Lightning Protection

Lightning protection is a subject that many consider to be a black art. This does not have to be the case. Much research has been done in recent years and modern science offers many solutions that can keep you, your guests, crew, equipment, and vessel safe; even during the worst thunderstorms. 

Modern vessels can be particularly susceptible to lightning damage due to growing complexity of our electrical installations, increased reliance on sensitive electronic systems, and misconceptions about the nature of lightning and the best methods to defend from it. Beware of unscrupulous "experts" who can actually increase risk of damage through the use of unproven or partially installed systems.

Cote Marine performs lightning damage surveys and installs lightning protection and mitigation systems in accordance with the recommendations published by the American Boat and Yacht Council (TE-4), NFPA 780, and Motorola R56. We can protect your investment whether she is laying in seawater, brackish, or fresh; dockside, underway, or at anchor. Our marine and aquatic lightning protection protocols are based on seven principles:
  • Properly placed and proportioned air terminals
  • Adequately sized and optimally routed lightning down conductors and side flash conductors
  • Adequately sized and properly positioned grounding terminals
  • Proper interconnection of the lightning protection system to the other grounding and bonding systems
  • Adequately rated lightning protection surge arresters on all valuable or mission critical equipment
  • Adequately rated lightning surge arresters on critical points of the the shore power system
  • Adequate training of personnel
Please feel free to contact James Cote with any questions that you may have on lightning damage or lightning protection. He is an electrical engineer who has been performing lightning damage surveys for builders, owners, and insurance carriers for more than twenty five years. 

Mr. Cote stays current with the latest research on lightning protection and has given seminar on the subject at IBEX and Fort Lauderdale Mariner's Club conventions. He is especially interested in any feedback or photos that you may have regarding your interesting experiences with lightning phenomena.

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