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Old 17-07-2021, 15:14   #31
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

I never thought of this as a problem; however, my ignition key and other instrument lights and switches were always inside covered panels with sliding doors for access.
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Old 17-07-2021, 15:42   #32
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

ALL switches are problematic at some stage !
Why not hook up directly ?
Thatís sarcasm of course.
Most issues presented with switch is brought on by poorly maintained controls, particularly lubricant related .
So when any switch fails and smoke starts to get released youíre still scrambling into galley/ salon to uncover that main breaker , unless itís failed and you scramble into the battery boxes .....

Etc etc etc ....
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Old 17-07-2021, 15:47   #33
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

yep, we are another boat where the ignition keys cause more trouble than they are worth. corroding in place / snapping off are the main problems if you leave them in the panels, and losing is the problem if you take them out

if i remember i might see if the next electrician we have onboard can by-pass n remove...

as an aside, i've never seen the need for an ignition key as a security feature. it would be quite useless to steal 99% of yachts as every one is unique and easily identified / traced. what is the thief going to do with the boat ?

suppose this might be a problem in some less salubrious parts of the planet but in such case there are better ways to stop the engines being started.

finally, seem to recall starting a yanmar once with a paperclip when we had lost the key

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Old 17-07-2021, 21:21   #34
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

Iíll keep my key ignition until it stops working. Once it doesnít, Iím done. I couldnít believe it possible when I watched my friendís key ripped out of the ignition by a flailing jib sheet. He switched to a simple toggle switch which I recommended.
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Old 17-07-2021, 21:31   #35
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

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Do many aircraft get stolen?
I think it’s pretty rare. The ones with keys aren’t hard to hot wire, as there are no anti theft systems to bypass. The big barrier is knowing how to fly it, and then knowing where to stash it. Many are hangared, most are behind fences with some having cameras on the ramp. It wouldn’t be easy to get away with.

In our case, a stolen fighter jet would be really REALLY bad.
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Old 17-07-2021, 21:43   #36
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

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Do many aircraft get stolen?
Depends on their utility for smuggling is my experience. For example, I would never position a Cessna 206 near our southern border and go for dinner. I've done that with Cessna 208's but they're bigger and, while they don't have keys, you do need to know the start sequence.
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Old 18-07-2021, 03:07   #37
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Talking Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

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Originally Posted by Tomodore View Post
My Beta weather proof (ish) engine control panel has no key, just rubber booted push buttons and gauges. Anyone who starts and steals my boat will have to take over the maintenance and costs, Iíll bet in a short while they will bring it back.
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Old 18-07-2021, 03:38   #38
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

There was a near collision on the Chesapeake a few years ago (container ship and sailboat) that resulted in the ship grounding to avoid the collision. His actions were considered appropriate by the court.


The sailboat became becalmed near a large bridge (wind blocked) in the channel, and in the panic, the key was broken off in the ignition.


On my PDQ the keys (twin engines) were well protected behind the wheel, so I never removed them, not in 15 years. I would have preferred a switch. If you want security, put a simple switch below. But most outboards have no key.
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Old 18-07-2021, 23:55   #39
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

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Am I the only one, or one of very few, who think that it is pointless to have an engine ignition key in the cockpit of a sailboat? The engine is running perhaps 5% of the time and the key is simply a vulnerability for all the rest of the time that you are out sailing. It is subject to being kicked, snagged by ropes, hit by flying gear, etc. This can either break it or knock it overboard, often at a moment of crisis and panic when the engine is most likely to be needed. If the skipper takes it out and puts it in his pocket, it is still vulnerable to loss. If that skipper happens to go overboard, the crew cannot start the engine to effect a retrieval. So why don't our engine instrument panels just come with a simple switch?

My previous boat had a simple push-pull ignition switch and a starter button. The boat was relatively safe from theft because someone would have to first gain entry to the interior and switch on the batteries and the appropriate breaker before any power was available to the engine. On my new boat, I will be replacing the keyed switch on the cockpit panel with a simple rotary starter switch and moving the keyed switch inside to the nav station, where the key will be sheltered and safe. This will also give me an alternative starter switch for testing the engine while working on it. Both switches will have to be "ON" for the ignition circuit to be active and for engine to start and run.


So, what's the general consensus? Does this idea make sense to other people or is it just my personal bugaboo?
Our Yanmar just has two panel mounted momentary action (centre-return) rocker switches.
Start/Off and Pre-heat/Stop. No key.

Security can be achieved with a key switch in a discrete location down below, killing the starter circuit.
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Old 19-07-2021, 00:21   #40
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

Seems pretty clear by now. The only ones who like a keyed ignition in the cockpit are the manufacturers
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Old 19-07-2021, 00:32   #41
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

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Originally Posted by olivert View Post
Do many aircraft get stolen?
It does happen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_A..._disappearance
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Old 19-07-2021, 01:04   #42
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

My current boat has no key for the ignition. I have always had one before. My first thoughts were that it was terrible. Now I wouldnít go back. I donít think it stops much theft. I havenít seen a small boat I couldnít hot wire if I were that way inclined.
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Old 19-07-2021, 01:05   #43
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

Given you can break into most boats with a screwdriver , security around a ignition key is rather pointless
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Old 19-07-2021, 01:50   #44
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

If your boat is too big to go on a trailer being towed with a car or truck,,
There is very little chance of it being stolen,

Diesels are not like speed boats, Turn the key and be gone,
Bit of a rigamarole to even get them started,
Push down injector cut off, Then turn on key, Then glowplug preheater, Then starter button,
Starter button for more than 10 seconds, Pistons full of water, Hahahaha
Thats a thief preventative,
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Old 19-07-2021, 04:17   #45
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Re: Are ignition keys pointless in the cockpit?

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Originally Posted by PerfectPirate View Post
Am I the only one, or one of very few, who think that it is pointless to have an engine ignition key in the cockpit of a sailboat?
We don't even have keys on the helm on our motor yacht. Engine controls are turned "on" by two switches on the D/C control panel in the salon, and started using two rocker switches on the helm.
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