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    Re: Lightning at sea
    From: Gary Harkins
    Date: 2004 Oct 14, 20:32 EDT
    In a message dated 10/14/2004 7:20:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, lisa{at}COPYCAREPACIFIC.COM writes:
    I guess what I'm asking is that if we're ever in that situation again,
    what should we do:
    I'm no "lightning" expert but I do have a degree in electronics and know some of the principles of ultra high voltage.  I would think that the steel hull would be of great advantage.  When lightning hits a typical fiberglass boat it has a low resistance path almost all the way to the water. (assume aluminum mast).  If the boat is not properly grounded the lightning will experience a high resistance due to the nonconductivity of fiberglass.  This will sometimes cause the lightning to "blow" through the hull, leaving a hole.  Note, this doesn't always happen.  I was hit last year and the hull experienced little damage.  A steel hull should have nearly infinite low resistance paths to the water.  This is ideal and should result in no hull damage.  Electronics are an entirely different story, with anything except a very minor hit you will probably loose most if not all of your electronics.  The area of concern would be the crew.  Every attempt should be made to keep the crew from touching metal objects.  In fact, the better they are insulated from any metal objects the better.
    Gary Harkins C400 #140 "Cygnus"
    Website   http://www.hometown.aol.com/htycgary/myhomepage/index.html
    Harbour Towne Marina, Muskegon, Michigan Slip C-28
    Harbour Towne Yacht Club, Life Member
    C400 National Association
    United States Power Squadrons-JN

    NRA Life Member
    MCRGO (Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners)
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