Protecting Your Boat from Lightning

lightning- Blog - CMCcanvasThe rarity of lightning strikes seems to make the idea of “it’s not going to happen to me” fairly common, but the chance you have of being struck by lightning depends where you do your sailing. According to meteorological studies, if you sail on the West Coast the odds of getting struck by lightning is pretty low; but  if you’re sailing on the Gulf Coast or along the East Coast (the odds go up significantly, with Florida being the worst.

In addition, it depends whether you are in fresh water or salt water. Studies found that that if a boat was struck in fresh water the damage to the hull was much greater than if it was struck in salt water, possibly because salt water is a sort of “immersed grounding plate”; but is in fresh water it’s is not so clear.

How to protect you boat, and you crew? In metal sail boats the goal is simply: “guide” the electricity from the lightning bolt down the mast, along the deck, and down to the water as quickly and simply as possible by Inserting a lightning rod right in the middle of the masthead and run a cable down the mast to conductors attached to the outside of the boat on the waterline.” By doing this you guide the electricity from the sky to the water and protects the boat and those on-board.

The  biggest problem isn’t protecting the boat and those on-board, it is protecting the electronics. The problem is that if you put a grounding system on a boat you can’t expect that it will protect the electronics. Protecting your boat is a necessity regardless on the weather.

Using high quality Canvas Coverings from CMC Canvas LLC for your boat will protect it from the “normal” wear and tear of boating.