row2k Features
Rowing Hack Redux: The Water Bottle Tool-kit
February 11, 2021
John FX Flynn

With our "12 Days of Coxswain Christmas" and a few other gems we've unearthed here at row2k for the steersfolk of our sport, we though this would be a good time to revisit a great Rowing Hack that a well-prepared coxswain might want to remember and hack up for themselves: The Coxswain's Water Bottle Tool Kit.

This wayback hack was first suggested to us by a coach who spotted his coxswain putting a Nalgene to use as a water-tight, and buoyant, carry-all for her tools. You can read the original backstory and description here, but this is a pretty simple hack: find bottle, open bottle, and then just stuff with all the things you wish you had that time a rower asked "Do you have a..."

When we ran this idea past you last time, we got some great suggestions and "add-on ideas" in the comments, and our favorite add was this one, cribbed from an old mountaineers trick: wrap a few feet of duct tape and even electrical tape around the outside, so you always have some sticky "yeah I can fix that" stuff handy, too.

With that electrical tape, you might even be able to do a quick pitch fix out on the water, and that really would be some next level coxing!

Obviously, electrical tape could easily fit inside your Nalgene Tool Kit--and that of course is where you should put your "needs t stay dry" supply of athletic tape--but we think the tape being preloaded on the outside is just, well, way cooler hacking.

So, if you are a coxswain--or coach--who wants an easy, compact way to always have what you need to fix stuff on the fly out there, then go grab one of those orphaned water bottles that are always to be found lying around the boatbay, and get down to hacking. (And don't forget, there are some other coxswain tricks that could make your new tool kit easy to carry, too).

Lastly, as you collect the tools to include, don't forget to throw in some spare washers, nuts, spaces and, heck, maybe a hair tie or two.

If you have a clever way to store and share tools, 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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