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During a recent sailing trip in the Bahamas, we got to dodge numerous lightening storms. While I understand that my Bavaria 37 Crusier is "grounded" for lightning strikes, we naturally try to avoid lighting storm situations if possible.

Once, while anchored, and had the choice to stay and wait out a storm, or get underway to our next destination.

Question: Are you more likely to get a lightning hit while sailing or at anchor? Or does it matter?

Thanks
 

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It seems that the only variable would be if you were to have an all chain rode and if the metal gypsy on the windlass were bonded. Then, the question is if you are offering a path of less resistance that would facilitate a strike; however, if the chain increases the ability of the charge to exit your vessel without damage, that is an advantage. What puzzles me is the ability to dodge these electrical storms by moving about in a sailboat. I don't think that's effective. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
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I have heard that more boats are struck by lightning at anchor or at the dock than while sailing. That would, of course, make it seem as if you are safer sailing. However, it is also a fact that boats spend more time at anchor and the dock than they do sailing. (Therefore always be skeptical of statistics.)

Also, try to avoid people who make posts and say absolutely nothing. Like this one.
 
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Question: Are you more likely to get a lightning hit while sailing or at anchor? Or does it matter?
Thanks
I have heard so many debates on this subject and the conclusion I have come with is that it's no one really knows the answer to it. With that in mind, I tend to not leave the dock when lightning is known to be in the area. If however I'm out on the water and front comes through, bringing lightning with it, I just hunker down, avoid holding onto the rig and hope for the best.

When I was bringing my boat back from Abaco Bahamas, sailing across the Bahama Bank, we got stuck in a very active lightning storm. There was one strike that the back of my hairs tell me hit ten feet off our stern. Luckily the electricity didn't travel through the shaft and into our wiring. Of course, my boat is bonded and theoretically protected from lighting strikes but I know very well that does not mean my boat is not going to get hit one day. I live and boat in South Florida so I am pretty certain that a lightning strike is inevitable.

The bottom line is that we can do everything we can to protect our boats systems and ourselves from the effect of a lightning strike but we can never predict when one will happen.

Lucky Mon - Moored or Underway? It doesn't matter.
 

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Once, while anchored, and had the choice to stay and wait out a storm, or get underway to our next destination.
Thanks
I would think that getting under way during or just before a storm would have more issues than just concerns over lightning. :eek:
 

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I have heard that more boats are struck by lightning at anchor or at the dock than while sailing. That would, of course, make it seem as if you are safer sailing. However, it is also a fact that boats spend more time at anchor and the dock than they do sailing. (Therefore always be skeptical of statistics.)

Also, try to avoid people who make posts and say absolutely nothing. Like this one.
Of course!! At anchor or at the dock you are an easy sitting target... And while underway you are a moving target and harder to hit..:rolleyes:
But what really matters is; Did you turk off the big guy up in the sky? Did you?:eek:
 
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Glad I found Sailnet
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... What puzzles me is the ability to dodge these electrical storms by moving about in a sailboat. I don't think that's effective. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew

Maybe since you are heeling, you've lowered the height of the mast. Just saying...
 

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1977 Morgan OI 30
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Never ending story!

About the best advice, and most useless that I've seen goes like this- "When lightning is taking place, stay away from the mast" :laugher So the remedy is to get in the dinghy??? I know I let go of my metal wheel upon a flash :laugher We were at anchor on Nantucket when a nasty thunderstorm came through at about midnight and our only consolation was the multitude of taller masts around us. I'm very happy that we don't read a lot about direct hits on sailboats!
 

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About the best advice, and most useless that I've seen goes like this- "When lightning is taking place, stay away from the mast" :laugher So the remedy is to get in the dinghy??? I know I let go of my metal wheel upon a flash :laugher We were at anchor on Nantucket when a nasty thunderstorm came through at about midnight and our only consolation was the multitude of taller masts around us. I'm very happy that we don't read a lot about direct hits on sailboats!
When you see the flash it is already to late to let go of that wheel.:eek:
 

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lightning at sea

During a recent sailing trip in the Bahamas, we got to dodge numerous lightening storms. While I understand that my Bavaria 37 Crusier is "grounded" for lightning strikes, we naturally try to avoid lighting storm situations if possible.

Once, while anchored, and had the choice to stay and wait out a storm, or get underway to our next destination.

Question: Are you more likely to get a lightning hit while sailing or at anchor? Or does it matter?

