Originally Posted by goboatingnow
quite, but the lightening conductor on my church steeple, is 3/4 by 1/4"" solid copper bar, not a $5 dollar wire. unless of course the lightening that hits boats is different of course.
Our own boat has been hit and I work on others that have too. We lost
everything electronic but no wires were damaged except for some very small NEMA & network stuff. Also skipped right over all the fuses
but I do often see this..
I have seen wire jacketing vaporized but not physically seen adequate bonding wires vaporized, yet. That said lightning hits are anything but the same on each boat. Some have hardly any wire damage and others have melted jackets all over the place. I have heard of a sintered bronze plate being blown up, not personally seen it though. I've also worked on boats that took direct hits with sintered bronze plates that were fine and were bonded to the lightning system.. Still a sintered plate would not be my choice. I've also seen boats where the hull
was fractured through yet the bonding/lightning wiring
was still in decent shape.
at our club was on-board during their strike and it blew the bilge cabin sole
boards out of place. They suspect from the lightning hitting the bilge water
. The mast and chain plate
lightning wires were still intact but their carbon fiber spar cost a LOT if money
Lightning does odd things and I gave up trying to predict what it will do. I know if it wants my boat it will get it. The same night we were hit a Cal
22 was hit. There were 1100 other sailboats in the anchorage and our mast was far from the tallest. The Cal
22 was one of the shortest. The little Cal 22 had holes blown in her hull
where the VHF
wire was laying on it and it was taking on water and sinking, our hull was fine as was all of our lightning wires, jackets and all.
My neighbor behind me was hit four years ago and had just spent a bunch of money
on a "lightning protection system" with the fuzzy bottle brush and all... I though after he was hit that I'd be fine being next to him as he clearly attracted it away from me...
I was clearly wrong..
Lightning sucks and there's not a whole heck of a lot I've found you can do. After our hit I called a friend at a very large marine
insurer. After a few days and database research
, talks with his Florida
team (lots of strikes there), investigation teams and a call to his actuarial team they said they have not seen any success or measurable performance differences with any of the lightning systems out there.
This was not because they have not looked. He would not disclose what they pay out in lightning claims but he said it was a shockingly large number and something that is in the forefront of their marine
division as a targeted area for claim reductions. They just can't find a system that shows any measurable improvement over any other. He claimed they have had hits and paid claims on all of the various lightning systems they know of. He suggested that if any system showed even some tangible benefit they would likely offer a discount to have one installed. I decided to leave my system as it was because at least our boat did not sink..!
Of course if I am hit again it just may sink, who knows, not me...
The worst part of our hit was that every piece of gear
in the boat was brand new having just finished a 100% re-wire over the preceding winter. All gear
was replaced with the identical stuff...
It could have waited a few years untill my gear was getting older and obsolete at least!!!