Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
UWSkier

Electric boat hoist motor VS. lightning

Recommended Posts

UWSkier

We've had our lift since '01, and it's been great, but it can be very tiresome cranking the boat up by hand, especially after several hard slalom sets. So, this year we decided to just splurge and get an electric winch for it. Man, how did we ever live without this thing? It's got a little radio remote control. I can raise and lower the boat from the couch now! What's that? Rain drops on the roof? Well then, let's get that boat cranked up into the canopy. Where's my remote?

Anyhoo, after about 2 days of hunky doriness, the key switch (for when you're not using the remote) only works in 1 direction. You can only put the boat up, not down. Easy fix. A spade connector had come loose from the key switch. Mad.gifMad.gif PITA, but an understandable problem. This next one, however...

On Sunday evening, we had some T showers roll through our area. Nothing major, but we had some close lightning strikes. One of them was so close, we heard a "snap" sound somewhere in the cabin. More on that later. Well, the storms were done around 6 PM, and a friend and his wife came over to visit shortly thereafter. It's been a while since they've been on my lake, so I figured I'd take them for a ride. Where's my remote? So, I hit the button on the remote... nothing. I pull out the key and put it in the key switch... nothing. Mad.gif So, at this point, I figure the lift must've played lightning rod in the storm. After a little searching around, I find the GFI in the bathroom is tripped. All of our external power is wired through this GFI protected circuit, so I figure a reset of that will have us underway. About 2 seconds after resetting the GFI, I hear the breaker pop. Uh oh... :( Time to start eliminating possible causes. First suspect was obviously the winch. With it unplugged, the breaker was totally happy. Plug in the winch and it was brmmmmm !POP! Something in the control circuitry for the winch is grounding out. Mad.gifCry.gif

The winch comes with a hand crank backup, but it would literally take forever to raise and lower the boat with that. The motor attached to the winch with a chain and gear redux sprockets. The crank they give you goes on the motor instead of the winch itself. One full revolution of the crank only gets you 2 "clicks." Mad.gif How freekin stupid!

Anyone ever dealt with something like this? Any suggestions to keep it from happening again when we get this one replaced?

103-0350_IMG.JPG

103-0353_IMG.JPG

Edited by UWSkier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aneal000

Unless you are schooled in electical motor repair it might be difficult to walk you through this one. You pretty confident lightening struck the lift? What is the chance you have another "loose" connection like before? I'd start looking around the lift, you should be able to smell burnt electronics/wires/motor if it really did get hit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UWSkier

The lightning struck the power lines that run behind our cabin. I don't think it's the motor itself that's toast. It's the control circuitry that's hooked to the motor that I think is fried. I personally think it's the transformer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chathamsolutions

Beautiful picture.

Only problem, the Bu is in the air off the water.

Painful sight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UWSkier
Beautiful picture. 

Only problem, the Bu is in the air off the water.   

Painful sight.

Yeah, I think it was 42 degrees in that picture. That was in the pre-drysuit days too. Crazy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FijiRob

UWSkier - We should have the Midwest WOW at your house! It looks awesome! Or are you just keeping it all to yourself? Biggrin.gif I bet if we give Alibuma enough beer he'll tell us where we can find it. Cheers.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OldHickory

Most likely problem would be solid state devices in the controller, transistors or diodes, etc. In todays throw away world you will probably need to replace the controller but hopefully not the whole motor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NCH2oSki

Here are my suggestions for next time. Check your grounds, at the service and at every connection between the motor and the panel. Run a new dedicated homerun to your dock to power the lift. Install a GFCI plug at the motor, and plug the lift into it. You can also get a Surge suppressor that will cover the entire wiring in the house. It wires into an existing 2 pole breaker.

Call an electrical contractor if your not familiar with this kind of work. Enjoy your lift.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlastRlxi

I'm not sure how the lift is set up, but try disconnecting the motor leads for the winch. Once the leads are disconnected, try lowering the lift. If the breaker trips, its not the motor. If it doesn't trip, it sounds like the motor is bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UWSkier

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I hope to check it out this weekend... after the wheel goes back on the winch. Badmood.gifLightning.gif I need a wench for my winch.

UWSkier - We should have the Midwest WOW at your house!  It looks awesome!  Or are you just keeping it all to yourself?    Biggrin.gif I bet if we give Alibuma enough beer he'll tell us where we can find it. Cheers.gif

I would've offered if it was more centrally-located. It's a long drive for you Mud Ducks though. Plus there are no campgrounds on our lake. Biggrin.gif

Alibuma couldn't find my place if he was standing in the driveway. :lol:

Edited by UWSkier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×