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Lightning Damage?

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graemefromdownu View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 July 2017 at 11:09
If any of you remember Dreamtime Wanderer, you may like to know we arrived in Polynesia in mid 2015 where we stayed till November 2015. We had to return to Australia for our son's schooling, so our beautiful boat is still in Tahiti. We went back in November 2016 for reunion.

In March 2017 we and several others were hit by lightning, it doesn't help you have the tallest mast in the marina! I must qualify that, we believe we were hit by lightning. The insurance assessor appears to have a different view, that the damage we suffered was due to a very brief incursion of salt water into the bilge in October 2016 (snapped through-valve inlet under the sink). I was there at the time and after a suitable amount of panic managed to get a wooden plug in and pump out the 2 buckets of water present. No salt water either before or thereafter since. This then is supposed to have caused an electrical short 6 months later which totally drained 720 aH of battery bank, melted the 500A fuse post, wrote off the bowthruster control circuit board in the bow, melted the navigation display screens and fused the Mamba autopilot motor in the space above the starboard cabin ceiling...

I am attaching various photos of some of the damages on board. I would be really grateful if I could have comments from other owners on their knowledge or experiences of lightning strike. Several photos show severe corrosion to our brass / bronze A/Con pumps, high capacity bilge pump and the Danfoss Fridge compressor. This is supposed to have been caused by the salt water from 6 months earlier or the presence of fresh water in the bilge. The captain (Lancelot) looking after our yacht (2 visits a month) reported no salt or fresh water in the bilges till an episode after the lightning at the end of March.  However the corrosion looks to me more like that produced by sulphuric acid - I have read in several articles that sometimes sulphuric acid is ejected out the tops of the batteries by the rapid heating.  Does anyone have any comments on the corrosion? I would confirm that this severe corrosion seen was not present before end of March and the bilges pumped and cleaned every month.

So - Can you help? I feel a bit like David & Goliath.

Graeme Hurd, Dreamtime Wanderer, Hanse 461 and still the best ever made!!

PS some of the images came from a pdf sent by the agent in Tahiti. Error message on autopilot no available compass, rudder locked in place by drive motor


otor de



461: Dreamtime Wanderer, on her way to Australia.
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graemefromdownu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote graemefromdownu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2017 at 11:30
uploads/2114/Further_damage_images_pdf.pdf

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461: Dreamtime Wanderer, on her way to Australia.
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415 Singapore View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 415 Singapore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2017 at 11:35
Hi, commiserations. We had a lightning strike in September last year. We weren't on the boat at the time, but came back to find pretty much everything had blown, all instruments gone, auto pilot motor melted, engine not working, inverter blown and all small fire in the battery compartment that had fortunately put itself out.
Apparently 80% of lightning strikes come through the water and up through the boat exiting the mast, which is why our VHF antenna had disappeared. Your damage certainly sounds like lightning.
Fortunately our insurance company agreed.
Below is a link to a post from last year
http://www.myhanse.com/im-an-unlucky-captain_topic9851_post81661.html?KW=unlucky#81661

Good luck
Paul

Paul - Night Train - 415 #136
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RalphK View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RalphK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2017 at 12:29
An argument against the insurance: how can the Plotter in the cockpit be damaged by some salt water in the bilge? First it is in the outside and second it should be water resistant / waterproof. So its damage only can be caused by electricity and then the lightning stroke comes into the game, especially as other boats in the same Harbour got hit, too.

I would consider sueing the insurance and definitely I would look for another insurance. Pls. tell the name of the insurance that other members of the forum know to avoid this insurance.

All the best, good luck.

Ralph



Edited by RalphK - 21 July 2017 at 12:31
SY Wind Pearl, Hanse 385#358
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Wayne's World View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wayne's World Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2017 at 14:33
Graeme,

I feel your pain and can only hope things get better for you and your boat. 

We have a friend whose boat was damaged by lightning last October whilst in Brindisi, Italy. He had a huge list of equipment which was destroyed. In his case the lightning struck in the water in the marina and three boats including his were damaged. He thought it would take about 4 weeks to get all the equipment replaced but has had some much trouble with a certain Australian franchise of a well know Insurance company who have stuffed his around it took 5 months before they agreed to anything. I notice the boat is only now out of the water possibly having the work done. I did not see any photos of the damage to his boats equipment so can not comment on your photos. Can you get hold of any photos from the other boats damaged by the lightning in your area and compare them? I would think you need to get your own surveyor and see what they think of the damage on your boat. If you don't have one I could recommend one from Cairns who may be able to assist. If you need his contact send me email address or PM your email address to me and I will get his details to you. Good luck and don't let it get you down.
Wayne W
Cruising, currently in the Mediterranean.
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graemefromdownu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote graemefromdownu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 August 2017 at 15:02
Hi Wayne, Tried to do a PM,get a response from system Invalid Name. My email address
graemefromdownunder at googlemail dot com.

Thanks, Graeme
461: Dreamtime Wanderer, on her way to Australia.
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