The benefits of keyless FOB ignitions for marine use

Over the past few years, there has been a  growing trend within the marine industry for keyless ignitions. Whilst the technology of keyless ignition is increasingly popular in the automotive industry, is only just becoming a viable option for marine. With a promise of excellent safety features and being a new and innovative product to the marine market, this solution suits our ‘forward-thinking’ vision perfectly.  This led to us partnering with CoastKey, a Norwegian business that develops keyless ignitions and man overboard systems for vessels.

Despite the growing trend for keyless ignition, there still seems to be skepticism around the technology within the marine industry with regards to usability and how safe they really are.

Below, we explore how the keyless ignition system works and the benefits of going keyless, to help put your minds at rest.

How does it work?

When purchasing a keyless FOB system, your vessel will be fitted with an engine control unit to the helm. . The FOB works by sending out a signal to the control unit which, in turn, allows you to power each engine that is linked to the FOB, individually. The signal can be emitted from up to 15 metres away from the control unit. As standard, you are provided with one key fob which can control up to 4 outboards. However, if needed, you can link up to 10 FOBs in total, to control further outboards, if necessary.


One of the most important reasons why we decided to partner with CoastKey was because of the safety features the FOB has. The CoastKey system also works as a MOB detection system. The FOB signals cannot emit through water and therefore, should someone onboard the vessel, wearing the Coastkey FOB, go overboard, the system automatically switches the outboards off, allowing a safe recovery of the person overboard.

Freedom of movement

Recent studies show that the traditional kill-cord we are all so used to are very rarely worn, mainly due to it limiting movement around the vessel. With keyless ignition, as long as you have the FOB on you at all times, you are free to move around the vessel, knowing that it is safe to do so and remain in control of your vessel


The keyless FOB works with a personalised PIN number which starts up the control panel allowing you full access to all engines linked. A huge benefit of this is to allow boatyard managers easy access to your vessel, should they need to move it or alternatively if you lose your FOB or you require someone else to operate your vessel, they can do so by entering the PIN into the control unit on the helm. . This PIN number can be changed at any time to increase the safety of your vessel.

Keyless ignitions have proven to be incredibly popular within the automotive industry and we are starting to see a growing popularity of them within the marine industry.

If you’d like to find out more about how the keyless fob works with the CXO300 diesel outboard, please get in touch with your local distributor.