4 Easy Ways to Extend the Life of your Rowing Shell
The life of a rowing shell is not always an easy one. With countless trips in and out of the boathouse, not to mention thousands of strokes up and down lakes and rivers, hours spent strapped to trailers under tension or even the odd knock out on or off the water, the natural environment of the shell can be a harsh and unforgiving place. They are also rather expensive, which means taking proper care of them is all the more important.
The team at Space Saver Rowing Systems have pulled together a short list of simple tips to ensure you extend as much of the life out of you shells as possible.
1 – Keep Your Shell Clean
We’ve hammered home this message many times before. Set up a schedule for regular cleaning and maintenance and stick to it! A clean shell is far less likely to have components wear out or break. A small amount of time set aside each month for a maintenance check can save you valuable time and money in the future. Regular waxing of the hull will also protect it from all sorts of nasty things lurking in the water, not to mention assisting in improving the slipperiness of the shell through the water. A daily rinse down will also stop grime and dirt getting in to moving parts and causing damage. Read more of our shell maintenance tips here.
2 – Take Care When Transporting Your Shells
It’s highly likely throughout the season your shell will be making large land-based journeys across the country. Road vibrations and wind forces can put substantial pressure on shells in transport, so make sure you have secured them properly before setting off. Ensure straps are tightened appropriately – there should be enough slack for the shells to move naturally with the road. If they are too tight, you run the risk of cracks and splits appearing down the hull. For more tips and tricks on trailer loading, click here.
It is also important to have an experienced driver in charge of transport, as maneuvering a 30ft trailer around a 90 degree bend can be quite a challenge. Read our handy tips on trailer driving, download our eBook, ‘Trailer Driving 101’ here.
3 – Fix Shell Damage ASAP
Collisions, bumps and scrapes are sometimes inevitable. Your best course of action is to address them immediately. We’re not suggesting a ‘quick fix’ solution either. Slapping a strip of tape over it won’t protect it for long and you’ll be forced to spend more time and money when it eventually gives out. A temporary fix should never elapse into a long term solution. If your club do not have the means or confidence internally to fix the damage, get in touch with someone who does. It will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
4 – Store your Shells Carefully!
Another no-brainer. Don’t leave your shells perched precariously on racks made from DIY scaffolding or up dangerously high where your crews cannot access them safely. Dropping a shell from a few metres up will cost more to repair than a decent set of racks. Space Saver offer ergonomic and durable Sliding Boat Racks, which make accessing shells a breeze. If your boathouse is large enough to require so, SSRS also manufacture Mechanical Boat Stackers. The stackers allow effortless retrieval and storage of shells, as well as maximising all available vertical space in the boathouse. Read more about Mechanical Stackers here.
If you take proper care of your shells, following the advice above, there is no reason why your shells shouldn’t last for 5, 10 or more years! Caring for your equipment is not the most glamorous of chores, but rest assured, a little time spent now can save you some serious headaches in the future.
Do you have another tip for looking after your rowing shells?
We would love to hear about it! Share your thoughts and wisdom in the comments section below.