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Coach Tricks
The Team Wrench Box
March 12, 2014
row2k hackers

Team Wrench Box

As hackers and tool-freaks, Rowing Hackers tend to obsess a bit about losing our tools - and we've brought you hacks both to mark your wrenches and to avoid using tools altogether when rigging - but here is a hack that will keep your expensive (or even just well-loved) wrenches out of the hands of others altogether: the Team Wrench Box.

If you don't have one of these, then we do apologize: you may be embarrassed that you didn't think of this simple fix already yourself. To keep folks out of your toolbox when it is time to de-rig, just give them their own tool box--and, as an extra bonus, fill it with cheap wrenches that you don't mind losing or leaving behind.

The best place to score a full squad's worth of 7/16ths wrenches is your local auto parts store, and cheap tools are perfect for this task. With cheap wrenches, you won't mind if you lose any and, more importantly, you can get enough to keep every athlete busy without busting your budget. More wrenches make for a quick de-rigging session; after all, many hands can only make light work if they actually have a wrench to hold!

One club that uses this trick to great effect just leaves the "team tool box" on the fender of the trailer on de-rigging day, and that central location makes it easy for folks to grab as well as return what they need. The "real" toolboxes stay locked in the truck, which makes sure that the stuff the coaches might actually need during the trip stays packed and thus available for when the team gets to the regatta.

A big enough Team Wrench Box can even hold all the bungees for the seats and riggers, making it a one stop shop for everything the team might need to get the boats trailer-ready - and simply putting the box out again when you arrive on site makes it easy for the team to return all the stuff you'll need for the trip home so it winds up un-lost on that end of the trip as well.

Have a great way to make de-rigging a breeze? 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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03/26/2014  1:42:35 PM
> as well as return what they need


03/13/2014  9:03:15 AM
2 people like this
The other option that I have always used with my teams is to expect that all coxswains will have their own set of tools. This includes a 7/16, a 3/4, and an adjustable wrench. The coxswains loosen all the nuts on a boat and the rowers take care of the rest. At the regatta site, the rowers put the riggers back on, and the coxswains snug each one themselves, and then I follow up to check before we launch. We teach each coxswain on our team the proper way of snugging things without causing damage to equipment. I've found this system to be efficient, saves equipment damage, less cost in lost tools, gives the coxswains more responsibility (which helps them learn the importance of their job), and frees me to keep track of the big picture. Mind you, I'm doing this with HS/Jr. crews and it works.

03/13/2014  1:16:19 AM
Auto parts store are for sure cheaper than your typical hardware store, but nothing beats the used tool shops that dot urban landscapes. Tough to find in some towns, but worth the search once you find bins of used gear for pennies on the dollar. Once I shifted to used gear I stopped worrying if all of the rowers' wrenches made it back into their box or how many coxswains were putting into their pockets.

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