This weekend we were looking forward to having various guests aboard…
I arrived at the boat on Friday morning with Brian Gardener from work… as I loaded our weekend luggage I noticed something lying on the cockpit seat… When I moved inside I noticed the cover of an electronic control lying on the couch… When I tried to turn on the fridge to cool our beers, it wouldn’t go on. Alarm bells ringing!
The thing on the bench outside was examined – it was the fascia of the spreader lights – checking them out showed them to have been blown to smithereens. We’d suffered a lightning strike .
Somewhat numbed, we decided to have a beer and sort through what works and what doesn’t – finding that nearly everything electronic was fried. Unfortunately, it also appears that quite a lot of electrical stuff also took a hit – switches for some lights, for the windlass, etc.
Brian winched me up the mast (without an electric motor to assist!) where I found we’d had a direct hit. The masthead is blackened, the brand new VHF antenna was vaporized and the masthead light destroyed! What’s worrying is the possibility that the shrouds that keep the mast up might also have been compromised.
I’m back on the boat today to evaluate more – and to see if I can get a charging system to run to keep batteries topped up.
Plan then is to sail/motor the boat back to New England Boatworks in Portsmouth (about 45 miles away) next weekend and start the real assessment and repair process.
Sailing’s done for this year!