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Key Switch

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Depending on what kind of control system you choose for your outboard boat, the key switch will be located on either the driver's side or on the dash. Dashboard controls on an outboard are very different from that of a car. The key switch on an outboard, however, is basically the same thing.

The surface of the dashboard, or console, of most outboards is home to the majority of the boat's instrumentation. Though some small outboards are sold without any instrumentation, larger outboards usually include at least a tachometer. The tachometer is a gauge that displays the engines RPM, which tells you how hard the engine, is working.

Some boats also include a temperature gauge. Many boats will include a warning light that will activate if the engine is in danger of overheating, but by monitoring a temperature gauge, you can often avoid any danger of overheating at all. Similarly, a water pressure gauge, which measures the amount of water passing through the engine, can help you avoid heat related problems.

Common Key Switch Locations

In general, the location of the key switch depends on the type of control you choose for your boat. Concealed side mount controls sometimes house the switch, and are located just to the side of the driver (on whichever side). Other outboards may include a binnacle, or console mounted, control system. For most commercially available binnacle style controls, the key switch is mounted on a plate immediately adjacent to the throttle lever.

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