Every boat owner needs to make sure that an emergency boat kill switch has been installed in the boat. Although it may seem like a very basic accessory, the importance of the switch can never be overlooked. The kill switch may also be referred to as an emergency stop or ... read more in short, e-stop. An emergency kill switch is a type of switch that cuts off power to the boat completely. Unlike an ordinary switch, emergency switch doesn't follow a sequential procedure. Due to not following a systematic order there is always the risk of damaging some equipment when used.
How It Works Normally, switches are supposed to work in a systematic fashion. The shutdown will start from a particular point and end at another point. This allows the equipment to finish what they were doing thus avoiding any damage due to abrupt power interruption. However, an e-switch naturally breaks the power (current) without warning. By turning a switch or inserting a key, the existing circuit is overridden hence disconnecting the main power. Sensitive equipment or those that need some time to shutdown will therefore be affected. The goal is always to save lives even at the expense of the boat or the equipment.
When Is an Emergency Boat Kill Switch Used? E-switches are used to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Simply put, they are the last line of defense. There are several scenarios that may require a kill switch to be activated.
Some likely causes are as follows:
· Natural Calamity: - Natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, tsunamis, or storms may put the boat in danger hence the need to use a kill switch.
· Fire: - In case a boat catches fire, the best way to cut off the ignition may be through the kill switch.
· Accident: - A kill switch is also used during an accident to stop the engine from running hence minimizing the risk.
· System Malfunction: - The switch may be used when the boat experiences mechanical or system error.
Installing a Kill Switch in a Boat
· Wrench / spanner
· Electrical pliers
· Key-type emergency switch
· Electric drill
· Electrical quick-connectors
· Spade drill bit
· Marine silicone/ sealant
· Screwdriver (optional)
Instructions 1. Use the spanner or wrench to unhook the battery’s negative cable.
2. Find a suitable location such as the control console.
3. Look under the console for the main positive (red) wire running from the battery. You may need to flip open the cover or use a screw driver to unscrew the connecting screws.
4. Locate the ignition switch and cut the positive (red) wire using the electrical pliers. Maintain the length of about six inches.
5. Attach the spade bit to the electric drill and cut an opening on the marked spot of the console.
6. Use the connector to join one end of the cut ignition wire with one of the wires coming from the kill switch. Connect the other cut end with the other wire coming from the switch. Apply some silicone sealant to prevent moisture affecting the wire.
8. Position the switch in the console from the back and use the attachment ring to screw the switch onto the brackets. Use the pliers to tighten it further.
9. Ensure the wires are firmly joined and reconnect the battery’s negative cable.
10. Test if it works by inserting the key and starting the engine. Pulling the key should shutoff the engine. In the case it doesn’t, try again.
Handy Tips · Always install the emergency stop in an area that is easily reachable. The boat’s console is usually the best location.
· Attach a cord to the lanyard of the switch’s key for added security. The wrist or belt is the most convenient places to attach the key.
· Use warning and danger signs to alert other people of its location.
· Carryout tests on the kill switch regularly to ascertain that it actually works.
An emergency kill switch is a simple device that can be found on iboats.com. A good switch is that which is easy to use and will cut off the power supply instantly. There are several ways that come handy in getting the appropriate emergency boat kill switch.
Where to Buy Boat Switches If you're shopping for a switch for your boat, it's probably in the iboats.com marine switches category. Choose from rocker and toggle switches, battery switch panels, ignition switches and kill switches. With our large selection you have the ability to customize your boat's electrical control system in whatever way you see fit. Since we only carry marine specific brands specializing in marine electrical components, such as MarineWorks, Blue Sea Systems, SeaSense and Seadog, you can rest assured that the electrical switches and components you purchase from us will be of the best quality, and designed to withstand the rugged marine environment.