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Old 24-07-2016, 14:20   #31
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
If you got epirbs have them checked out, ours got fried from a lightening strike, along with the alternator, all solenoids, almost anything that required electricity, and the biggest joy was finding various insulated wires suddenly without insulation. Learned that from having a series of shorts. So at least check out all wiring to make real sure the insulation is intact. Any through hulls made of non metal should also be checked, if not gotten rid of and replaced with bronze.
I had taken the EPIRB off the boat last weekend as it needs a new battery. Actually bought a new one instead as it was only $60 more.
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Old 24-07-2016, 15:48   #32
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

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Even though I do have insurance, I would like to do as much myself as possible to learn the systems. It's just that I don't know the systems at all yet, so need guidance, hence the desire to find someone who is willing to work with me to get started. It may be a lengthy process :-/.

The boat is in Fort Myers Beach, and I need it seaworthy enough to sail it around to Fort Lauderdale where I live - it will be much easier to work on it if I don't have to drive two hours each way. First thing is I need to be sure that the nav lights are all functional, and that the batteries can take and hold a charge. The engine starts and runs just fine, so I just need to check that the alternator is working and will charge both the start and house batteries. Hopefully at least one of the two autopilots survived, as that will make the trip a little easier.

-David
Even though you want to do work yourself, don't touch anything until the insurance processes the claim. Even though they can depreciate, they are normally pretty good on lightening strikes.
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Old 24-07-2016, 17:14   #33
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

Try to determine where the lightning went when exiting the boat. I had a lightning strike, and the bolt went down the forestay through the stemhead, and apparently jumped to water from there. Had to have a welding repair on the stem to make it safe.
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Old 24-07-2016, 18:29   #34
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

Wards Electric in FLL has an excellent reputation for quality work but not cheap so get your insurance company to cover their fees.
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Old 24-07-2016, 21:25   #35
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

I have been hit twice but at the time I had now expensive electronics on board. But now when it is evident that lightning is in the area I disconnect everything. I unplug the antenna from the vhf and turn all power off. I don't know if this works as I have not been hit by a bolt since the last time. The last hit did kill my laptop and it wasn't even connected to anything. I not bury my laptop under my bunk and hope for the best. Good luck to all but don't worry too much about it as it's like hitting the lottery.
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Old 24-07-2016, 23:57   #36
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

Lightening can be difficult. What works today may not tomorrow. Take a circuit board for example, the strike can come through a board, and, due to the high voltage and greater current than the board is designed for, it can blow a track - then the board does not go - easy to diagnose. Unfortunately it can also blow off PART of a track. The device then likely still works - for now. The remaining part still carries the current, but runs hotter due to the reduced conductor size. That will cause a failure down the track, sometimes quite a bit down the track. In a bad strike, the only way to be certain it's all good is to replace everything, and the wiring. Of course that is not normally practical...


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Old 25-07-2016, 06:33   #37
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

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Yes, bad way to start...

But

Could be a great way to start! You get to learn about boat electrics!

First thing is be very careful of marine electricians. They are as usefull as a bunch of politicians at a convention and out-price plumbers!

They will do a lot of work for $100 per hour that you can do for your pathetic value of $0

I would buy a multimeter and a bit of 2 strand electric cable and check all your wiring and each bit of junk.

Use the cable to wire dead stuff up to the battery direct. Then you will know if its the unit or the wiring.

Others here will give you some tips. But what you are trying to do is get a list of what is actually wrong. Then replace what you can until you have a tiny list that you need an expert to help.



Sorry its happened.
Based on several unsafe processes you described, and suggested someone else follow, you should pay the $100/ hr to keep you, your crew, and your boat safe from electrical fire until you learn how to troubleshoot and repair electrical systems properly.

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Old 25-07-2016, 14:26   #38
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

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Based on several unsafe processes you described, and suggested someone else follow, you should pay the $100/ hr to keep you, your crew, and your boat safe from electrical fire until you learn how to troubleshoot and repair electrical systems properly.

Certified Raymarine Installer

Welcome to cruising on a budget.

It got me round the world. And i've never needed a Raymarine installer
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Old 25-07-2016, 14:52   #39
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

Sorry for your bad luck, you might want to check your sailsto see if they have been scorched
Ross
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:10   #40
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

You've gotten a lot of good advice so I'll keep my thoughts brief:

I suggest you have your chainplates inspected (others have suggested having your rigging and sails looked at as well).

You might inquire of your insurance company what your policy covers as far as 'concealed damage' is concerned. For example, your SSB might be working fine but sensitive components may have been pushed to their limits and might fail when you don't want it to.

I hope no one was hurt. My best wishes for a complete and satisfactory resolution.

Good luck, fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:18   #41
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

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You've gotten a lot of good advice so I'll keep my thoughts brief:

I suggest you have your chainplates inspected (others have suggested having your rigging and sails looked at as well).

You might inquire of your insurance company what your policy covers as far as 'concealed damage' is concerned. For example, your SSB might be working fine but sensitive components may have been pushed to their limits and might fail when you don't want it to.

I hope no one was hurt. My best wishes for a complete and satisfactory resolution.

Good luck, fair winds and calm seas.
Good advice on the chainplates and concealed damage, will definitely keep that in mind. No SSB (yet) to worry about, and no one was onboard at the time so no injuries. Other than to my wallet of course :-/.

-David
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:20   #42
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

UPDATE: I am meeting the insurance assessor on the boat tomorrow to begin the process of make it whole again. Just have to be firm and not settle for anything less than we're due. I'll post updates on our progress and lessons we learn along the way.

Thanks for all the great advice and suggestions!!

Regards,
David.
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:23   #43
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

Is there anything that can be done such as a lightning rod/arrestor to avoid or minimize damage from a lightning strike?
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:32   #44
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

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Is there anything that can be done such as a lightning rod/arrestor to avoid or minimize damage from a lightning strike?
Interestingly there is one of those upside-down "toilet brush" lightning dissipators on the top of my main mast, and the lightning ignored it and hit the VHF antenna instead. Some argue that a lightning rod on your mast would increase the likelihood of being struck, and their logic seems valid to me.

-David
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Old 25-07-2016, 16:47   #45
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Re: Lightning strike! Now what?

There is a lot of often conflicting information around about lightening protection. In this case I'd say the vhf antenna had a better path to ground, or was taller than the lightening dissipator. For me, it makes sense to have the rig grounded via the keel, and therefore have the same potential difference in the rig as in the sea around it. Others disagree. This has seemed to work for me, including some severe storms in the Malacca straits, where other boats around us were hit, and we had a lightening fork strike the sea either side of our boat with 20-30 meters. Damn scary! Fortunately no damage.

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