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Old 05-21-2015, 11:59 AM   #21
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Not on the boat yet (still too cold up in northwest MI) so I haven't checked the manuals but I was unaware of a kill switch being offered for our 2.3 or 2.5hp Honda. Are they available for a little engine like that?
My 2HP Honda has one - and I used it! Now I have a 20HP and definitely use it all the time, along with a PFD and attached waterproof VHF.

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Old 05-21-2015, 12:09 PM   #22
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My 2.5 Suzuki has one.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:26 PM   #23
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Each person has the right to determine what risks they assume....
Risk assessment requires an ability a lot of people don't seem to have, and that's the ability to anticipate. Personally, I don't believe it's an ability that can be learned because in my observation the ability to anticipate is tied into logic, common sense, and the ability to visualize something that's not there or hasn't happened yet. And these, I believe, are tied to a person's personality and character. In other words, some people have it and some don't.

There is a phrase popular in business and politics, and that is pick your battles. I think risk assessment is somewhat similar. Almost everything involves risk. We watched a man die while eating in a restaurant from a bite of food that got lodged in his throat. An acquaintance was killed simply stepping off a curb to cross a street at a crosswalk with a "Walk" sign. We all know people who have suffered the consequences of risk, be it from rock climbing or getting married.

So if one worried about every potential risk he or she would never get out of bed, and even that has risks associated with it.

So in order to live something approaching a normal life, we prioritize risks. But.... in order to prioritize them intelligently one has to have a very accurate sense of anticipation.

Risks I don't spend any time worrying about are being hit by a meteor, bus or train. I don't worry about being attacked by a pit bull. I don't worry about risks that I know my skill, training, or experience can overcome should they arise. I don't worry about landing a plane or driving a vehicle, for example.

Risks should be prioritized by the likihood of their occurring and the consequences of their occurance. So while I don't worry about being hit by a train, I do worry a lot about FedEx's ability to deliver our production equipment to our locations on time. The risk of not getting to the place we're supposed to be on the planet when we're supposed to be there has a high priority in my and my crew's minds and we take sometimes extreme and expensive steps to reduce the risk of missing our schedule.

Risk assssment is a very flexible "occupation." At home, the risk of slipping on the side of a canal lock in the UK and falling in between the boat and the lock wall is non-existent so I never think about it. When we're operating a narrowboat the risk is very real, particularly on a wet day, and our anticipatory senses are on high alert. In some of the places we fly to the risk of encountering a bear is extremely high while the risk of encountering a member of the Crips is extremely low. So we take the necessary steps to be prepared for a bear encounter but we do nothing to be prepared for a street gang encounter.

In my estimation the risk of falling out of the dinghy on our PNW boat is extremely low. The risk of not being able to do some of the things I do while operating the dinghy with the safety lanyard clipped on is very high. So I don't wear the lanyard.

Pick your battles.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:32 PM   #24
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For those risk takers out there not wearing a bike or motorcycle helmet, not wearing a seat belt, or not wearing a pfd or kill switch, if you have good health insurance then have at it. But if you end up needing medical care or hospitalization and don't have insurance, you are making the rest of us pay more, which is what I object to. At the very least, sign up to be an organ donor.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:44 PM   #25
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Given that the primary function of government these days is to squeeze as much money out of everyone as they possibly can, you're going to end up paying much, much more out of you own pocket to fund things like two-year studies of the sex life of the Edwardian earthworm than you are to pay for health care costs because someone chooses to not wear an outboard safety lanyard.

As I say, pick your battles.......
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:10 PM   #26
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I was under the perhaps mistaken impression that it is a mandatory device on all outboard motors sold in the US. The smallest outboard we have is a 4 hp from the year 2000. It has one. Our largest outboard is a 1987 90 hp, and it has one although it's on the throttle/shifter control, not the motor itself. They've been around for a long, long time.
Thanks fellas. It is starting to come back to me that we have one. Just bought the rib and motor late last summer and only used it once and didn't really pay a lot of attention to it but now I am remembering a red curly cord we are supposed to wrap around our wrist when operating the motor. Another senior moment I guess.
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:50 PM   #27
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Glad you are ok!
I always were the kill switch lanyard on my dingy. At least once a week I get whipped when I forget and stand up to grab a rail or dockline. I added one of those imitation caribiner clips to the hard-to-use little clip to make hooking to my vest easy.
Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 05-21-2015, 05:26 PM   #28
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Risk assessment requires an ability a lot of people don't seem to have, and that's the ability to anticipate. Personally, I don't believe it's an ability that can be learned because in my observation the ability to anticipate is tied into logic, common sense, and the ability to visualize something that's not there or hasn't happened yet. And these, I believe, are tied to a person's personality and character. In other words, some people have it and some don't.
While I agree that some part of it is how we're naturally wired, I do believe you can teach some as well. I don't think you change a person completely. Now, I find that's an area we're missing something in teaching of young people. And I emphasize young, because I think the younger we do so the higher the probability of success. That is teaching one to think through situations, use some logic, sort through the options. Teaching the logical consequences of their actions. Even in business I tried to teach. If someone came to me with a problem, I would always try to get them to think through it and figure out a solution. I'd help, but I wouldn't just take the problem off their hands and solve it myself. Doing it that way, they'd have to come to me every time it occurred. I'm a strong believer in having people trying to decide something to take out a piece of paper (or use the computer) and make a list of pros and cons. That's what we should be doing mentally in assessing what risks we're willing to take.
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Old 05-21-2015, 05:50 PM   #29
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Operational Risk Management (may be evolving but you can see them use it on the TV series Coast Guard Alaska) as practiced by the USCG uses a checklist to evaluate risks and assign numbers to the risks...past a certain number and the mission has to be evaluated at a higher level or something has to change.


