My 14-foot outboard catamaran Gizmo is quick and low-sided, and I have almost fallen out of her; yet I rarely clip on the engine kill-switch tether because it's too cumbersome. I admit stupidity on this score—no letters, please—but also delight that Autotether has come along to save me from myself! This self-contained system replaces a normal kill-switch clip with a spring-loaded plunger that is activated nearly instantly if that wireless yellow "personal sensor" I clip to my belt gets submerged or travels more than about 50 feet away from my helm. For $295 Autotether also comes with a white passenger personal sensor, which sets off an alarm but leaves the engine alone—and two optional $69 FOBs can be used with the same base station. The system is well built and couldn't be easier to install or operate; you'll even be warned if any of its AAA batteries run low. Autotether is so portable, in fact, that a cruiser could use its proximity alarm function to, say, monitor a towed tender (where it's normally installed) or even kids at a beach.
This article originally appeared in the August 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.