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griff

Lightning Strike

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Recently a boat across the main Pier from me was struck by lightning.  All the boats in my area appear to have some damage mostly to electronics.  Somehow It appears I was spared and cannot find any Issues.  I've checked Electronics, VHF Stereo, Autohelm, Battery Charger, Engine, Thru Hulls and shore power. Can anyone think of something Im missing? Have I somehow managed to dodge a bullet (boats on both sides of me and further are reporting damages)?

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Have you hauled and inspected the hull? 

Look for pepperpot damage. 

lightening damage.jpg

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New way to detect and eliminate blisters?

 

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We happen to have hauled the boat for other reasons and no apparent damage to the hull.  I just find it hard to believe that all the boats around be suffered damage and  I did not.

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3 hours ago, griff said:

I just find it hard to believe that all the boats around be suffered damage and  I did not.

Not really for every hit someone else gets is one you don't get. I find it hard to believe there so many strikes to get so many boats. Normally it is just one strike one boat.

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Maybe you're grounded better than they were. Maybe they took the hit because they offered the fastest route to ground.  Don't complain. Don't change your slip! 

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18 hours ago, griff said:

Can anyone think of something Im missing? Have I somehow managed to dodge a bullet (boats on both sides of me and further are reporting damages)?

 

8 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Not really for every hit someone else gets is one you don't get. I find it hard to believe there so many strikes to get so many boats. Normally it is just one strike one boat.

 

5 hours ago, PaulK said:

Maybe you're grounded better than they were. Maybe they took the hit because they offered the fastest route to ground.  Don't complain. Don't change your slip

I overlooked you were in a slip presumably with shore power connections. One vessel hit with crap lightening protection that strike found its way to ground via the common AC ground cooking more than just one boat. The first victim will be the diodes in anyone sporting a galvanic isolator, so they now no longer have protection from stray DC currents in the marina finding their way to ground courtesy of underwater appendages like sail drive legs legs/AC/DC common ground etc and the shore power AC ground.

Maybe you were not connected to shore power at the time and that saved your arse? Electrical storms over marina first rule is disconnect your shore power.

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18 hours ago, griff said:

Recently a boat across the main Pier from me was struck by lightning.  All the boats in my area appear to have some damage mostly to electronics.  Somehow It appears I was spared and cannot find any Issues.  I've checked Electronics, VHF Stereo, Autohelm, Battery Charger, Engine, Thru Hulls and shore power. Can anyone think of something Im missing? Have I somehow managed to dodge a bullet (boats on both sides of me and further are reporting damages)?

Do a very close test (again) on ALL electronics, full functional test on VHF and log, GPS etc, Nav Lights...and if you have a fridge, check the magnetic clutch on the compressor.

Just the "pulse" from a nearby strike can toast semiconductors, ICs etc.

Don't ask me how I know......

Cheers,

Jim <_<

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Is it possible that all the other boats with “claimed damage” are just trying to get some free electronics from Allstate or progressive....

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I use the thickest jumper cables I could find clipped to each shroud and over the side into the water to hopefully re-rout a strike??? Useless???

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Well, technically, the thickness doesn't make much difference. And, yes, useless. A lightning bolt that travels thousands of feet, tens of thousands of feet, down from above does not give a crap about our little preparations. Example, on the docks in Johor Bahru the bolt went between two tall aluminum masts to destroy the dock piling a few feet away. Boats untouched...but sailors momentarily deaf. That is what we are dealing with. Insurance is the way to handle lightning.

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There doesent seem to be any rhyme or reason to damages from lightning.  Some boats seem to take a hit with no damage others not so much.  Im not totally convinced that there is a fool proof system to avoid damage when dealing with that much energy.

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All metal boats are less likely to suffer serious structural damage. The electronics seem to be as vulnerable. The microwave oven can protect hand held devices placed in them.

I was struck by lightening on a 38 ft steel boat while at anchor. Everything fitted on the mast head was turned into molten metal, little ball bearing all over the deck. About a 1/3rd of my electronics died. I was deaf for two days. One unexpected  effect was that my hull was turned into a strong magnet rendering all compasses useless. 

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17 hours ago, Blitz said:

  Im not totally convinced that there is a fool proof system to avoid damage when dealing with that much energy.

 

17 hours ago, George Hackett said:

I use the thickest jumper cables I could find clipped to each shroud and over the side into the water to hopefully re-rout a strike??? Useless???

17 hours ago, daddle said:

...And, yes, useless...

Example, on the docks in Johor Bahru the bolt went between two tall aluminum masts to destroy the dock piling a few feet away. Boats untouched..

Insurance is the way to handle lightning.

Lighting strike and mast height in a crowded marina are largely unrelated. The best path to ground will not be a mast sitting indirectly in the water but say a steel or steel reinforced concrete pile imbedded in the ground. In a marina your maybe better of putting those jumper cables on your neighbours boat if you want to protect your electronics.

A proper lightening conducter system is  simply a guidance system that comprises shrouds, backstay and forestay being "bonded" to the keel and is designed for open water where the probability of incurring a struck rises.

It is not designed to save your electronics but you life either from a "sideflash" to the human body (your toast) or it blowing a hole through the hull, from which you then sink and drown. Your arguably safer in the cockpit than standing below between the keel and unbonded chain plates.

Insurance though does allow your wife and her new husband to keep a boat.

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And a very nice new boat too!

My boat has a lightning antenna and grounding plate and I have no desire to see if it’s successful in a strike. 

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Was offshore when we got nailed by a Chubasco lightning storm one night. The wind went from 8 to 60 in about 4 minutes. Lightning all around and so fierce, it looked like a presidential press conference. Eerily blue-white high noon light. we were 18 miles offshore and the only boat around. I figured that a 70 foot aluminium pole sticking straight up would definitely be a superior conductor.

Other than my iPad going bonkers in the cockpit along with the instruments, we were not electrically messed with. The 130 and roller furling gear were no so pleased with the outcome. 

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Thanks for the replies, everyone.  We spent the weekend on the boat and have yet to find any issues.  I think its time to buy a lottery ticket.

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On ‎7‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 9:01 AM, griff said:

Recently a boat across the main Pier from me was struck by lightning.  All the boats in my area appear to have some damage mostly to electronics.  Somehow It appears I was spared and cannot find any Issues.  I've checked Electronics, VHF Stereo, Autohelm, Battery Charger, Engine, Thru Hulls and shore power. Can anyone think of something Im missing? Have I somehow managed to dodge a bullet (boats on both sides of me and further are reporting damages)?

Check your wind instruments the masthead unit is near the clouds

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