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Master Mariner
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I found a lovely little bay on the Queensland coast, slid in and anchored for a few days. On departing, I noticed an overhead power line crossing the entrance which I hadn't seen on entering. Not having a chart or any idea of the tide on entering, I circled around for a few minutes and finally just had to go for it. As slow as I could, I inched her under those power lines, with no idea of the clearance I actually had. It felt like 6" or it may have been 6 feet?
Who looks up on a boat when entering a little out of the way bay, far, far from civilization? I do, now.
 

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When we were up at the Bras D'or Lake in Cape Bretton, NS, someone in a Ovni (aluminum) boat went the wrong way and contacted some high tension lines. The jib caught fire on the roller. That was an unusual sight.

No one hurt, but what a mess.
 

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Years ago I watched a Polish Tall Ship navigating south on Lake Worth at the Blue Herron Bridge. They had a crew member perched at the top of the main mast checking for clearance. It appeared, from a distance, they had less than 1 foot to spare. I would not envy the crewman. Pretty nerve wracking.
 

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I once rescued a guy who tried to go under a bridge and hit a power line with his mast. First his sails caught fire. Then he threw his kids wearing life jackets into the lake and jumped in after them. He didn't realize that every time the boat rocked against the power line it sent a charge through the water. He screamed at me to save his kids which I ignored because he was the one that was drowning. The charge made me grip him harder and gave me great strength to drag him aboard when the boat rocked away. We then grabbed up his kids and watched his boat burn to the water line.
That same year a man used the mast raising pole at one launch and then tried to drive to the next put in one cove over. When his car stopped he got out to see what was wrong and was killed instantly when He connected the circuit. His wife backed the car up from the passenger side and her and the kids lived. That boat also burned to the ground. Now they have big orange cones on all the wires and signs everywhere but After these 2 incidents I don't go under any bridge without lowering my mast.
 

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Noah's Bosun
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Scary stuff... Back when I had a tall stick (55' clearance) HV lines always scared me. Chart says clearance is 25' above the stick, but looking up it always seemed about 2'.

Another real point to keep in mind is the very real possibility of "flash over"... You don't have to touch the line, just get close enough. 10' minimum clearance on lines of up to 345 kV and 16' at voltages over that... Visual rule of thumb, clearance should be (at least) twice the length of the insulators on the tower. Under all circumstances stay well clear of the mast(s) and standing rigging while transiting under HV lines.

Interesting to note (@34sec in the vid) the initial arc seems to have jumped from the lower spreader on the foremast to the bridge rail.... Flashover
 

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Scary stuff... Back when I had a tall stick (55' clearance) HV lines always scared me. Chart says clearance is 25' above the stick, but looking up it always seemed about 2'.

Another real point to keep in mind is the very real possibility of "flash over"... You don't have to touch the line, just get close enough. 10' minimum clearance on lines of up to 345 kV and 16' at voltages over that... Visual rule of thumb, clearance should be (at least) twice the length of the insulators on the tower. Under all circumstances stay well clear of the mast(s) and standing rigging while transiting under HV lines.

Interesting to note (@34sec in the vid) the initial arc seems to have jumped from the lower spreader on the foremast to the bridge rail.... Flashover
I worked for a power line company one summer in college and I was amazed to find out how far high voltage current could jump, when offered a ground.
 

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Don't call me a "senior"!
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Re: Stupid Pirate..or..too much rum..??

That'll wake you up!!
 

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Re: Stupid Pirate..or..too much rum..??

I'm merging this into the pre existing thread.
 
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