row2k Features
Rowing Hack: Tape Numbered Riggers
January 28, 2021
John FX Flynn

This week's hack is another deep dive into the Official Rowing Hacks Electrical Tape Use Hall of Fame, taking a look at a trick that can help make sure boats get rigged right when the rowers get involved: Tape Numbered Riggers.

We all know the most basic use of electrical tape on riggers--color-coding the set so you can easily see which riggers belong together and what boat they get put on--but this trick helps ensure that those riggers go on the correct seat in that right boat.

In its simplest form--shown here in the photo--you have a port-stroked set of riggers that has been "tape-numbered" to show the rowers where the riggers go when you need that same shell starboard-stroked. This way, when you need the boat swapped from port to starboard, you can just tell the rowers to go off the numbers on the tape, instead of the numbers stamped on the rigger.

You can also use the "number on the tape" trick just to mark the actual seats anytime you have moved the riggers around in a given boat, for whatever the reason.

After all, those stamped numbers can be really helpful when the boat is new and you are rigging it up exactly as it was originally ordered, but that number may not hold up once you start getting inventive with the rigging or if you are dealing with a now-older set of riggers that has spare, mis-matched rigger mixed in after a hot landing on the dock or a buoy misadventure that renders the original a bit bent.

Not to mention how "off" those stamped numbers are once you start using mirror riggers or throwing buckets into your rig. Even if you do not go full battleship, the numbers on the riggers themselves can be pretty confusing if they don't match the seats exactly--especially for rowers putting those riggers on in a hurry at the race course, and this trick helps make sure the job of rigging up goes smoothly no matter how complicated the arrangement of riggers may have become.

In all these cases, it is easy enough to pull out the sharpie and number the riggers correctly, and clearly, on the tape that is likely already on the riggers. This way, you do not need to go around to the entire fleet as it is being rigged up for race day to make sure the 6 seat is not headed to the start line with a rigger that is way overloaded because its spread was really set for the 2 seat.

Now, we don't mean to suggest that the rowers are not capable and intelligent riggers-of-boats--and we have never, let's say, seen a crew put all the riggers on completely backwards and fail to notice until they were putting it in the water at the launch dock (excerpt maybe that one time)--but let's face it: anything that makes the complicated ballet of de-rigging and re-rigging your shells easier to do with the whole team so you can get out on the water quickly and rigged-as-intended is worth a bit of hacking.

Be sure to check out the rest of row2k's HOF tape tricks and, if you have a coaching hack that helps keep you equipment organized, 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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