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Is It Safe To Be On A Sailboat During A Lightning Storm?

Is It Safe To Be In A Sailboat During A Lightning Storm

Are you considering sailing during the nighttime during lightning storm season?

And you want to know how safe it could be if one experiences a lightning storm while on a sailboat.

Lightning storms can occur all year round but they are common during spring or summer seasons.

While storms are not entirely safe, it safer to be in the boat in this case a sailboat especially one with lightning protection on its mast when any type of lightning strikes.

Additionally, it is safer not to be or jump inside the water during a lightning storm as you can get electrocuted and you may not survive it.

In this guide, you will learn how safe it is to be in a sailboat during a lightning storm, what to do during a lightning storm while at sea, and the best lightning protection for boat masts.

How safe is it to be in a sailboat during a lightning storm?

It is quite safe however It is not as dangerous as you are imagining but only if you take necessary precautions beforehand.

Being in a sailboat during a lightning storm is almost safer than being on top of a very tall building or in your car during a storm.

It would be a good thing if you already have lightning protection also known as lightning conductors that extends from your masthead to the water.

Read: How Fast Do Sailboats Go?

This is because lightning storm strikes usually go straight down the mast, and then take the fastest route to the water.

So if the lightning protection doesn't extend to the water, the strike might go through the bottom of the boat and you would certainly get struck too.

Strikes from lightning storms are somewhat dangerous, statistically, 9 people out of every 10 people usually survive it.

However, the survival rate depends on the immediate medical attention administered as soon as the strike occurs.

What to do during a lightning storm while at sea

There isn't much one can do during a lightning storm, however, some precautions have to be taken to stay safe.

One of the few precautions to take during a lightning storm is to remain in the boat, never jump into the water.

The second one is to try not to get struck directly, this is rare but it can happen.

Thirdly, try not to panic so much as fear can make you jump overboard.

The fourth, avoid touching any kind of metal and electricals during a lightning storm.

It is also important to travel with a partner in case of any need for immediate medical attention like CPR before calling for medics.

A fire extinguisher is also necessary as fires are not uncommon during a lightning storm.

Finally, try to cover your ears as lightning storms could be detrimental to your hearing.

As I mentioned, there isn't much anyone can do during a lightning storm as it is a natural occurrence however you can take the aforementioned precaution to minimize damages.

The best lightning protection for boat masts

Lightning protection is also known as conductors is very important for minimizing damages caused by lightning storms.

Although it majorly protects the boat, it could protect you too from getting injured form the strike too.

One thing to keep in mind is the length of the conductor, a tall one is always recommended.

And EvoDis make the best lightning conductors at affordable rates and also with a 100% protection rate.


On a normal, sailboat masts look like they are most likely to get hit all the time during a lightning storm.

It depends on the size of the sailboat as the larger the sailboat, the less likely it will get zapped.

However, acting quickly will save you A LOT of trouble even though you do not have to do much during a lightning storm, just follow a few precautions that you can follow which I have listed above.

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

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