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Old 09-08-2012, 12:12   #16
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

Do they attract bolts? Yes, maybe, no way, who can say for sure.

If my boat is near your boat, then I would prefer your boat had the rod so the likely hood is greater on your boat than mine of attracting a strike.

But if your going to be struck anyway, then having one is better than not having lightening attractors.

Lightning rod - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Nikola Tesla's U.S. Patent 1,266,175 was an improvement in lightning protectors. The patent was granted due to a fault in Franklin's original theory of operation; the pointed lightning rod actually ionizes the air around itself, rendering the air conductive, which in turn raises the probability of a strike. Many years after receiving his patent, in 1919 Dr. Tesla wrote an article for The Electrical Experimenter entitled "Famous Scientific Illusions", in which he explains the logic of Franklin's pointed lightning rod and discloses his improved method and apparatus.
So funny to think of it this way.
Quote:
In what later became the United States, the pointed lightning rod conductor, also called a "lightning attractor" or "Franklin rod," was invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1749 as part of his groundbreaking explorations of electricity.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:15   #17
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

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Everyone is entitled to their view on this forum
But not their own facts...

(quote borrowed from another forum member)

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:32   #18
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

"i gave you REALITY from REAL TIME experiences-"
Reality is, by definition, always a subjective experience. You know what your neighbor thinks happened. You know what he thinks his boat was. But, you don't know if those were really the facts.
Consider, when you talk about "attracting" lightning. Do you know how lightning comes down in a cloud-to-ground strike? The strike comes DOWN by traveling on an ionized path that was caused by a ground-to-cloud ionic charge going UP before the strike.
Now put that into the equation. Not "did I attract lighting" but rather, is there something here that is ionizing a path UP to the clouds, to bring a strike back down the path? And it is only after that--which is as best I can tell a totally unstudied and unmeasured part of the equation--that you can begin to ask how you are going to protect from the strike or route the strike.

I've been out on a dive boat running for shelter from thunderstorms, and literally HEARD the buzz and crackle of the ground charge coming through the water, through the boat, and discharging UP off our antennas on the flying bridge. When you hear the discharge crackling, you know that path is being formed for the cloud-to-ground strike and the only question is, can you gtf out before it happens.

Lightning? I'd rather sail in giant kraken infested waters. The only sure thing about lightning, is that you are always safer in a bunker, on shore, than in a small boat on the water.
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Old 09-08-2012, 13:06   #19
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

i now what i SEE i know what i EXPERIENCE and i know that lightning is not going to be a fun eperience. so far i have managed to not be hit when those around me have alleged protection. from my first experience with lightning a age 3, with ball lightning phenomenon, i have been very interested in the nature sent bolts that happen.
is it not FAIR to say the alleged protetion devices attract lightning?? too bad--THEY DO JUST THAT. and since when is life FAIR..LOL...ask the NASA engineer in slidell, la, who was allegedly fully protected with his dissipators and rods and such. he was hit 2 times in 4 yrs. you say word of mouth?? was exactly across the private channel from the home from which i sailed for a near year.
you say my friends next to me who were recently hit in the wifi antenna and suffered minimal damage is word of mouth>?? i saw the result of the bolt i watched come down. derrick doesnt have attractors on his boat.
the catamaran that made such a beautiful explosion when hit by a bolt the other day and a sa result has no more electronix-- is my imagination---ROFL --the glow was seen in punta de mita, 10 miles away from here. but then i was only a couple of docks away from it, so is hearsay.
tesla--the man with whom my grandpoppa collaborated to work out ballistics in his top secret government project that is still top secret..ROFL.
bring in as many scientists as you wish. then get hit by the lightning yourself.
mebbe that is only way you will understand each and every hit is unique. no two are same. yes it DOES strike 2 times in same place. yes the attractors do just that. they ATTRACT lightning despite the stories the equipment will save your life--they do not.
i happen to have been fortunate enough to have come from a very highly educated and intelligent bunch of engineers--and i am a part of that well rounded intelligent community that is able to see more than one side to the problem. when folks with one sided views decide to discuss the benefits of lightning protection, they are unable to see the rest of the situation. if all you can see is pure science, you are missing out on reality.
you might as well listen to the insurance companies and their dictates for your scientific viewpoints.
as for me--i will continue to enjoy my boat in exotic locales in which lightning is a constant, not a passing thing, and storms form exactly overhead. the worst damage i have ever seen involving boats came from being protected from lightning.
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Old 09-08-2012, 13:33   #20
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

OK, you win. I just don't have the mis-wired logic circuits necessary to continue this debate with you - particularly since your expertise in all things is derived from your genetic similarity to highly educated people. Can't top that.

