Since windy race days seem to be the way of things this spring, here is hack that might help your shells stay on the water (or in the slings) and out of the shop: use a spiral stake and a boat strap to make yourself a set of Boat Sling Anchors.
Jamie Whalen sent in this hack, and it is perfect for windy days at regatta sites where you are rigging on the grass and want to keep things, well, upright. All it takes he assures us is a trip to your local hardware store to acquire a spiral stake or two (or, really, one per sling). Add one boat strap and, voila, instant anchored boat sling.
We've all seen boats rocking in slings on windy days, and the high center of gravity of the slings most of us use these days can be a recipe for the disaster of having your boat blow over and land on the ground. You can of course, designate one lucky athlete (or unlucky spare) to stand guard over your slinged boats, but there is still the chance that someone could step away just before a fateful gust comes along.
With these anchors, you won't need to worry about that gust, and you can probably skip on packing lots of "low-boys" to use for storing your boats in a less precarious position. A handful of these spiral stakes will take up a lot less room and do the job just as well, using the slings you have to bring anyway.
Rigging on pavement? The idea behind this hack will still serve you well: strap your sling down to a weight, or a bucket you fill with water, or even to a heavy tool box. All will make those slings less tipsy and keep your boats "up in slings" and off the ground.
Have a great wind-proofing trick you use at regattas? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.
We got this great idea from a loyal reader, so if you have a great rowing hack to suggest send it to us!