Lightning Protection

Lightning Protection
Warren Elliott

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 Another reference is Professor E. Thomson’s [U. Fla.] extensive website at www.thomson.ece.ufl/lightning/. On the

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