Hit by Lighting While Aboard


I thought it might be a good idea to put handheld GPS, VHF, and other small electrical appliances in a microwave on a boat to act as a Faraday Cage.



Super Anarchist
Took a masthead hit while at anchor in Beaufort North Carolina. Huge noise which partially deafened me for days. The cabin went blue and fuzzy for a second or two. 

Masthead tri and VHF aerial disappeared and there were little round metal balls on deck. 

About 50% of electronics were killed including some unplugged and sitting on a wooden table.

My steel boat was turned into a strong magnet which rendered all magnetic compasses useless.



Super Anarchist
Great Lakes
We were hit going from NYC to Bermuda many years ago. The remarkable thing was not that we were hit but that it took such a long time for us to be hit. We could see lightning hitting the water all around us for 20 minutes or so before our strike. The ozone smell was incredible. I saw the Windex falling from the masthead. Little bits of it landed on deck and left tiny burn craters. It looked like is was made from semi-molten material because it probably was. One crew member was holding the wheel when we were struck and did not feel anything. The only damage we had was the loss of all lights on the mast and for some reason the voltage regulator on the engine. Didn't have much in the way of electronics back then and the knot meter and depth sounder were OK as was the sextant.

Another crew member went off watch about 10 minutes before we were hit but had close to have a half hour of the worst lightning storm you could imagine. He had bought a bottle of Glenfiddich on the way down the Hudson River. I think he had had perhaps two drinks from it before the storm - the rest of us were not Scotch drinkers. He had the bottle with him on watch during the storm. We found it in the cockpit next morning, label mostly off and half empty. I guess he did not want to waste it if we were going to die. At the end of his watch he went from the cockpit to his bunk without touching anything on the way. Not bad for someone that drunk.

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