The checklists are tailored to many scenarios and developed by experienced people. That's the rub with risk assessment...many people don't even know what many of them can be.


While a "safety" mindset is partially nature...it is also developed along life's way with both learned experiences, education and how that all fits with one nature of fear, comfort, etc...etc...
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Old 05-21-2015, 06:28 PM   #30
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BandB--- I agree that the ability to anticipate and then plan contingencies for what you anticipate is developed to a degree with experience. I also agree that this ability can be taught, particularly at an early age.

But I firmly believe that people are born with proclivities toward things, be it music or writing or math or taking care of other people (doctors, nurses, etc.), or anything one cares to name. I don't believe people come into this world with a blank sheet of paper to work with.

I believe that people, given the chance, will move into doing things that they have an inherent interest and ability in. I have no clue if this is due to genes or something else passed on from the family's genetic line.

But I have met, and deal with all the time, people all over the world who may be able to deal with problems when they occur, but they can't see them coming to save their lives. Even when we patiently explain the consequences of sucn-and-such happenting, they simply can't visualize the potential problem untill it happens. This is extremely frustrating in my line of work.

I can't even hazard a guess where my ability to anticiapte and visualize situations and problems and devise not one but multiple ways of dealing with them came from. Perhaps from my French father: you need a fair amount of pessimism to anticipate and visualize problems and the French invented pessimism I think. But I could not do successfully the things I do, from work to our recreational undertakings over the years, without it.

In additon to the ability to anticiapte and visualize one also needs the confidence required to carry out the actions necessary to defeat the problems one anticipates.

Or have the confidence that what one anticipates or visualizes won't happen. While never say never, this is why I have no qualms about not using the kill switch lanyard in our dinghy.

The operative words here are "in our dinghy." In a different dinghy, one that can go very fast, has a bumpy ride, can make sharp turns, banks hard in turns and so forth, the parameters have changed and I would visualize and anticipate situations that cannot arise in the dinghy on our PNW boat. And then take steps to ensure these situations don't happen. One step possibly being to use the kill switch lanyard.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:10 PM   #31
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I don't have a kill switch on my dinghy, but t won't go far if I go over the side since I won't be rowing if I am in the water.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:25 PM   #32
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Once your in the water, then what?

I'm 72 and I don't know about the rest of you but climbing back into a dingy is getting near impossible for me, especially fully dressed. In cold water you only have a few minutes of strength in your arms and legs before the blood flows inward. What I have done is secure a chain of looped 3/8 line that doubles as a dock line and a rope ladder that allows me to use the strength in my legs to propel me back up into the dingy. Putting your foot into one of the loops combined with grabbing a strap on the top of the tank makes it much easier to get your upper body over the tank and into the boat. I have a couple of D rings on the tanks of my dingy so three loops secured to the D ring are handy to grab and pull into the water. The loops are also convenient to throw over dock cleats to secure your dingy. Wearing life jackets in dinghies sail or power are mandatory on my boats. I think it's a good idea to use the friction devise that stiffens steering effort to prevent torque steering on tiller outboards. My 15 Merc and 20 Yamaha have fins on the cavitation plate to reduce torque steer as well. I adjust mine to reduce torque steer as much as possible.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:31 PM   #33
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I like your "rope ladder" concept. Smart solution to a potential problem.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:39 PM   #34
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ORM at work.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:40 PM   #35
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Maybe call it a "no kill" switch, it might be embraced more.
We are obliged to wear a lifejacket in a dinghy in most circumstances.
Australia was an early adopter of compulsory seat belts,1960s I think.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:11 PM   #36
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Strange how few boaters in the Eastern Caribbean use the kill switch. When I am alone in the dinghy I wear both the kill switch and a PDF. Haven't gotten the walk on water thing down yet.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:28 PM   #37
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Haven't gotten the walk on water thing down yet.

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Old 05-21-2015, 08:32 PM   #38
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[QUOTE=Bay Pelican;334931]Strange how few boaters in the Eastern Caribbean use the kill switch. When I am alone in the dinghy I wear both the kill switch and a PDF. Haven't gotten the walk on water thing down yet


I'll send you the manual, it's pretty easy just don't look down.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:47 AM   #39
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LOL, Tdunn! In my million plus miles of trucking, plus my boating experience, and even raising my two boys, I've always lived by and taught everyone to think "and then what" in virtually every situation. Of course, if everyone lived by that "Americas Funniest Videos" would go away. Hmmmmmmmmmmm conundrum.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:08 AM   #40
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Not on the boat yet (still too cold up in northwest MI) so I haven't checked the manuals but I was unaware of a kill switch being offered for our 2.3 or 2.5hp Honda. Are they available for a little engine like that?
My 2HP Honda has one. It's clipped into the red stop switch.
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