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Old 16-12-2004, 11:47   #16
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Ahhh thanks Gord. Glad to see I am not on my own in the Nerd department.
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Old 17-12-2004, 13:53   #17
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Ahhh thanks Gord. Glad to see I am not on my own in the Nerd department.

What a great topic! I'm glad I found this forum. What a great bunch of people!

Have any of you ever been to a science museum and watched the Van De Graff generators fire up and strike a guy in a Faraday cage? (or at least the cage itself?) It's quite a show!

I would still venture to believe (and could die for doing so) in basic Physics. I would tend to think that no matter what, if you were in the very center of the cross-section of a steel hull (like the position you might be in lying in a v-berth), you would be relatively safe from lightning strikes. I know it's a bold statement, and I didn't do the math to prove it, but a steel hull is quite a bit of material with a very low resistance to current compared to air and the human body.

Hey, at least we can probably agree that steel would better protect you than ferrocement, fiberglass, wood, or other "electrically insulating" hull materials. Aluminum is another question. I don't recall if steel or aluminum is a better conductor.

Fun topic!
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Old 17-12-2004, 17:44   #18
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Aluminium is the better conductor.

The easiest way to think of Electricity and how it "flows" is use water and plumbing in your thinking. Water flowing through a pipe is just like Electricity. The size of the Pipe will determin how much volume (current) of water can flow. The water pressure (volatge) determines how fast it comes out the end and how far it leaps from the end of the hose.
OK, so if we think of a bolt of lightening as a tank of water being dumped on the ground. Now imagine if the boat of what ever becomes a conductor, is considered a hose. If the pressure and volume is greater than the hose can stand, the hose is destroyed. But maybe the hose is real tuff (steel boat hull), the volume and pressure has to flow through it. But if you add another smaller hose(a person or radio) beside the big strong one, the water will also have enough volume and pressure to want to flow through it as well. So the person can get hurt or Radio destroyed. If the hose is really big and strong and can take more than the tank can supply in a deluge, then nothing will flow through the smaller one. So the person or Radio may not feel a thing.
A person on the inside of a vessel may be OK. Even outside, they will remain safe. Providing the material around them can handle the volatge and current to a far higher degree than the person. The thing the person must be careful of is to not compleate a path from one point of the vessel to another. This would then make them a small hose that some of that water would want to flow through.
Hope this helps those that are, ummm, errr, scientificaly challenged.
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