row2k Features
Boathouse Hacks
The CLAM Stacker
October 3, 2012
row2k hackers

Stacked and sorted. (Photo thanks to Scott Sitek)

Tired of being one CLAM* short when you need to make a quick rigging adjustment on the way out to practice? Here's a hack that keeps your CLAMs collected and near at hand: the CLAM Stacker.

[*ed. note: you can find CLAM defined here, in the row2k Rowing 101-Glossary]

Let's face it: no matter how "day-glo" they make the CLAMs that we clip-on the oars these days to make quick load adjustments, any one thing that small is easily lost in a boat bay (and don't get us started on how the older, blue CLAMs can hide in dark corners). The most common solution for keeping your CLAMs together is, of course, a bucket--yes, a "CLAM bucket"--but that trick is perhaps too ubiquitous to be a true Rowing Hack . . . it is like giving someone hacker credit for putting tools in a toolbox (as opposed to, say, a water bottle).

There is a Rowing Hack-worthy fix for the stray CLAM dilemma, though, in this neat trick that is making its way around the high school boathouses of the Midwest: the CLAM Stacker.

This hack just involves a length of 2 inch PVC pipe, cut to fit either your space or your not-lost-yet CLAM inventory, and fitted with end caps so the CLAMs cannot slide off. The CLAMs just snap on and off as needed, just like on the oars.

Scott Sitek sent us a photo of the CLAM Stacker he uses at Grosse Ile up in Michigan, and freely admits that this was such a great hack that he borrowed it from another coach: Culver Academy's Guy Weaser. Sitek also tells us that the Stacker can also be great "fun" for the younger rowers at his place: "when we have a novice in need of something to do, having them arrange the blue/orange C.L.A.Ms in alternating order keeps them busy and out of trouble." Nice.

Another play on this idea is to use an actual spare collar to keep your CLAMs together, but that only holds about an eight's worth, whereas the PVC Stacker can be a custom length, and could be easily mounted on the wall of the boathouse and still stay portable enough to get tossed in the trailer for a regatta trip. (And--extra bonus--the Stacker won't fill up with water out on the road in the rain like, say, a Bucket o' CLAMs).

Have you got a neat way to keep the small stuff organized at your boathouse? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

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

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Log in to comment
10/07/2012  12:43:05 PM
Why do you need a Clam Stacker when all you need to do is place the Clam on the inside of the collar of the oar? If you "store" the clam on the oar itself it is easily available when you actually need it...when you find yourself in a head wind.

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