Houseboats and Electrical Storms - are lightning strikes safe on a house boat?

by Penny
(Port Credit, ON Canada)

Are electrical storms and lightning strikes safe on house boats?

Are electrical storms and lightning strikes safe on house boats?

My question is about houseboats and electrical storms, and wonder if we're safe on a house boat when lightening strikes while aboard or out on the lake?


I just read the comments regarding 'grounding' on houseboats. Quite reassuring. Up here in Ontario we get frequent but usually short-lived (what I call crash-banger) storms in summer, especially over water.

My husband wants a houseboat and my only objection is that no one has ever been able to tell me how to be safe from lightning on a lake.

So just to be reassured again, can I believe that as long as the wiring is properly connected to the bussbar (sp?) we are okay out on the water? Being connected to town power I get!

By the way, greetings from Canada on Canada Day. July 1, 2009. One hundred and forty-two years young.

Many thanks, Penny





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Reply - Answer
Well Penny, you can rest assured that you are not alone when it comes to wondering about lightening strikes on houseboats while out on the lake.

The lightening strikes generally are directed towards ground (grounding), so you can eliminate plenty of the rare risk by working your way towards a secluded bay, out of harms way.

If strikes are happening nearby, try and keep folks away from metal like railings, ladders, etc... The odds of getting hit by lightening are as great winning the lottery, yet each have a different result.

As to my recommendation to you and your husband, take a Safe Boating Course at a local Power Squadron, and don't let electrical storms keep you from getting a houseboat.


Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their electrical storm experiences on their houseboats, and tips for handling lightening strikes. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.


Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats



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Comments for Houseboats and Electrical Storms - are lightning strikes safe on a house boat?

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Steel houseboats in storms and lightning
by: Greg H.

I am with Ray, we had a 40' RiverQueen and now have a 60' RiverQueen and we have been through some amazing lightning storms and never had a problem...except our own fear (the pups did just fine)!! We rode them out and had great stories to tell! Enjoy!

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Storms and Houseboats - steel against lightning.
by: Ray

I live year round aboard a steel River Queen houseboat for just over 7 years. Went through many many lightning storms, both dockside and underway. Nary a problem, although at times it did get a little hairy feeling. Getting ready to do it again. I say, GO FOR IT and enjoy life to the fullest.

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Living through lightning strikes on a houseboat
by: Robert B. Brumfield

After living in Florida for twenty years I have seen and experienced MANY electrical storms. While living on my houseboat I never experienced any problems.... while strikes were all around me.....

I even had a sailboat two slips over be hit and even caught the mast on fire !!! Meanwhile I felt safe and secure in my floating home. Like my uncle told me years ago.." you can't be scared of everything Bobby" Happy Boating !

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Storms and houseboats
by: LeeAnn

We've been through at least three big storms on our houseboat this summer. I've never been so close to lightning! Being able to feel so close to all that power yet totally secure (inside!) was so cool! I'd live on my houseboat in a second if it weren't for the fact that we're in MI, and houseboating is a summer activity here!

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