contributed by John FX Flynn, row2k
Okay, loyal readers, we ask you: is there a better friend to Rowing Hackers than the humble, but versatile Boat Strap? We don't think so, and we are out to prove it.
And by versatile, we are not talking about all the way boat straps can be used to pretty reliably attach just about anything to a shell trailer--boats, oars, riggers, parent food tables, outboards, beater bikes--and make said item stay put all the way home.
No, this week we want to consider all the other uses to which rowers have put the humble boat strap over the years--and we want to hear from you about the things you've found, well, boat-strap-able . . . so when you are done reading this, make sure you shoot us an email or submit a comment about the last cool thing you hacked with a boat strap--and, please, don't make your idea "a belt" . . . if you don't have a boat strap belt of your own, then you can bet at least 3 of your boat-mates do.
So, apart from the ubiquitous "look at me, I row crew" boat strap belt (no judgement here, by the way; I have at least three), we've seen boat straps used as dog leashes, door stops, full-gas-can-arrestors, and tow ropes. Rumors float around of a hacker that cobbled together a trailer-hammock made entirely of boat straps (no doubt a poor soul marooned for 5-6 days on Henley Island in early August).
We even have it on good authority that boat straps can be used in an emergency, or long-term, to hold your car door shut; an idea we will no doubt be exploring in greater depth in our upcoming Rowing Hack feature on the bodged-up cars that rowers--the starving artists of the athletic world--find themselves driving around.
So, let's hear it, fellow rowers and rowing hackers: tell us how your row/trip/car/life was saved by the intervention of the nine (or twelve) foot length of buckle-attached greatness that is the boat strap. The best suggestion will be featured here, in all its glory and--we hope--with a good backstory, as a Rowing Hacker column.
By the way, before you go, we do have a serious Hacker tip to share: keep an eye on your straps, inspect them before every trailer loading session, and make sure you discard them as soon they start to fray along the edges. As you can see there is plenty of other stuff you can do with those frayed straps…and your boats need nice, new, far-from-breaking straps every time you hit the road at 65 mph.
Okay, now it is your turn: Share your boat strap tricks in the comments below.
Have a great rowing hack for future inclusion here? Send it to us!