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Classic Hack: A-Frame Boat Blocks
by row2k hackers
posted on January 30, 2017

Today’s hack is a classic that many teams already use, but we felt it was time to bring it to everyone’s attention. Trailer space seems to be at a premium these days. With wing riggers (check out our wing rigger crate hack) and oars taking up most of the laydown space in your trailer, one’s on site boat storage system needs to take up as little space as possible.

The A-Frame Boat Block is a very simple design that takes up minimal trailer space and it is incredibly easy to make! You simply take two pieces of plywood and attach them together with a hinge. Use some type of cord or rope to keep the two boards from opening up too far when you have weight on top of them and you are done!

Cord to attach the two sides together

This particular design comes from Ohio State’s boatman Joseph Pipia. “I came up with my design based on several other school’s blocks. Our blocks are a little bit taller than most, which really helps when you have wing rigger boats.” Pipia continued, “Many people use piano hinges (to attach the boards together), I went with door hinges to keep the cost low.”

The benefit of this design is almost anyone can make them, they fold flat to minimize storage space, and it will cost you very little money to make. Even if you don’t own a power tool, Lowes or Home Depot will cut down the plywood boards for you. Borrow a friend’s drill to attach the hinges and you are in business.

Hinges may require a spacer
Pipia also shared some of the other unique designs he has come across over the years. “I've seen people miter the tops and bottom edges so they were coplanar with the ground and shells.” As for how you attach the two sheets of plywood together Pipia said “I have seen many people use piano hinges… I've also seen people use non-rigid hinges such as heavy fabric or rubber. If I had to do it again, I would opt for a piece of salvaged fire hose for the hinge.”

This hack has been around for a long time, but if you are struggling with trailer space and you are using another system, the A-Frame Boat Block may be a great solution for your team.

Do you have a trick that is hack worthy? Or do you have a great hack that you use to store your boats? Share your tips and hacks in the comments below.

Have a great rowing hack to suggest for future articles? Send it to us!


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