> Jay: “Can’t remember how I stumbled across it – maybe it was one of the 100 things Randy Howell mentioned in a conversation 😁 – but anyhow I got to learnin’ ’bout it from Ryan Kirkpatrick. Ryan is with Precision Sonar, which didn’t invent The Leash but has the exclusive distribution rights for it.
> “In a nutshell The Leash does/should keep your outboard from possibly becoming disconnected and jumping up into the boat if you’re running fast and hit something you didn’t know was there. And you’re probably in 1 of 2 camps on that deal: Never heard of such a thing, or definitely heard of it.
> “Here’s 5 with Ryan, but first I gotta say – apologies to the relatives and friends of folks who have passed from this happening and are mentioned here. Hopefully other fishermen will learn from what happened. Bless you.”
1. How did the idea for The Leash come about?
> Ryan: “There was an accident at Kentucky Lake several years ago where a guy went underneath the old Eggner’s Ferry Bridge when the water was high [so he apparently could not see obstructions like crossmembers that would have been visible]. He hit [something] and the motor flipped up into the boat, hit the co-angler and killed him.
> “The guy who invented it felt something had to be done about that [because] no matter how safe you are, no matter how well you know a lake….something can happen.”
2. How does it work?
> “When you purchase a Leash you get 2 brackets to mount the leash to the jackplate or the motor [and] a main tether and a piggyback tether. …the brackets mount to where the motor bolts come out of the jackplate or the transom…the main tether will attach to that bracket…and the piggyback tether has loops that go around that main tether…. Each tether is extremely strong in itself but we’re actually doubling up those tethers so we’re doubling the strength….
[Here’s Ryan in a YT vid showing The Leash and how it’s installed – way easier than explaining it in words! Asked him if you needed a lift for the motor and he said no, you’re only removing 2 of the 4 bolts, but they recommend trimming the motor down onto a block of wood to take a little pressure off. Then you need to torque the bolts back on per manufacturer specs.]
3. Are there any cases you’re aware of where something happened and The Leash helped?
> “Obviously if anything happens like this there’s no way to tell 100% if the motor glanced off something or The Leash saved it. But I have talked to several people that have Leashes on their boats that are 100% convinced that The Leash [prevented] the motor from coming up into the boat.
> “[One guy said] ‘Your product saved my life and I’m 100% convinced of it.’ He was on Table Rock, hit standing timber at 60 mph, felt the motor come up, then felt it go back down and when it did [the force] threw him into the steering wheel. When he put it back on the trailer, he saw that the heat shrink [tubing] on the leash was stretched on both sides – so he knew 100% that The Leash came into play.
> “Another example…sheared the lower unit off [and the fishermen] believe the motor did not come into the boat because they had The Leash on there.
> “The biggest hurdle with The Leash has been getting people to understand that this is a real problem. This does happen. If you do a quick Google search – ‘outboard motor flips into boat’ – you will see countless accidents. A few weeks ago it happened in TX on the Sabine River.
> “Old Hickory…fishing tournament…[the angler] went through an area he knows like the back of his hand, hit a floating log, the motor flew up in the boat and landed on him in the driver’s seat. [I think he’s referring to this – luckily our bassin’ brother survived.]
> “We go fishing to have fun. We don’t think about danger. But [things can happen] even if you know the lake like the back of your hand.”
In Feb this happened to NPFL and Toyota Series angler Doug Chapin: