Sunday, May 4, 2008

Wheel wrap idea

Here in the cold NW it is often uncomfortable to steer the boat when the wheel is ambient temperature of 38 degrees. Never mind what we are doing out sailing in those temperatures, but suffice to say that if you wait for it to be a pleasant 65 you sail for two months a year. So I started to look into wrapping the wheel with leather, as you see on many boats.

My gosh the price of those leather kits was outrageous. I balked.

Being cheap and always eager to find creative solutions to problems, I thought of what else I could use to wrap the wheel. The answer came quickly: bicycle handle bar tape. It is intended for exactly the same weather and conditions and is a fraction the cost of leather wrap.

After a trip to my local bike store I came back with some nice handlebar wrap and wrapped the wheel up nicely and finished the ends with Rig-Rap. It feels awesome and certainly does the job of improving grip and insulating the wheel. I would recommend this approach to anyone else who would like to solve the problem and save some money.

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