"if all you can see is pure science, you are missing out on reality." Couldn't compete with this if I wanted to. I admit it - I am challenged when it comes to having unsupported beliefs and opinions slavishly held against all evidence. I bow to your ability here.

To complete the capitulation, I will end this with this advice to anyone coming across this thread in the future seeking information on this topic: Read zeehag's posts on this topic. Search for more of her posts on other topics and read those. You will understand her expertise.

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Old 09-08-2012, 13:36   #21
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This thread is very relevent to me as we were sideswiped by lightening moored in Back Creek , Annapolis with over 1500 other masts. We saw the storm coming on our I pad and turned off all electrics and went below in the cabin. The storm continued on. We saw a blinding white arc throught the companionway, enough to cause both of us to cover our eyes instintively, our hair stood out on our arms and we heard a loud crackled followed by the boom as the lighting struck a water tower next to us 200 yards away. The ozone smell was strong. Our boat is grounded through the keel plate, in addition we had clips on our rod rigging with a wire and metal fish in the water.

We lost engine instrument panel, chart plotter, white LEDs but not the reds on some of our fixtures, shore battery charger, windex, and anchor light bulb.

The boat was hauled the next day to check for damage and no hull, mast or structural damage was found. The lightning apparently traveled though the water or we received a side swipe. The damage was scattered with no apparent path or obvious pattern to its mayhem.

Our. Boat was bonded to the keel and had a diffuser on top. This lesson has taught me thy are of no use to indirect strikes. The bonding MAY have prevented more extensive damage as there was no need for the electricity to hunt for a way off the boat. There was a path. We did as much as we could to prevent a strike, but I think that is not within our controll, but mitigating the da,age may be.

This is first hand experience not thory.

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Old 09-08-2012, 13:45   #22
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

Dave,

You're living proof of what I've seen and what I believe:

Call it Bill's Law:

LIGHTNING IS GOING TO STRIKE WHERE IT'S GOING TO STRIKE.

Period.

We're talking many millions of volts here.

There's absolutely nothing you can do which will reliably protect your boat from damage.

Many of the most damaging events are nearby lightning strikes which travel through the water and do damage THROUGH YOUR GROUND SYSTEM.

There's no way to protect against this.

Best course of action:

1. Pray
2. Repair to the nearest bar as fast as you can
3. If you can't and have to ride it out (as I did once on a crossing of the Anegada Passage in the worst lightning storm I've seen in the Eastern Caribbean)....have a Mt. Gay and pray some more.

And, if you DO get hit or take some nearby strikes, don't assume that the damage you see early on is all that was damaged: many electronics will fail after a time, since over-voltage to solid state devices can be cumulative over time. And, switches, relays, wiring, etc. can take some damage without immediately failing....but they will later on.

FWIW,

Bill
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Old 09-08-2012, 14:05   #23
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

A few years ago, our slip-neighbor, with a sister-ship to ours, was hit during a storm. The bolt evidently hit his masthead antenna, vaporizing the steel whip and exploding the base coil, parts of which we found on another neighbor's deck a few daze later. He lost all of his electronics, Engine Instruments, mast wiring etc. The bonding cable from the base of his keel-stepped mast to his cast iron keel evidently evaporated. There was no damage to his hull, however, as determined by an emergency haul out. We were moored approximately 30 feet away and the pulse (I'm guessing EMP) wiped out our masthead wind direction sensor and evidently erased the memory in our LORAN tho' not GPS or other electronics. Our neighbor's repairs came to over $30K of which he had to pick up the first $5K (deductable) with the balance paid by his ensurer. A little more of the story is at Caribbean Adventure .

The only difference between our yachts is the fact that we had/have a bottle brush diffuser on our masthead while our friend did not (tho' does now). Whether they work or not I cannot say. I have one because another friend, who is an engineer with FP&L, recommended it; and, because FP&L evidently uses them on its towers.

FWIW...
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Old 09-08-2012, 14:13   #24
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

Lions and tigers and kracken o my!
Reality vs heresay
Insurance scams and conspiracies
Glowing balls of light (UFOS)
Cats that create storms
Exploding catamarans
Tesla
Science gone mad
Electricity gone sideways
Reason gone out the window



THERE IS A CONNECTION!!!!

