row2k Features
Rowing Hack: The Electric Closet
May 6, 2021
John FX Flynn

Hacking, folks, is a hive-mind effort, and this week we are pleased to bring you a cool build from one of the masters: Jim Cooper. Jim has been hacking away over at Norwalk River Rowing since it started up in the late eighties, and he has his boatman-craft down to a science. When you are working--and tinkering--for a big club full of juniors, masters and everything in between, having all your rowing and safety gadgets charged up and ready to go is a must, so Jim built his club this Hacker re-purposed gem: The Electric Closet.

There's not much we can add to this bit of hacking excellence, so we'll let Jim tell you all about it:

"Every boathouse has an area for the cox boxes and chargers and more. Here's a bedroom storage closet I outfitted to include all the essentials in one lockable place."

"The wooden closet was purchased on Facebook Marketplace for $50. We left the clothes hanger bar to hold the microphones, then fitted shelves hold Cox Boxes, battery chargers, CB minis, and other stuff. Below that is storage for the megaphones and, attached to the left wall, are all the VHF safety radios charging mounts. The right wall has Speedcoach charging mounts."

"All these stations require a MULTITUDE of 110v plugs. I added two side strips and a large dual outlet rack up above. Probably 36 outlets. All filled up!"

That is a pretty complete resource right there, but wait, there's more that Jim was able to jam in there: "Hanging on each door is a hook for our launch safety bags with each key, [which are] lettered to match launches, along with VHF radios. The bottom drawer and upper shelf holds extra supplies."

As Jim says, the result is a "one stop shop for safety essentials and more."

Everything you need in a single, securable place--yep, we see that just-secure-enough lock on there that every coach can easily remember the code for--that also saves room in a tight boatbay for boats, oars, and everything else? All for $50 to start, then improved on? That's some good hacking right there--and that's even before we circle back in a future column to check out those cool launch safety bags that look both waterproof and hard to forget, since they are *attached* to the actual launch key--clever!

Got any cool re-purposed and way more useful hacks at your club? If so, share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

Have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion here? Well, be like Jim and send it to us!

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