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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 11-20-2020, 12:04 PM
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Default Offshore. Lightning everywhere. Stay still or haul ass?

Not sure about this or if it matters.

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11-20-2020, 01:05 PM
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I don’t know but beer helps
Old 11-20-2020, 12:19 PM
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I would usually try to run around an outside edge if i saw a storm cell building and coming my way. If for some reason, I am unable to adjust my course in that manner, I just try to keep it pointed in my preferred direction of travel while touching the steering wheel and TTop and other metal pieces as little as possible.
Old 11-20-2020, 01:05 PM
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I don’t know but beer helps
Old 11-20-2020, 01:07 PM
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This is where XM satellite weather comes in.
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:12 PM
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I was out offshore some time ago and lightning was popping all around us and we seemed to be the highest point for miles. Didn't really know for sure what to do so we hooked it in as fast we could.

Last edited by Bfish; 11-20-2020 at 01:41 PM.
Old 11-20-2020, 01:27 PM
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Growing up I was 20 miles offshore with a 20 ft CC before radar and satellite info we have now. We had storms all around and no where to go. We put the rods down, brought in the outriggers, kept boat in idle and laid down on the floor in the boat. It was pretty scary. You could feel the static in the air. We never got hit but I still remember that day 35 years ago pretty vividly.
Old 11-20-2020, 01:29 PM
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Lightening is a risk. Most boats are not properly setup to handle lightening and if there is a direct strike it could and likely be catastrophic. Even an indirect strike can be catastrophic.

Some keep spare ECM in safe container with spare VHF.

We always keep an eye on the weather and forecast.
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Old 11-20-2020, 02:07 PM
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This is one of the better reasons to have a good radar unit onboard. If you know there are conditions for thunderstorms forming, the radar will give you time to get out of the way as well as a good picture of the location of the cells and their direction and speed of movement.

If you are in cell range, one of the weather apps on your phone can get you much of the same information.

Haul ass is my vote assuming you know where to go to get away. I have had my hair literally stand on end in the middle of a thunderstorm and it is not an experience I wish to repeat, though we were lucky and the lightning hit the water all around us but not my boat. Looking up at those big outriggers and thinking "wow, I am the tallest thing around and have to big metal poles pointing at the sky" is not a good feeling.
Old 11-20-2020, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ClassicGuy View Post
This is one of the better reasons to have a good radar unit onboard. If you know there are conditions for thunderstorms forming, the radar will give you time to get out of the way as well as a good picture of the location of the cells and their direction and speed of movement.

If you are in cell range, one of the weather apps on your phone can get you much of the same information.

Haul ass is my vote assuming you know where to go to get away. I have had my hair literally stand on end in the middle of a thunderstorm and it is not an experience I wish to repeat, though we were lucky and the lightning hit the water all around us but not my boat. Looking up at those big outriggers and thinking "wow, I am the tallest thing around and have to big metal poles pointing at the sky" is not a good feeling.
That was us exactly and back then we didn't have all the gear available now. VHF, Loran C and a Furuno CRT days. It was a while back and it's obvious I still haven't forgotten.
Old 11-20-2020, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ClassicGuy View Post
This is one of the better reasons to have a good radar unit onboard. If you know there are conditions for thunderstorms forming, the radar will give you time to get out of the way as well as a good picture of the location of the cells and their direction and speed of movement.

If you are in cell range, one of the weather apps on your phone can get you much of the same information.

Haul ass is my vote assuming you know where to go to get away. I have had my hair literally stand on end in the middle of a thunderstorm and it is not an experience I wish to repeat, though we were lucky and the lightning hit the water all around us but not my boat. Looking up at those big outriggers and thinking "wow, I am the tallest thing around and have to big metal poles pointing at the sky" is not a good feeling.
i guess trawler speed boats are SOL.

at least sailboats usually have half way decent grounding / path for lightening to take, not to say all electronics wont be fried, but hopefully not a hole in the bottom of the boat
Old 11-20-2020, 03:12 PM
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When I see lightning I high tail it home
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Old 11-20-2020, 03:23 PM
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It' s harder to hit a moving target.
Old 11-20-2020, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TNBuras View Post
It' s harder to hit a moving target.
You know, that is actually an interesting theory which causes me to wonder how much lightening can alter it's course to attach itself to a thing - such as a boat on the water.
We all know that electricity like to go to ground and that a tall object is an easy mark. High tension towers get struck, cell towers, radio station antennas, water towers, windmills - they're all easy (high) targets.
Now, a boat may very well be the highest target around for miles and miles and a lightening bolt way want to strike it, but if the boat is moving fast enough, I wonder if the lightening that is heading down tot he earth's surface has much of an ability to turn towards a high object it wants to hit.

