row2k Features
Boathouse Safety: 11 things to remove from your boathouse today
June 20, 2020
Mike Davenport, MaxRigging.com

Critters make boats and gear into homes

There are things in your boathouse that don't belong. Items that will cause you in the future to slap palm-on-forehead and say, "Ugh, why did I leave that there?"

Following is a list of 11 things to remove from your boathouse now, in condensed form; to read the full list of what, why, and how-to, see the full article here.

It is all about boathouse safety

Three times that has happened to me.

Once I let an old strap sneak back in from the BAD PILE and it caused havoc. Another time a damaged sling ripped—almost destroying a perfectly innocent boat.

And another time you can imagine how high I jumped when I put on an old life jacket which had an inhabited mouse nest in it.

Let's reduce the chance that these mishaps, and others, will happen to you.

11 things to remove from your boathouse today

To start, when I say remove, I mean one of two things:
• Secure an item so only you or someone in-the-know can use it
• Move a thing from the boathouse so it is away from everyone

Why do this?

A few reasons, such as: reducing lost practice time, saving equipment from damage, avoiding race day hassles, and shrinking potential injuries from occurring. Think boathouse safety.

With these in mind, here's a list of 11 things to remove immediately from your boathouse.

#1) Bleach
Bleach CAN be a very helpful tool in the boathouse, in the right hands.

#2) Ammonia
Doesn't work well with bleach.

#3) Water Fountain
Water fountains are unexpected but powerful hosts to heaps of bacteria and viruses. A 13-year-old conducted an experiment that tested his school's fountain water against the water from one of his school's toilets. After letting bacteria incubate, he found that not even the cleanest fountain was as clean as the toilet.

Non-stainless can stain and cause equipment damage
Non-stainless can stain and cause equipment damage

#4) Broken Slings
Read more here: Rowing Shell Slings: Avoid The Big Letdown.

#5) Substandard Straps
Read more here: Your Boat Straps Hate You (and they're plotting revenge).

#6) Critter Homes
I already told you about my mouse-in-the-life-jacket scare. To add to that there have been:

• Bats in the workroom
• Rats in the riggers
• Blacksnakes in the eight
• Raccoons in the boat bay
• Alligators on the dock (yes... really)
• Geese on the dock (which probably attracted the alligators)
• Ducks in the launch
• Fire ants in the erg room
• Hornets in the megaphone
• And the list goes on-and-on...

#7) Broken Oars
Read more here: Now Is The Perfect Time For Oar Maintenance

#8) Hammers
You might need a hammer... once-in-a-while. But they (they being 99% of the people using the boathouse) DON'T need a hammer.

#9) Locking pliers
Another great tool that can be a wrecking crew in the wrong hands.

#10) Non-stainless fasteners
Most non-stainless fasteners rust, which in our environment means a-lot-of-rust—and a rusting fastener can cause all sorts of issues.

Consider broken fiberglass and carbon fiber a hazard and remove from easy access
Consider broken fiberglass and carbon fiber a hazard and remove from easy access

#11) Carbon Fiber Shreds
Carbon fiber and fiberglass are used throughout rowing. And although tough they do break—leaving splinters.

Action steps to improve your boathouse safety

There you have it, 11 things to remove from your boathouse immediately. As a review, here are several action steps to help you improve your boathouse safety:

• Bleach to be used by knowledgeable people only
• Remove ammonia and products that contain ammonia
• Replace water fountains with more sanitary water supplies
• Repair and replace all broken slings
• Remove substandard straps
• Relocate/remove critter homes and things that would attract critters
• Broken oars need to be removed from easy access, and repair or replaced
• Hammers and locking pliers should be used by knowledgeable people only
• All non-stainless steel fasteners should disappear
• Remove all carbon fiber and/or fiberglass shreds

To learn more about rigging and equipment care, check out Mike's new book Get Ready To Row: A Rowing Equipment Roadmap To Make Your Next Season Hassle Free - due out this summer, keep an eye at MaxRigging.com.

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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