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Warm Weather Sailor
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1,039 Posts
When caught in an electrical storm I now resort to prayer. Having been hit once when 100 miles from my destination I've come to realize that there's nothing you can do. Note your position if within vhf distance to shore and pray. Put your handheld in the oven or on deck with you. As for bonding, not bonding, bottle washers on the masthead etc., etc., they don't do anything. My boat's through hulls were not bonded but when we hauled after the strike there was "treeing" (burn marks in the paint) at all the through hulls and at the gudgeon and pintle of the rudder. I think the good thing about my strike was that I have a wing keel (Hydrokeel) with a very large surface area which was good for dissipating the charge and the keel had a strap to the keel-stepped mast. As for jumper cables to the shrouds it might make you feel better but that's about all. There is a lot of literature on this subject and I read most of it after I was struck, that's why I pray now. Nothing else will do it!!
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
Joined
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1,039 Posts
Headsail burnt, all masthead stuff vapourized, wiring shot, all instruments and lights shot, alternator shot, handheld in my foulies survived, no structural damage, no holes in hull. Biggest damage was to my psyche, never was scared of electrical storms before but now!!! Boat was hauled and inspected, mast removed. Took over six months to get everything right again. You know how some boatyard are. I chose the wrong one.
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
Joined
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1,039 Posts
The charge went right through my boat from stem to stern. This could be seen by the "treeing" at all the through hulls. As for not touching anything we had to steer for another couple of hours (it was a big storm) as the autopilot was blown too. We did this by putting the wheel brake on and occasionally making corrections (very quickly) with a Rubbermaid glove on. I don't think the glove would have done anything but I felt better. We were afraid of touching anything metal. Cam is right, ignore the so-called "lightning proof" stuff they tell you when you buy a boat. A hymnal is not a bad idea. :)
 
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