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Old    Chris Walker (redsupralaunch)      Join Date: Aug 2002       06-06-2014, 1:43 PM Reply   
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21134540/vp/55346270#55346270

I cant believe we have never seen this with wakeboard towers. This would ruin your day
Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-06-2014, 2:00 PM Reply   
We do get 'weather' here in Alberta. Always entertaining.

A boat would not be as good a place as inside the metal tub of a car body.
Old    Jim Fergus (jfergus7)      Join Date: Jul 2011       06-11-2014, 7:56 PM Reply   
That is just crazy. Can't believe both of them inside were just fine.
Old     (jafo9)      Join Date: May 2012       06-12-2014, 8:03 AM Reply   
i'm no expert, but wouldn't isolated be a better term than grounded?
Old    Lee Griffith (LeeG23)      Join Date: Feb 2013       06-12-2014, 9:42 AM Reply   
i had a lightning strike few years ago. boat was on lift under boathouse. lightning hit a tree, the energy conducted through the tree to the ground then into the wires of sprinkler system then into the electrical circuit to boathouse. I had the boat batteries charging with an extension cord. Energy conducted into the boat. All electronics shorted in the boat including stereo, engine etc torched.
Old    Lee Griffith (LeeG23)      Join Date: Feb 2013       06-12-2014, 9:49 AM Reply   
i learned a lot about lightning strikes after that, energy will usually go thru the electrial circuit in boat and exit boat thru the rudder(path of least resistance) or it can literally blow through the hull
Old    Phil White (philwsailz)      Join Date: Feb 2009       06-12-2014, 10:59 AM Reply   
The lightning has high enough voltage to forward bias even the rubber tires and make them conductive. Recall even tires have a ton of carbon in them... If, as the weatherman suggested, the tires protected them, the lightning would never have even hit the truck...

The passengers were safe because they were inside a crude Farraday cage. When you are inside of a metal box the charge is conducted over the outside of the box. Borrowing from a technical treatsie on it, the car's body "cancels out electric charges or radiation within the cage's interior. In short, a Faraday cage is a hollow conductor, in which the charge remains on the external surface of the cage."

It is for this reason that a car, despite being metal, is one of the safest places you can be in an electrical storm...

Phil
Kicker
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-12-2014, 11:10 AM Reply   
We were out boarding years ago. My then wife was on the back getting her board on while we were all talking. We looked back and her hair was standing straight up. My buddy pushed her into the water and we all hit the floor then scrambled to breakdown the 10ft pole(if you all remember those!) Needless to say we were done for the day.
Old    Phil White (philwsailz)      Join Date: Feb 2009       06-12-2014, 11:11 AM Reply   
To add the WHY it works, consider this.

Pretend you are standing in the middle of a metal tube. Now pretend that metal tube is actually a electrical conductor. you are barefooted, and you have no gloves on your hands. reach up and touch the tube.

Your feet are firmly touching the metal at the bottom. Your hands are touching the metal at the top.

Someone outside the tube fires up a generator and throws the switch. Now there are 10,000 Volts flowing through the metal tube. You feel nothing. you are alive, breathing and completely safe. They crank it up to 100,000 Volts. Still nothing.

How is this possible?

Regardless the voltage you are in, you experience no voltage potential. Some part of your body has to be touching a different surface or material with a different voltage potential, (ground is a voltage potential by the way) for current to flow.

For that metal car being hit by lightning, all parts of the car were at the same voltage at the same time. Nothing you could touch, short of, (pardon the pun) sticking your leg out and touch the ground, (sorry for the other pun) would be at a different voltage potential, and therefore no current can go through your body.

Hopefully that makes it easy and clear. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go rewind the propeller on my beanie cap....

Phil
Kicker
Old    Cobra Rob (CobraRob)      Join Date: Aug 2010       06-12-2014, 11:45 AM Reply   
Well while 99% correct on your "metal tube" explanation in a tube large enough for you to stand in with that size of a potential you would run into other issues of magnetic fields generated on the inside so I would not suggest trying said experiment.

same reason why birds can sit on high voltage wires. Its all about not becoming the path of least resistance between 2 potentials. If the potential is the same there is no flow.
Old    Patrick Castro (patrick232)      Join Date: Aug 2008       06-12-2014, 11:54 AM Reply   
I was driving a truck down the interstate in 2007 and was hit. It was more than $17K to get the truck fixed. 2 year old Duramax, they would not total. Almost 1/2 was labor. I was fine, but now don't care to drive in lighting storms.
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-12-2014, 12:43 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jafo9 View Post
i'm no expert, but wouldn't isolated be a better term than grounded?
Yes, definitely not grounded. Grounded is a completely wrong term. Rubber is an insulator, not a conductor. It cannot ground. If you were grounded, you would be really SOL.
Then again, it's the media. They know nothing, only report what's given to them on the teleprompter. When you get them talking among themselves like this, that's when you realize it.
Old    Detox (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       06-12-2014, 12:45 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by psudy View Post
We were out boarding years ago. My then wife was on the back getting her board on while we were all talking. We looked back and her hair was standing straight up. My buddy pushed her into the water and we all hit the floor then scrambled to breakdown the 10ft pole(if you all remember those!) Needless to say we were done for the day.
I'd imagine if the lighting hit the water your wife wouldn't be here thanks to your buddy... I could be wrong though. If it was me I'd chuck him in and pull her out.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-12-2014, 2:03 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass10after View Post
I'd imagine if the lighting hit the water your wife wouldn't be here thanks to your buddy... I could be wrong though. If it was me I'd chuck him in and pull her out.
She was arching so his intent was to break the arch. I think if she would have stayed put, it would have lit her up. Knowing what I know now, I should have stopped him.
Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-12-2014, 11:37 PM Reply   
So here is the big question. Most of us are on the water with towers and our boats have fins in the water.

Are we better to ground the tower with a cable to the fins and directly to the lake, or to leave no clear electrical conduit from the lake to above our heads?

If it's grounded maybe there is an increased potential to be the centre of the strike. If it's not grounded maybe the conduit becomes the tower, then you and through the floor. I don't know and I don't think there has ever been a study to test it. A ground wire for lightning is not all that big and would be easy to install. But would it help or hurt.
The only thing I know is that, as a guy, I am seven times more likely to get struck by lightning than my wife. I suspect that is cultural decision making rather than my electric personality.
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-13-2014, 6:56 AM Reply   
Two years ago a big storm came up at my brother's lake house. At the time there was no safe way to tie the boat to the dock real fast, and it was starting to lighting a lot. So I let everybody off the boat and pulled away from the dock and threw an anchor out. Then I tied a line to the back of the boat and jumped in the water to swim the line to the dock and tie the back of the boat to the dock. Half way to the dock while I was in the water I heard lighting hit real close but didn't know where. At the same time I felt every muscle in my body tense up three times as the bolts went through me and the water. Luckily it was just enough to make my muscles react and I swore I could feel it in my heart. It scared the hell out of me and hate being out in a storm now.

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