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View Poll Results: Have you ever suffered a lightning strike?
Yes, in Florida USA 9 5.84%
Yes, elsewhere in the USA 23 14.94%
Yes, elsewhere in the World 17 11.04%
No, but I personally know a boater who has 34 22.08%
No, but I'm aware of a specific boater who has 18 11.69%
I don't know anyone who has suffered a strike 53 34.42%
Voters: 154. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29-07-2015, 11:49   #61
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

Hi Pollux,

Yes, this is where we insert the term "non-scientific"

There's an obvious selection bias in this poll: Those who have no interest in lightingstrike polls because they have no story to tell, haven't clicked the "I don't know anyone" poll option.

So with certainty, this poll is not accurate as to the likelyhood of lightning strikes. For that likelyhood we would have to go to insurance statistics. BoatUS has recently done a good article about those likelyhoods and that information is online.

My goal with this post is actually to gather data from a large number of lightning strike suffers. The other options are there to help determine the quality of the data, i.e., this happened to me vs. this is a story I know of.

What I'm really attempting to glean is whether the hull type, keel type, mast type and configuration, and rigging actually make any difference as to the likelihood of strikes, especially metal vs. FRG boats.

I suspect it does not, because even FRG boats usually present a metal mast/compression post/keel combination that is either conductive all the way to the water or close to it with merely a few thin insulators such as paint or a single layer of FRG that's bolted through.

So you are correct: This poll cannot be used to determine the likelihood of a strike. With enough entries (over 100) however describing strikes and the boat they happened to, it can provide statistics to determine whether or not a specific configuration is more or less likely than others to suffer a strike.
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Old 29-07-2015, 12:31   #62
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

I read that if a lightning storm is nearby, it's a good idea to put electronic gear in the boat's oven (if you have one). It acts as a Faraday Box.

On the other hand, I read of a lightning strike on a boat where the strike came down the mast and jumped right across to the stove and fried it !

What do you think ?
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Old 29-07-2015, 13:52   #63
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

Here's my very un-embellished and unemotional story:

Lightning Brings Abrupt End to Journey . . .

Damage: all electronics lost (in a storm at night in the Gulf Stream off of Cape Hatteras), electrical and then fiberglass fire on board, leaking hull, leaking transmission, and a general desire to stay home next time...(it didn't last long).

Boat: fiberglass hull, cutter-rigged, aluminum mast, fin keel, skeg rudder. The total cost I don't know, because it was a delivery and the owner was not very forthcoming after that (I guess he thought it was my fault?).

Pete
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Old 29-07-2015, 16:43   #64
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
....
There's an obvious selection bias in this poll: Those who have no interest in lightingstrike polls because they have no story to tell, haven't clicked the "I don't know anyone" poll option.

So with certainty, this poll is not accurate as to the likelyhood of lightning strikes. For that likelyhood we would have to go to insurance statistics. BoatUS has recently done a good article about those likelyhoods and that information is online.

..
I did not know that article that is based on insurance claims and seems to have statistical relevance at least in what concerns the US. It would be interesting to check different regions of the US and Europe (I can tell you that Italy on the last 15 days of September is quite scary).

Maybe some data of that article may interest others, it certainly interested me:

"The odds of getting struck by lightning are about one in a million. But if you own a boat, the odds of it being struck by lightning are significantly higher ...
sailboats with their tall masts pointing to the sky have significantly more lightning claims than powerboats 3.8 chances per 1,000....

A boat 40-65 feet in length has 6 chances per 1,000 while boats 16-25 feet have just a 0.2 chance per 1,000. Increasing the height of a sailboat mast from 35 to 45 feet nearly triples the odds of being hit.

A multihull sailboat is almost twice as likely to have a lightning claim as a monohull."


BoatUS: Lightning Facts : BoatUS Press Room

So it means that in what regards a 40/50ft boat the chances are about 1 in each 170 boats and that sounds right to me but does really mean very bad luck regarding the several skippers whose boats has been hit twice and there are several on this thread.
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Old 29-07-2015, 18:53   #65
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

We were preparing to fish off Grand Haven Michigan a few years ago. We had just set 12 lines including planer boards, divers, lead lines & downriggers. A storm was starting to pop lightning about 20 miles west of us (over water). We were planning to stick it out until sparks started dancing in the rod ferules on the lead lines. It looked like a Hollywood set for Count Dracula. I was amazed to see how far away the storm was able to effect the environs.
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Old 29-07-2015, 20:15   #66
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by macbeth View Post
I read that if a lightning storm is nearby, it's a good idea to put electronic gear in the boat's oven (if you have one). It acts as a Faraday Box.

On the other hand, I read of a lightning strike on a boat where the strike came down the mast and jumped right across to the stove and fried it !

What do you think ?
Microwave oven yes. Regular oven no. Gap at door can function as a slot antena.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slot_antenna

Try anti static bags instead.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti_static_bag
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Old 29-07-2015, 20:31   #67
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

I had a near strike in the Puget Sound last summer. Loudest boom I have ever heard/felt (in my chest). I was motoring with the autopilot on. Several alarms started beeping (didn't look at what they were, just shut everything down). After a full reboot only damage was fried autopilot computer. Fortunately I had a spare on board and was back up and running in about 30 minutes.

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Old 29-07-2015, 21:26   #68
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

Cartagena Colombia in 2007, on marina Club de Pesca, Large Catamaran was hit, saw it happen, his VHF antenna turned to a column of brown smoke. We thought we were OK as he was on the next dock. Later found on our boat : the Laptop's charger, an AA battery charger, the microwave's clock, and the generator regulator board fried. The autopilot needed re-swinging of the compass. Spike must have come through the shore power cable.
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Old 29-07-2015, 22:01   #69
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

currently working on a boat that either hit or got too close and arched to a 22,000 volt power line across a river. killed engine and gen. fried $100,000 of electronics and electrical stuff. started multiple fires on board. blew holes out the rudder, and blew out the depth transducer. so it was dead in water while sinking and on fire... luckly in a river 30' from shore.


looks like first hit when down mast to keel, but blew the gounding wire off keel bolt. big flashes at mast bottom. once grounding wire blew power then went down backstay, and started fire in laz. damage to ground buses and ground wires all over boat. power pretty much took every ground path it could find.
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Old 29-07-2015, 23:25   #70
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

Yep! Three years ago in North Carolina.
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Old 30-07-2015, 01:16   #71
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

Man, this is a frightening thread!!!!!
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Old 31-07-2015, 10:46   #72
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

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Man, this is a frightening thread!!!!!
Hey, the good news is that we're all still writing about it! Pete
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Old 31-07-2015, 11:49   #73
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

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Hey, the good news is that we're all still writing about it! Pete

Very true. It would be interesting to hear from someone who died in a boat strike. 😳


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Old 31-07-2015, 11:54   #74
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

I've been told that dead people tell no tales, which may explain why none of them are responding.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:29   #75
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Re: Have you suffered a lightning strike?

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I've been told that dead people tell no tales, which may explain why none of them are responding.
Another source of statistical bias in the poll.
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