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We need to file the following in the category of the biggest coincidences ever. Remember how I wrote yesterday that the wind instrument on both One Love and Harmony had stopped working as a result of that lightning strike? Well, that’s true, but conveniently they both broke in the exact opposite way.

Wind instruments have two basic parts: a display at the helm and a transducer which is installed at the masthead. After a quick round of troubleshooting yesterday morning, with coaching from our electrical-guru friend Simon Clay, I determined that our problem related to our helm display. Fortunately, it seemed that our masthead unit was OK. I went through a similar bit of troubleshooting for our friends on Harmony and found that they had the opposite problem, their display was fine but the transducer at the top of their mast was toast. Weird? We think so!


As it turns out, Budget Marine didn’t have a display to replace our broken one but they did have the complete wind package in stock. So what did we do? We bought the entire thing and split it up… Harmony took the wind unit and we took the display.

Replacing One Love’s broken display with the new one was relatively easy, and in short order we were back in business. Getting Wylie up to the top of his mast to swap the damaged transducer for the new one required a bit more planning and work but even that came off without a hitch. Before it was time for sundowners, both One Love and Harmony once again had fully functioning instruments. Did it suck to have to spend that money and time? Yes, but knowing the damage that can result from lightning, I think we both got off pretty lucky!

Our friend Maggie was itching to go up the mast so we helped her out.
She snapped this pic of One Love while she was up there.

10 Comments

  1. Glad it all worked out…. And we get another great pic of One Love.

  2. Mike we now have experience with the Big Bully (lightning) also. We have found it does what it wants to!
    It took out our TV antenna and booster but not the TV. And DVD player right beside the stereo was toast but not the stereo! But it did toast everything on the mast! Keep an eye out over the next month or so to see if something else fails. We had something’s start working again and others that stopped. ( little Gremlins)
    You can find out more on our FB page. S/V Our Way Too!
    Dean

  3. Mike ,
    We had a similar event happen. Lightning damaged the magnetic pickups on the wind vane and the speed transducer. If you have a magnetic boat speed transducer, check it next. Our strike also corrupted some of the software in the tridata and wind speed displays. Raymarine repaired the wind vane and the displays. The wind vane repair was about $100 if I remember correctly. The software repair to the displays was a flat rate $225 each.

    I would check that speed transducer.

    Glad it worked out for you.

    Mike
    SV Syringa

  4. MIKE

    Where are you anchored there? Looks familiar.

    Also, does Jonathan still work at Island Water World?

    D & Don
    SV SOUTHERN CROSS

  5. Keep checking your systems. For some reason, it is common that faults that are not apparent at first after lightening strikes, may appear some days or weeks later.

    Mike

  6. Looks like someone would figure out an isolation system to provide a little more protection.
    Don’t think you can reasonably isolate anything on the mast, but seems like there should be some means of disconnecting other electrics during electrical storms.

  7. What constitutes ground in a boat?

    Is there a metal plate exposed to the water?

    Does an anchor chain help?

  8. Glad you both got off so easily!

  9. Do a search on Nordhaven and lightening – they have a good write up and links on lightening after they got hit. As for avoiding, lightening is like going aground there are those that have done it and those that lie about it . I have a well bonded and grounded boat but have put a gps in my oven (faraday cage) and also put jumper cables in the water to my rod rigging when in a violent storm. We practiced avoiding EMP by disconnecting antennas a lot when i worked for the Grey Funnel Line.

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