Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Kill Switch rules and tether safety

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16

    Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

    I am the Dad of the axh driver hit by his own prop in Millville this past fall.
    First off, I will say that as a family weíve always been boaters, performance boaters at that, and fans of boat racing before getting my kids involved with driving school at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY two summers ago. We were aware of the risks and no one here on this end is upset, or surprised that we were involved in an accident.... because, well.... we went racing. And s@!t happens.
    My point here is....
    The kill switch length,in his case,had nothing to do with his leg being struck by the prop while he and boat were airborne.... Just the momentum of a heavy stock merc 15 flywheel keeping the prop spinning at high rpm.
    A high compression racing motor with small flywheel would have stopped a lot sooner.
    The kill switch, twice shortened with zip ties, functioned FLAWLESSLY , as did the SRP cut pants, and the FANTASTIC crew in the turn boat who got him in quickly to the ramp.
    Joe J, bill hoctor and Matt Dagostino like this.

    Comment


    • #17

      Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

      I use a 18 long solid rope kill switch. My big issue is with racers that use the plastic pig tail type tether....I have seen them so long they reach all the way from the kill switch to the back of the motor...and the plastic material used is crummy. I have seen them break for no reason.

      Comment


      • #18

        Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

        Mr Mead

        I hate to read about your son getting cut. No wants to hear such news. I sincerely hope your son is ok.

        Unfortunately, racing, any type has some dangers.

        If youíre going to race, you will crash on occasion and it is not pleasant.

        But.. how ironic, the worst crash I ever had was on a jet ski. That thing spit me off and really rung my bell.

        I also know another racer, very well known who spent a couple of nights hospitalized from a ski crash.

        Stuff just happens.

        Tim
        bill hoctor likes this.
        Tim Weber

        Comment


        • #19

          Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

          My previous post wasnít to criticize the SORC for the decision. Both my guys and I love watching the experienced racers start their own motors. Something they look forward to figuring out. Something i look forward to doing when I eventually get myself racing. I just hate to think if there were three accidents reviewed to make the decision, and ours accident was one of 1/3 of the decision making process, I regret knowing that will affect those die hard, pull your own rope guys. Iím sorta surprised no one asked what maybe we thought about the accident. Driver error, lack of experience and waves in the turn by the milling area were the major factors involved.
          I donít know where on the race course the other two accidents took place. But in all four of his races, my guy had his troubles in the entrance to the turn by milling. New guy point of view, but Iíd like to see the other boats in the same set with Jís, mill the whole course or half course to lessen the wave buildup in the turn so the Jís donít need to navigate the milling slop. And let the experienced SO guys have their way with the longer leashes. Just sayiní
          pav225 likes this.

          Comment


          • #20

            Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

            The SORC spent weeks discussing kill switch lengths and shared countless emails to help improve safety. Until we get to a point where we run prop guards, the best thing we can do is to try to slow the prop as soon as possible in an accident.

            The intent of the rule is to help improve the safety of racing. I brought up the 3 accidents because people (even ones who haven't raced in years) get so upset over every little change, that sometimes we need a reminder of why things like Kevlar, modern helmets, and kill switch lengths are required.

            I was at Millville when your son crashed. We were very happy to see him back in the pits after he was checked out! I don't doubt that your kill switch worked like it was supposed to. I also agree that the heavy flywheel takes a long time to slow down (not sure how to address that). Could it have pulled sooner and slowed the prop more before his leg hit it? Maybe. Is it worth making a change if there is a chance the prop will be slowed even more before being hit? Yes.

            I'd ask that if people have real concerns, get in your boat, measure distances, and then take pics and share them with the SORC. Share some data so that better decisions can be made.

            Way too many people freak out over changes (not meaning you GRMead) and even say they are going to quit racing because of a kill switch change. Really?? In some cases they haven't even checked to see how the new rule would impact them, they just want to be upset about something.

            This is my first year on the SORC and I can tell you it's a pain in the a$$. Members submit topics, we start off discussing them, then argue, and then get ticked at each other. Ultimately, we must vote on issues that members bring up. Except for cases of improving rule clarity, the majority of the proposals for rule changes come from racers. It takes a lot of time, and the majority of the time some % of the people aren't happy with a decision, or they over react to a change. If something comes out that seems out of line, members should voice their concerns constructively and share some evidence as to what they would suggest and why. Posts and comments like "the SORC are a bunch of morons..." doesn't really help.

            For attempts to improve safety, I heard a good quote today: "car airbags don't eliminate 100% of deaths, does that mean we should start removing them from cars?" Same is true with some of these safety ideas. They won't be perfect, but they are an improvement and we need to keep pushing forward.

