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Just a friendly reminder: Take lightning threats seriously

July 1, 2022
By Marcy Shortuse
It’s no surprise that electrical devices are susceptible to strikes; it is estimated that a lightning strike contains around 30,000,000 volts, and a quick zap to a 12-volt device will certainly destroy it. But lightning is like horseshoes: “Close” counts. There can sometimes be collateral damage when a nearby boat gets hit, either the result of the lightning’s powerful electromagnetic field or the current induced by the field running through the boat’s shore-power cord. This can create strange problems: Some electronics may work fine, others that are adjacent might not, and still others may only work partially. In some cases, compasses have been off by 100 degrees.

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