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Old 05-06-2008, 06:28   #1
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Lightning

Got caught out in an electrical storm during Wednesday night racing recently. At one point, we were the only mast out there. It was a bit unnerving.

I realize the physics aren't well understood, but was wondering if there's evidence that a moving vessel creates a charge that would be more likely to attract lightening than a stationary boat/mast ...?
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:57   #2
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ah, i guess even less well understood than i first thought ...
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:03   #3
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If you keep moving you can duck and weave and avoid it.
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Old 05-06-2008, 13:50   #4
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Hmmmm, I wonder if you can out run a lightning strike if you have a Cat. ;-) :-)
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Old 05-06-2008, 15:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
Hmmmm, I wonder if you can out run a lightning strike if you have a Cat. ;-) :-)
No, but you can just turn turtle and stay that way until the storm passes.
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Old 05-06-2008, 19:12   #6
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Quote:
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Hmmmm, I wonder if you can out run a lightning strike if you have a Cat. ;-) :-)
Quite possible .

But it is a fact that cats are often not fast enough to have their owners escape having their legs pulled .
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Old 05-06-2008, 21:11   #7
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Moving...you mean the way helo blades built up a nasty static charge?

But in theory, since you are properly grounded that charge is bleeding off almost instantly and negligibly.

I'm a firm believer in turning turtle and waiting it out. Got caught out doing work that needed to get done one day, and a storm front came through. You've never seen four guys try to get further away from each other, the mast, and somehow not back into anything metal in the came cabin at the same time. I know, very few people get cooked every year. Doesn't matter, I don't like being around in flash-bang country.
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Old 05-06-2008, 23:25   #8
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When sailing, we avoided cumulonimbus clouds and its associated lighting by using our radar. We followed the big clouds on radar to see if they were coming down an Estimated Bearing Line and were on a collision course with us. If they were coming down on us, we tacked about ninety degrees for fifteen to thirty minutes until the cloud passed harmlessly by, and then we resumed our course.

Unless we were at anchor or in an area with restricted maneuvering, we rarely had to do battle with lightning.
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