boat starting ?

Below is a ? I received from my brother in law this afternoon. Any ideas????

Here is a question that I cannot find an answer to on-line. Thursday night we had a severe thunderstorm with lightning strikes very close to our house. Last night Joan and I tried to go for a short spin in our boat. It has a rebuilt 1998 115 Mercury that has run flawlessly for the past 3 years. It starts on the first or second attempt and does not have any bad habits.

Friday night I hit the switch and it started immediately and ran for about 2 seconds. That is typical. Usually I play with the throttle and choke setting a little bit and it starts on the next hit or two. Last night was different. Different as in one hour of trying every trick in the book from starting fluid to disconnecting the fuel lines, to checking the plugs, to disconnecting wires and checking connections, to waiting, to cranking it for 30 seconds at a time. Nothing... Absolutely no spark. The plugs were soaked. Today I put in a new set of plugs and tried every trick I know for another hour. Nothing again. Not even a hint of wanting to fire.

This afternoon I told Joan that I thought the control module must be fried. Joan responded, "Do you think the thunderstorm might have done it?' The question stopped me in my tracks. My first thought was... no way. The more I considered the possibility the more feasible her idea seemed. Why not? It wouldn't necessarily take a direct hit to damage a micro chip in a control module... would it?

I would be very interested in your thoughts.


Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I haven't a clue but I am curious to know what you find out.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

If you oil level is too low the engine spark is shut off. Check your engine oil.

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