This thread is going to be about lanyards.

Specifically ...the maintenance/wear/tear...and resulting liability concerns.

I would reccomend that if you operate over 100 hours a year or so, it is wise to replace your lanyards annually if you have them stored outside in the sun, have a crack/split in the clip, or frayed the wrist/flotation strap or coil. It is simple good advice to replace the neoprene wrist band types annually due to the breakdown of the constructive materials for safety concerns.

Do not use modified lanyards.

Lanyards have a 'lifespan'.

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.

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

Do not add length to your lanyard.

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.

Do not modify your ignition. Any modifications can void your MFG warranty and if there is an accident, can become a contributal factor or fault in a lawsuit.

Many of the four stroke technology craft have digital coding on either ignition keys, remotes, or lanyards, or a variety of. Check to see which OEM Manfacturered craft you are operating on.

Kawasaki models have ignition keys that are coded, there are 20 codes and you cannot start the craft without the proper key, however 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 internationally on your craft through a local dealership.

Use key chain floats on remotes and keys so they don't sink in the water.

If you have a Bombardier Sea Doo the MPEM program will be linked to your lanyard, you will have to take your PWC to the dealer to get multiple Sea Doo watercraft coded the same for lanyard use. The baseline fee for a lanyard of this type runs on average about $85 USD each.

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

In Southern California, mechanics for PWC work are averaging about $90-100 per hour USD. It can be quite costly to not 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 similarily coded. Time for a tow!

The learning keys are available on Bombardier and Kawasaki craft, and Yamaha has a remote, these options are color coded on the lanyards. There is approximately a 30% reduction in overall speed for new operators to get comfortable with the functions and features of operating a PWC.

Always check the following:


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.