We are all suffering pain at the pump right now. However rowing coaches can suffer a level of pain that most other drivers do not have to endure. This picture above should give you some indication of what I mean.
More boats and rowing equipment are damaged in transit than while in actual use. Although I haven’t seen statistics to back me up on this, I would venture a guess that a significant about of that damage happens while fueling on trips. I have had several coach-friends tell me “bummer” stories about gas station crashes.
Most of those seem to have happened when transporting straight-eights—boats that are not sectioned. Mostly due to the large amount of over-hang, especially towards the front of the trailer where it is hard to see when turning, and easy to forget.
Many of the newer gas stations seem to be designed strictly for smaller cars, leaving larger vehicles—especially trucks (and especially trucks pulling a trailer full of shells)—in a difficult spot.
A few things that you can do to reduce your chances of a gas-station smash are:
- have an extra set of “eyes” drive with you and actually get out to watch your bow/sterns as you drive into a station
- avoid cramped stations and go for the spacious ones (usually not an issue if you are looking for diesel fuel)
- get gas before you really need it so you can be selective about the gas station you turn into
- make sure that the driver is experienced
Just keep in mind that the $3.25 gallon of gas you are complaining about could easily be a $10,000 or more mishap. A few simple steps could help you keep your pump pain at least palatable.