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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Concern about lightning strikes
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Thread: Concern about lightning strikes Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-12-2014 04:23 PM
Tayana42
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

If you are a golfer run a 1 iron up the mast. Not even God can hit a 1 iron.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
05-12-2014 03:50 PM
chuck53
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
The best strategy for lightning storms is to try to not think about it. There's nothing you can do but hope you don't get hit. I mean, what's really wrong with holding onto a stainless steel wheel attached to a metal pedestal, wired indirectly to a 50' high metal pole reaching up to the sky anyway?
Do sailboats get hit by lightening? Yes. How often? not very.
I'm at a marina with at least 50 sailboats. Almost all are bigger, or a lot bigger, than your trailer sailer. The majority are in the 40-60' mast height range. Been there 20 years and have never seen any boat, power or sail, get hit and I've seen MANY nasty thunderstorms roll over us.
05-12-2014 03:05 PM
DRFerron
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

By the way, before the multi-hull contingent gets upset. While the claims comment was said in the seminar, I'm joking about using one as a lightning rod.

Our Naked Lightning dance does just fine.
05-12-2014 03:04 PM
smurphny
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

The best strategy for lightning storms is to try to not think about it. There's nothing you can do but hope you don't get hit. I mean, what's really wrong with holding onto a stainless steel wheel attached to a metal pedestal, wired indirectly to a 50' high metal pole reaching up to the sky anyway?
05-12-2014 02:57 PM
miatapaul
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by helmsovr View Post
Sure. You must take every situation into consideration. However, given an aluminum mast with sufficient grounding and cables you should be able to offset your concern of lightening damage.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I agree with this, the only issue is what gauge wire is needed for a couple hundred million volts at 10 kiloamperes? I imagine the typical "grounding wire" is not anywhere near big enough, I doubt it is even commercially available. Even good jumper cables are only 4 gauge wire, not going to do much but melt. Basicly won't do much more than piss the electrons off! Heck I have seen cheap jumper cables melt when connected incorrectly to car batteries. But if you can find some three inch thick wire you might be good to go.
05-12-2014 10:49 AM
CalebD
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

I don't know about the Catamaran thing.
They do not tell you to stand under a tall tree on a golf course in an electrical storm
05-12-2014 09:42 AM
DRFerron
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

I once attended an SSCA webinar on insurance for boaters. The insurance agent giving the seminar said that (at that time) more catamarans than monos had filed claims for lightning strikes.

My takeaway: stick close to a catamaran during storms with lightning.
05-11-2014 10:00 PM
helmsovr
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

Hmm thanks for the insight.

-Glen
05-11-2014 05:23 PM
DRFerron
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
...
The only real protection from lightning is to not be hit....
Agreed.
05-11-2014 03:05 PM
Stumble
Re: Concern about lightning strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by helmsovr View Post
Sure. You must take every situation into consideration. However, given an aluminum mast with sufficient grounding and cables you should be able to offset your concern of lightening damage.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Lol, not a chance. I have seen a 35' bonded boat with full lightning protection with its keel bolts blown off.

The only real protection from lightning is to not be hit. Everything else is to deal with the static from near by strikes not direct ones.
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