Thanks
Hi Mon.
Tell me please. Did you recieve any answers of any value at all?
The only answer that made any useful sense to me was Joesalia and his taller masts. That's gotta help.
Cheers
barby
 

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Luck of the draw...Lots of Boats in Asia getting struck, at anchor, in the marina, at sea too. Most electronics getting fried as well. Bonded or not bonded. Lightning packs a mean punch!
 

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lightning at sea

It seems that the only variable would be if you were to have an all chain rode and if the metal gypsy on the windlass were bonded. Then, the question is if you are offering a path of less resistance that would facilitate a strike; however, if the chain increases the ability of the charge to exit your vessel without damage, that is an advantage. What puzzles me is the ability to dodge these electrical storms by moving about in a sailboat. I don't think that's effective. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
CaptainForce. Quite a fancy name. So can you tell me two things, please CF?
What exactly does "bonded" mean? and 2 about dodging electrical storms. What alternative would you suggest?
Cheers
barby
 

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lightning at sea

I have heard that more boats are struck by lightning at anchor or at the dock than while sailing. That would, of course, make it seem as if you are safer sailing. However, it is also a fact that boats spend more time at anchor and the dock than they do sailing. (Therefore always be skeptical of statistics.)

Also, try to avoid people who make posts and say absolutely nothing. Like this one.
Hi LaSMD.
HEAR, HEAR!
Carry on regardless.
CHEERS
barby
 

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sail away from the big black ugly cloud/storm fronts.....if you can
 

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lightning at sea

Hi all,
Further to the discussion on "lightning and safety at sea" it would be a good idea perhaps if we were all more or less on the same level. A level as scientific as possible. It's not that I don't appreciate your opinions but they don't do much to promote "safety at sea". Do they??
So why not try to lift the game a wee bit and make it more interesting and beneficial for us all.
My first contribution is found at SGEB-17/SG071: Lightning & Sailboats.
See what you guys think.
Cheers
barby
 

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CaptainForce. Quite a fancy name. So can you tell me two things, please CF?
What exactly does "bonded" mean? and 2 about dodging electrical storms. What alternative would you suggest?
Cheers
barby
Please! 'nothing fancy....Captain just comes commonly referrenced with the master's license and Force is my family surname. Seriously, not my purpose to be fancy or pretencious. By "bonded" I mean secured with metal conductive material to other metalic components like the mast in order to provide a pathway for a lightning strike, not unlike a ground plate present on many vessels that would only function with it's bonded connection to the rigging. I'm not expecting that a chain would be nearly as good a pathway to the water as a ground plate, but then, I personally don't have or desire to offer an easy pathway for a lightning strike. Many people, myself included, believe that by offering an easier path, you are increasing your chance of a strike. I don't think that it is effective to attempt to "dodge" an electrical storm with the movements of a sailboat. This would seem similar to worms trying to outrun birds. If a storm becomes apparent and you did not see it before, then it is approaching and running from it in a sailboat doesn't seem wise unless you have prior knowledge by forecast or long rang radar. I would also caution people not to move away from the "cone of protection" offered by their rigging and escape to a dinghy. It is best not to be touching the rigging or metal helm during the electrical storm. This is another reason to favor anchoring. If you are within the area spanned by your mast and rigging and not part of this big potential circuit, you are safer than outside this field. Take care and joy, Aythay crew
 

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lightning at sea

Please! 'nothing fancy....Captain just comes commonly referrenced with the master's license and Force is my family surname. Seriously, not my purpose to be fancy or pretencious. By "bonded" I mean secured with metal conductive material to other metalic components like the mast in order to provide a pathway for a lightning strike, not unlike a ground plate present on many vessels that would only function with it's bonded connection to the rigging. I'm not expecting that a chain would be nearly as good a pathway to the water as a ground plate, but then, I personally don't have or desire to offer an easy pathway for a lightning strike. Many people, myself included, believe that by offering an easier path, you are increasing your chance of a strike. I don't think that it is effective to attempt to "dodge" an electrical storm with the movements of a sailboat. This would seem similar to worms trying to outrun birds. If a storm becomes apparent and you did not see it before, then it is approaching and running from it in a sailboat doesn't seem wise unless you have prior knowledge by forecast or long rang radar. I would also caution people not to move away from the "cone of protection" offered by their rigging and escape to a dinghy. It is best not to be touching the rigging or metal helm during the electrical storm. This is another reason to favor anchoring. If you are within the area spanned by your mast and rigging and not part of this big potential circuit, you are safer than outside this field. Take care and joy, Aythay crew
Thanks CF. Sorry about the "fancy" bit. Your name really seems quite natural after all. However, about running away from danger, I don't think the worms agree.
Cheers
barby
 
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