I'm no meteorologist or rocket surgeon but just wondering if anyone knows the answer.
Old 11-20-2020, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ClassicGuy View Post
This is one of the better reasons to have a good radar unit onboard. If you know there are conditions for thunderstorms forming, the radar will give you time to get out of the way as well as a good picture of the location of the cells and their direction and speed of movement.

If you are in cell range, one of the weather apps on your phone can get you much of the same information.

Haul ass is my vote assuming you know where to go to get away. I have had my hair literally stand on end in the middle of a thunderstorm and it is not an experience I wish to repeat, though we were lucky and the lightning hit the water all around us but not my boat. Looking up at those big outriggers and thinking "wow, I am the tallest thing around and have to big metal poles pointing at the sky" is not a good feeling.
I'm with Classic Guy, throttle pinned to the dash and I am not touching metal any more than I have to! Had the hair stand up more times than I can count but it's when you smell a funny "clean" smell, cross your arms and duck! I'm told it's an ozone smell of ionization in the air but I've smelled it twice and been tagged twice, it's not fun!

And no, we didn't name Lightning Yachts after big zaps from the sky, it was more to do with the NC mountain's finest home brewed products!
Old 11-20-2020, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Salt View Post
You know, that is actually an interesting theory which causes me to wonder how much lightening can alter it's course to attach itself to a thing - such as a boat on the water.
We all know that electricity like to go to ground and that a tall object is an easy mark. High tension towers get struck, cell towers, radio station antennas, water towers, windmills - they're all easy (high) targets.
Now, a boat may very well be the highest target around for miles and miles and a lightening bolt way want to strike it, but if the boat is moving fast enough, I wonder if the lightening that is heading down tot he earth's surface has much of an ability to turn towards a high object it wants to hit.

I'm no meteorologist or rocket surgeon but just wondering if anyone knows the answer.
The interwebs say 270,000 mph is the speed of lightning. You aren't going to outrun that.
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:31 PM
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I would run (and have). Generally, you can outrun a thunderstorm:

"The speed of isolated storms is typically about 20 km (12 miles) per hour, but some storms move much faster. In extreme circumstances, a supercell storm may move 65 to 80 km (about 40 to 50 miles) per hour. "

https://www.britannica.com/science/t...-thunderstorms
Old 11-20-2020, 04:32 PM
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In 2011 my wife & I decided to run to Big Rock located about 45 mile SSE of Atlantic Beach NC we arrived on station at 7 and started fishing we knew we had a weather window of about 5 hours & that we needed to be heading back to the inlet by 1230 there was a cold front approaching from the NW. we departed the area at noon & headed to the inlet about 30 miles short of it I heard a radio call from a nearby boat with engine trouble ... we stopped to help it took about 2 hours them to get one engine running by the time it was too late to make it safely to the inlet. I had XM marine weather on my Whaler we moved to the R16 area 25 miles from the inlet & chose to wait it out I could see the heaviest stuff was over the Cape Lookout area on a line west to Jacksonville. The boat we had stopped to help was able to get both engines back but we chose to wait. The front stalled at the coast we notified the CG of our plans about 8pm I could see we could run for the inlet we had moved to a point 10 miles south ... we were able to find a hole in the line using XM. I’ve been using XM for 13 years & it’s saved my backside a number of times plus keep us fishing when it seemed the weather was about to go south.

Here’s some video of our run to the inlet.

TS storms at Night On the Water Get Your Attention
Old 11-20-2020, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bills106 View Post
I'm with Classic Guy, throttle pinned to the dash and I am not touching metal any more than I have to! Had the hair stand up more times than I can count but it's when you smell a funny "clean" smell, cross your arms and duck! I'm told it's an ozone smell of ionization in the air but I've smelled it twice and been tagged twice, it's not fun!

And no, we didn't name Lightning Yachts after big zaps from the sky, it was more to do with the NC mountain's finest home brewed products!
Holy good god man. Thats some scary stuff. What’s the idea behind crossing your arms and ducking?
Old 11-20-2020, 05:55 PM
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Ran through a nasty wall cloud as a "kid" 20 or so in my first "big" boat with steering and throttle.....16' trihull with a 70 and watched a wall cloud come straight at us down the CT river valley. Turned for LI but the front was going twice my speed so we tuned into it and I hauled ass but kept thinking if I might have been risking building static running across the surface and increasing risk. No choice though due to the sea state.

Edited for typo
Old 11-20-2020, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Salt View Post
I'm no meteorologist or rocket surgeon but just wondering if anyone knows the answer.
I AM a meteorologist (30+ yrs experience) and I can tell you that lightning is 100% unpredictable and there are no hard and fast rules about it.
As for me - it scares the shit outta me.
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