row2k Features
Rowing Hack Redux: Goose Rope Tricks
May 22, 2020
John FX Flynn

We all know that the best thing for keeping geese of your dock is, well, lots of rowers using the float, but since that is not an option these days in most places, we thought maybe we should revisit ways to keep your docks "goose-poop-free" in the interim.

We looked at the proto-typical trick to address this problem years ago--the "Anti-Goose Buckets" hack--and it is worth revisiting, as a simple, low-tech way to get this job done. Back then, we got some great reader input of other tricks and even included some of the wilder "get-gone-goose" approaches we had heard of, so check them out.

As great as that trick is, however, the fact is that we all have this extra time on our hands, so we thought we would bring you what we think may be the ultimate refinement of this hack: Goose Line Poles.

This hack is a low-cost, low-vis (for those who think buckets look unseemly), highly-effective hack, that just happens to have the side benefit of being perhaps the best--and darn near only--way to use all those 7/1 oarlock bushings that came with every set of riggers you have ever bought and--admit it--have sat in your tool box or workshop ever since.

The 7/1 bushing, with a hole drilled through it, turns out to be the perfect way to retro-hack those long fiberglass poles that folks use to mark the edges of driveways and sidewalks in snowier climes. You can find them at any Home Depot, in orange or yellow, and the 7/1 bushing lets you set a goose line at just the right height to foil those dockside poopers for good.

The chief benefit of using these poles--apart from the fact that they are cheap and the whole "let's use these un-useful bushings" bonus--is that they will do their job without ruining the sightline of your dock the way that the "anti-goose buckets" can. The rowers can easily pull them out before each row and the poles themselves are small enough that no one will trip on them or roll an ankle when the poles are "down" on the dock.

There are few steps beyond buying the poles and drilling the bushings that you will need to perform in order to make the hack actually work: you will need either holes drilled in the dock or some short "pole holders" made out of PVC tubing that you can attach to the outside of the dock, below the water-line--of course--to keep the shells from getting scratched.

You will also need some good line: rope or string probably will not cut it. In this set-up, the line itself needs to have some good tension in it, without being too stretchy, so that it does not sag down. String trimmer line--the kind you would load into your garden trimmer--can be bought in a roll long enough for the perimeter of any dock, and has the right mix of flex and non-stretch to make the line sit right where it needs to be to foil those geese.

So, if you "happen" to have some extra time and want to get really fancy with your anti-fowling measures, give this hack a try. Your local geese will not thank you, of course, but your rowers just might notice things are a bit cleaner underfoot when they return.

Have a great goose getter-ridder idea we haven't touched on yet? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

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

During these unprecendented times, row2k is working hard to keep rowing coming to you; please help us keeping it coming by supporting our work!


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