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    Re: Lightning at sea
    From: Henry Halboth
    Date: 2004 Oct 15, 13:10 -0400

    Current criterion recommends that vessels of the type being discussed on
    this List be fitted with adequate lightning protective devices. In
    capsule, this generally is construed to consist of a common ground
    conductor, connected to a suitable ground plate, and to which all items
    to be protected are grounded. The specifics of such a system are beyond
    the purposes of this List, however, those interested, and probably should
    not be sailing without such protection, are referred to the ABYC
    publication ""Standards and Recommended Practices for Small Craft" - at
    one time lightning protection was Section E-4. Please don't assume that
    such protection is in your vessel just because you spent a lot of money
    for it - it may not be.
    
    On Thu, 14 Oct 2004 21:16:33 -0500 Alexandre Eremenko
     writes:
    > Lisa,
    > I think this is out of the scope of the list,
    > but your question reminds me of another accident:
    > once, when sailing in a narrow lake, my mast was
    > caught between two high-voltage electric wires hanging
    > across the lake:-)
    > Fortunately, both the boat and the mast were made of wood...
    > otherwise, I afraid, I would not be writing to you know:-)
    >
    > Alex.
    >
    > On Fri, 15 Oct 2004, Lisa Fiene wrote:
    >
    > > I distinctly remember being in a 47kt gale once.  We were
    > surrounded by
    > > storm fronts, and there was much lightning and rain.  As we had a
    > > following sea which was not too large at the time (only about
    > 4-5m), and
    > > the wind was from the NE & blowing us where we wanted to go,  we
    > decided
    > > to run with it, after double reefing. We had a plan to heave to
    > should
    > > we start to get pooped, but that never happened.
    > >
    > > It occurred to me at the time (among other things), that our mast
    > was
    > > the highest thing out there - thoughts of Benjamin Franklin
    > actually
    > > came running through my brain.  The lightning was no longer cloud
    > to
    > > cloud, but vertical.
    > >
    > > Ahem, I thought.
    > >
    > > In this situation, as our boat is constructed of steel, if we did
    > > receive a lightning strike on the mast, what would have happened?
    > >
    > > Would it blow through the hull, (as I know has happened on GRP and
    > > timber yachts), or would it dissipate in some way as it's steel?
    > Would
    > > it possibly though still have the chance of arcing across to us if
    > we
    > > remained in the cockpit anyway, even if steel IS some kind of
    > advantage
    > > in this situation (if that's the word)?
    > >
    > > I guess what I'm asking is that if we're ever in that situation
    > again,
    > > what should we do:
    > >
    > > a)  Heave to, go down below, have a shot of rum and pray for the
    > day.
    > > b)  any other suggestions?
    > >
    > > As a complete novice in the wiles of electricity, your opinions
    > would be
    > > greatly appreciated.
    > >
    > > Thanks, Lisa
    > >
    >
    
    
    

       
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