Lanyard or Landlocked

K38’s Shawn Alladio talks about safety…lanyards, that is.

(Article appeared in AWA’s May/June 2008 “Ride” Magazine)

Lanyards are make, model and year specific. They are not interchangeable!

Pay Attention to Your Most Critical Link to Safe Operations; Your Lanyard!

If you operate your PWC over 100 hours a year, it is wise to replace your lanyard.

For the less lucky who don’t enjoy that much time on the water, the proper (if minor) maintenance of your PWC’s tether can help make sure you don’t miss out on a single minute of riding.

Lanyards have a “lifespan.” It is wise to replace your lanyards annually if you have stored them outside in the sun, if there is a crack or split in the clip, or if the wrist flotation strap or coil is frayed. For safety’s sake, it’s simple good advice to replace neoprene wristband type lanyards annually due to attrition and breakdown in constructive materials.

1. Do not use modified lanyards. You do not want to fall off a PWC while at speed and see your lanyard clip still engaged in the ignition post because of a damaged or old lanyard.

2. Do not interchange lanyards from one PWC brand to another, as the post clips may not be the same diameter and can cause a “split” in the key.

3. Do not add length to your lanyard.

4. Do not use the lanyard attached to a passenger if you are operating. The recoil on a lanyard can impact your eye or teeth or a passenger.

5. Do not modify your ignition post. Any modifications can void your manufacturer warranty – an worse, if there is an accident, any modification can become a contributing factor or fault in a lawsuit.

6. Use key chain floats on remotes and keys so they don’t sink in the water. (Have a backup spare in a secure safe place readily available)

Many of the four stroke technology craft have digital coding on either ignition keys, remotes, or lanyards – or various combinations.

It can be quite costly not to have a secondary backup lanyard available when you really need it, as these newer craft are not interchangeable on lanyard design and you cannot use one unless it is similarly coded.

Before identifying the type of ignition keys or lanyards you will need to purchase, refer to the manufacturers suggestions as reference. Many of the aftermarket lanyards are no longer functional on four stroke craft due to the digital coding.

Kawasaki Ultra 'Immobilizer' Key

Kawasaki models have ignition keys that re coded. There are many codes and you cannot start the craft without the proper key; you can turn the ignition “off” with your fingers, but not “on.” There are also PADLOC systems on the LCD display that can create codes, or FPO full power on codes, or learning keys. Check regionally to see if these features are available on your craft through a local dealership.

If you have a Bombardier Sea-Doo the MPEM program will be linked to your lanyard and you will have to take your PWC to the dealer to get multiple watercraft coded the same for lanyard use.

Learning keys are available on Kawasaki and BRP watercraft, and Yamaha has a remote. These options are color coded on the lanyards. There is approximately a 30% reduction in speed for new operators to get comfortable with the functions and features of operating a PWC.


Lanyards can break
Lanyards can sink
Lanyards can wrap around your driveline
Lanyards can come off when you are swimming towards your craft if not properly affixed

K38 trained students incorporate 'Seconds and Feet' into every action.
Counter how long it takes you to engage the lanyard key into the ignition post.

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