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Offshore. Lightning everywhere. Stay still or haul ass?

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Offshore. Lightning everywhere. Stay still or haul ass?

Old 11-21-2020, 06:32 AM
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You don't fly an airplane into a thunderstorm! Bad advice..........me ATP.........fly around the cells using radar and ATC
Old 11-21-2020, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave51 View Post
Doesn't apply. Planes are lightning proof so they fly into storms without concern.
35 year airline pilot.....NOPE!
Old 11-21-2020, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by STIPulation View Post
The interwebs say 270,000 mph is the speed of lightning. You aren't going to outrun that.
A Freeman could outrun it.
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:39 AM
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While I'm not recommending taking any chances with storms and lightning, I'm telling this to illustrate how helpful xm/sirius weather can be beneficial.

A number of years back, me, my wife and another couple, ran to the edge off Wrightsville Beach, about 65 miles off shore. Forecast was for a 30% chance of thunderstorms, Fairly good morning catching a few gaffer mahi and two wahoo. Around noon, I noticed a few storm cells with lightning starting to build in our area and toward shore. We decided to continue fishing but pick up our trolling speed and head home. With xm weather, I could see where cells were moving and adjust course accordingly. On our way home, the bite turned red hot and we had one of the best catching days ever.



Old 11-21-2020, 06:44 AM
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Took a direct hit in 1991 on my Hatteras on the Delaware Bay headed to White Marlin Open. Hit the Sideband antenna then jumped to the VHF antenna. I don't recall hearing any boom etc, but there was for sure a bright light. Looked behind us and saw a huge puff of gray smoke... a cloud of it. Looked up and saw the two antenna whips had been disenagrated. Smelled that electrical wire burning smell coming from the console. Knocked out all of our electronics, except the radar was barely lit on the screen. Everything appeared to be working boat wise, engines, gen. Slowly proceeded out of the bay, however had to deal with 3 more squalls coming thru. Each time one came in we would lay up near a bay marker and wait it out... without full radar etc. we had no eyes. When the second squall came thru there was lightning everywhere... I saw my buddy hanging onto the tower leg looking up at the sky and I asked him to not hold onto any metal... I'll never forget his response..."Don't worry, I'll see it coming...". From that point on I understood the meaning of "LickitySplit". I convinced him to just remove his grip. My other buddy said we'd be fine, because lightning doesn't strike the same place twice...I quickly reminded him that we had moved from that previous location. We proceeded to OC and while there had all the electronics replaced and managed to fish the tournament. The salon TV from then on had gremlins and would turn on and off on its own, and we had to replace an exhaust sensor on both engines, if i recall. Insurance deductible was 500 bucks, total replacement was 60k. I can imagine what the cost would be today.
Old 11-21-2020, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by STIPulation View Post
The interwebs say 270,000 mph is the speed of lightning. You aren't going to outrun that.
Light travels at 186,000 miles per second
Old 11-21-2020, 08:55 AM
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I knew a guy who was a boat captain for awhile and got struck twice. He also got bit on the tip of his wanker by a brown recluse spider. I do not go around him anymore. Bad juju.
Old 11-21-2020, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave51 View Post
Doesn't apply. Planes are lightning proof so they fly into storms without concern.

I think the point was, it does strike moving objects
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:04 AM
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i was out with a couple of my mates from NZ , these guy's go fishing off the coast of New Zealand in little 10 foot tinnys no matter what the weather .

late afternoon black clouds started to form in the direction back to the boat ramp we were 20km or so out, next thing lighting , not that sheet stuff but full on strikes pinging off the water, on advise of my mates experienced in that shit it was decided to sit it out where we were ,that said , there was no way in hell i going to head any where near that anyway.

i learned a valuable lesson that day., safest way around lightening is to sit back and watch the light show till the weather settles or moves on...
Old 11-21-2020, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tdk72 View Post
Light travels at 186,000 miles per second

The speed of lightning. While the flashes we see as a result of a lightning strike travel at the speed of light (670,000,000 mph) an actual lightning strike travels at a comparatively gentile 270,000 mph.
The actual width of a lightning bolt is only about 2-3 cm. Tthe temperature of the lightning reaches 30,000 °C - that's five times hotter than the surface of the Sun.


