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    Lightning Strikes: Real Threat or Urban Legend
    From: Doug MacPherson
    Date: 2015 Feb 14, 11:24 -0800

    The recent discussion on why celestial navigation is utilized today had me talking with some friends. Inevitably, the justification for learning CN hinged on the danger of a lightning strike frying all of the electronics while at sea in your small sailboat. This seems to be the predominate reasoning included in the back page of many education books on celestial navigation.

    I am fairly competent at taking a sight and reducing it, but my knowledge of seagoing electonics is marginal at best. I can "push" the buttions and reset a fuse-that is about it.

    I was wondering if any experts in this area could answer the folliowing questions:

    1. If you did have a lightening strike at sea, what would be the probability of losing all of your hardwired "modern" electronic navigation equipment?

    2. Would it fry your battery powered digital watches? and GPS's?

    3. Would it effect your mechanical chronometers?

    4. Someone told me that if you placed a battery powered GPS in your onboard oven, it would be protected from a lightning strike by the oven acting as a "faraday cage".  Any truth to this. I would be afraid of someone "cooking" my GPS the old fashioned way in this scenario :)

    Thanks and happy Valentines Day to all.

    Doug

       
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