The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Carbon Fiber Masts and Lightning: Myths, Assurances And Risks

Let’s start with the myths:

  1. If a carbon fibre mast gets struck by lightning it is toast, end of story.
  2. If a carbon fibre mast gets struck by lightning, there is no way to tell if it has been damaged or not, so it must be junked.

These two statements are right up there with “drop a penny in the bilge of an aluminum boat and it will burn through in a week”; in other words, rubbish.

I can say this because I have personally seen a carbon fibre mast that was struck by lightning and then pronounced undamaged by a large and reputable mast manufacturer using ultra-sound. And before anyone says that the manufacturer can’t be trusted, do you think that any manufacturer in their right mind would pronounce a mast safe, with the attendant liability, if they were not sure of their methodology?

More Articles From Carbon Fibre Spars:

  1. The Benefits Of Carbon Fibre Masts
  2. Carbon Fibre Masts, Amateur Boat Design
  3. Carbon Fiber Mast, Costs and Benefits
  4. Carbon Fiber Masts and Lightning: Myths, Assurances And Risks
  5. GMT Carbon Mast, Problems