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Old 24-11-2014, 09:38   #16
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

are your through hulls bonded you may have hull damage. we see spider cracks emanating from the through hulls into the fiberglass or wood all the time in Florida


also the mast fittings should be checked any cap even the smallest may have arched


glad your OK
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Old 24-11-2014, 09:46   #17
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Really glad your ok ! Standing next to a stainless steel counter. 23 years old with a full head of blond hair,i remember vividly sailing 8ft in the air 10ft back landing on my rear. (the feeling like) my toe tips , finger tips, & top of my head burning from being hit by lighting. I was bald in 19 months I guess you could say thats the first time i went sailing . And i guess you could say i'm another " lucky steve ". If you can , when you see lighting take cover. That was one of the most scary days of my life ! Sincerely sailersteve .
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Old 24-11-2014, 09:47   #18
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Good on you steve.

We were hit by lightning in the Bahamas a few years ago while at anchor. Vaporized the vhf antenna. Killed the vhf, depth, all nav lights and some interior lights. Also the alternator.

Whats interesting was what it didnt kill. Everything hard wired to the battery bank, not through the breaker panel, was ok. The fridge, autopilot, inverter and solar controller/panel were untouched.

And a mystery. The navtex, which was wired to the breaker panel alongside the vhf and depth, was dead. But while inspecting it I discovered it was fused on both the negative and positive wires, unlike the vhf and depth which were only fused on the positive wire. The negative fuse was blown. I replaced it and the navtex worked perfectly again.
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Old 24-11-2014, 10:11   #19
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Glad ur OK. AFTER your insurance adjuster & insurance company company come to an agreement with you,do not sign a blanket release,so that if something shows up a few months later,they will still cover it.A reputable insurance company will sign an agreement to cover future un-discovered damage for a reasonable period of time.
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Old 24-11-2014, 10:32   #20
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

The variety of after effects described above should illustrate that no 2 strikes are the same. A few years ago the shortest mast in a lineup of boats at the yacht club, after a Newport-Bermuda Race, was the 1 that took the strike. Much taller masts on either side were un-affected.
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Old 24-11-2014, 10:49   #21
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Whew... close call. I think strikes are pretty common. My boat was struck in Annapolis while living aboard, I never knew when, and it was evidently not a big bolt. I just found the Windex in the cockpit and the melted remnant on the top of the mast. There was a carbon mark down one side of the mast at the upper shroud attachment. So evidently it traveled right down the shroud and jumped to the water. I assume it ocurred when we were off the boat.
Another time as I was out in the dingy, a boat was struck right next to me as I passed. Super loud and a lot of static electricity all around. His mast top was smoking afterward.
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:04   #22
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Hi 'Sparky'
Your account of this direct hit is really appreciated. Making another trip across the ITCZ soon and lightening is definitely a concern and knowing yet another sailor and boat have 'survived' it is comforting and reassuring.

A friend's boat was hit crossing the ITCZ and ended up with very fine lined spider web looking places in the hull below and above the water line that were 'weakened' by the exiting charge.

'Glad you are okay. Botany Bay and the rest of E. Aus. is getting its wet season now!
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:15   #23
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Be cautious about replacing / repairing things before the insurance inspection. Take a lot of pictures or damage before and after to make sure they dont cheat you out of your due.

Your gold clubs were destroyed too, right?

-steve
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:22   #24
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Glad you're OK mate. Sounds like it was rather a close call to say the least!

While we're on the topic of lightning....... and someone tell me if it's bad form to change the subject of a thread like this; i'm currently contemplating a way to ground my mast. It used to be stepped on a big bit of steel, which rusted out and which i have now replaced with a home-made fabrication of solid glass. only problem is, it's now isolated electrically so i'm thinking of taking a short length of heavy-gauge copper wire and grounding it to the keel bolts via that. The keel is encased in glass, but i figure it's probably still the best route to ground and worst-case scenario it blows the glass off the side of the keel at the exit point. Only other option is grounding through the engine which i'm not too keen on. Anyone got any better ideas, other than fitting a purpose-made grounding plate?
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:53   #25
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

As teenager out for a walk-had lightning land not 20 feet from me.Knocked me down.
Really let me know I am alive!
Made my hair stand up.

Thankful you're well !
Sorry some equipment got toasted.
Trust all will come together well for you!


All the Best
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:54   #26
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Bummer
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Old 24-11-2014, 12:56   #27
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

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Old 24-11-2014, 13:15   #28
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Ya know, just because there's a "severe thunderstorm warning -- with damaging hail" out on Ch. 16, I wouldn't have thought to quit working on my engine either! Maybe some food for thought there, especially having the VHF on when you can see the thunderheads building. Have friends, though, who habitually disconnect their radios from the power supplies to them. Hmmm.

Good luck with the recovery. Yours sounds like a terrifying experience, and with lots of possible nasty ramifications.

Ann
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Old 24-11-2014, 14:45   #29
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

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Originally Posted by Sweet Chariot View Post
Talk about a million one to chance and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Approximately 4 o'clock this afternoon whilst working in the cabin on "Sweet Chariot" there was an almighty flash and sound like you've never heard as a lightening bolt decided to use my mast to get to ground. The boat lit up in a bright blue flash and blacked out all the electrics. So far found 14 blown fuses, a number of lights not working. Found the remnants of the VHF antenna in the dinghy. That was the first point of contact being mounted at the mast top. Hopefully not too much terminal damage. Still a lot of components not tested yet. Thank goodness the new motor is ok. Starts and charges ok. The screwdriver I was using arced across to the plate I was screwing into. Frightened the living crap out of me, I can tell you. At least I am ok. Still shaking a bit though.


Having operated a small business fitting out and wiring/rewiring boats of all sizes I rewired "Sweet Chariot" just after I bought her a few years back. I number all cable ends and have a comprehensive wirirng diagram for her so it makes fault tracing relatively simple.

Two fuse boxes have been destroyed. The 27 mHz radio, VHF Radio and antenna, Audio CD head unit, TV, Autopilot, have all suffered internal damage as they will not work despite all efforts. A number of lights are also not working.
More testing will be done tomorrow after I replace the two fuses boxes and get back to a good base to begin with.
I have some photos but they are on my Iphone and i am writing this on my ipad. Will post them tomorrow night when i get back home.

"Lucky Steve" signing off for now!


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
I'm glad Sweet Chariot wasn't coming to carry you home. Sorry about your equipment. If you bundled wires into harnesses I'd look closely for shorts wire to wire within the bundles. That is hard to find and can cause some strange things with you electronics.
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Old 24-11-2014, 14:52   #30
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

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Originally Posted by DefinitelyMe View Post
Glad you're OK mate. Sounds like it was rather a close call to say the least!

While we're on the topic of lightning....... and someone tell me if it's bad form to change the subject of a thread like this; i'm currently contemplating a way to ground my mast. It used to be stepped on a big bit of steel, which rusted out and which i have now replaced with a home-made fabrication of solid glass. only problem is, it's now isolated electrically so i'm thinking of taking a short length of heavy-gauge copper wire and grounding it to the keel bolts via that. The keel is encased in glass, but i figure it's probably still the best route to ground and worst-case scenario it blows the glass off the side of the keel at the exit point. Only other option is grounding through the engine which i'm not too keen on. Anyone got any better ideas, other than fitting a purpose-made grounding plate?
I would go with a grounding plate. With two people, one with scuba it can be installed while in the water.
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