Electrical kill switch - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-30-2013 Thread Starter
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Electrical kill switch

I believe my boat originally had one or two batteries on a bank which lead to a kill switch that you pull out on a handle and do a quarter turn to lock out power. At some point this was changed to two battery banks with a typical A B Both Off switch. This still runs through the original kill switch.

I think in the future I will do some rewiring on the batteries and charging system and would like to remove this. Can anyone cite a reason such as ABYC recommendations for keeping this original kill switch or is it just overkill?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Electrical kill switch

My first question would be is, "What gets turned on and off with this kill switch?" If all it does is duplicate what the battery selector switch does when it's off then yes the "kill switch" is redundent.
Keep in mind that by shutting off this kill switch while the engine is running could also destroy your alternator.
Our boat was upgraded from two batteries to three when the new engine went in. My two house batteries are on the battery selector switch and I have a separetly wired dedicated engine battery.
The only thing I don't like about my set up is you can start the engine with the battery selector switch in it's off position.
It would be nice to have a night switch/kill switch somewhere so I can shut off the engines battery from inside the boat somewhere. Not being able to start the boats engine so easily would make it a little more secure.

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Electrical kill switch

Some boaters install a kill switch in order to make boat theft a little harder. If no one knows where to look or what a switch does, they can't start the engine. That's the only logic I've ever heard for a kill switch, usually just on the engine circuits because it was cheap and easy.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Electrical kill switch

I prefer a fuel cutoff (especially if you have a electric fuel pump).

Diesel's can be started without a battery/starter. They can't run without fuel.

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Electrical kill switch

Electrical kill switch

1 take plate off light switch near shower.
2 remove switch with wires still connected and "hot"
3 take shower
4 step out of shower while dripping lots of water on floor.
5 reach for switch and touch black wire.

If you live to tell about it! tell everyone you forgot to turn the power off when you were replacing the switch!
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Electrical kill switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letrappes View Post
I believe my boat originally had one or two batteries on a bank which lead to a kill switch that you pull out on a handle and do a quarter turn to lock out power. At some point this was changed to two battery banks with a typical A B Both Off switch. This still runs through the original kill switch.

I think in the future I will do some rewiring on the batteries and charging system and would like to remove this. Can anyone cite a reason such as ABYC recommendations for keeping this original kill switch or is it just overkill?

Thanks.
There are 3 twist switches in the port quarter cabin of the First 42. One each for each of the original batteries and a third that controlled power from either or both of the batteries to the engine starting circuit. I am not sure why one would have also installed an Off-1-2-Both switch as it offers no advantage over the original switches. Nor do I see any reason to disconnect or replace them as they--by your description-control power to the 1-2-Both switch and are/would be a positive disconnect.

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post #7 of 14 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Electrical kill switch

Diesels can be started without...
Yeah, but push starting a boat is a real *tch.
Hey, I can push start my car too, but if someone wants to either joyride your boat or steal it, they're not going to screw around looking for a hand crank and trying to hand crank a diesel. That's usually a futile effort, you'd really have to want THAT boat to do it that way. (Easier to bring out a jumper box.)
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-02-2013 Thread Starter
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The kill switch cuts the power to the three way switch which cuts power to the whole boat. I'm thinking it's not needed as the three way switch selects from the two banks.

On my future design for the power system I had thought about putting in an independent three way switch just for the diesel which would be separate from the main power panel. That way I can cut power to the starter without shutting down the whole boat.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Electrical kill switch

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Originally Posted by Letrappes View Post
The kill switch cuts the power to the three way switch which cuts power to the whole boat. I'm thinking it's not needed as the three way switch selects from the two banks.

On my future design for the power system I had thought about putting in an independent three way switch just for the diesel which would be separate from the main power panel. That way I can cut power to the starter without shutting down the whole boat.
One of the original twist switches did exactly that (I believe it was the after-most but am uncertain of that). Frankly, I'd loose the 3-way switch and go back to the original arrangement.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Electrical kill switch

on a boat or a plane, redundancy is a good thing. There is no place to pull over and start walking if it goes all pear shaped.

I can see running individual kill switches and a 3-way switch. Been around power enough to see that a few hundred amps of power can melt things you never expected -especially- if you have a short and all those amps want to get there in a hurry

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