Originally Posted by flyingnut40
Let me give you a bit of info on how a lightning
rod protects a barn. First thing to understand is that the cable running to the ground rod could NEVER pass several hundred thousand volts at thousands of amps! But what it does do really well is emit electrons from the ground to neutralize passing rain clouds. So using that line of thinking, the electrons are going UP and therefore you should not climb up on the barn and put your hand betrween the rod and the sky, a burn is guaranteed. They are also pointed to allow better emmission efficiency.
I assume that your mast
is akin to a lightning
rod and that you are actually pasifying the clouds electron imbalance and therefore most sailboats left alone by the lightning.
Therefore, making your lightning rod (mast) a better emmitter of electrons would be most effective with a good ground connection to the water
...... Your cone of protection looks a lot like your stays only inverted......
So, donate lots of electrons to the cloud and you should be ok.
Thank you for finally adding this to the discussion.
Contrary to common belief, lightning does not follow the lightning rod to ground - in fact if lightning hit a lightning rod (or your antenna) it would probably vaporize immediately.
So, anything you can do to improve the grounding of your mast
- lots of good ideas above including chain on the mast, battery cables
to the stays, aluminum
boat - should help.
Edit: realized this may not have been clear. Improving the grounding of the mast will improve the ionization effect described which will improve your protection. You're not providing a path for lightning to follow because, as noted, it would still destroy everything on its way by.