We have a moulded in keel
(Nicholson 45) and have been hit by lightning
. I did some hard thinking and research
about how best to fit lightning
protection and I didn't really come up with a permanent solution. Apparently taking the hit down the shrouds is not a good idea; it can cause insidious damage which goes undetected until the mast
falls down. Taking the hit down the mast
seems preferred but with a moulded keel
, grounding is difficult. Drilling a new hole for a big grounding plate didn't really enthuse me.
So I have a big fat copper cable with one end that clamps to the base of the mast and the other end dangles over the side with a large copper dissipater. OK, it's a pain to fit it when there is a risk of lightning but it did work
when we were hit. We got a side flash through the deck
to some internal wiring
(which blew out) because lightning doesn't like making sharp bends. But basically it worked OK.
If anyone has better ideas on lightning protection for moulded keels, I'm all ears.