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Old 22-01-2011, 16:07   #1
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pirate Don't Want to Be BBQed by Lightning

I was wondering about Lightning strikes on sailboats and if anyone has been hit. I have sailed for about 15 years but most of that time was on Lake Michigan or off the cost of San Francisco, so I could run to land when we had lighting storms. I am aware that not being on the water is the best way to not get hit, however I am planing on going from the FL keys to Hawaii and am sure that I will be in a storm or two. I don't mind strong wind, rain, and big swell, but I do have a HUGE fear of being BBQed by lightning. I have seen many diffrent products on the net to help with strikes and was wondering what works the best in a lightning storm.
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Old 22-01-2011, 16:29   #2
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I was wondering about Lightning strikes on sailboats and if anyone has been hit. I have sailed for about 15 years but most of that time was on Lake Michigan or off the cost of San Francisco, so I could run to land when we had lighting storms. I am aware that not being on the water is the best way to not get hit, however I am planing on going from the FL keys to Hawaii and am sure that I will be in a storm or two. I don't mind strong wind, rain, and big swell, but I do have a HUGE fear of being BBQed by lightning. I have seen many diffrent products on the net to help with strikes and was wondering what works the best in a lightning storm.
i found wearing crocs, as they dono tattract anything, having a boatkat on board-- no recorded history of feline strike by lightning....i wear rubber coat and hood and i8 wear gloves for sailing. i havent been hit--we sailed off fla for nearly year-- sailed thru lightning storms a lot--days at a time.... didnt get hit. a NASA engineer living across a canal from my former sailpartner has been hit 2 times in 5 yrs. my former sailpartner's boat was not hit. same neighborhood. the hit boat was 50 ft bendytoy. ther ear ecatalinas and seidelmanns and such in htat hood and only the bendytoy gets hit... dunno--is no rhyme nor reason to lightning strikes. i stand by my6 maine coon kat and crocs and rubber suit, tho-- i am scared of lightning-- since age 3 when i was nearhit by ball lightning in denver..lol..was a life changing event.....i have now gotten so i can sail thru a lightning storm without cringing-- or jumping. just pray to the seagods and hide under the kat. works.
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Old 22-01-2011, 16:41   #3
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There are a lot of threads on this already, do a search. You can't stop lightening just minimise the damage. I was on a boat that got hit just a few months ago, (a rare occurance). We escaped with minimal damage, and no one got hurt, except the one crewman who had his hand on an outrigger got 1st degree burns on hand. The rest of us just had ringing ears and had to get new shorts.
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Old 22-01-2011, 16:42   #4
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PS everything on the boat was grounded to metal plates at the waterline.
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Old 22-01-2011, 16:58   #5
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Capn Bill I was about to ask that. Gord provided these links that I think cover this very well. Michael Kasten’s recommendations, based upon Ewen Thompson’s research & on industry standards:
Lightning Attenuation Onboard

Ewen Thompson's EXCELLENT Lightning Website seems to be “down”
www.marinelightning.com/
__________________ No guarantee but its a step. Some of this is hardto retrofit while other pieces are easier. Prior to my asking I installed a plate about 24" square as close to the mast step as possible. with 2 3/8" brnze bolts to attach the ground. On my next haul I will add a 10'x 2" strap fore and aft and install as described in these links. When I have encountered lightening my kids and crew go to the aft cabin. They are not allowed to go near or pass by the mast. If I had rubber boots Id wear them until then I jump up and down reducing my distance from ground. Thanks to Gord for these links
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Old 22-01-2011, 17:07   #6
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Old 22-01-2011, 17:38   #7
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Seems like I remember readin' somewhere's that grounded boats suffered more strikes than the boats that just took their chances. Me? I dunno, I sleep on a rubber mattress and that's about all.
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Old 22-01-2011, 17:45   #8
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not to forget the feline--keeps ye warm in coldness and safe from lightning in storminess,,,,,
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Old 23-01-2011, 02:22   #9
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We had secondary strikes twice last year. Both times just money damage as electronics went t1t5 up. But still expensive and scary when it happens in remote anchorage. The last one caused 24k worth of damage. We have a grounded boat and a lightning arester on the mast. I have had the boat for nearly 24 years in one of the most lightning prone areas of the world. And until these two strikes had none. I was beginning to get cocky and figured we were safe then mother nature dished me not once but twice witnin 61 days! I guess you just gotta go the best you can and hope to avoid it. We have put plugs on every piece of electronics we can now so we disconeect both the negative and the positive leads. Not sure if that will help in a direct strike but in an indirect one all the stuff in the spares cupboard i.e. not connected to anything worked. So the plugs hope to immitate that condition.
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Old 23-01-2011, 20:19   #10
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Yup, a Maine Coon cat is the way to go on a boat. Recently lost mine after 19 years, so will have to start looking for another soon. No lightning strikes but plenty of opportunity for them. But if you see the hair on the cat start to rise... duck!

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Old 23-01-2011, 21:03   #11
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Yup, a Maine Coon cat is the way to go on a boat. Recently lost mine after 19 years, so will have to start looking for another soon. No lightning strikes but plenty of opportunity for them. But if you see the hair on the cat start to rise... duck!

Michael
rofl--you made my day-- bubba has been biting me today-- enthusiastic kitty kisses-- and i was thinking that could just be fun to watch--but i would have to hold kat.....pooor kitty......yipes-pooor me!!!! must remember to always wear crocs..LOL--they dont attract ANYTHNG....
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Old 23-01-2011, 21:19   #12
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grounding multihulls

I see lots of info on grounding monohulls, relatively easy to do but almost nothing about grounding cats for lightning. Most masts are stepped on the cabin and a long way from the water. Any thoughts?
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Old 23-01-2011, 21:23   #13
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grounding doesnt work for monohulls, why should it work for cats?? felines are smart enough not to get hit-- lol but the sailing kind other than feline.. how should they be safer than monos in lightning--we all have equality there--is totally random. if a NASA engineer can get hit twice in 4 yrs with protection,second time almost getting his home, i think i willgo unprotected and be safer.
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Old 23-01-2011, 21:30   #14
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Self Protection

Can always get a plastic construction-site hat and put a conductor on top.
You will also stand out on the marina dock although some old-school yachties may deem it "shocking attire"
Clyde
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Old 23-01-2011, 22:38   #15
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Can always get a plastic construction-site hat and put a conductor on top.
You will also stand out on the marina dock although some old-school yachties may deem it "shocking attire"
Clyde
what ye tryin to do --win my heart?? thought this was a sailing forum ....
roflmao....that is something i would do , tho--lol.. just for fun... waring crocs, of course, as they do not attract anything.....and walking my kat on a leash....

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