By George Mitchell
Yamaha Pro Staff
If you haven’t heard about Yamaha Customer Outboard Protection or Y-COP, then you really need to read this blog. Y-COP is available on Command Link (CL) and Command Link Plus (CLP) systems, and its functionality is already built-into Helm Master, Yamaha’s fully integrated boat control system. It allows you to not only to protect your vessel, but to potentially save significantly on boat owner’s insurance.
Because of their reliability and their high resale value, Yamaha outboards are the top outboard stolen by boat and motor thieves, who then try to resell them on the black market. YCOP, an effective, easy to install and simple to use theft deterrent system, is available as an option for most Yamaha outboards. Depending on your system, just touch a button on the battery-powered key fob, or just touch the battery-less remote control key fob to the ignition control panel, and both the ignition and the fuel injection systems on the motor are disabled. Try to turn the key or press the “start” button when the system is active and the engine won’t start.
Should a thief get hold of your boat or motors with the Y-COP system on LOCK, and brings it to a Yamaha Certified Mechanic and says, “Hey, this won’t start,” the mechanic will run the numbers and say, “That’s because Y-COP disabled them. Here, put these bracelets on.” Getting the motor back up to full speed means a visit to Yamaha dealer, who will nearly always need to employ the services of a Yamaha District Service Manager. And since most thieves now have an understanding of the system’s capabilities, the theft of motors with Y-COP has come to a near-screeching halt.
Y-COP is all plug-and-play, and can be added after the fact as an option on any Yamaha outboard that runs the Command Link or Command Link Plus gauges. You need to have an authorized Yamaha Marine Dealer install the system and enable it. Y-COP functionality is already built-in on the Helm Master system.
Two fobs come with the Y-COP system, and you can have a dealer add up to three more to the CL and CLP systems for a total of five. While one fob is all that is necessary to disable all three of the motors on my boat, I actually had my dealer add two more fobs for me, so I had four. One on my keychain that I used every day, one in my on board emergency kit container as back-up, one at home, and I left one with my dealer. The fobs are actually waterproof, but I like to store all my important stuff in waterproof containers just to protect them from the salt elements. I also have a spare key switch lanyard in my emergency kit.
The remote is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and has two buttons on it: one that says LOCK and one that says UNLOCK. If you want to arm the system, you turn the motor off, push the LOCK button and you’ll get a “beep,” that lets you know the system is armed. From that point on, the motor can’t be started without disarming the Y-COP system first.
You also get stickers with the CL and CLP Y-COP systems that clearly indicate what it does. I put one on the back of my engine cowlings and one on the console next to my electronics panel, so potential thieves can see it and know that I have it on my boat.
One of the best advantages of the Y-COP system is that my boat insurance company views it as a theft deterrent device and I get a discount my insurance for having it. I save around $500 a year, so in less than two years I’ve paid for the system.
As I mentioned earlier, Y-COP’s features are built into the Helm Master system so it comes standard. It has a different kind of key fob with a microchip in it, which is what I have now. It’s about the size of an SD card, and I just touch it to the electronic key switch and it will beep and have a flashing red light that lets thieves know the system is armed and the motors are disabled.
If you’re looking to repower your boat, purchase a new boat and motors or just want to upgrade your boat security and sleep better at night, you really need to visit your Yamaha Marine Dealer to look into the Yamaha Y-COP system. In the long run, your insurance savings will pay for the device, and you’ll know that any thief targeting your boat will know he’s getting an engine that won’t start and most likely will go elsewhere. Plus, trying to “fix” a locked Yamaha outboard will most-always tip the police, should he try to go around the Y-COP system.