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Old 27-04-2021, 18:21   #31
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

ABYC certainly does address lightning in TE-4 https://abycinc.org/store/viewproduct.aspx?id=14489715

I was a naysayers on lightning protection until I saw the results of a strike. The idea is to create an easy way to allow the electrical charge to go out the boat with min. damage. Also, it turns out that electricity likesto discharge along surfaces and thin edges so they recommend a 6 or 7 foot long copper flat stock bus bar extending from bleow the mast (outside underwater of course) going aft held with 2 bronze bolts at each end. Other shorter copper bus bars are placed along the waterline on the two boat sides, and you ground the shrouds and stanchions to them and from there also to the bar under the mast.youre supposed to use #8 green copper wire for lightning bonding. ( There was a reason braided wasn't recommended in marine environment I think but don't remember) Eventually the lightning bonding system connects to the electrical ground system.
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Old 27-04-2021, 19:38   #32
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

300,000,000 volts and 30,000amps travelling at 270,000mph. ...

and you're going to protect your boat with a little bit of wire that will vaporize in a fraction of a heart beat. Good luck.
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Old 27-04-2021, 20:10   #33
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

The idea is to not allow charge to build up so that it does damage by punching its way out through the hull as well as anyone standing in the way. Also these are instantaneous events. The "holes" I saw caused by a double strike were more like grilled fiberglass, brittle, crunchy and lots of little holes. Seems to me the most rational choice is to take at least minimal measures of bonding the mast to an exterior plate. Costs a bit of copper plate, couple bolts, some wire....vs. zap glugg-glugg. I mean, that's gotta be better than just hoping for the best, whilst tauntingly waving a long aluminum pole at the dark clouds.

In case of a strike, consider electronics to be toasted, regardless, because the emp discharge alone will kill them even if you're not actually struck.
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Old 27-04-2021, 22:16   #34
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Statistical View Post
I don't know how long it has been like this. It is a pretty niche thing to find out how it was originally done on a boat that is 40 years old. If it is original to the boat it has been like this for a very long time. I think it is more likely something done by a prior owner so it could be a lot less. I have only owned her for less than a year.

I don't anticipate it being a complicated fix. It will require a haul out so I will wait until this fall when I need to paint the bottom anyways.
There's a good chance, like 99%, that a 40 year old boat did not have lightning grounding system installed. To do it right it is a big job. All large metal items - think tanks, chainplates, etc., plus stays and mast should be tied together and then run to an external strip. The edges/corners of the strip are more important than the surface area. Running those connecting wires is a tough job.
Just consider what and where you plan to cruise and if you are insured before you get too carried away,
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Old 27-04-2021, 22:26   #35
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

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Originally Posted by Manateeman View Post
Has anyone seen a fiberglass boat wherein lightning exited through a depth transducer causing the vessel to sink. The vessel had no bonding wires nor any “lightning “ protection system.
I’ve seen lightning jump to a metal object such as a strut, seacock or similar but never to a transducer.
I didn’t think it was possible given the wire size. All plastic transducer.
Thank you.
Mark and crew.
Lightning is fickle and capricious, there's no way you can predict what it will do when it hits a boat. I helped a friend after he was hit in Central America. He was at anchor with his polished, shiny, stainless steel anchor. When we picked it up to move him one side of the anchor was still nice and shiny. The other side was rainbow blued from lightning exiting the boat via the chain and then out inside of the anchor to the seabed.
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Old 28-04-2021, 00:13   #36
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

A lightning strike will destroy everything electrical but nothing in the engine room. The oven acts as a Faraday cage so put everythng in there.
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Old 28-04-2021, 01:29   #37
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

I was once out in the Gulf of Mexico during a storm and lighting was shooting down all over....I begin to worry about getting hit and I knew my mast wasn't grounded. I had some extra wire rigging so I vice gripped that to the mast and threw it overboard. Guess what? I didn't get hit by lighting, so not sure that would have worked or not.
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Old 28-04-2021, 02:05   #38
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RigBig View Post
... ABYC use to have a section in their regulations about lightning suppression (like some how we two legged pedaling animals have any control what lighting does). ABYC with great wisdom removed that section ...
American Boat & Yacht Council’s standard TE-4 “Lightning Protection” was revised in 2019, and is still carried on the ABYC website list:
https://abycinc.org/page/StandardsSupp58
https://abycinc.org/store/viewproduct.aspx?id=14489715


