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Old 26-09-2012, 06:44   #1
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Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Here's a set of interesting statistics for all you multihull owners.What are the Chances of
Lightning Striking Your Boat?
The following statistics are based on all of the BoatUS Marine Insurance claims for lightning damage over a five-year period. The percentages suggest the chances of the various types of boats being struck in any given year.
Type Chances per 1,000 $ Severity (10=Highest)
Multihull Sail 9.1 10
Aux Sail 4.5 6
Cruiser .86 6
Sail Only .73 3
Trawler .18 5
Bass Boat .18 1
Runabout .12 2
Houseboat .11 3
Pontoon .03 8
PWC .003 1
Source: BoatUS Marine Insurance Claim Files

You read this by column (sorry if they don't align) Multihull 9.1 chances of 1000 boats. Dollar damage (severity) multihulls 10 where 10 is highest

Monohulls (Aux Sail) Likelyhood 4.5 of 1000 boats, damage 6 on scale of 10

Just thought you'd like to know
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Old 26-09-2012, 06:50   #2
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

You are kidding me, - 1 in a hundred multis gets hit by lightning. There is more than 100 multis in our harbour, I must find out which of them has been struck.

I suspect they may be referring to multis as including OTBs in which case that may make more sense.
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Old 26-09-2012, 06:57   #3
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Even at the risk of attracting lightening - in your shoes I would be wearing a tin hat .
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Old 26-09-2012, 06:58   #4
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Well the article that followed the stats said multihull sailboats, It claimed that because the multihulls needed a wider berth - the multis mast was out there all by itself and gee the lightning just goes for it.

Note the damage number - multihull lightning strike = severe

jes saying
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Old 26-09-2012, 06:59   #5
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

David,

I have a monohull so perhaps I'm not as concerned as some of these cat owners

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Old 26-09-2012, 07:36   #6
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Yes, Multihulls are definitely dangerous. You should stay as far away from them as possible.

But seriously, note that the damage is relative to cost and not extent. Two possibilities for the greater damage costs could be that multis tend to be newer and more equipped with expensive electronics and that their construction requires more expensive repair techniques and materials.

And the damage may be more in extent also, since catamarans in particular have a difficult time enacting a suitable grounding system for lightning compared to mono's (and tris), which may even have their masts sitting directly on top of a metal keel.

Interestingly, I personally know 13 boats hit by lightning in the San Blas Panama this year. 3 were cats, 1 was a powerboat and the rest were monos. Too small of a sample to be statistical, though.

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Old 26-09-2012, 07:37   #7
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Well the article that followed the stats said multihull sailboats, It claimed that because the multihulls needed a wider berth - the multis mast was out there all by itself and gee the lightning just goes for it.

Note the damage number - multihull lightning strike = severe

jes saying
Got a reference for the article, I would love to read it. I think its fascinating that one in 100 multis gets hit by lightning.
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Old 26-09-2012, 07:39   #8
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Interestingly, I personally know 13 boats hit by lightning in the San Blas Panama this year. 3 were cats, 1 was a powerboat and the rest were monos. Too small of a sample to be statistical, though.

Mark
Perhaps statistically useful to say that San Blas Panama not the best place to stand next to anything with a large metal pole pointing upwards .
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Old 26-09-2012, 07:46   #9
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Boat US Article

Here's the link to the article.
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Old 26-09-2012, 07:46   #10
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

BoatUS.com - Seaworthy Magazine

My source
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Old 26-09-2012, 07:48   #11
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Its just nature trying to make the world a better place
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Old 26-09-2012, 08:09   #12
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

One in a hundred - wow - your insurance premiums for multis must be astronomical over there. I pay less than 1% of the boats value per year. Clearly that couldnt happen in the US with that particular insurer
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Old 26-09-2012, 08:17   #13
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

It makes sense to me. Multihull owners are always bragging how they can anchor in much shallower waters than those of us with monohulls. The downside is they get closer to land and lightning likes to strike land a lot more as it finds it's path to ground.
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Old 26-09-2012, 08:28   #14
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Do multis have taller masts compared to monos of the same length?
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Old 26-09-2012, 09:02   #15
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Re: Lightning Strikes Multihulls More Than Monohulls

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Why can't they include a link to all of the data in the article so we can see how the text was derived (spun?)

Severity = 10. If that is the most severe rating they have then I would expect it to mean "the boat went down, all hands were lost". I suspect it instead means "we spent $20K to settle this claim, and prefer to spend less than $5K". Would almost bet that:

Severity = Cost of Claim in dollars/1000 (maybe 2000)

What is the makeup of the insured fleet? I know it doesn't include my multi, we only carry liability (personal choice, YMMV), but the new $500K cat right behind me does carry full coverage (required by his loan). I would argue that we have the same risk of lightning strike. If one occurs his will show up, and, given the cost of his boat will have high "severity", while mine won't appear in the statistics. So, really need to know the composition of the insured fleet to draw any inferences.

Otherwise just a bunch of speculation and hot air. Oh wait, this is CF
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