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Kill Switch rules and tether safety

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  • Kill Switch rules and tether safety

    There is quite a bit going around about kill switch tether safety and how this is going to be a hot topic in the safety committee.

    Why?

    I am sure I am showing my age.

    Okay, we mandated to full butterflies, good idea! We have amended the locked throttle rule, good idea!

    I say no more!

    When a tether is proposed to be so short or attached in a way where I can't start my own motor, IMO we're going too far.

    Believe it or not, I rope myself. Quite well, I may add. I was a just a kid starting my own KG-4 when 12 years old. To me, self starting is a right of passage and important skill.

    Tim

    topomichracer140m, bill hoctor and 2 others like this.
    Tim Weber

  • #2

    Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

    I was thinking about this a couple weeks ago during a test session. Intend to drive in CSR Marathons this year; Thought it would be a good skill to have, particularly at Top O' if for some reason the motor quit. Using a legal, short strap, I tried and couldn't figure out how to get the motor started on my own. I would think, in one of the rivers, that this may even be a safety issue (being able to get underway and out of the way).

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

      It is a good discussion. And maybe something good will come out of it. In the meantime, let's not be changing any rules.

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

        Unfortunately it's not a discussion...it's just more complaining.

        Too many people are still getting hurt because props are still spinning as they fall out of their boats.

        To help stop the motor sooner, and prevent people from getting cut, the SORC voted to shorten the kill switch tether so it gets pulled sooner and is more likely to stop the motor before you hit a spinning prop.

        Try hooking it on your jacket to see if you can start the motor. If you can't, learn to race with it on your wrist.You can start the motor then slip it on your wrist.

        If anyone has a better idea on how to improve safety, please feel free to share. But be ready to hear a lot of complaints.
        bill hoctor, M Miner and 2 others like this.

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

          I have never seen anyone be able to start their motor with their killswitch on. you simply just have to start your motor then put your killswitch on afterwards then get on plane. and if your killswitch is so long that you're getting cut by your prop and it hasn't been pulled yet, whats the point?
          Fast Freddie and Flatiron like this.
          Ryan Brewster 57-S

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          • #6

            Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

            I've yet to see any kill switch that stops an engine instantaneously. While getting it stopped sooner is always smart, at what rpm is the slowing prop considered "safe." I would be willing to bet that with the rotational inertia of a stopping engine, there is virtually no out-of-boat experience that a two foot difference in kill switch tether could change. You may be able to make the hand that is on a wrist tether be farther from the prop, but I'm willing to bet that any driver, when stretched out right now could touch the prop with a leg or foot without even pulling the switch if it was hooked right to their throttle hand.

            It is always good to look at ways to make things safer, but sometimes physics and geometry can make the best intentions impossible.

            Steve
            T Chance, Team B&H and 2 others like this.

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            • #7

              Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

              Mike,
              I have already lived your suggestion, "learn to race with it on your wrist" very unsuccessfully. On 2 separate occasions I have had a wrist lanyard become a problem. One time it became entangled in a steering hub, and another it became wedged in a throttle stuck wide open and I could not pull the throttle back. On both occasions, I had to pull the cap myself with a hand. The situations I were in were far more dangerous than having it attached to my jacket. Not a complaint, just a statement of facts. I have had no issues with it on my jacket. I do worry about who will measure the 18" rule while people are roping to start, but that's another discussion.
              Davey
              DAVEY 18w

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                Not buying or selling, but here is the way the rule is worded, which is not a ridiculously short tether:

                "The tether must use a minimum length cord, which at full extension from the switch, may not come within 18" of the top of the transom"

                To put that in perspective, you would have to almost be sitting with your back flat on the transom to come within that distance if it were clipped to a life jacket. From my experience a lot of tethers (the most common I see has a 50" coil) should be pretty close to meeting this criteria (within a foot or less) for any boat larger than say a J/A sized boat.

                Comment


                • Graham 18ce
                  Graham 18ce commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Try running ash or better asr. My cockpit is likely only 36” long and I have to sit in there move left and right and start a motor.
                  Rules like this are great but we need to think stock outboard. Not stock big hydros. My 25xs this is no issue at all.
                  As Dave mentioned. Roll up runabouts, marathon racers are also impacted by this. Wrist attachment isn’t a good situation for these guys and gals.
                  I also don’t really agree of attaching the lanyard after you start your motor. Fine if your not in a rush but if you are running late on a start or you get the carb chocked out in the first turn and you reach around to rope (sw and yamatos, etc) now you have to take of the lanyard l. Fire it and jump back on plan and oh ya. Try to remember to attach the thing or just forget/not bother and race without it.

              • #9

                Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                Is there a rule that requires the driver to be able to start the motor?

                Comment


                • #10

                  Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                  I get the concerns. I used to enjoy racing in shorts and a t-shirt, but we need to keep trying to make the sport safer.

                  I agree that a kill switch doesn't instantly stop a prop from spinning, but it is much faster than just letting off the throttle. If someone could design a kill switch that shut off the motor once your hand came off the throttle that would be ideal, but it's not likely to happen.

                  I wear my kill switch on my life jacket and plan to keep doing that. I measured the distance last night from back of my feet to where the clip on my jacket is. It was 22". Then you add another 3-4" to get to the top off the transom. I think we will all be fine.

                  We got to go to a lot of races this summer. It was great a time, but it also allowed us to see 3 accidents where drivers hit their own props. Anything we can do to help that is something we need to pursue.

                  So shorten your tether, buy the cut resistant socks, and let's go racing!

                  Comment


                  • #11

                    Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                    Before kill switches became mandatory, I made one that I installed on my throttle. When you took your hand off the throttle it sprang back and hit the switch and shut off the motor. As long as the throttle was open it worked , released it would shut the motor down. Wasn’t attached to the driver at all.

                    Comment


                    • #12

                      Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                      Before kill switches were mandatory I made one that attached to the throttle. Take your hand off and it would spring back and shut the motor off.
                      it is still easy to do that....just use a normally closed switch...…….
                      Daren

                      ​DSH/750ccmh/850ccmh

                      Team Darneille


                      sigpic

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                      • #13

                        Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                        The SORC just Modified (hi Darren) the kill switch rule.....check the APBA website and stockoutboard.com for this and other topics of possible interest to you

                        Comment


                        • burl11
                          burl11 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Does the rule modification apply to stock boats only and not modified category boats?

                        • Matt Dagostino
                          Matt Dagostino commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Stock only......

                      • #14

                        Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                        I preferred a small dog collar on the wrist. And a very short tether.. Could not reach the motor by a long shot. I also added a toggle switch
                        on the dash that could be reached with my right index finger with my hand still wrapped around the steering wheel. I used it twice,, not by choice,,
                        but it did work. It would shut down the motor really fast.



                        Comment


                        • hshawwpba
                          hshawwpba commented
                          Editing a comment
                          correct the dog collar with kill switch just ahead of the throttle should be the standard allowed with the no locked throttle rule there is no need for your hand to leave the throttle. The tether only needs to be 6 inches long max. I used a metal clip to hook to the collor ring so it could be undone for some reason or when you get out of the boat between heats.
                          Last edited by hshawwpba; 01-29-2019, 03:50 PM.

                      • #15

                        Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                        i also use a small dog collar. the way i figure it, if it's easy to slip on it's easy to slip off if you come out of the boat. my 2 cents.

                        frank novotny
                        52-E

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