row2k Features
Steering Cable Trick: The Turner Tightener
November 12, 2020
John FX Flynn

This week we bring you a Rigger's Trick that is both an "in a pinch" fix and a bit of a value-added hack that can give your coxswains an improved " yep, your rudder is straight" indicator, all thanks to Daniel Duxbury out in San Diego. We're not sure what he calls this trick, but we'll go with the Turner Tightener.

Via Hacker Duxbury: "If the paracord on the steering has stretched out and you need to tighten it up in a hurry, [use] a 1" section of a ballpoint pen housing, twisted around the cord and then taped. I got the idea after thinking back to a class I took that taught us how to use a tourniquet."

Seems like this could work in all sorts of mid-practice or even mid-regatta steering emergencies...and even a severed steering cord could be mended with this hack, by splicing a spare length of cord in, and then "tourniquet-ing" it tight with Duxbury's trick.

Having a few bits of ballpoint pen housing in your tool-kit, plus the tape you already have, and you can probably fix most steering cable issues on the fly, pretty much anywhere.

The added bonus, according to Duxbury, is that "centered properly, it makes a nice little indicator to the coxswain that their rudder is straight too."

So, whether you keep this in mind for your next coxswain crisis, or take the opportunity to tune up all your shells with sweet--and readily adjustable--steering indicators, this is a pretty slick trick.

Do you have a great "on the fly fix" that you've hacked together? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

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

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