Welcome, Guest!     Log In  Sign up!

Support row2k!
Advertiser Index

Trailer Tricks: The Strap Wheel
posted on January 17, 2012

click for full-size image!
The 'original' Strap-o-Matic, version 2.0
click for full-size image!
A few Strap Wheels in the wild (on right), 2011 IRA
click images for full-size version
contributed by John FX Flynn, row2k

This hack is good enough that you see it all over now: power cord reels (or hose reels) used to store boat straps when they are not in use. No doubt, we could trace this hack down to the exact moment that Home Depot started selling plastic extension cord wheels, but row2k has it on good authority that one of the first examples of this was actually made using a garden hose wheel.

Dubbed the "Strap-o-matic," this early strap wheel it made its regatta debut on the shores of Lake Ononandaga, shortly after being spotted (at a local Home Depot, naturally!) by a coach tired of rolling up straps one by one. A unique feature of this model was that it was fitted with a frame so it could hang on the trailer for easy access during loading and unloading. That original hose reel is long gone, but the "Strap-o-matic 2.0" pictured here--still in use at that same club--sports the original wooden frame that lets it sit on the trailer for easy access during loading and unloading.

"Strap-o-matic 2.0" also features an improvement we've started noticing that makes this hack, well, twice as good: using two of these smaller wheels, originally designed for extension cords, is a great way to separate your 9 foot and 12 foot straps, which saves time hunting down the right length as you tie down your eights after the regatta--assuming that the straps were sorted and "wheeled" correctly.

[Of course, if anyone have a good system for automating that sorting step, THAT would probably be the greatest rowing hack of all time.]

We do miss the original version, though: the huge garden hose reel was perfect for storing lots of straps--and pretty fun to spin around. We once spotted one of those big reels mounted permanently on the front of one midwest college's trailer, just above the spare. Well-hacked!

Are you a Strap-o-matic convert? Or do you have an even better hack for storing (or sorting) straps? Let Rowing Hacks hear all about it in the comments.

Have a great rowing hack for future inclusion here? Send it to us!


Log in to comment
10/16/2013  9:24:54 AM
If anyone knows a way to MacGyver a sound wheel into one of these things, so that it plays "Pop Goes the Weasel" when in use, I would be much obliged.

row2k author
row2k hackers
A rotating cast of characters full of boathouse secrets.

More Columns
Rower Tricks: The Track-Bite Guard
(July 8, 2014)

Riggers Tricks: The Top Nut Holder
(June 26, 2014)

Boathouse Hacks: Sock-ed Riggers
(June 11, 2014)

Coach Trick: Boat Sling Anchors
(May 14, 2014)

Coach Trick: The PVC Aligner Sight
(April 23, 2014)

More Rowing News
The Naked Warwick Rowing Team Is Back!
(July 25, 2014)

Rowing club as good as gold
(July 25, 2014)

Tim Spiteri with Richard Stubbs
(July 25, 2014)

Ridgewood rowers bound for Division I waters
(July 25, 2014)

Quartet establish ocean record
(July 25, 2014)

Paraplegic rower Angela Madsen and teammate Tara Remington become first female pair to row from U.S. to Hawaii
(July 25, 2014)

Write row2k | row2k Home | Copyright © 1997-2014 row2k media. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy