Safeguard from Lightning Strikes

October 20, 2020

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Safeguard from Lightning Strikes

Not many things can ruin a sailor’s day, except maybe dark clouds and the crackling of thunder in the distance. Whether you’re caught out sailing, your vessel is on its mooring in the marina or laid up ashore, although unlikely, lightning strikes do occur and you need to take appropriate steps to keep your vessel safe.

So what do you do? How do you protect your vessel? There is no absolute protection against lightning aboard a boat but we can mitigate the damage it causes. Lightning will always follow the path of least resistance, therefore we should help guide the current from the mast all the way down to the water in a way that causes the least amount of damage to your vessel and any of its electrical equipment. You start this off with a lightning rod at the top of the mast connected to a cable running down the mast to the water. This will protect the boat and those onboard from damage. Additionally, if you sail in an area where thunderstorms occur often it would be prudent to set up your electronics on-board your vessel with adequate protection to help prevent damage to your equipment.

There are many different systems and methods, so make sure to do your research and find the solution that best suits your needs. Here is a video forwarded to us from one of our Introducers demonstrating one of the many lightning prevention systems available to sailors:


So while there is certainly a chance that it will never happen to you, if you sail in an area where lightning storms are commonplace, setting up your boat to help prevent damage to those onboard and your electronic system is something you should definitely consider. Lightning might never strike the same place twice, but if that place happens to be your boat, then once might just be enough.

Here at Edward William S.L. we work with Insurers that cover property damage to a boat caused by lightning strikes so why not give us a try?

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