10 Reasons You Need a Foot Throttle
Professional anglers and boating enthusiasts alike may have heard of a foot throttle. But what is it and what are some benefits of adding a boat foot throttle to your boat? A boat foot throttle is a pedal that is installed and mounted under the steering wheel of the boat, much like a gas pedal in a car, and it is used to control the throttle as opposed to the typical throttle control that is by your hand beside the wheel. If you've been thinking about installing one, you can read our compiled list of 10 boat throttle advantages.
1. It provides safety if you're flung from the boat.
Boats built for high speed or for trolling can have a hand throttle locked and engaged. While unlikely, if you're flung from the boat as you're moving, the foot throttle will not stay engaged. Your safety and the safety of those boating around you will be increased. Along with your safety jacket, your ability to get back to your boat in an event like this is necessary, especially if boating alone.
2. It's just like driving a car.
Using your foot throttle is just like driving a car. Using your foot to accelerate and control the throttle is natural and for many is second nature. This may be one of the biggest non-safety-related benefits of throttle control for boat control, as you're likely already very used to controlling the speed of your vehicle with your foot. Build on your many years of experience driving a car to make driving your boat more comfortable.
3. You have a free hand.
Do you need a boat foot throttle? Maybe. Maybe not. But having a free hand sure is nice, even if it is just to pass a friendly wave. Having a free hand may make it easier when docking or more fun when just cruising along with friends.
4. You're able to better use navigating accessories.
Using accessories for fish finding or GPS often requires the navigation of menus. For professional anglers or enthusiasts, it often means that one hand is moving through the menus of the accessory and is not able to be on the throttle. Or maybe you're not an enthusiast and just like to shuffle through your radio options. A foot throttle frees up a hand to allow you to safely navigate these functions while still maintaining complete throttle control.
5. It allows you to keep your hands on 10 and two.
Just as when driving a car, when driving a boat, it's recommended that you keep your hands on the wheel at 10 o'clock and two o'clock to maintain proper handling. This is especially true in rough waters or if a wave is hit at an odd angle. Controlling your boat, especially in rough waters, is key to your safety and the safety of those around you. You wouldn't expect a race car driver to use a hand throttle and easily maintain safe handling and performance. In high-performance boats, the foot throttle allows for safer and more deliberate handling.
6. It reduces unintentional bumping and throttling.
A hand throttle is normally at arm or elbow height, which may make it prone to bumping. A foot throttle can reduce unintentional bumping, which is an important benefit if there are others in the boat. Also, unintentionally bumping a hand throttle may cause someone to be flung from the boat.
7. The engine is idle if the throttle is not pressed.
Just as in a vehicle, the engine is idle and not providing thrust when not engaged with the throttle. This can make docking easier, as you can have both hands on the wheel and the throttle maintained or quickly changed as you approach the dock.
8. It causes less fatigue of the hands and wrist.
Using your foot to throttle reduces fatigue on your hand and wrist. Using your foot is natural, like when driving a car, and you do not need to maintain your hand or wrist in a position next to the wheel for long periods of time. This is especially true on longer runs that may need additional attention to the throttle.
9. It is interchangeable with the hand throttle.
Installing a foot throttle does not mean you can't use the hand throttle any longer. Especially in newer boats, if a foot throttle is an option, the hand throttle will have a button to remove control from the hand throttle to use the foot throttle. This allows you to use whichever you're comfortable with. Additionally, if more than one person is driving the boat, this allows each person to choose whatever they are most comfortable with.
10. It is easy to install and maintain.
Foot throttles are easy to install. You can install one in an afternoon or less. Or if you're not one who wants to install it, it can easily be installed by a professional. Maintenance is easy too, as it is usually only necessary to grease the pivot points of the throttle to ensure smooth operation.
Are you ready?
Now that you've seen the list of benefits of adding a boat foot throttle, you see that it increases safety and comfort. It gives you the ability to navigate your accessories and not worry about throttle control. It makes driving a boat more like driving a car and helps increase performance and handling. It's time to get out and experience the many benefits of using a foot throttle today. Check out our line of foot throttles for boats and enjoy all the advantages that come with owning one!