Kill-switches - A Closer Look
Kill-switches are a hot-topic these days. It seems that every boating magazine on the shelves is publishing the latest on these safety devices and their more sophisticated cousins, wireless man-overboard alarm systems. The big question is how do these new systems stack up against the more widely-used and well-known lanyard-style kill-switch. With new technology stocking the shelves every day we decided to add our two cents to the conversation for Foundation Findings #42. In the November issue of BoatU.S. Magazine you can find the condensed version of the testing results and our opinions on the benefits and limitations of various devices but for more details on the tests themselves and our experiences with kill-switch lanyards and wireless MOB alarms on the water, read on.
We tested four different lanyard kill-switches: Sea Dog Universal Kill Switch, Cole Hersee Emergency Cut-Off Switch, Sea Choice Kill Switch and Sierra Emergency Cut-Off Switch; and three wireless crew-overboard devices with optional kill-switch features: Emerald Marine Alert2, Maritech Safety Virtual Lifeline and Mobilarm MOBi-lert 720i. We also included two universal kill-switch key sets from Kwik Tek – one for PWCs and one for boats. With so many products to test and only one boat to test them on, we had to get pretty creative with the installation.