To the new sculling campers, the oar rack they are using this week has always been there. But everyone else knows otherwise: with space for 90 pairs of sculling oars – double the capacity of the old rack – and about two times closer to the docks, the new rack will help get campers on the water faster and will free up space for more boats in the boathouse.
The oar rack team consisted of Dick Dreissigacker, Judy and Carlie Geer, Kyle Lafferty, Phil Grisdela, and me, with helpful insight from a variety of others. After settling on a space for the oar rack in the waterfront, we came up with a design that would use the existing trees as posts, taking advantage of the natural landscape without having to uproot any trees or dig post holes. Our first step was to put together a rough prototype, figure out the various dimensions to get an idea for the capacity of the oar rack, and decide what kind of wood we would need and how much. Then, we cleaned up the rack location a bit by clearing the low branches using a tree trimmer made from an extra-long Concept 2 carbon fiber oar shaft and a saw blade. We screwed some 2×4’s into the trees to add structural stability to the cross beams, and then went to work on cutting boards. After a couple days in the workshop with a table saw, circular saw, wood glue, nail gun and a good supply of local lumber milled right here at the center, we were ready to start putting everything together.
After all the pieces were put together, we filled out the uneven terrain with soil and woodchips.
There is only one more weekend of sculling camps this season, but hopefully we can get some good feedback on the oar rack to see if it needs any tinkering before the boathouse starts closing things down for the winter.