Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lightning!

Lightning is powerful stuff!


We have been on a 'shake-down cruise' around Moreton Bay, trying out new gear like the IsatPhone Pro, and the watermaker. We have also been practicing for emergencies, like Man Overboard.

All was going well.

Then we were anchored in Deanbilla Bay, near Dunwich, a small town on North Stradbroke Island. 6.30 at night. Peaceful. Watching TV. Some thunder in the distance, getting closer. Then heavy rain.

Then BANG!!! The biggest bang I have ever heard. A smell of brimstone, a bit like firework sparklers.

The TV kept playing. We were shaken, but assumed we were OK. But then we noticed that two ventilation fans had turned on, and found that they couldn't be turned off!

We had been hit, or at least it had been so close that induction currents had run through the boats electrical systems powerfully enough to fuse the fans.

And other things....

As became apparent over the next few days.

GPS? Nah.
Chartplotter? Nah.
Autopilot? Nah.
Wind indicator? Nah.
Genset? Nah.
Inverter? Nah.
and on, and on.

We took the boat to boat hospital in Coomera and unleashed some electrical repair people on her, to provide quotes for insurance. Some big numbers. Some gulping by the insurance assessor. Some politics to follow.

It seems unlikely that we can get it all repaired safely to keep our plan to sail to New Cal on May 4th, so that whole project is on hold. We will only do it when we are confident that the boat  is safe to go.

Bugger!

2 comments:

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  2. D & G

    Sorry to hear of your adventure with the vessel being a lightning rod was rather expensive with your silicon stuff loosing much of it's smoke. I had the pleasure of seeing your wonderful 'holiday home' on a couple of occasions in my travels of the last 12 months or so. She looks to be a fine place to relax so I am happy to hear of your plans to travel further afield than the east coast but sad for you both that this has caused a delay to your plans to venture further afield in the pacific.

    I am curious to know if there was a common point of "entry". Were all the devices that failed on the same battery bank or had something connected to the mast for example?

    It is extremely difficult to limit exposure to such direct or indirect induction of energy into a shipboard system however saying this does not make much in the way of consolation.

    Hopefully the lesson learned is that sometimes the standby equipment is best left un-plugged when not being used actively and that insurance is only as good as the insurer is prepared to accept as being their obligation.

    Sadly it is always less than what they try to extract from us as a proportionate value of a premium in coverage when things are normal.

    All the best and I hope that your delay to sail away is only minor.

    Ron

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