Kill cords: the industry and boating bodies respond

Find out where relevant companies and associations stand on the issue of kill cord safety

In the October issue of the magazine (on the newsstands October 5), we present the second part in our special investigation into kill cords.


For this second feature, we approached engine manufacturers, boatbuilders and boating bodies to see where they stood on the issue, and put to them readers’ suggestions.

All reader feedback on how to move forward with kill cords following appeals for ideas in the magazine and online fell broadly into six main categories:

Wireless kill cords: new technology using radio frequency identification (RFID) that enables you to move around the boat but still cuts the engine in the event of an ejection

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Helm sensor: a pressure or optical sensor that cuts the engine if the helmsman goes overboard

Spring-loaded throttle: a sprung or electronic throttle which gradually returns to idle if pressure is not applied

Legislation: make wearing kill cords compulsory
Better training and awareness: a national safety campaign encouraging kill cord use
No change: the tragic accident in Padstow has done more to push people to wear kill cords than any amount of legislation, training or design change

Armed with these ideas, we came up with five questions:

1. Do you think the current design of the kill cord could be improved upon and why?
2. Which of the six readers’ suggestions do you favour?
3. Would you consider using one of these systems on your engines/boats?
4. Do you think customers would be prepared to pay more for a safer, more user-friendly solution?
5. How would you like to see things develop from here?

Click on the links below to see what the industry and associations had to say:

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