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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:33 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Huntsville, AL
Ok, not talking about the normal "don't step the mast into power lines" thing, but has anyone rigged a boat under massive high voltage lines and been shocked? Sort of like a really bad static shock, but with a little more "zap" to it...

This exact thing happened to me last weekend (along with my epic no-jib failure I just wrote about here). These were massive towers no more than a few miles from a nuclear power plant and I'm guessing carry 400-600kV electric power. I found a few articles about mountain bikers riding under high power lines and experiencing similar shocks. There's also a video on youtube of a florescent light installation that's illuminated just by the power of the electric field around the lines. I'm guessing with the great height of the mast and excellent conductivity of aluminum it was sucking up all the electric field that's under these lines and channeling it to the ground. I could hear arcing from the bridle to a bare spot on the trailer mast support. If I became the path to the ground, there was a substantial charge that passed through my body which was quite uncomfortable. The whole thing was really unnerving and I never plan to rig the boat in that particular location again.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:31 am
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Location: Netherlands Europe
In January in australie an A cat sailer towed his boat with a carbon mast into the powerlines 11.000 volt luckely he has rubbersoled shoe,s on ,and survived only one night in the hospital

Here the article (in Dutch )

http://a-catned.blogspot.nl/search?upda ... date=false

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
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Location: Detroit, MI
There's a group in Burlington, Ontario Canada (not far from Toronto on Lake Ontario) who's home beach is near power lines like that -
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(You can see the towers in the distance on the middle, right side of the photo - they are much closer just out of the frame on the right.)

They've learned (as have visitors) to hang a wire from the mast / shroud anchor to ground to dissipate the electrical charge picked up by the mast (which is acting like an antenna).


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:41 pm
Posts: 210
Location: Commerce Twp, Michigan
Battery jumper cables with one end clipped to the dolphin striker with the other end buried in the sand works well to ground the boats in Burlington. It was quite a wake up call when stepping the mast the first time there :shock:


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