https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather...70%2C000%20mph.
Old 11-21-2020, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jmbaker3 View Post
Took a direct hit in 1991 on my Hatteras on the Delaware Bay headed to White Marlin Open. Hit the Sideband antenna then jumped to the VHF antenna. I don't recall hearing any boom etc, but there was for sure a bright light. Looked behind us and saw a huge puff of gray smoke... a cloud of it. Looked up and saw the two antenna whips had been disenagrated. Smelled that electrical wire burning smell coming from the console. Knocked out all of our electronics, except the radar was barely lit on the screen. Everything appeared to be working boat wise, engines, gen. Slowly proceeded out of the bay, however had to deal with 3 more squalls coming thru. Each time one came in we would lay up near a bay marker and wait it out... without full radar etc. we had no eyes. When the second squall came thru there was lightning everywhere... I saw my buddy hanging onto the tower leg looking up at the sky and I asked him to not hold onto any metal... I'll never forget his response..."Don't worry, I'll see it coming...". From that point on I understood the meaning of "LickitySplit". I convinced him to just remove his grip. My other buddy said we'd be fine, because lightning doesn't strike the same place twice...I quickly reminded him that we had moved from that previous location. We proceeded to OC and while there had all the electronics replaced and managed to fish the tournament. The salon TV from then on had gremlins and would turn on and off on its own, and we had to replace an exhaust sensor on both engines, if i recall. Insurance deductible was 500 bucks, total replacement was 60k. I can imagine what the cost would be today.


You should be grateful it didn't blow a hole in the hull looking for ground
Old 11-21-2020, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave51 View Post
Doesn't apply. Planes are lightning proof so they fly into storms without concern.
Lol. Years ago I was doing my walk-around of a month-old 737-800, found a couple long lines of holes patched up. Not so lightning-proof. I am skeered of thunderstorms, that trait will keep me alive in airplanes and boats.
Old 11-21-2020, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
The plus was with all that lighting you could see the water surface pretty well!
I have been using XM for weather since 2007, and agree that XM is better for avoiding weather than radar, and I have had radar on my boats for the past 30 years. The satellite radar on XM gives you a far better picture than your boats radar does, especially since you can see it over historical time going backwards and predicted going forward - boat radar only shows you the now plus a limited window to the past if you do screen captures every couple of minutes.
In my opinion modern Doppler radar on the boat blows away XM Sirius, we have both. The radar on the boat is an instant picture of what is out there, and you can absolutely track cell direction and speed.
Old 11-21-2020, 11:24 AM
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I am a old meteorologist; my first job was research on waterspouts off Key West, Our planes flew through waterspouts (on purpose), I been VERY close to big waterspouts in a boat, and chased tornadoes out of Norman, OK. Love my job, but lightning scares me - have see St. Elmo’s Fire, had hair standing on end, had the mono line on a rod standing straight out and humming, smelled the ozone discharge. Lightning can strike objects MILES away from the storm, and Is one of the more unpredictable forces of nature. I was told by a cardiologist that the safest position in an open boat is on your hands and knees, and I have done it.
Old 11-21-2020, 12:05 PM
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I’ve had rods buzzing and crackling a couple of times. Not fun!
Old 11-21-2020, 02:14 PM
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I tried to outrun a big storm once, boat at the time could do 50mph so I was off. Storm overcame me in 15 mins wasn’t fun. I tried to slow down and let a wall of wind rain and hail pass in front of me well that didn’t work either.
Old 11-21-2020, 02:36 PM
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If a plane can’t outrun it, neither can you. Avoid or get away as fast as you can.

Been in lots of storms, I just turn off all the electronics, pick a course to minimize the time I’m in it, and hope for the best.
Old 11-21-2020, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tdk72 View Post
Light travels at 186,000 miles per second
So lighting moves at Warp 2?
Old 11-21-2020, 04:15 PM
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I had the sailboat in the slip next to me get hit on the mast. We were on the boat at the time and it scared the crap out of us. I thought we were OK and after the storm left we left the boat and headed home. The next day the marina called me to say I had diesel fuel pumping out the bilge pump hose. We ran over and found the port tank (same side as the sailboat) was leaking fuel. Pulled the boat out and drained the fuel tank. When we got inside we found 7 holes along the outboard side of the tank and one large one in the bottom. This was one on the side of the tank.

this was in the bottom of the tank.


We had to pull the engine and replace the tank. There was not even a single mark where the lightening went through the fiberglass and into the tank. I think if it was a gas engine we would not be here to talk about it.
Old 11-21-2020, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
Not sure about this or if it matters.
Depends a lot on your boat how scared you should be. There are statistics about this online if you check it out.

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