Handhelds are just as prone to lightning damage UNLESS you happen to store it in a closed oven or pressure cooker during the lightning storm.
Just cause it isn't connected to the 12 VDC electrical system doesn't mean that lightning can't fry it.
I think hand held chart plotters are the way to go. No chance of lightning damage, and the garmins have held up well for me.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.