The kill cord is designed to stop the engine if the helmsman moves away from the helm. I personally think that the normal ~1.3m is plenty - especially if you have crew onboard. If you’re solo then you just need to plan everything a little more carefully - eg prepare lines before you go along side and run them back to the helm.
If you have trouble remembering to reattach the kill cord, stick a label on the dash right in front of the helm to remind you.
I know of two occasions when rough weather knocked helmsman to the floor. (not in RIBs) It was noted that in both cases it would have been difficult to get back to the helm if the kill cord had not stopped the engine. A long kill cord probably wouldn't have cut the engine in these situations.
I would also like to question the ability for a kill switch to be momentarily activated. All kill switches I have come across have essentially employed an over centre mechanism to provide a positive, clean switch. The kill switch on my Mercury control box only kills the engine once the switch has passed the point of no return. Other types where a clip holds the spring loaded switch out require the clip to be totally removed before the engine is stopped - in my opinion momentary activation would be difficult. Try it with your nearest light switch.
Originally Posted by JonM
Its other main reason - often forgotton is that it stops your craft rushing off and injuring someone else!
Very true - a quote from the MCA website “…over the weekend dozens of beachgoers had a lucky escape when a speedboat careered onto a crowded beach after its skipper fell overboard last Saturday afternoon”