Sunday, July 17, 2016

Insane About the Membrane

Or:  Occasionally I get things right.

We got clobbered here on the North Chesapeake yesterday, I mean really clobbered.  The forecast said, as usual in summer, that there was a "possibility of a thunderstorm."  Nobody, NOBODY predicted what was about to happen.

A thunderstorm cell came out of the SW and then just SAT over the warm water at the mouth of the Middle River.  It just kept getting bigger and higher, and just before it let loose, we were treated to a chorus of small craft, severe thunderstorm, hail, and lightning warnings, all of which proved to be true.

It was the weekend, after all.  Lots of folks were out toward Hart-Miller island playing in the water.  The wind came up suddenly from the rapidly growing supercell.  Hail pelted the boats, lightning struck everywhere.  Our slip mates who were out in it described hail hard enough to crack hatches and leave quarter sized welts on those in open boats, along with whiteout conditions and six foot waves.  Boat's anchors dragged.  Some wound up on the rocks around Hart-Miller Island, destroying props and rudders and fiberglass.  Lightning hit one of our neighbors boats, destroying both his bimini top and all of the boat's electronics.

If you think what the lightning did to this bimini is bad, you should see what it did to their radios.

About this time, some of you may be remembering that we have a soft vinyl membrane over our boat, leftovers from a sports dome.  The membrane took the full force of the hail.  You know what happened?  Mercifully, nothing.

The membrane being installed

During construction from underneath

Yeah, I know, looks like a covered wagon.
We had water leaks from all the windows (working on that) but the membrane, through all the wind and rain and hail, remained inviolate.

The membrane today, still watertight.
So if you had any questions (I did) about the durability of this form of construction, I think going on three years of high winds, snow, hail,  and rainstorms have pretty much proved it's worth.

Occasionally, I win one.

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