Lightning Protection

Time: 6 Hours
Skill Level: Intermediate
Bravery Level: 5 Stars
I believe that lightning protection is very important.  After doing a lot of reading about the consequences of a lightning strike and the protection afforded by various systems, I decided to install lightning protection on the Christopher-Jin.
You have to keep in mind that when a thunder storm kicks up you, via the mast on your sail boat, is going to be the tallest object around.
The University of Florida has several papers on the subject of boats and lightning strikes.  See the .pdf attachment at the bottom of this page for one of the papers.
The dissipation device pictured at left is similar to the one I installed on the Christopher-Jin.  Forespar, carries the unit pictured at left.
I bolted the lightning dissipator to the top of the mast.  I ran a heavy copper cable from the base of the mast to a bolt on the bottom of the hull.  I Epoxyed and screwed a copper plate to the bottom of the hull and ran a bolt through attach to the cable from the mast.  The copper plate must be below the water line and it must not be painted.  This Project got a 5 Star Bravery rating because you have to drill a hole through the bottom of you boat!  When ever you drill through the hull  of a boat you should use the operatunity to check the integrety of the inner core and you should give the hole "tunnel" a coating of epoxy using a pipecleaner or a Q-tip.
 Notice I used an outrigger for the antenna.  This keeps the antenna below the height of the Lightning Dissipater.
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Don Adzigian,
Dec 9, 2009, 7:09 PM