Social distancing may have scuttled team workouts and regattas for the foreseeable future, and left a lot of boat bays dark and empty, but - not unlike the long winter months that also keep many of us away from the boathouse and training away from the shells themselves - the current moment has created some time and space for the rowing hackers amongst us to take a look around the deserted bays and start thinking about some things we can fix, tweak, and hack up to make sure things are that much better for the team and our athletes when they finally return and we get back to rowing as usual.
If your boathouse is completely shuttered, these tasks might have to wait a while, but can file onto a to-do list for the release of a lot of pent-up energy off in the future.
To help get that hacking underway, the row2k hackers will start highlighting some of our favorite Rowing Hacks from the past. In addition, for you lucky loyal row2k readers, we have a few new tricks and tips to add to the Pantheon in the hopes that they will do some good out there in the rowing world.
Re-Do Your November To-Do List
The first thing to do with your extra time, though, is to make sure all the equipment we do have is clean and safe, as we have already covered. Secondly, you probably want to secure your equipment for storage, too: shells and launches may be sitting idle for a while, which is not good for anything stored outdoors, or for engines in general. Storing things safely and 'winterizing' outboards would be prudent and could save time and trouble in the long run. Most of us know what that process looks like, of course, having recently put everything away for the winter months not long ago, so dust off your November to-do list and re-do it.
Once we've taken care of that, though, well, it is time to get to hacking! There are loads of projects in every boat bay in America that are just waiting to get done, many of which can be done by just one or two coaches or team members.
The Hack That Started It All
Let's start with the hack that started it all - The Strap Wheel - row2k's very first hack column, because this hack is simple, easy to make, and it will help you get started on all your upcoming projects by putting some law-and-order into the unruly pile of straps that got dumped on the boat bay floor when the trailer got unloaded in a hurry.
The Strap Wheel.
Once you've got your straps all wheeled up, they will store easier in the off season, be easily carried out to the trailer for loading time, and all those straps will have a nice compact place to go when they, and the shells, come off the trailer at your next race.
We hope this hack, as good as it is old, will be a useful project and, if you have hacked up something else that is cool and helpful with all this spare time in a quiet boathouse, then send it to us and we will write it up to share - or tell us about your tips and tricks in the comments below.
Here's to putting this time to good use, and to emerging stronger - and with some cooler boathouse tools and tricks on the other side.