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Lightning - Am I Protected?

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  • Lightning - Am I Protected?

    I own a pontoon. The pontoons and frame are aluminum, the deck is wood, the seats are a blow molded plastic box with cushions attached. If I happen to get caught in a storm with thunder and lightning, if I pick my feet up off the floor, am I safe from lightning if it strikes the water?

  • #2
    No, Crispy Critter. And lightning usually hits the highest object in the vicinity. You or the boat.

    Watch the weather and if you hear thunder, you waited too long.
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    • #3
      Even with your feet lifted, since the voltage that lightning exhibits is great enough to jump through air, your body would just provide an easier link in its path before it then jumps from your butt to the deck to complete its path down to the water. Crisp on the outside, tender on the inside. - Grandad
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      • #4
        I couldn't resist adding this. - Grandad
        Winner 2013 Starcraft Splash Of The Year Award
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        • #5
          That's gruesome, GD. And he was home in bed!
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          • #6
            lighting is unpredictable in indiscriminant and will find a path to ground thru air (non conductor) and thru people, objects, etc. if you are the lone boat on the water in a storm, pretty sure that lighting will hit your boat first as it is the highest object in the area. it wouldnt hit the water first

            A good friend of mine witnessed two lighting strikes to boats on his lake during storms. both times were fatal.

            general rule - get off the water in a ligthnig storm

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            • #7
              The lightning bolt just traveled hundreds/thousands of feet through the air. The air gap between your feet and the floor is trivial! There is no way to be 'safe' from lightning if you are outside.

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              • #8
                It seriously has nothing to do with the type boat you're in. Any boat is the highest point on large bodies of water. Unless you are in a cover with high banks on each side YOU are the highest point. The boat materiel or composition is irrelevant. You will become a FUSE. If you really want to attract even more lightening, use a graphite fishing rod as well when a storm rolls up.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gm280 View Post
                  If you really want to attract even more lightening, use a graphite fishing rod as well when a storm rolls up.
                  Or stand under the trees with the golfers.
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                  • #10
                    Actually, there are two bridges, a dam, and high tension wires/towers spanning the water so there are a few things higher than me around, but on the water itself would be just lil ol me on my toner.

                    Grandad, I got nothing after that man. LOL

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                    • #11
                      What do people in live aboards and cuddys do? Or sailboats? say they were boating around chesapeake bay area and mooring, potentially miles from a marina. Im just asking because im curious. I'm guessing they should have probably have paid attention to the weather and been heading towards a marina of some sort.

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                      • #12
                        I've seen lightning strikes on boats discussed in Seaworthy a few times among other places. The consensus is you can do what you can do to lower your risk of being hit, but there is no foolproof way to be protected. Just get off the water if possible, and failing that; don't be the tallest object around and cross your fingers. Here's a few articles:

                        http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/maga...ning-facts.asp

                        http://Www.threesheetsnw.com/blog/20...g-experts-say/

                        http://www.frugal-mariner.com/Lightn...your_boat.html
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                        • #13
                          https://youtu.be/1bo2oan-lp8

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Buster_boy View Post
                            The video is unavailable.
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                            • #15
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                              I know a guy he swears by, having a set of Jumper Cables attached to the mast on his Sailboat. With one end hanging in the water.
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