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Old 23-07-2012, 03:59   #151
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Re: Lightning Strikes

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post

Finally what nasty things can I expect to happen to my steel boat if I got hit with a bolt. I kind of figured the boat would not be damaged, just electronics and paint?

Cheers
Something I'd be interested in as well. Thanks for posting guys & gals.
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Old 23-07-2012, 04:50   #152
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Re: Lightning Strikes

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Something I'd be interested in as well. Thanks for posting guys & gals.
There was a 46 ft steel cruising boat hit off Nicaragua last year. It sufferrrd a fire in a wireing harness in the engine room along with electronics failures.
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Old 23-07-2012, 05:21   #153
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Re: Lightning Strikes

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rationale behind cat on board --there has never been a record of a cat being hit by lightning ...
For the more gullible THE TRIUMPH OF CATS. - View Article - NYTimes.com
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Old 23-07-2012, 05:23   #154
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Re: Lightning Strikes

Here's a picture of what we're talking about:

APOD: 2012 July 23 - Lightning Captured at 7207 Images per Second

You can follow up to more good lightning videos at the end of this one.

The APOD site is also worth looking at for reasons unrelated to this thread.
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Old 23-07-2012, 06:26   #155
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Re: Lightning Strikes

well we are VERY experienced with this as we got hit twice in five days this year in the Bahamas. Our friends say they now have lightning protection: anchor next to us, as we will get hit and not them.
We were at anchor the first time, and under way the second time
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Old 23-07-2012, 06:30   #156
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Re: Lightning Strikes

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Originally Posted by bill352 View Post
Here's a picture of what we're talking about:

APOD: 2012 July 23 - Lightning Captured at 7207 Images per Second

You can follow up to more good lightning videos at the end of this one.

The APOD site is also worth looking at for reasons unrelated to this thread.
Talk about having multiple war heads! Thanks for posting the link Bill.
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Old 23-07-2012, 06:42   #157
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Re: Lightning Strikes

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There was a 46 ft steel cruising boat hit off Nicaragua last year. It sufferrrd a fire in a wireing harness in the engine room along with electronics failures.
Thanks, sounds very nasty, there goes my smug "I don't need to worry 'bout lightnin' I've got a steel boat" look.

Maybe I need to investigate some better protection, I am more scared of lighning at sea than just about anything else.

I wonder what the worst is that could happen to a steel boat, and how bad it would effect anybody aboard?
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Old 23-07-2012, 06:43   #158
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Re: Lightning Strikes

For the more scientific minds. This article talks about protection, bonding and grounding schemes. It has statistics from 71 boats whith lightning strikes.

SGEB-17/SG071: Lightning & Sailboats


BoatUS insurance has some statistics too:

BoatUS.com - Seaworthy Magazine


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Old 23-07-2012, 06:55   #159
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Re: Lightning Strikes

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Seems to be alot of expertise here so I might as well ask a few questions (not to many lightning strikes down here in Tassie).

When delivering boats with unknown bonding systems I have often shackled chains onto the rigging wires and towed them. I don't know if it works but figured it might just reduce the chances of blowing a hole in the side of the boat or a side flash? I like external chainplates for the same reason, though with the paint would they have too much resistance to disipate any ionised charge?

I had the top meter of both wooden masts (ketch) glowing like a green neon tube once... Very scary. Is this common, and what is it indicating?
St Elmo's Fire....it's a harmless phenomenon of ionization of the air surrounding the masthead, and just indicates a lot of electrostatic energy, being released in a much more controlled manner, and it's actually pretty cool.

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How effective is an oven as a faraday cage, or would it be better to put the electronics in a pot with the lid? Or Both ?
Either would help. I'm not sure how much shielding effect you'd get from the oven, exactly, but the induced magnetics and voltage would channel around the oven box surface, or the pot, if the pot and lid are metal and contribute greatly to isolating objects in the interior from . That's how the Faraday Cage effect works.

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Finally what nasty things can I expect to happen to my steel boat if I got hit with a bolt. I kind of figured the boat would not be damaged, just electronics and paint?

