Tired of losing hardware in the grass when you are rigging up? Yep, there is a hack for that, too: the Drop Towel.
Dead simple, really: throw a towel under the seat you are rigging to catch what falls while your hands are full--even while row2k was staging these photos, sure enough the washers went flying, right onto the towel, but not into the grass and leaves, where they are exceedingly difficult to find.
The Drop Towel fixes a problem we've all encountered when rigging up. Nuts, washers--and even bolts for the wing-rigged among us--like to fall and hide themselves when you rig up in a grass field, especially when you are rushing to launch on time, working in bad light or a finger-numbing 40 degree drizzle, or even just trying to grab the bits you need while also holding the rigger in place.
And this is not just a problem when you rig up a single on your own: try having your rigging work performed by drowsy athletes who just stumbled off the team bus. That invariably requires a pocket full of spare washers, trust us. Instead, why not suggest that they put all those jackets and sweatshirts to good use (they just get dumped in the trailer--and in the way--upon arrival anyway): a jacket or even a rigger bag works just as well as a towel for this hack.
One work-around to losing things in the grass, of course, is to rig in hard-paved parking lot whenever possible, but this can turn out to be brutal on a sunny day in the summer--so we like this towel idea a lot: rig in the shade, on a nice grassy spot, and let the towel do the work of keeping the boats fully-washered instead of your spare parts box.
For folks who have high-end boat covers, a variant of this hack is simply to leave the cover on while rigging the boat. The cover catches anything you drop just as well as the towel, plus you don't have to bend down as far to retrieve it.
(By the way, if you are ever desperately in need of free washers, the grass along Kelly Drive teems with them after a hundred years of hosting massive regattas weekly. Whenever you drop a washer there, it's a good bet that the one you find when you look down has been there for weeks, if not years.)
Have a great way to keep your stuff together when rigging? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.
Have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion here? Send it to us!