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Old 14-09-2015, 18:43   #1
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Lightning strike

A catamaran I am in the process of buy was hit by lightning last night. Several items have been identified as inop. My position is ALL electronics should be replaced along with associated wiring.

There is insurance in place and the purchase price is conseiderable 300K.

Comments, advice, cautions.
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Old 14-09-2015, 18:50   #2
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Re: Lightning strike

Owning a cat and being hit by lightning and dealing with insurance leads me to think you are expecting too much. Anything damaged will be repaired or replaced depending on age/policy anything that still works is not going to be replaced. My advice is be be very thorough on your inspection.


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Old 14-09-2015, 19:03   #3
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Re: Lightning strike

Having been hit by lightning twice I would say walk away from the deal. It takes a long time to fix everything . Many things are not immediately evident. It took six months to fix my first hit and in the end not all was fixed even though the insurer was very accommodating.

The seller has little interest in seeing all the little buggy things are fixed. These are the things that will haunt you once the boat is yours and you start sailing. Even if they replace all the electronics, problems will crop up, things overlooked. For instance a few months after I was hit I discovered some led's in my panel out. These were breakers that were seldom used and therefore not obviously out. I did not test all the breakers. Live and learn. The list can go on and on. Unless there is a big holdback for six months I would walk away.
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Old 14-09-2015, 19:11   #4
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Re: Lightning strike

Wish the owner well and walk away from this, firm.

Look for another boat. Let the owner sort this one out.
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Old 14-09-2015, 19:12   #5
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Re: Lightning strike

Lightning can do strange things. I was at a yard years ago where a 39' cat was having a lot of things replaced due to a lightning strike. The last item to be installed was a compass at the helm. They could not get the compass anywhere near accurate. Eventually they found that the engine control cables had been magnetized.

I would make darn sure everything was perfect on that boat before closing the deal.
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Old 14-09-2015, 20:10   #6
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Re: Lightning strike

Insurance Co statistics suggest that a boat that's been hit once is much more likely to be hit again.
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Old 15-09-2015, 07:18   #7
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Re: Lightning strike

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Originally Posted by Sun and Moon View Post
Insurance Co statistics suggest that a boat that's been hit once is much more likely to be hit again.
Will you provide a link or other confirmation of this statement?

I have never heard this, and have read just about everything available on this topic. BoatUS published statistics, but they did not include anything about the likelihood of increased probability of a strike on a previously struck boat.

Other than BoatUS, I don't know of any other insurance company that has published any statistics at all regarding lightning strikes. Most everything has been published by academics and others.

I can't think of any physical reason why a previously struck boat would have a higher potential of another strike.

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Old 15-09-2015, 07:42   #8
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Re: Lightning strike

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Will you provide a link or other confirmation of this statement?

I have never heard this, and have read just about everything available on this topic. BoatUS published statistics, but they did not include anything about the likelihood of increased probability of a strike on a previously struck boat.

Other than BoatUS, I don't know of any other insurance company that has published any statistics at all regarding lightning strikes. Most everything has been published by academics and others.

I can't think of any physical reason why a previously struck boat would have a higher potential of another strike.

Mark
Probably, a random thing, a boat just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And boats cruising in areas where lightning is more common are more likely to be struck twice than boats in other areas. Nothing about the boat. I doubt there's anywhere near the necessary body of statistics to determine this.

But maybe, just maybe, something about a boat makes it a better target. Height of mast, composition of mast, stuff on top of mast, arrangement of standing rigging, pathways to ground, wiring, etc. i wouldn't rule it out.
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Old 15-09-2015, 07:53   #9
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Re: Lightning strike

Sux to be the owner now, but if I were to go through with the deal, I wouldn't pay as much.
Think of it like an automobile that has been in a serious accident being worth less than one that hasn't.

I'd want a very good survey, I'd be suspect even of the hull, but it can't hurt to be too cautious
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Old 15-09-2015, 08:03   #10
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Re: Lightning strike

I can't think of any physical reason why a previously struck boat would have a higher potential of another strike.

Neither can I, but of the boats that we've met over the years which we know to have been struck by lightning - perhaps 12-15 - four have been struck twice.
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Old 15-09-2015, 08:03   #11
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Re: Lightning strike

Personally I would walk away.. Lightening can cause gremlins that will take years to find.

The Nomad Trip blog has a good example of this. His engines would start by themselves due to fried wiring in a conduit that couldn't be seen. Pretty scary when no one was on the boat. It only started doing this 2 years (or so) after the boat was struck. It took him weeks and a ton of work to track it down and repair it.
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Old 15-09-2015, 08:13   #12
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Re: Lightning strike

Walking away might be good advice but if the OP decides on a different boat how does he know it hasn't suffered a lightening strike?


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Old 15-09-2015, 08:52   #13
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Re: Lightning strike

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Originally Posted by Cottontop View Post



But maybe, just maybe, something about a boat makes it a better target. Height of mast, composition of mast, stuff on top of mast, arrangement of standing rigging, pathways to ground, wiring, etc. i wouldn't rule it out.

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.

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Old 15-09-2015, 08:59   #14
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Re: Lightning strike

Get an appraiser/surveyor to quantify the value difference between a recently struck boat with all major systems repaired as necessary, vs. the same boat that hadn't been struck. That difference reflects the cost and inconvenience of dealing with all the problems that will crop up. The seller's insurer should pay for the cost of repairing all major systems, and (presuming you drop your offer by the appraised value difference, above) that value difference as well. In the end, the seller gets his price, you get the boat with everything working and a discount (presumably substantial) for the headaches to follow. The insurance company may balk, but if the alternative is to fix everything that crops up over the next 12 months, I suspect they will fund the discount and be done with it.
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Old 15-09-2015, 09:11   #15
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Re: Lightning strike

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Will you provide a link or other confirmation of this statement?

I have never heard this, and have read just about everything available on this topic. BoatUS published statistics, but they did not include anything about the likelihood of increased probability of a strike on a previously struck boat.

Other than BoatUS, I don't know of any other insurance company that has published any statistics at all regarding lightning strikes. Most everything has been published by academics and others.

I can't think of any physical reason why a previously struck boat would have a higher potential of another strike.

Mark
Mark,
A learned and intelligent person as yourself has surely heard of the great Italian scientist who became famous for his inventive research which led to his groundbreaking discovery: Famgulata's Law. It states simply: once you have been famgulated, it is a given that you will be famgulated again. I have had first hand experience with the effect of this incredible law of physics with the discovery last week that my windspeed transducer was hit again by lightning-- twice in three years. After seriously considering how the transducer was famgulated and the certainty of Famgulata's Law, I can assure my life forever more will be free of electronic reproduction of windspeed values. I suggest you read further about this fascinating subject in his most recent study: Famgulata's Law, Believe it or Not by Gianinni Famgulata. Good sailing and good reading. Captain Rognvald
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