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Jack Schaefer of Kalamazoo, MI, asks:

I have noted that you have had frequent storms - and that is to be expected - however, I havenot seen any discussion of your provisions to deal with a full lightning strike and its effect...or do you consider this to be so unlikely that it should not be a factor?

Joe Meglen responds:

"NORDHAVN" has a lightning ground plate bolted through the hull. This ground has a lot of surface area and is connected with large conductor wire to anything on the boat that is likely to get zapped. When laying the conductor, we avoid any kinks, bends or sharp turns for the goal is to give the lightning the path of least resistance to the ground plate. In addition, we run this large conductor up to a "lightning dissipater" that is analogous to the lightning dissipaters you see on aircraft. There are a lot of unknowns about lightning and what it is going to do. Some experts like the system just described. Some experts claim that the static dissipater described will actually attract lightning. Some experts don't like lightning grounds at all - so which expert do you listen to? We have always set our boats up with good grounds. Admittedly, a number of our MASON sailboats have been hit and one NORDHAVN 35 we are aware of. Fortunately, the lightning has always gone to ground as we intended but the electronics are normally a casualty.

 

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