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Old 18-07-2015, 07:30   #16
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Doesn’t need to be grounded. Google "Faraday cage" for an explanation.

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That is so weird. I did Google Faraday cage and it said a "grounded metal cage" What gives?
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Old 18-07-2015, 08:03   #17
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

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Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
I had gone over to untangle a line from the rudder. The mistake I made, was my expectations of my wife (ex-wife now) were too high. I expected her to be able to pick me up. It took forever before she figured out she was meant to park the boat the to windward. Trying to yell instructions in the middle of 30knots isnt that easy.
That's Darwin award level stuff right there, boy.

Offshore, generally you see them coming unless cloudy night without a radar signature. We try to steer around them or slow down for them to pass, but sometimes they seem to be tracking you down. We won't go crazy to avoid them and cut through the trailing edge or just take our lumps if need be.
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Old 18-07-2015, 08:39   #18
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

My boat is grounded, (I think), its 42 years old and the ground cables go places you can't see, so we add a length of chain off the backstay to the water! This is a very common practice around here. My concern is, does it work or is it another old wives tale? Even the electrician who rewired the boat was not sure. One thing that gives me some comfort is, we sat out the most violent electric storm I have ever seen, with lightning striking the water all around us and the boat was never touched!
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Old 18-07-2015, 08:47   #19
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

Offshore we treat thunderstorms the same as inshore. Try to steer around them and, if unable, drop the main until they are past. All the portable electronics are in faraday cages (cracker tins). The rest of the electronics are on their own; I don't want to be fiddling with wires when lightning is about. As far as personal protection, I just cover the important bits in tinfoil and hope for the best.

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Old 18-07-2015, 08:53   #20
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

Faraday cage for hand held GPS
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Old 18-07-2015, 09:04   #21
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

antennas (fiberglass) can explode like fragmentation grenades...
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Old 18-07-2015, 09:20   #22
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

How about battery jumper cables, split, one connected to forestay, one to backstay, loose ends in the water.

Good idea or waste of time

Bill
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Old 18-07-2015, 09:23   #23
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

I unplug everything and run away from it. Once took 36 hours to do a 12 hour crossing. Back and forth, back and forth. I'm sure it's only a matter of time till one catches me but so far I've managed to thread the needle successfully. I'm not looking forward to testing how well I've ground the boat.
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Old 18-07-2015, 09:37   #24
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

Use your radar to see them forming and where they are located and what direction they are tracking. Avoid them as best as possible. Radar works excellent for this. Of course, some places there's no avoiding!
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Old 18-07-2015, 09:54   #25
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

I have no real experience in tropical storms but used to dangle a length of 3/8 chain from the shrouds into the water and stay away from the rigging, but within the cone formed by the mast/forestay and backstay that I read somewhere was sort of protected. Peeing off the stern holding the backstay was a no-no. Oh and I unplugged any aerials that had accessible plugs and put the handhelds in the oven. We once had lightning hit the water right alongside the boat but had no damage other than to my nerves and underwear..
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Old 18-07-2015, 11:54   #26
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

Hello sailors, look at this:http:// www.vde.com/blitzschutz-auf-yachten , It tells everything necessary. Sorry, its german only.
Greetings
nw
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Old 18-07-2015, 13:08   #27
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

On my previous boats I carried about 15 feet of lightening rod grounding cable with two hooked brass plates at the ends and a float midway to keep the cable from ruining the topsides. One hook attached to the upper shroud and the other trailed in the water. Sailing from the Bahamas to Bermuda (Devil's Triangle?) we encountered many small thunderstorms and could see which way they were headed, By proper positioning at the edge of the cell we could get quite a lift. The man who sold me my previous boat asked if I believed that lightening could strike twice in the same spot. He then showed me the burn mark on the wheel (lightening had come down the backstay and jumped to the wheel. East of Campobello Island conditions were very threatening. I took in all the sails, deployed my grounding cable, turned on the engine at low speed, turned on the autopilot, went below, and took a look around every ten minutes.
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Old 18-07-2015, 14:14   #28
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

Mark, your noggin may have benefitted from the lightening somewhat...alas...But we may have missed your sense of humour!
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Old 18-07-2015, 15:40   #29
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

At first sighting, you should attach your ground cable to the stern stay. The grounding cable is made up of half of a battery charging cable ( the big wire and clip) and the end is bolted onto a piece of 1" or larger copper pipe, about one or two feet long, that drags in the water from the stern. Sure, you have a ground on the boat, but have you ever seen pictures of what happens when 100,000 volts hits the mast or stays and tries to get to the water? It pulverizes the fiberglass around the chainplates. You either sink, catch on fire or have a boat with a zillion holes in it. Don't mess with electricity. Give it an easy way to get to the water.
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Old 18-07-2015, 15:56   #30
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Re: Offshore Sailing in Thunderstorm far from land

Had a wonderful experience last year coming back from the Bahamas. No wind to I had the brilliant idea of getting close to a developing thunderhead to get a little wind. Wrong!
I got a magnetic compass heading right before we got hit. Took everything out! Next time, if there is one, Turn Everything Off!! 60k worth of damage and 4 months of refit. Avoid at all cost. If you do get caught reduce sails early, mark your position and shut everything down.

Aloha, "See you on the One"
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