I am looking at a junk rigged boat design and I've never owned one before - all my sailing has been Bermuda
rigs: Making the vessel stayed is not really an option.
I currently live in South East Asia
and we have a very significant thunderstorm problem - both frequent and extremely violent: In Cambodia
(my base), there are several hundred deaths every year from lightning
strikes (including one death in the city near my house, a man sitting under his metal-roofed veranda). So we have good reason to respect thunderstorms.
On a stayed mast
, it is possible to bolt chain to the beam stays and take any strike over the side into the water
. Nav electronics
might get fried but at least, the charge is unlikely to travel down the mast cables
and out through the hull
via the depth
gauge (which has happened, blowing a sizable hole in the hull
and sinking the unmanned anchored boat).
But an un-stayed junk rig
mast is stepped into the keel
, with any nav-light cables
and masthead electronics
fed out at deck
or below deck
So my question is how do you earth a un-stayed mast. For me it's a real issue ... be it at anchor
or underway, a 30' metal mast poking sky-ways in an otherwise flat sea presents a when not if likelihood of getting hit.