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Old 03-06-2005, 11:24   #1
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Lightning Safety

NOAA Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 19-25, 2005
http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/week.htm

Outdoor Safety Tips:

*All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous.
Lightning kills more people each year than tornadoes.

* Lightning often strikes as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
Many deaths from lightning occur ahead of the storm because people try to wait to the last minute before seeking shelter.

* You are in danger from lightning if you can hear thunder.
If you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough that it could strike your location at any moment.

* Lightning injuries can lead to permanent disabilities or death.
On average, 20 percent of strike victims die; 70 percent of survivors suffer serious long-term effects.

* Look for dark cloud bases and increasing wind. Every flash of lightning is dangerous, even the first. Head to safety before that first flash. If you hear thunder, head to safety!

* Blue Skies and Lightning. Lightning can travel sideways for up to 10 miles. Even when the sky looks blue and clear, be cautious. If you hear thunder, take cover.

Some Lightning References:

Lightning And Sailboats (Florida Sea Grant) by Ewen M Thomson:
http://www.thomson.ece.ufl.edu/lightning/

Boating-Lightning Protection by William J. Becker :
http://www.cdc.gov/nasd/docs/d000001...7/d000007.html

NOAA's Lightning Safety Page: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/

Lightning - The Underrated Killer: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/fsd/lightning.htm

Avoiding the Risks of Deadly Lightning Strikes: http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/gr...ingsafety.html

Q. & A. about Lightning: http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/edu/ltg/

More Links:
http://www.globalcrisis.info/lightning.html
http://www.kp44.org/LightningProtection.php

HTH,
Gord May
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Old 03-10-2005, 00:11   #2
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Man I tell you one thing.

I might be new to sailboats. And about boatbuilding. But, one thing is perfectly clear, here.

I do know that anybody who owns a sailboat. And sails into areas that does have frequent lighting storms, derserves to have their boat hit by lighting.

What the hell you think that mast is. A fu*&&^% Christmas tree? Lighting travels down the mast. And straight through the hull.

Electricity travels the least path of resistance.

That's one of the basic knowledgeable. Piece of knowledge, that anyone who knows basic electricity knows. Duh?

But yet, the boat manufacturers do not install. Or put lighting deflection tech. in the boats. You have too! I haven't ran into any articles were the boat makers do this?

If they do. Send me a link to their website. I like to see that.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 03-10-2005, 03:07   #3
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...” I do know that anybody who owns a sailboat. And sails into areas that does have frequent lighting storms, derserves to have their boat hit by lighting ...”

Which would seem to eliminate Florida, & the Gulf Coast, as sailing venues.
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast05dec_1.htm

I’d also point out the dangers of drowning - it usually occurs on or about water.

“... Electricity travels the least path of resistance.
That's one of the basic knowledgeable. Piece of knowledge, that anyone who knows basic electricity knows. Duh? ...”


Actually, CaptainK , ‘electricity’ flows down ALL conductive paths, with currents proportional to relative resistance. It’s called a parallel circuit.

"... But yet, the boat manufacturers do not install. Or put lighting deflection tech. in the boats. ..."

There's no such thing as lightning deflection - a Lightning ground system only provides damage mitigation.
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Old 03-10-2005, 17:45   #4
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Kevin,
A story that might interest you. 3 years ago, on New Years eve, we had 15 boats struck by lightning in this one marina. One of them was an old wooden Chris Craft power boat. It was berthed between 2, 40+' sailboats. Neither of the sailboats was struck. Moral of the story is lightning is totally unpredictable.

L S/V Sew Good

Bob & Lynn
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Old 03-10-2005, 19:47   #5
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True !!

Never trust lighting?
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Old 22-06-2010, 11:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
NOAA Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 19-25, 2005
http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/week.htm


Some Lightning References:

Lightning And Sailboats (Florida Sea Grant) by Ewen M Thomson:
Page not found


Gord May

This article has moved, but is still available online. The new link is SGEB-17/SG071: Lightning & Sailboats

I found it to be a good read, so I thought I would update the link.
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Old 22-07-2010, 03:06   #7
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Kind feels like this is more directed to those who are on land, because if your out sailing, yer not in a good position to "take cover". I spent a lot of money so I could run away slowly.
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Old 22-07-2010, 05:54   #8
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Our last boat was struck by lightning (after we'd passed her on) whilst on passage from Bahrain to Kuwait. No damage - except for some of the electrics... and no injuries, thank goodness. But did make us think. So would clipping a chain to the mast and trailing it overboard help?
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Old 22-07-2010, 06:00   #9
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So would clipping a chain to the mast and trailing it overboard help?
Probably not a chain, but a piece of battery cable would be good.
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Old 22-07-2010, 06:24   #10
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We were hit by lightning 5 days ago.....very scary!
Luckily the lightning existed the boat pretty quickly but still fried over half of our electronics.
Jackie
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Old 22-07-2010, 07:28   #11
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Probably not a chain, but a piece of battery cable would be good.
Why the difference?
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Old 22-07-2010, 07:31   #12
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From what I understand copper wire is what you want.
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Old 24-07-2010, 06:56   #13
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Why not chain. Firstly because I wouldn't want chain banging on my hull. Second because chain is not what I think of as a conductor. Third the article says only 4 gauge wire is needed, which is pretty small stuff and what is commonly seen on land-side lightening rods.

You can leave the insulation on. Make it a bit long because the end will corrode off. Don't leave it in the water except during storms.
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Old 24-07-2010, 19:13   #14
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we sailed thru lightning storms off the west coast of fla for a near year--was scary, but we were prepared--we had crocs, a boat, and gloves--we only forgot the rubber hat.....unpredictable, yes. protected or unprotected makes no difference--the boat across the canal from a friend was hit 2 times in 4 yrs--- he was protected with NASA engineering -- so, it really doesnt matter--maybe lightning protection is an attractor for lightning---the other sailboats inthe area never got hit---we never did either out at sea all by our lonesomes in lightning storms--cant plan them -- cant escape them--cant ignore them---can fear them--but does that do any good?? i fear lightning from age 3 , yet i was finally able to sail thru them as easily as did phil---yipes--someone has to do it---and i was wearing crocs so i was protected..LOL....
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Old 24-07-2010, 20:39   #15
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Why the difference?
The problem with chain is that the contact area between the links is actually pretty small, so it doesn't carry as much current as you would like. That's a problem when it comes to lightning! It would increase the likelihood of side flashes.
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