I see Cyrus Safdari beat me to it [Post #33].
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Old 28-04-2021, 03:05   #39
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

When I saw the following video clip it brought home to me that getting hit by lightning is the luck of the draw. According to the lightning map lightning is not a big problem mid ocean.
Ignore them if you have already seen them


https://www.blitzortung.org/en/live_lightning_maps.php



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Old 28-04-2021, 09:13   #40
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

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Originally Posted by Statistical View Post
So my boat lacks a lightning ground. Not sure how that happened but I have double checked to make sure I am not crazy and it is true. The mast is tied directly into the DC negative bus which is turns goes to the electrical ground at the propshaft.

Not sure if this omission is original to the boat or something done by a prior owner. How big of a problem is this? I am thinking really big problem. My understanding is that there should be a separate lightning ground going to a ground plate in the water disconnected from the normal DC electrical system. As it exists now pretty sure a lightning strike would destroy the electrical system, batteries, and possibly engine.

Has anyone seen this before. It seems the fix would be simple (well it will require a haul out) so wondering why it wasn't done or if it was done originally why it was removed.
Our Beneteau 50 has a tinned earth wire from the Chain Plate to a stud in the keel.
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Old 28-04-2021, 23:02   #41
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

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Originally Posted by lordgeoff View Post
Our Beneteau 50 has a tinned earth wire from the Chain Plate to a stud in the keel.

Any idea what AWG that would be? (I think I've gone a bit light gauge)

I've got a copper metal strip (25mm x 3mm ?) from the bottom of the main mast (ketch) to earthing strips.
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Old 29-04-2021, 00:32   #42
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

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Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
Any idea what AWG that would be? (I think I've gone a bit light gauge)

I've got a copper metal strip (25mm x 3mm ?) from the bottom of the main mast (ketch) to earthing strips.
"The ABYC recommends a minimum of a #4 AWG copper wire for the primary lightning protection system conductor, and a minimum of a #6 AWG copper wire for secondary conductors. Tinned wire is recommended, as always on boats."
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Old 29-04-2021, 09:25   #43
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

There's a YouTube called sailing into freedom ,check his playlists , there are a series of videos on him getting hit by lightning and it blows a hole in his boat
I don't know how to link it to this post
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Old 29-04-2021, 13:59   #44
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
300,000,000 volts and 30,000amps travelling at 270,000mph. ...

and you're going to protect your boat with a little bit of wire that will vaporize in a fraction of a heart beat. Good luck.
That is very true.
I think it misunderstands the current thinking on lightning mitigation.

We know that there is a buildup of charges on say boat. If those charges get to such a quantity that it looks like an obvious place to connect with like charges in a cloud your wire is toast.

To keep that from happening the idea is to connect everything that could collect a charge on a boat together in the straightest line possible and connect that to the sea.

Hopefully this will keep your vessel at the same charge state as the rest of the sea. This is the best we can do.

https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_p...INAL%20WEB.pdf
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Old 29-04-2021, 14:13   #45
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Re: So my boat lacks a lightning ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdgWesternMass View Post
That is very true.
I think it misunderstands the current thinking on lightning mitigation.

We know that there is a buildup of charges on say boat. If those charges get to such a quantity that it looks like an obvious place to connect with like charges in a cloud your wire is toast.

To keep that from happening the idea is to connect everything that could collect a charge on a boat together in the straightest line possible and connect that to the sea.

Hopefully this will keep your vessel at the same charge state as the rest of the sea. This is the best we can do.

https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_p...INAL%20WEB.pdf
See Chapter 2, Grounding Systems.
This chapter discusses the purpose of grounding systems and the various key components used with earth grounding.

“2.1 An earth grounding system helps keep the electrical potential on noncurrent carrying metal surfaces at a similar level as that of the surrounding earth. Earth grounding also provides a preferred discharge path for externally generated electrical surges due to power switching, faults, or lightning. This earth ground reference is established by firmly connecting a number 6 American wire gauge wire between the equipment (generator, communications electronics system, shelter) and running it to a buried metal electrode (ground rod, water pipe, plates) which is in contact with moist subsoil or reaches into the underground water table...”
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