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Old 22 September 2009, 13:26   #21
Country: UK - England
Town: Hamble
Length: 9m +
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,317
Originally Posted by Lewy View Post
so whats the best and simplest solution??
Go boating on your own, it works for me!

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt!
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Old 22 September 2009, 14:31   #22
Country: UK - England
Town: Shepperton
Boat name: Shamu
Make: BananaShark
Length: 7m +
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Posts: 148
Originally Posted by Dirk Diggler View Post
Go boating on your own, it works for me!
got it

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Old 23 September 2009, 09:13   #23
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Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: imposter
Make: FunYak
Length: 3m +
Engine: 2 stroke YAM 20 HP
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I can see that in some circumstances the device you are advocating has some advantages. I would see it as particulalrly useful for larger powerboat cruisers where killcords are rarely worn (I doubt you will find many people on here claiming to intentionally not wearing kill cords other than to attend to tasks away from the helm - although the membership here is not representative of all RIB/power boat users).

Even on a large rib it is generally easy to see if everyone is still on board, on a boat with cabin/superstructure that may not be so obvious and I can see the benefit.

If you are really that worried about loosing a crewmember overboard - it is of course possible to wire a kill cord type switch to every seat and have them all activate an alarm. That would also discourage people from wandering randomly round the boat (which increases their chances of falling overboard). For the average user - they probably need to ask if they should be out in conditions where falling out the boat is that likely or if they could achieve the same effect by better briefing of the crew?

It is of course relatively complex, and therefore percieved as being a "weak link". The advantage of a killcord as I understand it is that if it activates at say 9' stretch then by the time you have moved the 10' from the helm the prop has stopped spinning. As I understand it a radio based system is likely to still see you as "on board" until you are 30' or more from the boat. If you happend to go through the path of the engine it won't have stopped and you get minced. You (and your crew) can also visibly see that there is a cord attached to the helm.

However - anyone who thinks kill cords are 100% reliable is kidding themselves. There were crap copy cords around which snapped before pulling out the clip. I have experienced switches which have corroded so that even when pulled they don't short the engine, and I have experienced switches which left in the closed circuit position failed to open when the cord was connected. They can come off arms and even legs especially if the cord loses its stretch. You can forget to put it on (as you can with the electronic gadget). You probably need to take it off to deal with anchor/mooring lines at the bow or clear seaweed from the engine etc... Although it is quite useful that the killcord forces you to take that extra 1/2 a second and consider the increased risk of what you are doing with the engine on/in-gear etc.

I can't recall hearing of any RIB loosing a crew member overboard UNEXPECTEDLY (i.e. when not doing something stupid or of known higher risk) - where it would be unreasonable to expect a kill cord to be worn! I certainly can't recall hearing of any RIB loosing a crew member overboard where the other crew/skipper were unaware of this happening.
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Old 24 September 2009, 04:19   #24
Country: Ireland
Town: Cork
Boat name: Wolf
Make: Humber
Length: 8m +
Engine: DF300
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 32
Killcords continued

all your points are valid and you highlight most of what the Autotether unit is designed to prevent.

The unit is not linked specifically by radio only with a known range of 30' as you point out.
It works very simply and is activated immediately on immersion in water of a certain mass.
In other words if you fall in the unit immeditely cuts the engine or activates an MOB alarm. It does this by monitoring the radio signal and if this changes for any reason as caused by the water mass surrounding the FOB for instance it activates. If you move outside its range it also activates and so comes in handy for children around water and keeping an eye on them. It activates within 1ms.

The unit will not activate by simply getting wet, say on a very poor day, sea spray etc when out in rough conditions.

Interestingly, last year doing the Round Britain we had to have all crew on killcords with first man out kills the boat approach. Cables every where and lots of false alarms with people forgetting they were attached. The Autotether would be a simpler more cost effective solution in this case.

I have used the unit all year and having got into the habit of using it, now, I simply get on board, activate the unit and start the engines.



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