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|Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 09:06 am: || |
Hi everyone, I had a gulfstar 44 before hurricane Rita she was hit by lighting but i had a cable connected to the cable coming from the mast going down into the water, no damage escept for the mast light, IT WORK, sinse Rita we have a S29.2c and i bought a nice cable from lowes and i did the same thing, try it< it will work!!!
Post Number: 1
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|Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 06:40 pm: || |
I have not been aboard during a thunderstorm since I bought my 9.1, but was in many thunderstorms in my previous boat. It had a grounding system that connected the mast to the keel bolts electrically. One day I watched St. Elmo's fire dance in the rigging of nearby boats, while mine had nothing happening. However, it was eventally hit during a very severe storm (so I was told) and all light bulbs were burned out, the stero was ruined, speakers were ruined, all flaws in the fibreglass exploded. No holes completely through.
It is my opinion that damage is related to the severity of the lighting bolt, and if it is your time to go, the boat will have nothing to do with it. I do believe that all that grounding effort reduces the build-up of the charge and probably offers some protection from less powerful storms.
I'm a lake sailor on a relatively small reservoir, so I'm not usually in a situation where I cannot return to the dock easily. We have experienced some storms that came up quickly and we have had to sail in them (or start the engine), but the wind speeds were more frightening than the lightening. On the lakes around Missouri and Kansas we can have winds well above 50 mph in the storms. Like others, we have canceled races for thunderstorms, but we have continued to race with storms in the area when we could tell that they were going to pass without hitting us.
I'm probably foolish, but I'm only afraid of lightening when it is pretty intense with frequent strikes.
I'd be interested in helping you sail your 9.1 sometime when I'm in the NW. Do you ever take crew from the middle of the country out sailing?
Post Number: 76
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|Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 01:02 am: || |
I'm lost? So what is new about that?
What the heck are you all talking about? I guess being stupid is bliss! Maybe I should go buy a lotto ticket or better yet a life insurance policy! Or even better yet...a sure fire way to advoid the big bolt from above for the sailing world!!!
Deb it's good to hear from you again! It's been along time!
I like Scott's idea of hunkering down, doing your best, riding it out and have a great story to tell when you make it back to port.
As a former 9.1'er that had to steal hull number 9 from Mr. Sundburg to see the sunset on Saturday night (and Thank You Chris...it was great feeling the tiller for a brief moment, if only under motor.) all I can say is enjoy it, fore no risk will keep you at dock and no experiance fore to tell your grandchildren.
With kindest respect and humbelness.
Post Number: 19
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|Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 01:12 pm: || |
As always, Scott has provided us an excellent view of the bigger picture. I'll add a few other observations. The grounding configuration that Brayden described -- running to the prop strut -- was the configuration the S2 factory installed if you purchased that option. They did use heavy copper wire, with appropriately heavy connectors.
However, our experience with lightning strikes when we were in Cleveland raises another issue. Our club had an average of one boat every other year hit by lightning. One was a Pearson 30 two slips down from Glory Days -- we had the taller spar, but they got hit. The damage that the lightning caused the Pearson, leading it to sink, was to the non-metallic through-hulls (speedo and depth transducer). The wires that led to those devices carried the charge, and the non-metallic materials were shattered.
Our take-away from that experience was that you may not be able to prevent the damage, but you should be prepared to stop the water. We have soft pine tapered wooden plugs (with a skinny line attached by drilling a hole through the top of the plug) near every through-hull. Works for in-rushing water from any cause, whether lightning, hose clamp failure, or through-hull fitting failure.
One other piece of folklore that has proven remarkably accurate, at least during our Lake Erie days: If the lightning is blu'ish, it's going away from you; if it's yellowish, it's moving parallel with you; and if it has a distinctly red hue, start sweating because it's heading towards you. I've got a long boring story that I'll spare all of you that bears this out...
Post Number: 40
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|Posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 11:02 am: || |
Brayden makes very good points below. Here's what little I can add as the subject was heavy on my mind during a very recent 11 hour crossing of Lake Michigan, 6 hours of which was spent watching lightning around us in all directions (across the vast open horizon created by Lake Michigan). It is truly incredible how clearly you can observe lightning in what seems to be at least a 50 mile radius when on open water.
