Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-11-2017, 21:57   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: No home port, full time cruiser
Boat: Amel 53
Posts: 121
Lightning Strike On Passage?

Has anyone experienced a lightning strike while offshore on passage?

Did your electronics survive? Completely? Partly? How did you navigate to you next port?

So many boats I see these days are 100% reliant on electronic instruments and charts. I know many people who have been struck while at the dock or traveling along the coast, and in pretty much every case everything that used electrons was toast.
__________________

__________________
billknny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2017, 23:51   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,268
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

When the lightning starts flashing, the electronics that can go in the oven get put in the oven, including netbook, cell phones, portable GPS, and handheld VHFs. I had a near miss one time that knocked out the autopilot for two hours, but it woke up again.
__________________

__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2017, 02:05   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Underway in the Med -
Boat: Jeanneau 40 DS SoulMates
Posts: 1,890
Images: 1
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

We got hit just as we dropped anchor in the Bahamas and took out everything. We managed to get the engine started and used an handheld gamin to get to our next anchorage and then out and across to Miami, our home port, and into the slip - all by engine using handheld


we also got a lightening strike about 50-100 yards behind the boat on passage from San Andres to Boca del Torre - it was 03-0400 or so and wind blowing hard and with thunderstorm we pulled sails and under engine - all the circuit cut off the boat rounded into the wind which was behind us - but the good thing is we turned the breakers back on and all electronics came back up - only problem was making a 180deg turn in high winds and seas to get back on track in the pitch black of night


we keep 2 computers on board that have OpenCPN on them along with our old garmin handheld
__________________
just our thoughts and opinions
chuck and svsoulmates
underway in Eastern Med
chuckr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2017, 11:50   #4
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,701
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

we sailed thru many lightining storms in gom for nearly a year. we had no protection from attraction of lightning, and we used our tronix while sailing thru these storms.
was a tad hairy off appalachacola for a while when vhf weather voice was human not machine and we were being splained to about buoy to buoy lightning strikes and storm and that we needed to seek immediate shelter off appalach by about 70 miles...it was 0200, naturally.
we flew into appalach on min 6 fters, and lightning everywhere there for a while-- was not a planned occurrence nor will it be repeated...(glad that boat was shallow keeled..). i think the lightning bit lasted about 1-1.5 hours. by 0600 it was not quite so bad. not fun but not misery on keels.
strange how ye see only the lightning and donot hear the thunder... gom gets bludi mad at times.... wicked mad.
and i have no idea as to why we were not hit nor nearly hit.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2017, 12:55   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Jupiter FL
Boat: temporarily boatless...
Posts: 720
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

We were hit off of Diamond Shoals (Cape Hatteras) and, because of our draft and the limited controlling depths in the region, had to follow a Coast Guard vessel into Oregon Inlet. And they ran us aground! No disrespect to the CG, quite the opposite, it's just a very tricky inlet. I'm not sure how much paper charts would have helped.

An abbreviated version of our story is here

Lightning Brings Abrupt End to Journey . . .

Pete
__________________
pete33458 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2017, 13:04   #6
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Antigua
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,671
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

We were struck 20 min after dropping anchor in Puerto Rico. Everything plugged in or connected to a wire DIED. Anything unplugged survived. We used our surviving laptop and OpenCPN to get to Ponce.. We were also in the company of buddy boats that we could follow (we still had our handheld VHF).

I have now spoken with quite a few cruisers that have been struck (one was struck twice). Being struck while underway isn't a super common occurance. The vast majority of the cruisers I have spoke with that were struck was at anchor. In fact only one was struck while underway.
__________________
travellerw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2017, 14:00   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,266
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

I know one of CF members boats got hit while on a passage along the coast in the Baltic. Baltic though is not offshore. It is more like sailing a big lake.

Otherwise, I know maybe a dozen boats that got hit. None of them on an offshore passage. Anchorages, marinas, boatyards.

Cheers,
b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-11-2017, 12:56   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SW Florida
Boat: Grand Banks 49
Posts: 446
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
Has anyone experienced a lightning strike while offshore on passage?

Did your electronics survive? Completely? Partly? How did you navigate to you next port?

So many boats I see these days are 100% reliant on electronic instruments and charts. I know many people who have been struck while at the dock or traveling along the coast, and in pretty much every case everything that used electrons was toast.
===

Back in the early 90s I was watch captain aboard a 50 ft aluminum racing sloop halfway to Bermuda when we got hit. All of the electronics on the boat were fried except for my recently purchased pocket GPS. That was an expensive item at the time but well worth it as things turned out. They are much cheaper nowadays to the point where every off shore boat could be carrying two or three plus a couple of USB GPS for use with laptop computers and OpenCPN. I'd recommend that all portable electronics be unplugged during a lightning storm, and keeping a few in a metal box is probably a good precaution also.
__________________
wayne.b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-11-2017, 13:05   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 604
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

I've heard that if you have a microwave, that is a better place to store electronics during a lightning storm. The have electromagnetic shielding in the case and door.
__________________
Shrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-11-2017, 15:36   #10
Registered User
 
robregje's Avatar

Join Date: May 2017
Location: Amsterdam
Boat: Better not mention, (it's a motorized sloep)
Posts: 16
Lightbulb Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
I've heard that if you have a microwave, that is a better place to store electronics during a lightning storm. The have electromagnetic shielding in the case and door.

Unplug it first though
__________________
robregje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-11-2017, 15:39   #11
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in Oriental NC
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 2,791
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

Iíve never been struck, and surprised at that given the number of lightning storms Iíve been in offshore. But I pile everything I can in the oven and disconnect a few other things. One thing I donít like but also like about N2k.

In the Chesapeake, which can see thunderstorms every afternoon in summer, the fishermanís wisdom is to move as fast as you can when lightning threatens. Canít believe you can outrun the build up of charge potential but who knows.
__________________
Suijin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-11-2017, 15:50   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: No home port, full time cruiser
Boat: Amel 53
Posts: 121
Re: Lightning Strike On Passage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
===

Back in the early 90s I was watch captain aboard a 50 ft aluminum racing sloop halfway to Bermuda when we got hit. All of the electronics on the boat were fried except for my recently purchased pocket GPS. That was an expensive item at the time but well worth it as things turned out. They are much cheaper nowadays to the point where every off shore boat could be carrying two or three plus a couple of USB GPS for use with laptop computers and OpenCPN. I'd recommend that all portable electronics be unplugged during a lightning storm, and keeping a few in a metal box is probably a good precaution also.
Of course these days everybody has a portable gps--otherwise know as a smartphone.

In many cases plugged in/turned on doesn't really matter. In the case of a direct hit, or even one close by, you get current fluxes of millions of amps per second that generate powerful and very rapidly changing magnetic fields that induce large voltages in every conductor around. Including the traces on every circuit board.

That the reason for putting things inside a Faraday Cage (i.e. metal box, microwave, etc.)

I think I am keeping my sextant on board... just in case...
__________________

__________________
billknny is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
lightning, passage

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lightning Strike and Wind Generator canucksailor Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 27-09-2009 10:26
Lightning Strike - Sorta Therapy General Sailing Forum 1 26-09-2009 09:40
Lightning Strike Ti' Punch General Sailing Forum 17 19-09-2009 11:43
Lightning strike and VHF antenna and cable StanleyCup Marine Electronics 8 07-07-2008 09:37
lightning strike prevention/protection against? rexposeidon Health, Safety & Related Gear 32 04-06-2008 23:53



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:48.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.