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Old 22-01-2021, 09:20   #31
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Re: What is this heavy copper cable?

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.
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Old 22-01-2021, 09:47   #32
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Re: What is this heavy copper cable?

Definitely looks like grounding on the chainplates/stays, and I bet it is attached to your keel as well....leave them on if you get the boat
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Old 22-01-2021, 21:24   #33
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Re: What is this heavy copper cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
No, it does not attract lightning. I've done a number of lightning strike investigations and yes they are pretty much useless as 3,000,000volts at 30,000amps and moving at 270,000mph will vaporize that conductor in an instant.
This is 90 gigawatts so certainly some lightning strikes could be of this magnitude but my understanding is the average strike is more like 10 gigawatts and by definition, half of them will be less than 10 gigawatts.

I would rather have something that mitigates some strikes rather than nothing.
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