When it comes to sailing, sailors prefer to have nice and sunny weather, but occasionally, the weather can turn against them, and they might find themselves sailing in a thunderstorm. But is it safe to sail in a thunderstorm? While sailing during a thunderstorm is generally not very dangerous, it is not the most pleasant experience, especially for inexperienced sailors. However, there are some measures that can be taken to limit any damage and make the experience more bearable.
Firstly, it is important to note that sailing in a thunderstorm is relatively harmless, and the chances of being hit by lightning while sailing are low. However, it is possible that lightning strikes can affect nearby devices, such as mobile phones. It is, therefore, advisable to keep them in a metal box or microwave, and for the larger devices, the ship is usually built with lightning in mind, directing the lightning in the least damaging route.
What to do
When sailing during a thunderstorm, the crew should try to maintain calm and avoid stressing. It is wise to keep everyone indoors as it can be dangerous to stay outside during a thunderstorm, and the water may become very rough. The engine should be kept running to prevent it from failing later, and sailors should look for the nearest mooring place to stop and continue their journey in better weather conditions.
If on a sailboat during a thunderstorm, lowering the sails may reduce the risk of fire and also help in the strong gusts of wind. It is crucial to keep in mind that the effects of lightning strikes can affect devices within ten meters of the impact point. For this reason, devices such as mobile phones should be stored in a metal box or microwave to avoid damage.
Sailing in small, calm waters during a thunderstorm is not much different from sailing in bad weather, and it is generally doable. However, sailing on larger bodies of water or at sea with a thunderstorm can be a challenging experience, and it is not recommended for novice sailors to sail in such conditions. It is crucial to check the weather forecasts before sailing and make a decision based on the information provided.
Modern boats are usually built with lightning in mind, and they have a good conductivity system that prevents lightning from causing significant damage. The lighting is usually guided from the mast top, and sometimes an extra lightning conductor is installed to prevent damage to larger devices.
In conclusion, while sailing in a thunderstorm is generally not very dangerous, it is not the most pleasant experience, especially for inexperienced sailors. However, sailors can take some measures to limit any damage and make the experience more bearable. It is crucial to check the weather forecasts and make a decision based on the information provided to ensure a safe and enjoyable sailing experience.