Zap! Boom!

Having a lot of (expensive) electronics on board can be very risky in case lightning strikes. This article — PDF of Ben E’s 2003 PMY column here — tries to depict the different aspects of this, but also has to conclude that the science of lightning protection is still evolving:

“You may, at this point, be interested in a Lightning Protection System (LPS). But it’s a misnomer, as there is no proven way to actually protect a boat from lightning, only a technique for limiting damage when it strikes. Actually, there is a widely held myth, particularly among sailors, that an LPS — which is primarily a straight, highly conductive path from mast to water –causes more harm by attracting lightning than it does good.”

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