Cheers
induced voltage flux
Probably a fair assumption here.
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Old 23-07-2012, 07:25   #160
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Re: Lightning Strikes

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St Elmo's Fire....it's a harmless phenomenon of ionization of the air surrounding the masthead, and just indicates a lot of electrostatic energy, being released in a much more controlled manner, and it's actually pretty cool
Always wondered if that was what it was, I have never seen it since on any other boat. Somehow I thought it was more.. Well Like flickering orange streamers rather than just a greenish glow. Thanks
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Old 23-07-2012, 07:53   #161
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Re: Lightning Strikes

interesting discussion

In general, lightning can strike anywhere, any time. So if you're freaked out and afraid of being hit by lightning on a sailboat, you should be freaked out about it ALWAYS. At least on a sailboat as long as you're not grabbing onto the mast and the shrouds at the exact time the lightning hits, it won't kill you. On land if you get hit by lightning or if it even comes close to you, instant dead. Do not believe for one second any story of anyone getting struck by lightning and living. No way. No how.

As mentioned, no safety in marinas either. A boat on the end of our dock got struck one summer. The strike did a lot of damage to that boat, but it also blew out every battery charger connected to the dock. No breakers blew, which is very strange.
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Old 23-07-2012, 07:55   #162
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I agree with those that offer mitigating damage is different then protection.. protection in my definition does not mean you won't get hit it means you have best practice to dissipate the energy you are protected because you have a means to get rid of the energy. Nothing suggest that having good path and grounded mast increases a chance of a hit. Many boats by nature have straight path by means of keel stepped bolt on keel masts.
Why are multihulls more likely to get hit? Could it be beam or that many are lacking a good ground from that big conductor poking off the deck. My corsair had a copper strap that Tied the deck step to surface water.
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Old 23-07-2012, 08:23   #163
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Re: Lightning Strikes

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#2. I would say that grounded boats tend to take less damage when hit, but also tend to be hit a bit more often.
According to some insurance companies the data does not support that. We don't really need "science" because the insurance companies have claims data and this is why they support ABYC TE-4 wiring.

According to a conversation I had recently with an underwriter it shows that grounded boats are hit slightly less often and sustain less severe hull damage when they are hit. Both types of boats are hit and both can sustain significant damage but grounded boats more often sustain less damage..

If the insurance industry saw ANY benefit to ANY system other than a boat wired to TE-4 standards then they would likely give a discount for having it installed. They see ALL systems hit but are more concerned about minimizing damage and claims pay outs hence the support for TE-4.

A customer recently went through a survey and they surveyor "noted" that the boats spar was not wired to TE-4 (not grounded). He called me because he knew TE-4 was not technically an ABYC requirement and how could the insurance company demand it? I called the insurance company on his behalf to try and argue the case that TE-4 was not a "mandatory" part of ABYC standards.

After three or four people I got someone who knew what they are talking about, or it seemd it, and basically told me that they don't care if it is mandatory or not, they go off claims data and boats not grounded suffer higher damage claims and are hit more often (his words not mine). They relented a little and gave him 30 days to come ground his boat... I still disagree that they should have made him do this to keep coverage but they are the ones paying out if you are hit.
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Old 23-07-2012, 08:35   #164
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Re: Lightning Strikes

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Finally what nasty things can I expect to happen to my steel boat if I got hit with a bolt. I kind of figured the boat would not be damaged, just electronics and paint?

Cheers
Metal boats do not generally suffer the severve structural problems that can occur with fiberglass and wooden boats such as holes below the waterline,and loss of the mast. A severe lightning strike, however contains a massive amount of energy and there are no guarantees.
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Old 23-07-2012, 08:43   #165
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Re: Lightning Strikes

This data looked at 71 boats hit with and without protection in both salt & fresh water. Not "science" but actual damage to boats with grounding systems and boats without. As we can see boats with protection suffered less hull damage.

Level 0 = No damage and level 4 = Most Damage

Grounded boats edged out non protected in terms of the least damage....

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