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Old 15-09-2015, 08:45   #16
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Re: Lightning strike

Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Famgulata's Law. It states simply: once you have been famgulated, it is a given that you will be famgulated again.
This sounds like a corollary to the often noted fact that 85% of the time when statistics are cited on the internet, they are made up on those spot. Including this time.

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Old 15-09-2015, 09:19   #17
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Re: Lightning strike

We buddy-boated across the Indian Ocean with a boat who has been hit by lightning three times, including once near us in the Maldives. The boat, a mono-hull, had much of its electronics wiped out but I recommeded to the owners that they replace everything, working or not, because it would be impossible to identify if a particular piece of gear had concealed damage or had at least been stressed to the point where it's useful life could be limited. They disagreed and only filed a claim for the items which were no longer working, only to discover that their SSB wasn't working once they got back underway.

Personally, I would not consider putting an offer in on a boat that had taken a lightning hit.

Fair winds and calm seas.

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Old 15-09-2015, 10:24   #18
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Re: Lightning strike

Originally Posted by colemj View Post
This is a valid and plausible line of reasoning, but it is only the probability of an individual boat being hit - not a previous strike increasing the probability.

In other words, that cell tower on the hill above your house gets hit several times each year, while your house does not. This is not because it has been hit before.

I agree that a boat having been struck by lightning does not "make" it more likely to be struck again; the boat has not been altered in some way.

But I think the right question for the OP is, "Is a boat having been struck by lightning always a random event, or might it be an indication that the boat is, somehow, an "attractor"?

Try this thought experiment: two boats, sitting in a marina. No other boats around, no external "factors." A storm comes and one of the two is struck by lightning. It is then repaired and returned to exactly its condition before the strike. Another storm comes. Which of the two is more likely to be struck? 50-50? Having no evidence whatsoever, I would nonetheless bet on the boat previously struck, notwithstanding all my life I have been told that "lightning doesn't strike twice."
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Old 15-09-2015, 12:05   #19
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Re: Lightning strike

One issue that comes to mind is that it may be possible to speak with the insurance company he has, and have them provide a continuing repair rider on the boat. That any damage that appears after the initial repair is done will still be covered under his policy. This may be far easier to get if you continue his policy with a new owner.

They would have been on the hook for the repairs anyway, and may allow a slightly less serious refit than I would otherwise require.

For my piece of mind, at a minimum I would want all electronics replaced, and a complete rewire of the boat. Plus a check on the electronic systems like the engines and starters that may have latent damage. Otherwise I would walk. If the insurance company was willing to write such a rider i may be willing to take a boat with a less severe refit.

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
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Old 15-09-2015, 12:26   #20
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Re: Lightning strike

The simplest solution is to walk away from it. Everyone whom I have met has discovered damage after the period they were given by the ins. co. to find it had expired. To me, going for it now would be to take on a huge headache; no one you can hire will be able to find everything that's wrong, because some of it can't be seen, like the magnetized engine control cables, mentioned above, or damage within units.

Stumble's approach, if you decide to go for it, the transfer of the insurance from the present owner to you with a rider extending the period they would pick up the tab for, and so forth, could work, you'd pay a bit more on the insurance, and just maybe find all the problems in time. This could be tempting, if the boat really makes your heart go pitty pat. If it were me, with my limited knowledge of electronic items, I'd have to walk.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 15-09-2015, 13:18   #21
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Re: Lightning strike

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 15-09-2015, 13:31   #22
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Re: Lightning strike

Fiberglass will absorb water up to 10 percent but do not ask for reference on that because I do not remember where I read it. With water in the fiberglass, lightning current will move into the fiberglass and cause the water to turn into steam affecting the structural integrity of the fiberglass. Better pull the boat out of the water and carefully check for degraded fiberglass. Maybe just tapping every two inches would find something or maybe a moisture meter, but probably the best is to just walk away from it. By the way, one thing with electronics is a problem can show up six months later. The lightning creates an electromagnet pulse which is like a powerful radio transmitter around a frequency of about 300 kilohertz. This makes electricity flow in electronics even though the items are not hooked to any electrical power source in the boat. All it takes is 10 induced volts to destroy an integrated circuit.

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