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Old 02-05-2008, 10:52   #16
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Originally Posted by hooked on water View Post
What is everyone's opinion on using breakers or fuses have all fuse panels at the moment
In a lightning hit, the high voltage flashes right over and around all of the circuit breakers. Does anyone know if a panel mount fuse would actually blow in this circumstance?
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:56   #17
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If a bolt of lightening has the voltage to arc across miles of sky, which it does, the relatively tiny gap across a breaker or fuse is not going to stop a bolt of lightening. The best thing that can be done is to give it a low resistance path from the top of the boat to the bottom of the boat..so hopefully, it stays along this path as much as possible. In reality though it usually ends up killing some electronics anyway.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:09   #18
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In reality though it usually ends up killing some electronics anyway.
yep it does
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Old 04-05-2008, 17:51   #19
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so how do you connect the lightning rod through the boat
antennae to mast, mast to mast post, and then through hull?
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Old 04-05-2008, 18:11   #20
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You might use google to search this site and you'll see the subject has been covered many times. I think the bottom line is boat lightning protection systems are designed to protect the boat and passengers. Electronics are another matter entirely.

I've been hit while onboard and underway and sustained no physical injuries nor were either of my hulls damaged. I have no lightning protection at all.

However I took a serious hit in the electronics area as everything was fried. I'm still looking for a system that will protect gear as I live in the boating lightning capital of the world.

Every now and then I read one of these threads and I ask the question, hoping someone out there has discovered the answer.
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:31   #21
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A “Custom” Google for < lightning > on CruisersForum, returns 232 hits (25 pages):
Lightning - Google Search

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Old 05-05-2008, 05:05   #22
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Hooked, I think I have read (and re-read) everyone one of those 25 pages. There is a lot of info there, some even very good (IMHO). When I get a chance I will PM you with the plans I am putting in place for my lighting protection. They might not be perfect but should be a good distillation of the info already gathered but I gotta add, the jury is still out on some of the opinions offered in those 25 pages.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:14   #23
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Originally Posted by rickm505 View Post
...

Every now and then I read one of these threads and I ask the question, hoping someone out there has discovered the answer.
Ah Rick, I think we all know the answer - chuck all the electronics in a big metal sealed tank, toss it overboard which a long all chain rode and anchor your your choice.

Then go below, open some beers or whatever you want for possibily your last drink and wait. If the big one comes, your estate can deal with the electronics anchored nearby; if not, then bring them back or board and sail on..

BTW, I think some of your previous posts on lighting has helped me formulate my own (perhaps inadequate) lighting protection system - thanks.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:12   #24
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This thread has morphed a bit....

From "breakers plus switches" -- the original question -- to "breakers or fuses" to "lightning effects on breakers and fuses".

Gord answered the original question, and I second his remarks, i.e., you certainly can use breakers plus switches. My boat is set up exactly this way and has functioned without any failure of either switches or breakers for the 18 years I've had her. The breakers generally control categories of things, like Navigation Lights. Then, there are individual toggle switches for Side Lights, Stern Light, Masthead (steaming) Light, Anchor Light, etc. This setup wasn't genius on my part; the builder set it up this way and I've found no reason to change it.

Remember, too, that not all breakers are created equal. Some are not meant to be used as switches; others are.

Re: the circuit breakers or switches question, I think it depends heavily upon the quality of hardware used and the installation. I have a marine electrician friend who abhors circuit breakers, and who recently rewired his boat using all fuses (high-end) aboard his 60' ketch. I use both, depending on the circuit and purpose. Whichever you choose, buy the best quality you can find.

Re: the lightning question, I certainly agree with the notion that there's enough voltage in a lightning strike to bridge any switch you might have aboard. Gord has provide great references to lightning protection strategies for those who believe in them or just wanna learn more.

Bill
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:03   #25
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Just another (minor) point in the CB question. I have experienced (only once) where a cheap(ish) CB welded its contacts CLOSED when subjected to large (very large - I guess) overload current. The wire/terminal connection on the back of the CB was the next weakest link in this particular event - maybe it was a little dodgy to begin with . A fuse just can't weld itself shut - just something else to add to the mix!
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Old 05-05-2008, 23:40   #26
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an interesting thought Wotname for fuses
I look forward to seeing the PM
thanks for all the advice
by the way it is wet and cool here at the moment with cold nights, what you got now
cheers
Greg
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:38   #27
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High 20's max and low teens min, dry (although April was wettest on record - about 150 mm). Hobart is actually drier than Perth.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:17   #28
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I have just about finished my panel on my new boat. All switch/fuse combinations. Lots of them. As much as possible everything has its own two wire run back to the master switches. With the only exception of a few house lights EVERYTHING has its own fuse and switch at the board. Yes more wire more bits, but isolation of the individual items reduces the chance of a "daisy chain" burn out. The pos. and neg. then go to a very heavy bus bars at the back of the board . The bilge pumps are separately wired and fused with their own auto/manual/off switch directly wired to the battery (s). The bus bars then through a low loss combiner/isolator and a 1/2 both/off battery switch to the 1 engine 3 house battery's. Apart from the Nav lights everything has its own local on/off switch. Sounds complicated but is actually very easy, and makes trouble shooting simple if something goes wrong later. Why no breakers ? cost and I cant fix them. ....
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:53   #29
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Coop, sounds good, do you have an HF, if so, is it wired through the "standard" board or have you taken the power from (say) the battery switch (via suitable fuses of course). Some like to do this to minimize the voltage drop but I prefer to make sure the "normal" distribution via bus bars / fuse / switch board is up to speed and can handle large loads without a voltage drop.
Interested to hear what you have done in this regard
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:52   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Coop, sounds good, do you have an HF, if so, is it wired through the "standard" board or have you taken the power from (say) the battery switch (via suitable fuses of course). Some like to do this to minimize the voltage drop but I prefer to make sure the "normal" distribution via bus bars / fuse / switch board is up to speed and can handle large loads without a voltage drop.
Interested to hear what you have done in this regard
I thought the dedicated battey cable for the radios was more an issue with preventing noise getting into them. The impedence of the batts will stop most noise that could get to the radios if they were hanging off the general buss.

Mike
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