An increase in wind opposite in direction to a strong tidal current may lead to steep waves capable
of broaching a boat.
Heavy static on your AM radio may be an indication of nearby thunderstorm activity.
If a thunderstorm is approaching, head for shore if possible. Get out of your boat and away from
the water. Find shelter immediately.
If a thunderstorm catches you while afloat, remember that gusty winds and lightning pose a threat
put on your personal flotation device and prepare for rough seas.
stay below deck if possible.
keep away from metal objects that are not grounded to the boat's protection system.
don't touch more than one grounded object at the same time (or you may become a
shortcut for electrical surges passing through the protection system).
If you have a VHF transceiver with built-in NOAA Weather Radio channels, use them. If
your VHF radio is not equipped with weather channels, you may want to buy a VHF
weather radio--they're readily available. Keep in mind, however, broadcast reception
varies with the location of you and the transmitter, the quality of the radio, and any
obstructions. A broad, average range is 20 to 40 miles. If you venture beyond that range,
you should consider buying a good quality HF single sideband transceiver to add to your
VHF. It may be more expensive, but it is worth it to be able to get the information that
may save your life and property.
Weather Information Broadcasts*
Commercial AM and FM Radio Stations
Standards and Recommended Practices for Small Craft, Standard E-4, Lightning
Protection, American Boat and Yacht Council,3069 Solomon's Island Road, Edgewater,
MO 21037-1050, Tel. 410-956-1050, Fax 410-956-2737.
Chapter 7 - Protection for Watercraft, NFPA 780, Installation Recommendation for
Lightning Protection, National Fire Protection Association, P O Box 9101, Quincy MA
02269-9101. NFPA 780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection
Systems, 2000 Edition
Video "Lightning and Sailboats" - This 23 minute video from the
NLSI Lightning Video Library
describes lightning on the water and provides "how to" methods to install lightning protection