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Old 20-01-2017, 15:30   #1
RPZ
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Lightning

Lightning ever strike your boat, or know firsthand of it striking someone Else's?

As much of a lightning rod a mast would seem on the ocean I have yet to meet or hear of anyone I know having knowledge of a strike on a sailboat.
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Old 20-01-2017, 15:36   #2
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Re: Lightning

La Playita anchorage on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, July 2014.

Five boats in the anchorage and one got hit and three others nearby got side strikes. All lost significant electronics, mine was the only boat not hit.

I know ten boats that have been hit in Florida, Caribbean and Panama. Only one was at sea.
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Old 20-01-2017, 15:37   #3
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Re: Lightning

Yes, I have been hit. So have many others. The topic has been discussed again and again. Suggest you do a search and read the existing threads.

If you have a new perspective or unique question after that then post it.

Don't want to be a Debbie downer but if you are really interested in learning you will probably learn more from reading existing threads on the subject. There are MANY!
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Old 20-01-2017, 15:37   #4
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Re: Lightning

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Originally Posted by RPZ View Post
Lightning ever strike your boat, or know firsthand of it striking someone Else's?

As much of a lightning rod a mast would seem on the ocean I have yet to meet or hear of anyone I know having knowledge of a strike on a sailboat.
BoatUS insurance company alone has about 1000 lightning strike claims per year.
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Old 20-01-2017, 15:38   #5
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Re: Lightning

Got it, thanks
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Old 20-01-2017, 16:10   #6
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Re: Lightning

I have watched a couple being struck. I had one struck In Annapolis, didn't know until I took the mast down for rebuild. Hadn't been struck 3 months earlier.
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Old 20-01-2017, 16:18   #7
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Re: Lightning

S/V Kit here in the harbor got whacked 3 times in 18 months. Now she always has plenty of swing room in the anchorage.

Another friend got nailed while up on the stands in Deltaville. Blew the Windex off the mast and all the fairing compound out of the hull/keel joint.

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Old 20-01-2017, 16:20   #8
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Re: Lightning

Google lighting strike cruisers forum site
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Old 20-01-2017, 16:25   #9
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Re: Lightning

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Originally Posted by RPZ View Post
Lightning ever strike your boat, or know firsthand of it striking someone Else's?

As much of a lightning rod a mast would seem on the ocean I have yet to meet or hear of anyone I know having knowledge of a strike on a sailboat.


My boat took a lightning strike to the main mast last July. About $35k worth of damage to electronics, electrics and a few other systems. Fortunately my insurance covered it.

-David
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Old 20-01-2017, 17:23   #10
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Re: Lightning

some folks i know suffered only a spot burn on panel when their wifi antenna was the lightning rod, and another boat i knew was hit 2 times--4 yrs apart--second time sunk it. oops
we were out sailing in heaps and gobs of it and didnt die nor were we hit. yes i am knocking vigorously on wood.
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Old 20-01-2017, 18:39   #11
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Re: Lightning

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
some folks i know suffered only a spot burn on panel when their wifi antenna was the lightning rod, and another boat i knew was hit 2 times--4 yrs apart--second time sunk it. oops
we were out sailing in heaps and gobs of it and didnt die nor were we hit. yes i am knocking vigorously on wood.
Ach, eine Deutscher!

I know someone who has been struck by lightning ( not on a boat) twice on two different occasions. You can survive, but your body and your life will never be the same.
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Old 20-01-2017, 22:39   #12
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Lightning

Theory is that if the mast/ boat is grounded thru the keel, the electrical potential is the same as the surrounding water. It is the difference in electrical potential that causes a lightning strike. A mast grounded is not a lightning rod otherwise every sailboat marina would be constantly struck by lightning. Lots of good information from a university of Florida professor who studied lightning and sailing.

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073916/00001

My first offshore sail many years ago was from Punta Gorda, FL to Key West on a steel Tahiti Ketch. Got in one hell of a storm and was glad the Owner had shared his book on lightning with me before we left. Still, in all that lightning, it can be pretty intimidating.

I know of a boat hit on KY Lake several years ago. Had tiny holes all along the waterline. All electronics ruined. Interior smelled like burnt wiring I'm told.
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Old 21-01-2017, 03:30   #13
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Re: Lightning

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Originally Posted by RPZ View Post
Lightning ever strike your boat, or know firsthand of it striking someone Else's?

As much of a lightning rod a mast would seem on the ocean I have yet to meet or hear of anyone I know having knowledge of a strike on a sailboat.
We got hit on our first trip to the Bahamas just after we dropped anchor - the lightening ran down our anchor chain it is believed by the insurance adjuster and the electrician who fixed it. They also said it would have been worse had we not had the witches broom at the top. Did it help? I have no idea. 25k in damage

We got a 2nd strike when on the ICW in SC and an idiot did not have a radio on and we were under some canopy going back and forth during a thunder storm and the idiot left the canopy and immediately got hit and we got a surge that took out our wind thingy at the top of the boat.

a storm blew across 4 of us when we were headed down the Panama coast from Bocas to the canal area. A lightening bolt hit the water about 100 yards behind our boat and all the circuit breakers popped - not good in a 35k storm with no visibility at 0200 - but we do think the witches broom did protect us -
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Old 21-01-2017, 04:23   #14
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Re: Lightning

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Originally Posted by J Clark H356 View Post
Theory is that if the mast/ boat is grounded thru the keel, the electrical potential is the same as the surrounding water. It is the difference in electrical potential that causes a lightning strike. A mast grounded is not a lightning rod otherwise every sailboat marina would be constantly struck by lightning. Lots of good information from a university of Florida professor who studied lightning and sailing.

Lightning and sailboats

My first offshore sail many years ago was from Punta Gorda, FL to Key West on a steel Tahiti Ketch. Got in one hell of a storm and was glad the Owner had shared his book on lightning with me before we left. Still, in all that lightning, it can be pretty intimidating.

I know of a boat hit on KY Lake several years ago. Had tiny holes all along the waterline. All electronics ruined. Interior smelled like burnt wiring I'm told.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 21-01-2017, 04:59   #15
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Re: Lightning

We were struck in Puerto Rico last June.. Destroyed all electronics (plugged in), and one saildrive clutch. $18K in damages.
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