Engine Start Key - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-03-2010 Thread Starter
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Engine Start Key

I'm annoyed at my Yanmar engine key, of all things. When the ignition is off, the key is not locked into place. A slight bump will knock it out, and given our open transom, probably into the drink. I don't like keeping it in my pocket (what if I fall overboard?), and it's a pain having to go below to grab it if we need to start the engine in a hurry.

What do others do about this? I'm tempted to see if I can mod the engine panel with a switch instead of a key. Or even gluing the key into place. The yanmar key is really more a wrench than a key--they're all the same. So they don't offer much security anyway.

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-03-2010
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how about a tether to the key, if you bump it it will just hang there. or cut the key off put it in place then use anything to turn the lock, you could dig it out later if you need to.

my vote a tether and let the key hang, use it when you need to then pull it out and let it hang till you need to shut it off
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-03-2010
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Put a switch in next to the key, then epoxy the key in place, and epoxy it so it won't move. Your average boat thief probably isn't too bright, and he'll spend his time wondering why the key won't turn, then give up and go steal someone else's boat.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-04-2010
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Put a small wire brad on a hard surface. Lay the key over it at a right angle. Now hit the key, gently, with a hammer.

The key will be bent a little, and that should make it stick in the cylinder quite nicely. Start out gently, bend a little more until it is snug.

Or, if bending things goes against your nature, you could clean it off and float a little solder on both sides of the key, just enough to thicken it up and again, make it bind in the cylinder.

Probably could wedge in a little teflon tape or a bit of plastic or metal scrim to do the same thing, too.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-04-2010
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Let your boat broach, fill the cockpit with salt water and then wait. Within a week the key will be corroded solidly into the lock never to be removed.

How do I know? That's what happened to mine and the key is never coming out again. Ever.


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post #6 of 12 Old 04-05-2010
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You could replace the switch for 20 bucks - if you have access.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-05-2010
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Don't want to - I'm happy knowing that whenever I need to start the engine, the key will be exactly where I expect to find it.


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post #8 of 12 Old 04-05-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
Let your boat broach, fill the cockpit with salt water and then wait. Within a week the key will be corroded solidly into the lock never to be removed.

How do I know? That's what happened to mine and the key is never coming out again. Ever.
Heh. I don't think I'm quite _that_ annoyed at my key.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-05-2010
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tether. I'm always worried it'll get busted off where it sits in my cockpit
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-05-2010
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I have the same concerns about losing or breaking the key so I am just going to install a simple switch. You have to get into your boat to turn on the battery switch anyway so not using a key is no big deal.
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