has it right, as he famously quipped about the best lightning protection on the golf course during a thunderstorm being the simple holding of one of those clubs over your head, pointed towards the heavens:

"Hell, everyone knows even GOD can't hit a 1-iron..."
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Old 02-11-2013
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Re: In regards to Lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
all the static wicks had been removed? I
Me thinks you should research static wicks....a bit...the only thing that would happen if they are removed, is that the radios and nav gear would have S-9 static noise, thus preventing their use.

their primary purpose is to dissipate static build up from the air moving across the surfaces, so that communications and navigation gear works properly, nothing more.

They MIGHT, possibly, shed some static upon entering a storm cell, and prevent or cause a strike, but that is not their primary purpose.

YMMV
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