Our boat (hull#2) appears to be well grounded from the shrouds to the keel bolts via very heavy copper wire. This "circuit" also appears to be securely connected to the brass through hull fittings for the engine water intake as well as other through hull fittings. I haven't inspected the system thoroughly enough yet to know exactly what the design or intention (or effectiveness) is. Needless to say, our solution was simply to alter course along our trip to avoid squalls as they moved through our path (lengthening our trip but resulting in better peace of mind). When the heaviest rains passed through, we merely closed up the cabin, curled up warm and dry on our bunks (away from all things metal) with a good book and let our faithful Navico Auto-pilot follow the course being determined by our Loran (these electronics are by far my absolute favorite nautical investment - bar none).
This mention of our electronics prompts a sidebar observation that may have some related value on this topic: namely redundancy in critical systems. Part of our confidence amidst this lightning storm was the fact that we have multiple layers of redundancy in our navigation electronics. In broadest terms: a 12v system backed up by a separate AA/C/9v battery system backed up by non-powered tools. Maybe we have false confidence in the survival of these non-12v items in the event of a lightning strike, but the methodology seems sound in our minds.
Here's what we have on what system:
12v wired boat system: sailcomp fluxgate compass, KVH instruments with multiple displays, Apelco Loran and Navico TP 5000 autopilot with remote control kkeypad (that can be extended to reach anywhere on the boat and also plugged in to enable driving from inside the cabin)(the Navico also has a fluxgate compass)... all these items are NMEA interfaced to talk to each other. Also have a full size VHF on 12v. The boat drives itself as long as we have 12v power. Also, we always run on only one of our two batteries.
Back-up system: AA battery powered Garmin GPS (not wired to anything) and Micro sized waterproof handheld VHF.
Non powered system: two fluid compasses in the bulkhead and a handheld fluid compass.
Here's the final trump card in the pile: a Mini EPIRB registered with the Coast Guard in my name to my vessel (and tested regularly). If we get in huge trouble or the boat goes down, they'll know WHERE we are, WHO we are and can typically be anywhwere to retrieve us on Lake Michigan in under 30 minutes. My wife LOVES this device whenever I do a solo delivery (which I often do).
I know this info doesn't directly answer your question about electrical grounding but I think it offers several back-up scenarios in the rare case you might be struck.
One final observation: On the last day of one design Class racing off-shore in Milwaukee this summer, the final race was abandoned due to a thunderstorm with lightning. As our Class, a few other classes and the entire J24 Nationals crowd all scrambled back to shore, we observed a Soling being towed that had its spinnaker pole clipped to the backstay and dragging in the water behind it. It was quickly explained that this was their effort to provide a direct ground should they receive a strike. It wasn't particularly "neat" but the logic made very good sense to all of us who had not seen this type of approach before.
Post Number: 7
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|Posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 10:07 am: || |
My boat was grounded by the previous owner... but all wires seem to lead to the strut. While this is an alternitive to a raw metal plate on the hull I'm sure it is not the solution that the "lightning handbook" would tell you. But on the otherhand, 80% of a solution is better than nothing. I have heard both good and bad things about grounding a boat, and can recall an artical that claimed that there was no siginificant proof that being grounded, or using a dissipator, seemed to have any real effect (but I can not recal the magazine) on the odds of being hit by lightning. A local old-salt once told me to carry booster cables... and if you find yourself in an ugly storm, clip them to the back stay, and toss the other ends in the water. I have done this twice and (I have always had boats that were grounded) I have never been hit. My fathers boat has lost all the electronics twice from the surge of lightning hitting local powerlines while they sat at dock - while waiting out a storm. So if you are there - don't forget to unplug as well. I think that lightning protection is more about your own comfort level, and if deciding not to sail into a thunderstorm fits your comfort level - there won't be a technology that will change that.
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|Posted on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 04:47 pm: || |
Spending first day of vacation holed up at home re
prediction of thunderstorms. Have done some limited research on protection of boats for same. Other than not being there, sugestions include ion dissipators atop mast and tying everything metal together with 8ga. wire and big underboat raw metal surface for ground-bit contrary to racing activities on all fronts. As we get little of this in Pac NW (except unfortuneately when I'm on vacation) figure not huge issue, but am curious as to what you 9.1 owners in midwest do re issue? Any great solutions not involving lots of weight and drag? My boat certainly does not comply.