Lightning Protection

Lightning Protection Warren Elliott 8/5/2002 Hull #: 44 There’s been a good deal of discussion on this topic in many places, including our Sailnet email discussion group. I have my own opinions [these are not endorsed by Catalina], generated by many years working with antennas/electronics for military aircraft. However, as lightning protection is so uncertain — there are no guarantees — it’s a good idea to review some reference material, so you can make a so-called informed decision as to what, if anything, to do. This whole topic can be pretty controversial: I invite [as always] any comments, contrary or not. The basic reference is the ABYC lightning protection standards [section E-4], which are included in your C380/390 manual [note that a 1998 change requires minimum grounding/bonding conductors to be #6]; it’s also available at www.abycinc.org. Another reference is Professor E. Thomson’s [U. Fla.] extensive website at www.thomson.ece.ufl/lightning/. On the

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Lightning Protection Follow UP

Lightning Protection Follow UP Warren Elliott 11/5/2002 Hull #: 44 This is a follow up to my article in the August Compass. I had originally intended this space simply to mention some additional items on this subject, but recent events have forced a change, as you’ll see below. Sail magazine [Aug. ’02] contains two appropriate articles; one of them suggests putting portable electronics in the oven when a storm is likely–probably a good idea. Note however, that the door seals are non-conductive; a couple of rolled strips of aluminum foil wedged into the door/frame gap should help. Now to bigger news, at least to me. A few weeks after my lightning protection article was published, I got zapped!! This has to be the ultimate irony! And my external protection system was not in place! My only excuse: no significant storms were predicted. Man, did NOAA and local TV [and me]

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Mast and Shroud Grounding

Mast and Shroud Grounding Jim Jaeschke 9/1/1998 Hull #: 73 For those of you who did not order the bonding package, here is one idea as to a way to ground the base of the mast and the shroud wires to the keel. There is of course no method in which protection from lightning can be guaranteed. Indeed, there is much debate as to the way that will provide the most protection. On Electra, we decided to ground (connect) as much of the metal in the boat as possible to the keel. On the lower part of the keel, I have mounted, drilled and tapped, four small Dyna-Plates to make as good an electrical connection to the water as possible. In fresh water, this connection to the water is the weakest link in the protection system. Spread the Dyna-Plates out on the keel on both sides so that the electricity

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