Lightning can be a hazard to boats because it can cause fires, damage to electronic equipment, and injury to those on board. To protect against lightning strikes, boats can be equipped with lightning protection systems. These systems typically consist of a grounding system, which helps to dissipate the electrical charge from a lightning strike, and a lightning arrestor, which diverts the electrical charge to the grounding system. Some yachts also have Faraday cage which protect the electronic devices. Additionally, it is recommended to have a lightning safety plan in place and for all on board to head to a safe location, such as a cabin, during a thunderstorm.
One of the common methor to protect yourself and the boat from lightning is copper conductor-clamp system.
A copper conductor-clamp system is a common method used to provide lightning protection for boats. This system typically consists of a copper conductor, which is attached to the boat’s metal components and leads to a grounding plate, and a series of clamps, which are used to secure the conductor to the boat’s structure.
The copper conductor is typically connected to the boat’s metal components, such as the mast, engine, and other metallic parts, to create a low-resistance path for the lightning’s electrical current to follow. The conductor then leads to a grounding plate, which is typically made of a highly conductive metal such as copper or aluminum and is buried in the water or connected to the boat’s keel. This plate provides a large surface area for the lightning to dissipate its energy, reducing the risk of damage to the boat.
The clamps are used to secure the conductor to the boat’s structure and ensure a good electrical connection. These clamps are typically made of corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel or aluminum, and are designed to withstand the harsh marine environment.
It’s important to note that this is just one of the ways to protect the boat from lightning, and it’s always recommended to consult a professional marine electrician to properly install and maintain this system.