< Back to Safety
Campfire Collective Aug 22nd, 2019

Lanyard Kill-Switch Tips and Best Practices

kill-switch-lanyard

In a previous blog we talked about wearing a kill-switch, eliminating the possibility of being hit by a boat or PWC, or struck by a spinning engine propeller if the driver is ejected. If the operator is thrown from the boat, the kill-switch is unplugged and the boat’s engine is disabled.  We’ve had several questions come in regarding standard lanyard-style kill-switches that are available. Here are a few tips for recreational boaters.

Lanyard Boating Kill Switch

Lanyard-Style Kill-Switches

Most boaters will use the cost effective (<$30) well-known lanyard-style kill switch. It consists of a cord or lanyard that is attached to the helmsman (captain/driver) around their wrist or body. The other end attached to a button/switch on the boat with a special clip. 

BOATsmart! docking course content on tablet with Texas Boater Education card.
BOATsmart! Texas Boater Education card.

Get your Official Texas
Boater Education card

In Texas, if you were born on or after September 1st, 1993, you need a Boater Education Card to operate a boat over 15hp, a PWC or a sailboat over 14 feet length.

Get your Official Texas
Boater Education Card

In Texas, if you were born on or after September 1st, 1993, you need a Boater Education Card to operate a boat over 15hp, a PWC or a sailboat over 14 feet length.

How it works

These lanyards have a special clip which must be engaged in the button/switch to allow the boat to start or continue operating from a “run” position. It is important to note that the lanyard is attached to the helmsman. If they are thrown out of the boat, the kill-switches do not allow for the “run” position and hence the boat cannot be operated. There are a couple of things to consider with a lanyard-style kill switch:

tips and best practices

 

1. Consider having an extra lanyard clip in the boat or installing a kill-switch that allows for a manual override. This is important in case of an emergency, for example, retrieving your helmsman if they are ejected. 

2. If you have a kill switch already installed, note that there are typically matched clips for each switch. Be sure to check compatibility if you are replacing your lanyard.

3. Consider installing a floating key chain to your lanyard. It is cheap insurance to avoid being stranded if your lanyard falls into the water.

4. If your boat does not have a kill-switch already installed consider having it professionally installed. 

Alternatives

 

A growing alternative device is a wireless man-overboard alarm system, often more appropriate for larger boats and to provide a safeguard for a full crew.  We will cover this in more detail in a future blog.

You Might Also Like

Campfire Collective truck icon.

LET'S WORK TOGETHER

 

Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

Campfire Collective high five icon.

CAMPFIRE STORIES

 

Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.

Campfire_Collective_Black_Logo-1-1
Campfire_Collective_Small_Logo