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the right equipment and experience. But
it’s possible that your shafts are too far
gone for this to be prudent.
I can’t second-guess your marina.
Those workers are on scene and have
hands-on experience with your shafts.
And you can’t really eyeball a shaft to
determine its damage unless it’s really
bad. A very slightly out-of-true shaft
can cause long-term
sometimes it’s better to get new shafts
because, in my opinion, when you true
them, they aren’t
always necessarily as
strong or as good as
As you know,
a shaft takes an
incredible amount of
stress and wear, espe-
cially at the points
where it goes through the cutless bearing(s)
and packing gland. The cost of fixing
them compared to replacing them may
not be that much lower, considering
what you get. Many people replace shafts
after a certain number of years (depend-
ing on wear and use) as a matter of regu-
Snap, crackle, pop
Over the span of several years, my
marine electronics stopped working. It
seems that the boards in them went
bad. The problem was traced to a low-voltage spike. At times, when starting
the engine, this caused the electronics
to restart. The problem was corrected
using a marine voltage stabilizer. Does
the voltage stabilizer also protect my
electronics from lightning?
T.N: First, I’m concerned that starting
your engine affects your electronics. This
shouldn’t happen, and I’d suggest you
have an ABYC-certified marine electrician check your wiring and batteries.
This may solve that problem.
I assume that your question refers
to a marine-grade surge protector
or similar equipment. Unfortunately,
nothing can prevent lightning from
frying your electronics. And even if you
thought you were lucky in a lightning
strike and your electronics remained
working for the moment, odds are
they’re probably going to give you trou-
ble down the road.
The best thing I know of is
to use the right lightning grounds for
your boat (many recommend a straight
path to water with minimal resistance)
and to unplug and disconnect electronics from all inputs and outputs.
Stray voltage from lightning can still
jump around the boat, but this may
help. High-quality surge protectors can
work against spikes on the boat and
those that come from the dock; they
are helpful equipment, but they’re
usually inadequate during a bad lightning strike.
I’ve seen no fail-safe way to truly
protect your boat from lightning. Even
with the best methods and equipment, huge damage can still result from
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