what if I got stuck in a thunderstorm ?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by ticomique, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. ticomique
    Joined: Aug 2018
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    Location: Northeastern Québec, Canada

    ticomique New Member

    Hi ! The tide goes out one mile from shore here at low tide, so you have to wait it out several hours before being able to make it to the marina ( Northeast of Québec City ). I have a vintage 18 foot fiberglass lifeboat with a fiberglass-covered plywood cabin.
    In case of lightning, would staying in the cabin be enough to be safe or is there some type of lightning rod apparatus I should make with a wire going down into the water ? Marinas are also far apart here, sometimes more than 30 miles. Listening to the Marine Weather channel doesn't always cut it. Thanks.
     
  2. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell "Whatever..."

    Ticomique, welcome to the Forum.

    You can add a grounded lightning rod or you can stay out of storms, or both.

    That's a tough call and I'm certainly not going to make it for you.

    Personally, I would opt for staying out of any such weather and forget the lighting rod.

    Great question, be sure and let us know what you decide and why.

    Cheers, BB
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
  3. ticomique
    Joined: Aug 2018
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    Location: Northeastern Québec, Canada

    ticomique New Member

    Thank you. Come to think of it, I see all these sailboats going up and down the St-Lawrence here at all hours and in all types of weather. There must be something they know that I don't. I will get back to you if I find aany practical advice. Have a nice weekend.
     
  4. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    You get a lot of thunder storms on the Saint Laurence?

    Since you are on fresh water, there is not a great path to ground for a lightning rod. However, your stays can act as a kind of Faraday cage. 18' sailboats don't general have enough metal on them to provide their own ground.
     
  5. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    Faraday effect. You might be safer with some efforts. I hate lightening. Was in a bad lightening storm outside on an island one day. The smell of ozone, unforgettable. The noise of screechers or screaming lightening and the instantaneous thunder, terrifying. Got caught in a squall on a wooded lake. I'm always told by passengers to keep going, but I don't like being the highest thing for a quarter mile in any direction; so I always find a shoreline. There was so much electricity in the air, we got out of the aluminum skiff. My hair was standing up in the rain.

    Marine Lightening.com

    The system provides a pathway to ground that is not via the cabin inside.

    Those sailboats all expect a mast strike, so as long as the people onboard are not standing next to the mast or holding a ground wire bonding the mast to them and perhaps the mast is run to a ground?

    I paid MarineLightening for a consult. Maybe you can buy some equipment from him.
     
  6. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Nice!
     

  7. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Fibreglass is said to explode with a direct lightning strike, which is a minor concern !
     
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