            There was a lot of pushback when Kevlar first came out. It was too expensive, limited movement, etc, etc. Now look where we are. We wouldn't think of racing without it. We all resist change, but I'm very glad the SORC pushed Kevlar through years ago. It has definitely made the sport a lot safer.

            As I stated before, and will many times, as an organization we need to quit b*tching all the time. If there is an issue, let's put some facts together and try to improve the sport together. And let's all try to do a better job of discussing ideas for change during the season. That way we can hop in boats and get measurements, talk about ways to improve the sport, and have more constructive dialogue.

            We all want to help improve the sport, so let's work together to do that.

            P.S. My long post doesn't mean I think we should always agree. That's not healthy. If we don't debate ideas we don't get nearly as good of solutions.
            Last edited by pav225; 01-30-2019, 07:44 AM.

            Comment


            • Big Don
              Big Don commented
              Editing a comment
              I'd also like to add, I'm willing to bet knowing how much I email Jeff Brewster, Mark Wheeler in the past and now Howie...and knowing other do also... I bet Jeff Brewster is over 5000 emails.

            • pav225
              pav225 commented
              Editing a comment
              14J = Legend!

            • Moon child
              Moon child commented
              Editing a comment
              Well put Mr. P!
              I would like to add that while these members that dedicate as much time as they do are also the ones that you see at the races setting up the judges stand, have non-racing family members at registration, inspection and scoring, sit in the patrol boats picking up logs out of the river and sit in the pouring rain, tear down all of the safety gear at the end of the race, store and service the patrol boats, clean up the pits so we are all allowed to race again next year. Unfortunately; I do not make near as many races as I would like to and my job doesn't allow me to put the time in that the sport deserves from its members. That said, if I am there, chances are I am in a patrol boat through the weekend. There are a lot of people that could step up and try to at least lesson the burden that so many of these guys take on to make for a great weekend for the rest of us.
              Last edited by Moon child; 01-30-2019, 10:19 AM.

          • #21

            Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

            Looks like the only thing constant in racing is change. Adapt and overcome.

            Comment


            • #22

              Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

              Mike,
              I was the voice/ face of rounded pickle points several years ago. And yes, I had my share of discussions along the way (especially late at night). But here we are and no one cares anymore. This too shall pass.
              The new Kill switch rule states that the leash can not be within 18 inches of the transom. That is a fair compromise over 18 inches in total length.

              And for those looking for good wristband - try surfing/paddle board leashes. They are neoprene lined with Velcro.
              Brian 10s

              Comment


              • Matt Dagostino
                Matt Dagostino commented
                Editing a comment
                The newest stumbling block we are dealing with this is now our Runabout drivers whom attach the lanyard to their lifejackets! Field tests have now shown 18 inches does not work and the kill switch is getting pulled! Not good!
                Last edited by Matt Dagostino; 01-30-2019, 11:52 AM.

            • #23

              Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

              As a follow up to the Pav225 man's words of wisdom , which I seldom have the ability to express myself. I believe I have just had a epifamy [ don't really no what that is let alone how to spell it correctly so maybe it was just gas ] . Oh ya, the latter. The guy's and gal's that step up to the plate and put themselves into positions of authority are doing this mostly thankless job for the good of our sport.[ probably some HR differences of opinion here. ]. In my short time [ compared to many others ] of being a self proclaimed boat racer I admit to complaining / *****ing about something mostly every race weekend. A senior boat racer from the 50's / 60's into the 70's [ as competitive and accomplished as many ] my Dad heard me one time and said **if it bothers you that much either attempt to get it changed or do something else**. Apparently the issue's I have had are not that insurmountable cause although I have conversations with the authorities I have still not stepped up to the Plate. I did however take matters into my hands and show [ debatable ] I was able to overcome the mostly self inflicted pains of this sport. Yep, I went half blonde [ I have always blamed this idiocracy [ don't no how to spell this either ] on a bet [ I think I won ] and beer. In closing and finally getting to the point I have not read any thoughts yet as to the importance of doing everything possible to keep our insurance rates at a race able expense. This tether rule may be one of those things a insurance company looks at as a positive when considering the liability of coverage. **In my opinion the rule should not be specific in how to attach nor should the rule restrict one from being able to wrap his/ her own flywheel / get to the recoil and start his/her motor. [ restarting if stalled on the coarse, individual reach/ arm length needs to be considered ]. Also finding someone for the initial start on the beach can at times for some be difficult. Maybe as a alternative to the issue of needing to get to the recoil / flywheel would be ** are you ready for this? well are you? [ the blonde / polish remedy, with no disrespect to either , mandate electric start and raise all class weights to reflect the added weight. Wow!! As we deal with the sub zero cold we are 1 day closer to spring..

