Struggling to reset the kill switch on your boat but don’t want to call a mechanic?
Well, you’re at the right place. In this post, I’ll be going into detail about kill switches. We’ll be discussing how kill switches function, how to reset the kill switch on boats and other things to keep in mind when using kill switches.
Table of Contents
What is a Kill Switch?
The Kill Switch is a precautionary device that shuts down your boat’s engine in case the helmsperson is hurled out of their seat.
One end of the cord or plastic wire connects to your boat’s dashboard or to the kill switch in the engine. You can attach the other end to the helmsperson’s life vest.
If the helmsperson is thrown out of their seats, the cord is pulled along with them. As the cord pulls, it also immediately kills the engine stopping the boat from propelling out of control.
How Does a Kill Switch Work?
Think of the boat’s ignition system as a circuit. As long as the Kill Switch is in place, the circuit will remain complete, and your engine will work fine.
However, when the Kill Switch is removed, the circuit becomes incomplete. Therefore, the engine stops running until the circuit is connected again.
How to Use a Kill Switch?
Simply connect the Kill Switch cord to your boat. The end of the cord that connects to your boat can vary depending on the model of your boat. Usually, most of them have a button where you can clip the cord.
The next step is to connect the cord to yourself. It’s best to clip the cord around your thigh as it doesn’t get in the way of your steering and is securely in place.
And that’s all there is to it.
How to Rest Kill Switch on Boat?
Keeping with the circuit analogy, the circuit needs to be completed for your engine to start running again. But, once a Kill Switch has been set off, how does one rest it?
Well, there are two ways to go about this.
Method One: Clipping the Kill Switch Back into Place
The first one is quite simple. You need to reconnect the Kill Switch to its place on the dashboard.
The place where you connect your kill switch can vary depending on the type of engine you have, usually most of them a button. You can clip the end of your Kill Switch cord to it, and your engine should start running again.
Method Two: Checking the Boatside Harness
You may need to take a look at the boat side harness if the engine still isn’t working. Essentially, the boat side harness is what connects your boat’s steering system to the engine.
You can find the boat side harness inside the engine. Usually, it’s a thick black wire. Disconnect it from the engine harness and connect it to a remote starter to test if there are any issues.
If the engine starts running, it means there’s an issue with the boat side harness, and you may need to get it replaced.
On the other hand, if the engine still isn’t working, the kill wire might need checking. At this point, I suggest you call a professional to look at the issue.
Things to Remember When Using a Kill Switch
To ensure you are using your Kill Switch properly, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Test Your Kill Switch
One of the most important things to do is to test your Kill Switch to see if it’s working properly. All you need to do is place the Kill Switch cord in the correct place and then start the engine.
After a few minutes, tug at the Kill Switch cord to remove it from its place. Your engine should stop working as soon as the Kill Switch is out of place. This means your Kill Switch is working perfectly.
Always Keep a Spare Kill Switch Cord
It is crucial that you keep a spare Kill Switch cord for emergencies.
If the steer’s person does somehow end up going overboard, they will take the cord with them. You may need to start the boat again in order to rescue them. In situations like these, a spare cord will be very useful.
Alternatively, you may also break or lose your cord. You may end up stranded in the middle of the sea or lake if you don’t have a spare.
It’s always best to prepare yourself for emergencies.
Taking Care of the Kill Switch Cord
Taking care of the Kill Switch Cord does not require a lot of effort. There are just a few things you need to be mindful of.
The first thing is to keep your cord protected from moisture and UV light. I would suggest keeping it safe inside the dashboard of your boat when not in use.
Also, keep an eye on the color of your Kill Switch cord. When under UV light, it tends to go from red to orange. So, if you notice yours turning slightly orange, it’s time you get a new one.
In addition, you need to ensure that the cord maintains its elasticity and that it doesn’t go slack. The reason why this is important is that the elasticity ensures the cord remains secure around you. If the cord is slack, it may fall off, and in worse case scenarios, it won’t function.
Making sure the Kill Switch is used appropriately is very important for everyone’s safety on the board.
Sometimes, when there are multiple people on board, and the drivers are changing, people forget to attach the Kill Switch to themselves. Tell everyone on board how important this device is for safety. So, if the driver forgets to wear it, the others remind them.
I discussed what a Kill Switch is, but I also went over how to use a Kill Switch and reset a Kill Switch. I also added a few important tips to keep in mind while using the Kill Switch. Hopefully, you found this post useful.