As of April 1st, 2021 Operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length will be required to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link (ECOSL) as passed by congress.

The ECOS and ECOSL prevent runaway vessels and the threats they pose. The ECOSL attaches the vessel operator to a switch that shuts off the engine if the operator is displaced from the helm. The ECOSL is usually a lanyard style cord that attaches to an ECOS either in close proximity to the helm or on the outboard motor itself if the vessel is operated by a tiller. When enough tension is applied, the ECOSL disengages from the ECOS and the motor is automatically shut down. Wireless ECOS have recently been developed and are also approved for use. These devices use an electronic “fob” that is carried by the operator and senses when it is submerged in water, activating the ECOS and turning the engine off. Wireless devices are available on the aftermarket and are beginning to become available as manufacturer-installed options.

Please note this is a Federal law so the Coast Guard will be enforcing it this summer. We did reach out to the Macomb County Sheriff and while they highly advise you to attach the lanyard, however, the Stat of Michigan has not passed the law so they will not be enforcing the lanyard law. PLEASE NOTE you are required to attach if on a waverunner or jetski

You can read the press release here

For more information click here

Got a question? Ask the Captain

Leave a Reply