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Old 19-09-2013, 18:03   #1
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Apr 2013
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Lightning and thunderstorm information

Hello,

please see a new article about lightning and thunderstorms: Thunderstorms and lightning

This is my favorite topic, so I'll be happy to have discussion and answer any questions in this forum.
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Old 20-09-2013, 09:09   #2
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Location: Connecticut/Caribbean
Boat: Voyage 440 Owners Version
Posts: 472
Re: Lightning and thunderstorm information

Thank you for your time and knowledge in this great review.
I found it very interesting and it does solidify everything I have read on lighting strikes to boats.
I did my own exhaustive review of boats and lightning strikes years ago after my 50 foot ketch was struck twice two years in a row. I was attempting to find some method to prevent me from suffering the same fate in the future.
Both times all my instruments were fried to include VHF, SSB,AP, Wind instruments and GPS. The boat itself was well grounded and never damaged.
I have heard that grounded boats have a higher chance of getting hit than non grounded ones!
Also on both occasions the boat was in the harbor on a mooring with one strike witnessed by a fellow boater who stated it appeared to be a "near strike" because he actually saw the lightning hit the water "near" my boat. Non-the-less my instruments were again fried.
So my question is, can a lighting strike generate enough static electricity to damage instruments without it being a direct hit?
I do believe this exists and therefore find it futile to disconnect instruments in a lighting storm as some suggest if indeed it is static electricity that we are dealing with in some cases.
Incidentally after the second strike the following year my insurance company cancelled my policy because they found me to be a "bad risk". I guess they felt I must have pissed off God or something :-)
A final note is to again alert people that if they come upon someone who has been struck by lighting and unconscious is to immediately perform mouth to mouth EVEN IF THEY HAVE A PULSE!!! The strike may not stop their heart but it will knock out their respiratory drive in the brain and this is where mouth to mouth can save a life in an otherwise dead person. The respiratory drive will again take over after a period of time.
Cheers
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Old 20-09-2013, 09:43   #3
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Location: Tampa Bay area
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Re: Lightning and thunderstorm information

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlobalSailingWX View Post
Hello,

please see a new article about lightning and thunderstorms: Thunderstorms and lightning

This is my favorite topic, so I'll be happy to have discussion and answer any questions in this forum.

Fascinating -- thank you!
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Old 20-09-2013, 19:59   #4
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Re: Lightning and thunderstorm information

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Originally Posted by caradow View Post
So my question is, can a lighting strike generate enough static electricity to damage instruments without it being a direct hit?
Thanks for your feedback and for sharing your experiences.

Yes, a lightning strike can definitely damage your instruments even if it's not a direct hit. Lightning strike creates a strong electromagnetic field around the strike channel and the horizontal magnetic field induces an electric current to your equipment (and all other conductive objects). The strength of the induced current decreases with distance from the lightning strike. Although the boat itself maybe undamaged, sensitive instruments may get fried.

Actually lightning detection sensors use that same principle and they can detect small induced currents from lightning strikes even hundreds of kilometers away.

Cheers.
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