row2k Features
Rowing Hack: The Oar Rack Hack
April 22, 2021
John FX Flynn

If there is one thing Rowing Hackers love more than a nifty trick we've cooked up on our own, it is a great idea that a loyal Rowing Hack reader has put together and sent in for us to share. So here is a Rowing Hacker thank you to Coach Mary Kay Kenney and the enterprising father-son duo of James Carolan and Koby Carolan at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School who brought us--and you--this handy contraption: the Oar Rack Hack.

Have a lot of sculls to store and move around each day so that the rowing can happen? Well, this hack pretty niftily serves as both storage and rolling transport.

By taking a standard wire storage rack, adding some big wheels, and going the extra mile of creating some cool cradles out of halved PVC pipe attached to wooden blocks, CLRS now has a dual purpose oar carrier that can hold up to 16 sets of sculls, roll easily down to the dock for practice time, and be mobile enough in the boat bay of a pretty busy club to slide easily out of the way when necessary.

We are also guessing that one of the real value adds here lies in not having 16 athletes have to walk back and forth with the oars from the boat bay--and using this rolling beauty probably cuts way down on any incidents where oars might knock into boats, doorways, and other club members on the way down the ramp. Instead, the oars can be rolled down en masse by a single coach or sculler, and be standing by, ready to go, on the dock.

The set-up on this hack includes a chock for the wheels, so it won't roll around--or off the dock entirely--on a breezy day, and for a few extra bucks, you could even add locking wheels to create the same peace of mind for while you are out on the water.

We also like how--in these Covid, "spray everything down post-row" times--this rack makes it super easy to access the handles for cleaning...mot to mention the collars for checking/tightening/adjusting.

Now, this hack may lack the Race Day functionality of the Oar Carry Strap, and might need some bulking up and building out for a program that might want to try this for sets of sweep oars. At the same time, for day-in-day-out streamlining of the "get everything down to the dock so you are ready for practice" to do list, particularly for a school looking to get lots of scullers out on the water in a tight after-school window, this hack is a great idea that does a useful job and does it well.

Plus, you know that that Rowing Hacks just love to see PVC pipes being put to a good use (or two, or three) around the boathouse.

Got any cool builds that make things run smoother at your club? If so, share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

Have a great rowing hack, like Coach Kenney did here, to suggest for future inclusion here? Send it to us!

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