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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Lake Champlain, Vermont
Hi Folks,

My friends at work and I have been discussing lightning and sailboat construction. We understand that mono-hulls have a grounding plate to which all the on-board electronics connect, and which contacts the water, therefore providing a good ground path to the water.

Catamarans have no such path to the water and ground.

Does anyone have information on the relative safety of mono-hulls vs catamarans in electrical storms? What's the best thing to do if caught in an electrical storm on a cat?

Thanks.

Dan in Vermont
'79 Hobie 16, avoiding dark clouds.

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Dan in Vermont
Hobie 20 Miracle


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 Post subject: grounding chains
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:27 am
Posts: 143
Location: New Castle County Delaware, U.S.A
My dad had a mono hull (pace ship 26'). If the weather looked sketchy we would drop the main to attach grounding chains to the mail halyard with/with out the main sail and, especially if we were overnighting on the boat. The grounding chains just ran down either side of the boat and into the water. I don't know how effective they would be when you were underway on a cat.... My guess would be to check the weather before you get on the water.

-CWS

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The Law of flotation was discovered not by the persuit of the law of sinking.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 4576
Location: Detroit, MI
Really, the first thing about thunderstorms and cats is that they don't mix.

If you're caught in a storm, head to the nearest shore. Beach the boat, flip it over if practical (the fastest way to depower the sails and get the mast down), and get away from the boat to shelter.

If you can't get to shore, or the shore is inhospitable (rocks), drop the main sail, roll it up and sit in the middle of the tramp until the storm blows over. Don't touch any metal. Theoretically, the mast and shrouds form a "cone of protection" underneath them. I wouldn't want to test that theory.

If the boat is struck by lightning, it will almost certainly do some sort of damage to the boat. Lightning is wierd stuff - it could just jump from the shrouds to the water, or it could blow holes in the boat in the process. I've personally seen where it welded all the shroud eyes to the mast tang.


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 Post subject: Lightning WEird stuff
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2003 11:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 10:29 am
Posts: 9
Location: Napa Vally Ca
Yeah Im going to go ahead and agree here y ou just want to stay away from lighting with your boat. My airplane got hit by lightning once blew out all the ciruct breakers and left two black spots where it went into the fuselauge and back out the forward cowling. Dident quite put holes through the plane but im t hinking it could have and I was just damn lucky. But I was in teh air I cant imagine sitting in the middle of the lake with a metal pole 25 ft in the air and me at the bottom of it sitting in the water. My advice you think your going to get into a thunder storm just dont go sailing, after all you want to live to sail another day. Ive been hit once in the airplane scared the hell out of me. So a word to the wise dont sail your cat in a thunderstorm no matter how great the wind. :)
Lee


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 7:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:37 pm
Posts: 4
For what its worth...I've read that if you are out in the middle of a body of water and a storm erupts, you might want to flip the cat and hold on/sit on the hulls. That gets the mast away from its exposure, and the hobie should float its way through the storm. Then right it/signal for help after the storm blows over...Hopefully no one has to try this solution!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Lake Champlain, Vermont
Well,

Thanks for all the replies...

Note: My reason for asking the forumn for opinions was more to understand what folks had heard specifically about cats vs monohulls.

If I see anything that looks like dark clouds I either stay on the beach
or head in ASAP. The live to sail another day is one I "live" by.

Thanks as always.

Dan in Vermont (Lake Champlain)
'78 or '79 Hobie 16.

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Dan in Vermont
Hobie 20 Miracle


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