row2k Features
Rowing Hacks: the Megaphone Cooler Hack
June 18, 2020
John FX Flynn

Here is a great hack for you coaches out there to keep your megaphone dry no matter what the weather and, since a dry megaphone is one that works pretty well, it might be high time more coaches adopted this simple trick: the Megaphone Cooler Hack.

Let's face it, the power megaphone is one of the key tools of the rowing coach trade, but they are just not cut out for a long life in a water sport. From getting rained on to one of those quick dips in the water sloshing around in the bottom of the launch - not to mention the occasional flat out 'oops' of dropping it over the side - there is no shortage of ways of trashing your megaphone.

We've looked at other ways to keep your megaphone aboard as opposed to overboard (and, yes, of course the hack involved PVC pipes, too), but this cooler trick helps when the water is actually falling on you, too - and, since rowing in a good soaking downpour is one of the best times to find flat 'water and a half,' having some good rainy day hacks is a must for any coach.

A cooler just big enough to fit your loud-hailer while you are not using it keeps it out of that rain - not to mention out of your bilge water - and even provides a handy place to put it down so you don't knock it over the side without hacking up an actual Megaphone Holder. When your megaphone is safely stowed in your cooler, you do not have to worry about cracking the bell when you drop it or kick it over either.

We've actually seen small coolers fill in for toolboxes, too - after all, a toolbox that is actually waterproof is not an easy thing to come by. The cooler hack takes care of that, and we've seen that toolbox trick used by some of the giants in our sport. And even with more robust and water-resistant megaphones out there, your yelling-device is an ungainly thing to carry even with a handle, plus the cooler hack lets you carry the megaphone and few tools… not to mention that spare battery you might suddenly need with your fancy new gadget.

Now, you may note that there are actually wheels on the cooler that our fearless photog used to test out this hack for himself and to provide this fine illustration for the row2k public. We'll admit it, wheels could take this hack - and how much stuff you can drag to your launch—to a whole new level... but don't let the athletes see you taking this wheeled shortcut!

Other stuff coolers can carry for you:

  • a completely dry set of tools (and may we suggest a carabiner or two)
  • an extra seat, so you never wind up with just one broken one, miles upriver from the boathouse
  • an extra footboard, oarlock, or even cox box (see above, re: miles away)
  • lunch (either for eating or for use in 'seat racing')

And of course, cool refreshing beverages for, um, parched athletes.

So next time you get caught in the rain or otherwise mistreat your trusty megaphone to its yearly point of failure, consider picking up a cooler on your way to get your new megaphone - it might be just the thing to keep your megaphone cozy, dry, and in working order for just a bit longer.

Have a great trick for keeping your megaphone dry and ready to go? Or just want to add a few things to the 'cooler packing list' for us? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

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

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