5 or 6 years ago i came to the beach on a sunday only to find the boat next to me was hit by lightning
it caused very little damage. a small hole in the hull below the side stay chain plate
my friend Ron wasn't so lucky this weekend
his f16/g-cat turbo was "destroyed" (he is a retired composite engineer so he may be able to rebuild this - but most would call it a total loss)
All the carbon fiber he put on the boat caught fire and or melted
Edited by MN3 on Jun 10, 2019 - 02:15 PM.
his mast looked untouched (as did the one from 5 years ago)
Years ago someone asked on catsailor. com if anyone had first hand account of a boat being struck while underway
i asked this question locally -
answers were: no one had ever seen/been hit underway
people have been hit/killed (here in dunedin) taking a mast down, or being parked on the beach
it was also explained via Rick White that boats that use grounding cables were struck more often than boats that weren't grounded ... craziness
"I captained charter trips for 10 years and did yacht deliveries during that time and sailed through many, many lightning storms, never been hit. Had strikes nearby that would make things tingle a bit, but never been hit.
However, many cruising boats ground their boats to the water to dissipate any lightning strikes. Those were the only boats I knew of that ever got hit. Some had pretty bad damage -- they are sort of saying, "Come on! Give me your best shot!" And then trying to guide that strike to the water ground. That is when the lightning says, "OK, here is my best shot, and I am going to go anywhere I want once I hit."
As far as cat sailing goes, again no hits. Back in the 70s while sailing in Canada we were in a huge storm with strikes all around us. We had an aluminum tiller extension and could feel the shocks coming through it from strikes around us.
I got off the wire -- felt a bit concerned about a wire aiming right at my navel.
So, never was good at physics and science in school, but after 43 years on the water, I can report I have never seen a moving sailboat get hit by lightning, unless grounded.
Edited by MN3 on Jun 10, 2019 - 03:01 PM.
they are 2 days old
Ron built new rudders and castings
3 sets - 1 for him, 1 for Rey and i THINK one for Hans
But I heard on sat Hans has sold his 5.0 and done catsailing (he had severe pain in his back a few weeks ago from when he broke it in the french foreign legion)
lightning and sailboats... scary stuff.. i have often wondered if i would lay mine down or turtle it if a lightning storm were unavoidable. just when does one give it up, flip it, and ride it out...
But electrically, grounding is the exact opposite of insulating. So, I would see no surprise in a grounded boat being struck before an insulated (un-grounded) craft. Around 75,000 volts to create and arc of 1 inch. in water and rain, or for many, salt water, i'm sure it can be a longer distance per volt.
Not crazy, makes perfect sense. Electricity is lazy, always looks to take a path of least resistance. A grounding rod/strap does exactly that, & is THE reason every house has one, ( usually a heavy gauge bare copper wire gong from the fuse panel to a rod driven into the ground). By providing an “easy” path, the current takes it, goes to ground, instead of say through your body, or wood framing, burning your house down. That is also the reason for the 3rd prong on say, your power saw. If a fault occurs in the saw, the current goes to ground vis the 3rd prong, instead of through your hand, exiting your foot. It might not be that bad,
but your heart is between them That’s also why it’s so important to not mix up the black/white wires in a circuit, that grounding rod eventually connects with neutral.
If the current can easily flow, it won’t do damage, it’s when resistance occurs we see the angry side. Resistance creates heat. Heat creates expansion. With enough current, the heat /expansion happen very quickly, sometimes to the point of explosion.
A number of years ago my neighbors large birch tree took a direct hit. Great resistance created great heat, vaporizing moisture in the tree, which resulted in great pressure.The entire tree literally exploded, although it exhibited absolutely no burning. The current continued into ground, found an iron water main, & blew that apart, resulting in a geyser working up through the pavement. Much fun to watch, from the safety of a house...but don’t touch the taps if you have copper piping!
Edited by Edchris177 on Jun 10, 2019 - 08:53 PM.
Hobie 18 Magnum
Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the U.S. in any one year is 1 in 700,000. The odds of being struck in your lifetime is 1 in 3,000. - SOURCE -https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/flash-facts-about-lightning
The odds of winning or sharing a Mega Millions jackpot (October 19, 2013 – October 27, 2017): 1 in about 258.9 million.
Your chances of winning Tuesday's Mega Millions were a jaw-dropping 302,575,350 to 1 . (Oct. 16, 2018 )
SOURCE - https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/10/16/mega-millions-powerball-odds-winning-jackpot/1656732002/