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Old 24-11-2014, 15:13   #31
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

That video is fake.

snopes.com: Man Struck by Lightning Twice

Gil.
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Old 24-11-2014, 15:42   #32
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Time to rename the boat: Sweet Chariots of Fire.

You might also want to have it hauled, a direct hit can leave pinholes in the hull and other damage below the waterline. Even if they appear undamaged, check your batteries and if there's insurance, ask that they be replaced. The plates can be damaged with no outside side. Pretty much every inch and ounce of metal on the boat needs to be checked, seacocks too, even the "no, there's no way it could..." stuff.
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Old 24-11-2014, 16:43   #33
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

DefinitelyMe, I read an article on marine lighting suppression even if i could find it again i wouldn't know how to post it on CF. The jest of the article was, nothing can stop damage of some sort. About running a wire (mast to water) is, lighting usually will run in a strait line down and said wire would need to be that way (no curve). And said a thick battery cable is not enough. Apearintaly there is not enough data yet. My 24ft-er has the mast on top of my cabin and i plain to run a very very large cable strait down,strait out the bottom. To a large stainless steel carriage bolt of some type. Weather i run that bolt thru a large stainless steel plate ? Maybe an anode plate ? with or without some rubber sleeve ? Is yet to be determined. Thinking maybe save on damage ? I know another/different thread sorry . Unless someone wants to chime in and save us all some greef ? Sincerely sailersteve.
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Old 24-11-2014, 17:08   #34
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

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Originally Posted by sailersteve View Post
DefinitelyMe, I read an article on marine lighting suppression even if i could find it again i wouldn't know how to post it on CF. The jest of the article was, nothing can stop damage of some sort. About running a wire (mast to water) is, lighting usually will run in a strait line down and said wire would need to be that way (no curve). And said a thick battery cable is not enough. Apearintaly there is not enough data yet. My 24ft-er has the mast on top of my cabin and i plain to run a very very large cable strait down,strait out the bottom. To a large stainless steel carriage bolt of some type. Weather i run that bolt thru a large stainless steel plate ? Maybe an anode plate ? with or without some rubber sleeve ? Is yet to be determined. Thinking maybe save on damage ? I know another/different thread sorry . Unless someone wants to chime in and save us all some greef ? Sincerely sailersteve.
I haven't got my head around this yet. I wonder if a good earth might make your boat more attractive to strikes?
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Old 24-11-2014, 17:12   #35
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

I was racing on a boat that was struck by lightning. Every piece of electronic equipment onboard was fried. We began to take on water, & upon being hauled out, discovered more than 100 pinholes thru the hull, at the water line. Monitor your bilges carefully for incoming water.
Glad to hear that you are O.K.
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Old 24-11-2014, 17:16   #36
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

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I haven't got my head around this yet. I wonder if a good earth might make your boat more attractive to strikes?
Yeah, I think the jury is still out on lightening suppression. Which doesn't mean a bunch of people don't have strong opinions!
The damage and /or strikes I've seen ashore or in the marine environment leads me to believe there is nothing you can do... short of a steel boat to transfer the energy anyway.
I think it's pretty evident Lightning doesn't necessarily take the shortest route, it's just too big, fast and powerful for that is my guess. It travels sideways in the sky, becomes multiple bolts when striking things etc.
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Old 24-11-2014, 17:36   #37
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Glad to hear that you are okay.

We live not far from Botany Bay and the storm was quite ferrous. The lightning around my home was non-stop for 10 or 15 minutes. Hopefully when I go to check my boat in Port Hacking all is okay.
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Old 24-11-2014, 17:44   #38
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

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...leads me to believe there is nothing you can do... short of a steel boat to transfer the energy anyway.
......
Steel boats are not immune to lightening damage. I have a friend who was hit off Nicaragua in her 46 ft steel sloop. Extensive damage to most electronics, a fairly serious fire in a wire harness in the engine room. A big insurance bill.
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Old 24-11-2014, 18:03   #39
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Like other posters have said, get the boat out of the water and find the holes,they will be there, sometimes very very hard to find but keep looking, as the obvious things are apparent, lightening always leaves a lot of hidden little gems,like any electrical type device and hull damage.
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Old 24-11-2014, 18:10   #40
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Sailor41072 , The article i read said,around the water line may get the most damage . The pin-holes you talked about & even big hunks of fiber glass popping off around the water line . The reason for my thoughts on the ( strait out the bottom ) cable to ground to underwater. I do know i will be putting fuses on all POSITIVE & NEGATIVE WIRES to all electronics , antenna surge protectors etc. Thanks everyone sincerely sailersteve.
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Old 24-11-2014, 19:06   #41
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Lightning Attenuation Onboard Good primer on marine protection. No connection to the co. Got 35 years inspecting and repairing aircraft that have had lightning strikes. Been hit in the air 5 times I can remember.
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Old 24-11-2014, 19:20   #42
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

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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?
Here is how I did it. I ran a length of the best 0/0 I cable I could find from the mast step to the keel. On the outside of the boat I lag bolted a 6x12" piece of 1/4" copper plate through the glass into the keel.
Every event is probably different but I have felt the heat from lightning bolts on my face and all is still well with the boat.
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Old 24-11-2014, 19:30   #43
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

Glad you are ok, Steve!

That's a story to tell the grand kids, for sure!

I totally agree there's no 100% protection against lightning strikes on a boat, some people put their portable devices in the oven during lightning to have at least a backup GPS and phone in case they got hit.

On my steel sloop the insulated backstay was hit a few years ago damaging the HF radio but the brunt of the energy must have arc'ed to the aluminium post of the marker flag that's tied to the backstay. Black marks there and more at the bottom of the post where it was sitting on the steel deck.

In general, the consensus is that pointy ends attract lightning, one ham radio operator actually sharpened his lightning arrestors on the antenna masts every year, saying they got noticeably blunt during that time. The idea is that sharp points cause the static energy to discharge easier and hence earlier. That means less static has been built up and you get lots more but far weaker hits.

I might try that since I need to go up the mast again soon, anyway.

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Old 24-11-2014, 19:44   #44
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

I have done a lot of research into lightning protection for pleasure craft. What I have found is that there are no guarantees. You can follow ABYC's recommendations to the letter and your boat might still be damaged by a lightning strike. Lightning is just too powerful and unpredictable. There is a fair amount of analytical data that argues both for and against a comprehensive lightning protection system. For example, there are 'experts' who say that grounding the mast to keel bolts is ineffective and that ion dissapaters mounted to the top of the mast are worthless.

I have saved many of the articles I have read about lightning protection and I'm happy to forward them on to whoever would like them but a simple search will produce similar results. Even though we cruise full time in equatorial regions of the world, our boat remains unprotected as I am unconvinced that a lightning protection system will prevent my boat from being struck or being damaged if it is struck.

Fair winds, calm seas and no lightning.
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Old 24-11-2014, 21:36   #45
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Re: Hit by lightning this afternoon in Botany Bay

I'm with you nhschneider. I'm not grounded or lightning protected in any way. When I got hit at sea (see previous post) I sustained a couple of hundred dollars worth of damage. I had no pinholes at the waterline.

Was I lucky? Nobody really knows that much about how lightning works. If it makes you feel better to ground your entire boat and install lightning "protection" be my guest. But I bet you're no safer than I am...
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