Please don't stop here guys I've GOT to KNOW the TRUTH. I'm not that big on reality myself,but it's the only place I can get a good meal.

Thanks to all for the entertainment.
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Old 09-08-2012, 14:16   #25
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post

There's absolutely nothing you can do which will reliably protect your boat from damage.
This is true, but the message that a ground system will ( in most cases) significantly reduce the damage. This is particularly true of severe damage such as blowing holes in boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post

And, if you DO get hit or take some nearby strikes, don't assume that the damage you see early on is all that was damaged: many electronics will fail after a time, since over-voltage to solid state devices can be cumulative over time. And, switches, relays, wiring, etc. can take some damage without immediately failing....but they will later on.
This is often quoted and I am sure applies in many cases. It made settling with insurance a gamble, but 4 years after my strike I have had nothing else that has failed apart from my house batteries 2 years later, but the batteries were 10 years old so its unlikely the lightning was a factor.

Interestingly all the LEDs that were on we're destroyed in the strike. I expected the remaining LEDs to fail shortly after as they seem very voltage sensitive.I have not had any subsequent failures. All that good Karma must have paid off
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Old 09-08-2012, 15:25   #26
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

I did not intend to have folks bicker over protection vs. no protection. Lets just ease up here and have the people who do not believe in protection become part of the control group. We need a control group just as much as we need folks who believe in lightning protection. What I believe we should be try to do here is get photographs and detailed descriptions of what happened in both groups when lightning does hit. Look for details. For instance, we have a strike to a mast that vaporizes an antenna. Was the radio destroyed? If not then were there DC voltage spike limiters on the DC power supply, and were there devices on the antenna coax that were capable of shunting strikes to ground. If there was a lightning rod extending 6 inches or more above the antenna, was the antenna struck? What happened in the electrical distribution box, fuses, grounds? If through hulls were damaged, was the boat protected? Were any exit and entry points for the strike found? There must be other clues to what happened that I have not thought of. What are these from experience? I can speculate from my readings. So far the Art and Science of Lightning Protection by Martin A. Uman at the University of Florida has been a good general background for me plus a lot of internet browsing. Here is how radio amateurs approach the problem. They can experience a lightning strike to an antenna and have no damage to their gear! We can consider what they have accomplished and perhaps modify for our own needs, but we need to see what we are up against first by getting some detailed data. Lightning Protection
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Old 09-08-2012, 18:09   #27
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

what i did say , contrary to whatzisname and thread drift, was each and every lightning strike is unique. there is a difference between experience and theory. he is into theory. i stated experiences. hence, obviously , time to argue-- sorry folks--was merely answering the op's question.
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Old 09-08-2012, 23:37   #28
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

I just realized today that I have a complete path from:

masthead->forward stay->cranse iron->bobstay.

Solid metal the whole way down and there's a shackle which is always touching the water at the base of the bobstay. I might do more than that, but it's certainly a complete metal path to the water. Wooden stick too, so odds are it's going down the metal and not the spruce.
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Old 09-08-2012, 23:49   #29
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Read zeehag's posts on this topic. Search for more of her posts on other topics and read those. You will understand her expertise.

Mark
Kinda makes ya ponder what would happen if she read all her prior posts. Perhaps that would attract a lightning strike!...
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:13   #30
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Re: Lightning Strike Damage Details Needed

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
masthead->forward stay->cranse iron->bobstay.
Solid metal the whole way down and there's a shackle which is always touching the water at the base of the bobstay. I might do more than that, but it's certainly a complete metal path to the water. Wooden stick too, so odds are it's going down the metal and not the spruce.
Any lightning damage to electronics or anything else? How did you determine the path, were there any marks or spots on the metal parts? What this may indicate is the forestay is capable of carrying the current and keeping it outside the hull, no side strikes. Could the chain plates and shrouds also carry some of the lightning strike? In that case the multiple down currents would have magnetic fields that would cancel creating a crude kind of Faraday cage and perhaps spare the electronics. An electromagnetic pulse will create electrical currents in a circular trace, sort of like an antenna in the electronic part. Anything above 10 volts can destroy an integrated circuit. That's why a microwave oven will keep electronics from destruction, it's a Faraday cage. My microwave at home also has a door and walls that will attract a refrigerator magnet. The steel there helps absorb the magnetic field created by the lightning strike. With lightning we are dealing with frequencies around 10 kilohertz and that is the range where steel shielding around electronics helps; otherwise any conductive metal would work.
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