              Comment


              • #24

                Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                We're trying to solve a problem that isn't a problem.

                The kill switch requirement was mandated back in the 80's to insure a motor shut off if the driver was pitched from his boat, and or had a mechanical issue that prevented the throttle from working properly. We have all seen run away boats, not good. And.. we have all seen kill switches fail too.

                Think about this. If a kill switch tether is 6" long or 30" long what is the difference in how quickly the motor shuts off? Is it a tenth of a second, 2 tenths?

                Here are some potential problems. If you run a roll up boat, you leap into the left hand corner, how much length do you need? If the wrist attachment is
                used, I could see where the tether could be tangled in the throttle when you back hand the throttle. I believe this happened to Davy Hemp.

                What do you do in a Marathon if you have an issue? Say a fuel line gets kinked, spark plug wire comes off, an issue that you can fix.You'll be floating around in Mullet Lake.

                Maybe we should change the rule for just the junior classes. This is what prompted all the discussion when we had a couple of kids get hurt.
                I hate the kids got hurt but would a kill switch 10" shorter prevented it?

                Pavlick is correct in that we need some facts.

                Another thought while were on safety. What is one of the most dangerous moments in the day? We take this act as second nature.
                ??????? Lifting a boat while trying to start a unhappy motor is dangerous. We have a propeller spinning at 7000 rpm a foot away from our legs.
                Has any one thought of how we can make this safer? The pro's do it better. They stand by the side of the boat, 2 guys lift, 1 guy cranks.
                When I run antique it's easier as we are allowed lift rails on the side of a boat. Stock says no, as it's considered negative dead rise. Put reasonable
                dimensions on a lifting rail as to not effect the performance. You can't argue this would be safer! This mostly a runabout idea. A hydro has a built in rail, its' called an air trap. Remember, we're all about safety.

                Tim









                Tim Weber

                Comment


                • #25

                  Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                  Iíve raced runabouts for most of my career with a kill switch attached to my wrist. I prefer it that way and never had an issue flat turning or rolling it up.
                  Joe Silvestri
                  CSH/500MH

                  Dominic Silvestri
                  JH/JR

                  Comment


                  • #26

                    Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                    ASH with feet crossed and butt against transom.

                    Comment


                    • #27

                      Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                      In the event of a driver being ejected in an accident, his or her hand leaves the throttle an instant before a tether of any length stretches out and kills the spark. The engine begins unwinding in the fraction of a second it takes for the throttle spring to actuate. Unless we believe that someone is illegally racing with a locked throttle (not likely) or a throttle closure will fail (also unlikely), this discussion seems to be based more on feelings than mechanical science.

                      Has anyone done any testing to validate that loss of spark accelerates engine spooldown time after the throttle has already closed?
                      Tom Burwinkle
                      11-K
                      sorracing.yolasite.com/

                      Comment


                      • stockc
                        stockc commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You stole my thunder! I always set my throttle where the butterfly would go completely closed to choke the motor out. Rationale at the time was that this was redundancy plant to kill the motor. As I read this thread, I began to wonder if this actually served as my primary kill switch since my hand will free from the throttle prior to any length kill switch will remove spark. Just some food for thought, I'll go back into my hole now!

                    • #28

                      Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                      I have no personal interest in this discussion as I no longer race SO. But I remember back when I first started racing CSR in 2006 there was a rule in the rule book somewhere that addressed the tether length. I was something to the effect that you could not reach the motor with the tether attached. In fact I had to shorten my tether after inspection at the 2007 Top O' Marathon. A few years ago I mention to a racer that his tether was too long. His response was where does that come from? The rule book. I tore the current book apart and couldn't find it anywhere. So I went back to the long red springy thing. But I also started wearing an old pair of work boots. I actually liked wearing them, it was a lot easier on the feet, no sore toes etc.
                      kk



                      Comment


                      • #29

                        Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                        So why not have one kill switch tether attached to the right side and one on the throttle side. The right side tether can be longer and used to start your own motor, then after starting attach the throttle side short tether and pull off the right side and away you go. There has to be a simple way to start your engine by yourself without risking safety. I mean what the heck, there are guys starting these engines in shorts with the prop just inches away.....seems like THEY should be wearing cut pants. I wonder what the statistics are on crew members getting injured...?

                        Comment


                        • #30

                          Re: Kill Switch rules and tether safety

                          If you really want to stop an engine quickly, in addition to killing the ignition you can also put a flywheel brake on it like they do with lawnmowers. Stops the engine immediately, no winding down, just stopped.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X