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Old 16-06-2011, 19:10   #61
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post

More people are killed "per year" by lightning... than flood, fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes or tornadoes! Since they are not killed in large numbers at once, and they are dispersed all over the planet, it never makes the national news, and this gives the ILLUSION that it is a low risk. The risk is real, as are the steps to vastly improve our odds.


...
I have never heard that. It is hard to believe. It would be in the thousands would it not?
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Old 16-06-2011, 20:43   #62
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

These posts are absolutely fascinating! Here's mine; The lightening strike I endured w/ 2 crew members ( below deck) was about 200 miles off Ocean City MD. coming in from Bda. Other light bolts had come down in the distance, then POW, I was at the helm and little mini bolts were going from the tips of my fingers to the A shaped SS pedestal frame and I screamed. The crew member in the head screamed after reporting a flash of light, and the other just heard it. Say so long to the mast head antenna (gone), running lights (were melted), VHF, a couple of other electronics don't remember (this was 20 years ago). Oh yes, nothing like the first hand account!
2 weeks ago we were coming out of the gulf stream off cape cod on a run from Bda. to Mt. Desert Island and there it was again, that devil the flashy stuff. Over the years I've come to accept it on an emotional level, in past years I swear it was out to get me.... it follows me..
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Old 16-06-2011, 21:25   #63
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Re: Idiot needs thunderstorm advice (please)

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Originally Posted by speciald@ocens. View Post
Jumper cables are useless! They have no surface area to disapate the charge.
I've heard the technique of attaching the end of the jumper cables that you are going to throw in the water to a copper plate for that reason. Any weigh-ins on that?
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Old 16-06-2011, 21:47   #64
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Yeah. Sometime we never see the wind on the water. It crashes straight down from above. Good times!
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Old 17-06-2011, 08:29   #65
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

Some links with interesting information about how a lightening to boat strike works and the pros and cons of lightening protection on boats.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/SG/SG07100.pdf
National Ag Safety Database - Boating-Lightning Protection
Lightning Protection on Sailboats
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Old 17-06-2011, 08:41   #66
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

Here is another take on the situation presented by Forspar - yes they do pronote their products, but I am not. I have never used and cannot speak to the good or bad of any of those mentioned.

Lightning Strike
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Old 17-06-2011, 10:56   #67
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

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Originally Posted by aquarian View Post
situation presented by Forspar - yes they do pronote their products, but I am not.
Yes, I too am sceptical about people who try to sell things by fear, worse by irrational fear, or spiking up a fear a la the media.

So I found the location of this lightening strink in the Forspar promo: Milwaukee and I seached in Google Earth for this town. There's one Milwaukee in China that makes Motor Cycles and one near Canada in a cute little lake.
I took a screen shot, below, now if you zoooooom right in, and sharpen a match to a fine point you can count the boats that were NOT hit by lightning.

I could tell you exactly how many boats are there, but on the last Finger a fly landed on my lap. Of course I swatted it. Hard.

So would you mind counting?
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Old 17-06-2011, 11:34   #68
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

I recently sailed the wrong way up along side the NE monsoon drift, between Sri Lanka and Thailand and was in a consistant lightning storm that lasted for 12 days over the main current stream. The days were noisy and the nights were spectacular. The first couple of days were a un-nerving but we soon got used to it and it didnt bother us too much. The boats chainplates were earthed, and we kept our radar mostly off (Im not sure why, but that was some advice I was once given.-Talisman maybe) but other than that we did'nt do anything special and thankfully were'nt struck.
So actually I have no advice except stay lucky.
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Old 17-06-2011, 11:42   #69
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

Lightning and Your Boat - BoatSafe.com has a pretty good explaination of Farady Cage and how it works.
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Old 17-06-2011, 12:17   #70
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

