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Marine Engine Parts Analysts Explain How to Live Through Lightning Strikes


Your Marine Engine Parts Experts Caution That Lightning Can Be Very Unpredictable 

Stainless Marine your marine engine parts professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to live through lightning strikes.

Your marine engine parts experts know that powerful, dangerous, highly unpredictable — all are common descriptions of lightning. Your inboard marine engine parts specialists know that a direct strike that results only in ringing ears and a few roasted electronics would be considered lucky. Unlucky would be through-hulls blown out, a sunk boat or worse — possibly serious injury or death.

Wrong. Engines can malfunction; big storms can leave no room to escape; sunny mornings can turn into dark, threatening afternoons. If yours is the only boat in the area during a lightning storm, the odds of being struck go way up, leaving you and your crew vulnerable to millions of volts raining down from the skies. 


Your boat engine parts analysts understand that a strategy of boating only on sunny, cloudless days may work well in places like Idaho and California, but that would mean almost never using the boat in places such as Florida, Louisiana and much of the Midwest. 

Absolutely, boaters should track VHF, Internet and television weather reports and make responsible decisions about whether to go boating depending on the likelihood of storms. Short-term forecasts can actually be fairly good at predicting bigger storms, but small, localized storms might not be reported. 

A storm that builds directly overhead might be less obvious until those pretty white clouds that were providing some nice shade moments ago turn a threatening hue of gray as rain dumps on you and the wind starts to howl or, worse yet, boom with thunder and lightning that are right on top of each other.


Boaters who have been struck by lightning often begin their stories with “I was caught in this storm … ” before they share their miraculous or harrowing tales of survival and destruction.

Lowering antennas, towers, fishing rods and outriggers is also advised, unless they’re part of a designated lightning-protection system.

Under no circumstances should the VHF radio be used during an electrical storm unless it’s an emergency (handhelds are OK). Also, be careful not to grab two metal objects, like a metal steering wheel and metal railing — that can be a deadly spot to be if there’s a strike.

An open boat like a runabout is the most dangerous to human life, since you are the highest point and most likely to get hit if the boat is struck. If shore is out of reach, the advice is to drop anchor, remove all metal jewelry, put on life jackets and get low in the center of the boat.

Your Marine Engine Parts Specialists Help You to Weather Unexpected Dangerous Storms

You can find more information as well as get assistance on stainless steel tubing and on how to live through lightning strikes at Stainless Marine.

Your stainless steel tubing professionals say that if all goes well, the storm will blow past or rain itself out in 20 to 30 minutes. It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes until after the last clap of thunder to resume activities.


Knowing what to do in a storm and having the best lightning-protection system installed on the boat is by no means a guarantee that lightning won’t strike. Your inboard boat motors experts share that the immediate checklist for a direct hit is very short:

1. Check for unconscious or injured persons first. If they’re moving and breathing, they’ll likely be OK. Immediately begin CPR on unconscious victims if a pulse and/or breathing is absent — there’s no danger of being shocked by someone just struck by lightning.

2. In the meantime, have someone check the bilges for water. It’s rare, but lightning can blow out a transducer or through-hull — or even just blow a hole in the boat. 

If there are no injuries and no holes or major leaks below, just continue to wait it out. Once the danger has passed, check the operation of the engine and all electronics. Obvious damage will need to be assessed and set right.

Write the Check!

On many levels, robust insurance coverage plays a huge role in your lightning-protection plan. Take it from a luxury trawler owner who sustained more than $1 million in damage from a strike: “Boat insurance turns out to be the best investment we have made in the past 10 years!” he said. 

So don’t forget these vital tips on how to live through lightning strikes when on your boat. 1) Remember that lightning is unpredictable;  2) boaters should track VHF, Internet and television weather reports and make responsible decisions about whether to go boating depending on the likelihood of storms;  and 3) invest in boat insurance.

Stainless Marine always has more information on marine engine parts, stainless steel tubing, boat parts online, and on how to survive lightning strikes while on your boat.

via Surviving Lightning Strikes While Boating


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