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Old 08-31-2019, 01:41 PM   #1
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Lightning strike, dead electronic engine

I thought this would interest some with electronically run engines. Granted this boat was on the hard. I don't know if that makes it more or less susceptible to being hit. 42 foot Osmond was hit. The post is over on the DE forum but I will post the original post here.




Boat was actually on a mooring when struck.



https://downeastboatforum.com/thread...-strike.27678/


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dslpwr
Visited one of my customers this morning after he found out he had a lighting strike early Thursday am, both vhf antenna’s on 8 foot extensions are gone just fibers on washboard. The force blew the upper steel coupling through the cabin top of a 42 Osmond 2 1/2” thick, burnt up engine ECU, instrument panel, and a bunch of other electrical equipment and wiring
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
I thought this would interest some with electronically run engines. Granted this boat was on the hard. I don't know if that makes it more or less susceptible to being hit. 42 foot Osmond was hit. The post is over on the DE forum but I will post the original post here.

Boat was actually on a mooring when struck.

https://downeastboatforum.com/thread...-strike.27678/
If I had an electronically controlled boat, a lightning strike is not something I would worry about. The chances are very long of getting hit, very long. And so what. Repairing the controls damage would be covered by insurance along with any other damage to the physical plant and on-board electronics (radar, etc.). It happens and we hear about it but it is actually quite rare.
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:32 PM   #3
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First, use your boat, it's tougher for lightning to hit a moving object.

Second, if you're on your boat and lightning hits it, the electronic engine will probably be the least of your concerns.

Third, if you're that worried about lighting taking out the ECU of your engine, you clearly don't understand the risks of boating based on the frequency of occurence.

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Old 08-31-2019, 05:25 PM   #4
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I thought strikes were rare and I guess in the grand scheme they are. I posted an article on another thread were it talked about the chances of not being so slim. Of course, those high risk were only in certain clusters around the US, MEX, and Can.


I've been on the water and had close calls. When I was 9 I was almost stuck in the head while playing football. At age 12 I was struck inside a house while sitting close to a phone. My arm may have been touching it. The phone line was hit when a utility pole was hit. Knocked me out of my seat onto the floor. Stunned me real good. I had muscle problems in my arm and shoulder for a couple of weeks.



Here's some good info to go along with this.
Cone of Protection Myth - National Lightning Safety Institute
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:13 AM   #5
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I'd expect that generally if you take a hit bad enough to fry engine electronics, you've probably got a bunch of other (likely serious) problems to worry about at that point.
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:40 AM   #6
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Living not too far from the lightning capital of the USA and having witnessed the thick stroke which killed one and injured others in a boat grounded on the barrier island here plus numerous other local strikes, including Wayne's Celestial, in my 28 years living here, my take on lightning is VERY different from those who tout the slim probabilities of a boat being struck. If I am away from the pier out on the water, all I want to do is get ashore and inside a building ASAP, and I get inside the cabin and do not touch any metal (SS wheel, so boat is on AP!). If I am working on the boat at the pier, and I hear thunder, color me GONE. When watch on ships at sea, the pilothouse doors were always dogged down during lightning events. I HATE lightning, and it is coming for me; I know it.
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:34 PM   #7
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rgano, I always heard when I was a kid that where I lived (Tampa Bay) was the lightning capital. Is there someplace up in the Panhandle that is worse? Good luck up there buddy.

Yeah, we were electrocuted via the water from a nearby strike back in high school. Scary stuff.

Back to the previous comments though, perhaps an ECU is low risk when living stateside, but if you're cruising to lonely places on Earth then I'd be taking a different opinion on having an electronic engine onboard. Does anyone think that the EPA is gunna be so appreciative of your hard-nose compliance that they'll fly a technician down to Ushuaia when your computer is blown to pieces???
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post
rgano, I always heard when I was a kid that where I lived (Tampa Bay) was the lightning capital. Is there someplace up in the Panhandle that is worse? Good luck up there buddy.

Yeah, we were electrocuted via the water from a nearby strike back in high school. Scary stuff.

Back to the previous comments though, perhaps an ECU is low risk when living stateside, but if you're cruising to lonely places on Earth then I'd be taking a different opinion on having an electronic engine onboard. Does anyone think that the EPA is gunna be so appreciative of your hard-nose compliance that they'll fly a technician down to Ushuaia when your computer is blown to pieces???
You are quite right about the location of the lightning capital, and I am correct in saying Panama City is near enough in my book to qualify as nearby - I REALLY hate lightning.
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