Kill cords: the industry and boating bodies respond

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

Cobra RIBs

Do you think the current design of the kill cord could be improved upon and why?

We think the kill cord could be improved. The RYA’s current advice to switch off the engine whenever you leave the helm is impractical. You may eliminate one risk but you open yourself up to another if the engine doesn’t restart

Which of the six readers’ suggestions do you favour?

We like the idea of a sprung throttle but we’re concerned that it may prove unpopular with customers who like to cruise at a constant speed. Any solution needs to be simple and reliable so we would favour using the existing kill cord but with an alert system that reminded the helmsperson to clip on similar to the seatbelt warnings you find in modern cars.

Would you consider using one of these systems on your engines/boats?
We would definitely look at fitting any new product that we believed was a good and reliable upgrade on a conventional kill cord.

Do you think customers would be prepared to pay more for a safer, more user-friendly solution?

We think our customers would be prepared to pay extra for that kind of upgrade.

How would you like to see things develop from here?
We have already held a couple of meetings with product designers to discuss this issue but ideally we would like it to be a universal solution that could be fitted to every engine and boat. The more commonplace it is the more people will get used to using it.

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