Lightning goes where it wants talking to a boat insurance person he told me that he has seen the best protected boats hit and a hole was blown through the side of the boat and totally unprotect boats suffer little damage. Most companies do not check what you have for protection because they cannot find a solution that works 100% of the time.
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Old 17-06-2011, 14:09   #71
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

i have steel cable with an weight on the end that i clip to the shroud and throw overboard. cant do much about lightning but i think its better to take all the precautions one can in a situation like that. one time was caught in a squall, the CG had their ribbed boat on patrol which promptly said over the PA system to seek shelter immediately. 25 mins later without much warning over WX a squall came up punching 75 mph winds and waterspouts. boats were being dragged across the cove and there was no way of fighting it in our 23 footer, so we gave in, gracefully as possible washed up on the shore, threw the anchor out and started draining the water ballast. after it passed we escaped with a torn jib, in the chaos i failed to properly secure the jib sheets in the cams and while trying to fight a furler at 75 mph, i was only able to get it in so far which left about 3 feet unfurled then she tore. we were lucky, some other bigger heaver boats were blown well onto dry marsh with the wind and surge. doesnt hold to open seas but for this area it was really really bad.
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Old 17-06-2011, 15:06   #72
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

Quote:
Originally Posted by CptMarcosSamana View Post
These posts are absolutely fascinating! Here's mine; The lightening strike I endured w/ 2 crew members ( below deck) was about 200 miles off Ocean City MD. coming in from Bda. Other light bolts had come down in the distance, then POW, I was at the helm and little mini bolts were going from the tips of my fingers to the A shaped SS pedestal frame and I screamed. The crew member in the head screamed after reporting a flash of light, and the other just heard it. Say so long to the mast head antenna (gone), running lights (were melted), VHF, a couple of other electronics don't remember (this was 20 years ago). Oh yes, nothing like the first hand account!
2 weeks ago we were coming out of the gulf stream off cape cod on a run from Bda. to Mt. Desert Island and there it was again, that devil the flashy stuff. Over the years I've come to accept it on an emotional level, in past years I swear it was out to get me.... it follows me..
Great first post, Captain!

Regards,
Brad
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Old 17-06-2011, 22:13   #73
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

"I have no advice except stay lucky." - I asked my builder if he was going to put lightening protection on my sailing catamaran. He said that there was no need as it was a wooden (covered in fiberglass) boat and a wooden mast. I pointed out that there was a big piece of stainless steel on the top of the mast to which a number of stainless steel cables were attached. He pointed out that these are all terminated well above the salt water so the boat is not grounded anywhere - I believe the car analogy was used based on the tires keeping it from being grounded (I had heard this also for many years, and yes, I read the post that says it isn't true - so now I am confused). My builder has forty years of sailing and living aboard experience all over the world - so far I am up to zero years experience. Lots of stuff makes logical sense to me that doesn't actually seem to be true - so I remain confused on this issue. My experienced builder said that he has been in many electrical storms and never had a problem - lucky or correct? I observe the lightening here in the Philippines and it seems to me that most of it goes cloud to cloud. The precaution about a heavy jumper cable attached to a copper plate makes some sense to me - if only for the psychological well being of the crew. I too have a steel wheel, attached by steel cables to steel rudders (encased in fiberglass). I have no autopilot so perhaps I will rig up some way to tie the wheel in place - seems like a useful thing in any event. I am guessing that the lightening doesn't care which stay I use, it will 'know' which one is grounded - perhaps the best one is the starboard aft stay as the engine is in the port hull and the propane tank is mounted on the (outside) port side of the transom. In the end, perhaps I too will be 'lucky'.
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Old 18-06-2011, 02:47   #74
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

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...He pointed out that these are all terminated well above the salt water so the boat is not grounded anywhere - I believe the car analogy was used based on the tires keeping it from
I doubt lightning "cares" about the few feet of isolation between chainplates and the water. After sparking across 10,000 meters of open air the last few inches can't make any difference. From all the anecdotal evidence I'd surmise that lightning does as it pleases.

Personally I don't do anything about it. Seems like a small danger that I cannot do anything about. And I'm no idiot.
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Old 18-06-2011, 05:54   #75
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Re: Idiot Needs Thunderstorm Advice ( Please )

A very close friend of mine is an electrical engineer. He helped put the lunar module on the moon. He says there are 2 theories. To ground, or not to ground, and neither work, because lightning does what it does, when it does it, and there's no getting around it!.........i2f
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