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Old 29-06-2020, 14:47   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: NE Florida
Boat: CSY 44
Posts: 25
Past lightning strike / boat purchase

Hello, long time reader and first time posting a new discussion. Some background - Wife and I are looking at cruising sailboats. We are in Arizona and of course cruising boats are on coasts and we need to travel to see any of them. Because of Covid, we are not traveling yet but doing as much research as we can while waiting for things to get better. We recently did a video tour of a 1979 44' sailboat in Florida. (Purposely leaving out make and model as I don't want the discussion to be about that, but about the lightning issue.)
Broker walked around boat with his phone while we discussed and asked questions. After that I emailed some additional questions asking about past major incidents and the current owner since 2011 disclosed the following -

"The previous owner reported that the boat took a lightning strike while on the hard in Cocoa Beach, FL in the fall of 2006. Damaged items were replaced prior to our buying the boat. The boat took a near strike while in the water in Matthews Point, NC in 2012 while we were not present. The Dock Master and a neighbor saw the bolt strike the water within 100 ft. of the boat but no direct hit. The power surge took out the battery charger, all led lights, the hour meter, the pressure water pump, and one VHF radio that was still in place. The second VHF and the GPS were not affected because they were detached and stored in the galley stove. We have never replaced the mast, it was removed, inspected, painted and rewired by Miracle Marine in 2011. The shrouds, stays and hardware were inspected and replaced as needed. The Forestay and foresail furler and the backstay were replaced at that time."

We like the boat overall. The current owner liked it enough to buy it knowing it had been hit before. But before we cross the country to look in person, and / or before I hire a professional rig surveyor, is the lightning incidents to the original now 41 year old keel stepped mast deal breakers? I completely understand that more inspection is warranted but based off of the owner's description of events I want to see what others think. Thank you for reading this far and for your time and responses.
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Old 29-06-2020, 18:01   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Southport CT
Boat: Sabre 402
Posts: 1,933
Re: Past lightning strike / boat purchase

The issues caused by lightning on this boat seem to have been taken care of or fixed. We have several friends whose boats have been hit by lightning and repaired, with no apparent ill effects. One of them beat us racing last week. On the other hand, it might be a good idea to have other boats lined up to check out, and not make such a long trip to see just one boat. This could be useful to confirm your initial choice as being the best of the bunch, or to open your minds to other options that might serve your needs better.
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