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Author Topic:   Safety Lanyard and Engine Start
jimh posted 12-08-2007 12:58 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Most engines are equipped with a safety lanyard which is designed to stop a running engine when the safety lanyard is removed. However, there are reports that on some outboards the engine can be started even though the safety lanyard is NOT in place. I would like to gather some information on the behavior of certain engines and how they react to the removal of the safety lanyard.

I can say from experience that a 1987 Yamaha 70-HP will not start if the safety lanyard is removed.

From my 1992 Evinrude V6 service manual, I conclude that my E225TXEN 225-HP won't start if the safety lanyard is removed:

"EMERGENCY STOP SWITCH--This feature stops the engine when the clip and lanyard are pulled away from the remote control. The clip must be in place to start the engine."

If you have some first-hand information or can cite a good reference, please let us know if your engine will start with the safety lanyard removed.

tmann45 posted 12-08-2007 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
1987 Mercury 35 will not start with kill switch in disable mode.

1998 Mercury 200 2-stroke carb will not start with the kill switch in disable mode.

How do I know, it is the first thing I check when the engine will not start! Great for checking compression.

Note that both of these Mercury swithes are a toggle switch that the lanyard moves to the off position when removed.


glen e posted 12-08-2007 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Verados will not start with the lanyard out of place - 2007 and newer motors give you discriptive fault text on the sppedo/tach and/or VesselView that says: "Emergency stop has been activated. Check lanyard."
seahorse posted 12-08-2007 01:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     
On OMC and BRP controls built for model years 1996 and later, the safety lanyard piece physically turns the keyswitch to OFF when it is pulled. That way if the driver goes overboard, then a passenger can restart the motor and drive to the fallen skipper.

Some Merc control boxes used a toggle switch where when the lanyard was pulled, the toggle lever was moved to the OFF position. One could reach into the recess with a finger and manually put the switch to the ON position to run the motor without a lanyard.

jimh posted 12-08-2007 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for all the citations. They're very interesting.

I had heard that some engines could be started with the safety lanyard removed, but--probably due to my electronic or electrical background--I was thinking that this feature must be provided in some electrical manner. It never occurred to me that it could easily be provided by a simple mechanical arrangement!

glen e posted 12-08-2007 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
check this out - simple and cheap - and a few people I trust says it works just flicks the toggle switch on your lanyard if you go over...

Chuck Tribolet posted 12-08-2007 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Jimh, don't feel like the lone ranger -- I have one of those
1996+ OMC binnacles, and I always thought it was some electric
widget that made it work that way. Seahorse's post got me
to run out to the garage and run an experiment, and yes,
it's mechanical.

The OMC method has an advantage over the toggle switch in
that your passenger doesn't need to know to reset the toggle.
The OMC is self-resetting. Of course, the one time I ever
saw anybody fall out of a moving boat, they both went over,
and the driver didn't have the lanyard on. Fortunately
they both had their PFDs (float coats in this case) on.

Both methods save you from forgetting or loosing the lanyard.


Buckda posted 12-08-2007 03:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Interesting. My 2006 E-TEC motors will NOT start with the safety lanyard removed. I tested this over the summer. I yanked the safety lanyard and tried to restart the motors to simulate a passenger using engine power to retrieve the driver in an ejection scenario where one person remained aboard the boat.

I did not notice if it mechanically threw the key switch to "off" or not. I did, however, notice that the motors would not start without the lanyard back installed. This is for a dual key switch from BRP.


bluewaterpirate posted 12-08-2007 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I carry two safety lanyards one attached as per engine SOP and the other attached to the helm console in view of all. I point this out to all my passengers before leaving the dock. I brief them how to insert it into the safety lanyard into the switch and restart the engine. You just never know.
jamesmylesmcp posted 12-08-2007 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jamesmylesmcp  Send Email to jamesmylesmcp     
My 2006 Optimax works with the toggle switch setup,pull the lanyard out she shuts down and will not restart,just flip the switch up and it starts.Its difficult to flip the toggle to replace the lanyard as the toggle switch is situated under a plastic guard that covers the switch in the on position.
seahorse posted 12-08-2007 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     

I forgot about the dual binnacle setup. Wired together with diodes to prevent interaction between motors, one electrical normally-closed switch will "kill" both motors when the lanyard clip is pulled off.

Casco Bay Outrage posted 12-08-2007 11:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
2003 Yamaha F115 hp will not start if the safety lanyard is missing. Learned this when launching the day after getting the boat home from Virginia.
AtoZ posted 12-09-2007 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for AtoZ  Send Email to AtoZ     
From 2005 E-TEC 90 operator manual.
IMPORTANT: The engine will start and run without the clip connected to the key switch. The operator should always use the clip and lanyard anytime the engine is running. Refer to Emergency Stop/Key Switch on page 22.
ryland posted 12-09-2007 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for ryland  Send Email to ryland     
Safety lanyard? Is that that red thing [I] keep stored in a box in my garage? 2005 Mercury 60-HP Big Foot
gcl posted 12-10-2007 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for gcl    
My 1999 OMC 90 hp Ficht will restart without the safety lanyard in place.
davej14 posted 12-10-2007 12:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
My 2000 Merc 75 ELPTO has the toggle switch that captures a loop on the end of the lanyard when it is in the on position. When the lanyard is pulled it moves the toggle switch to the "kill" position. The engine will not run and cannot be started with the toggle switch in the "kill" position. The toggle can easily be moved to the run position with or without the lanyard.
Estero posted 12-10-2007 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Estero  Send Email to Estero     
My 2002 Suzuki DF70 will not start once the lanyard has deployed the kill switch. For this reason I keep an extra spacer (the fork thing that keeps the switch open) attached to the boat key ring since if I go over the side, the original one goes with me. Plus I always make sure everyone on board knows that it has to be in place to re-start the motor.
swist posted 12-12-2007 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
On most real small pull-start outboards, the engine cannot be started without the lanyard in place. This is at least a measure of security against a casual thief - I always take the lanyard out of the tender when I leave it. Obviously the mechanism is not sophisticated enough to prevent someone who really wants to from defeating it, but it is one small thing....

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