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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems like whether to install a lightning protection system is a hit or miss situation. On one hand, install one and you are more likely to be hit, although with less damage, and on the other hand a lot of sailboats don''t have any kind of protection. I personally have a 24 ft fiberglass boat with an aluminum mast. I am land locked and never over a few hours from my home dock. I would be considered a weekend crusier. My Question: Can a system be improvised such as wraping a copper wire around the base of the mast and running the wire overboard into the water with an iron weight provide a makeshift ground and provide more protection from lightening, or should I just leave it alone and hope for the best, or do I really need an expensive lightening protection system?

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you RichH. Your message was very informative. It sounds like there are no easy answers when it comes to lighning. Still don''t know what I should do and it sounds like if someone would know, you would. So I guess I will get fried no matter what I do...HEY there are worse ways to go!!!!!!

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
GEE FOLKS...THANKS FOR ALL THE RESPONSE AND IDEAS. I WROTE SAILNET, ASK THE EXPERT, AND HERE IS WHAT DAN TOLD ME. BTW, ISN''T SAILNET A REALLY COOL SITE????sorry about the little >>, but i thought it would be a good source of information.
We''d be happy to have you post that message, although it''s not as complete
an answer as we''d like to give you, it does guide the reader to other
informative sources. Just don''t portray it as an end-all answer, because
that''s certainly not my intention. All the best,
Dan Dickison
----- Original Message -----
From: "R.j." <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2001 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: Ask Experts

> SEE IT????
> --- [email protected] wrote:
> > Dear Sailnet User:
> > On 2001-01-27 00:47:45, you asked:
> > Lightning is sure a confusing topic. I posted a
> > question in the message board, but still getting
> > unclear answers. I was wondering...if there is
> > someway to direct the current incase i get hit. My
> > thoughts were attaching a copper cable at the base
> > of the mast and running it over the side into the
> > water. I have read the pros and cons of attaching a
> > lightning protection system and what i need is more
> > or less emergency measures incase i get caught in a
> > thunder storm>?????
> >
> > Here is our answer:
> > You''re right, there are a number of differing
> > opinions on this topic. Friends of mine who just
> > spent a year cruising to the Caribbean and back
> > swear by the use of their lightning wire--a device
> > they clamp to the shrouds and then throw the
> > remainder of the wire overboard to ground the boat.
> > That said, many of the experts prefer a
> > well-grounded lightning rod fixed to the masthead.
> > Nigel Calder writes comprehensively about such
> > systems in his book "Boatowner''s Mechanical and
> > Electrical Manual," which is available in the
> > SailNet Store on line
> > (
> > Also, you might want to do a search on SailNet for
> > lightning as we have four or five pretty good
> > articles with recommendations.
> > Here''s wishing you the best of luck on this topic.
> > Dan Dickison
> > Editorial Director
> >
> > Where Sailors Get It
> >
> >
> >
> > further questions, please visit
> >
> > and don''t miss our store specials!
> >
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