How to use pitch gauges to measure boat rigging

Over the next days we publish articles on the two pitch gauges we sell. Today, we show you how to use the Casper Rekers designed pitch gauge for sweep and sculling riggers.

Rigger pitch gauge

How to measure for fore/aft pitch on an oarlock

  1. Open the two triangles until they intersect over the 0 (zero) degrees mark
  2. Hold the gauge up to the light to check the intersection is perfectly accurate.
  3. Carefully place the pitch gauge onto the boat on a flat surface (we recommend the keel rather than thedeck because that may not be level). The pitch gauge needs to be in the same plane as the angle you aremeasuring.
  4. Leaving the triangles set, move the spirit level to set the bubble to zero between the lines.
  5. Without changing anything, lift the gauge up and place inside the gate/oarlock with the square bentside of aluminium pressed against the pin side of the oarlock.
  6. On the square bent side is a step enabling the shorter edge to be used for sculling riggers and thelonger for sweep riggers.
  7. Ensure the oarlock is parallel to the side of the boat. Stand behind the rigger and look down at thespirit level from above.
  8. Gently squeeze together the apex of the two triangles until the spirit level bubble is again in between thelines.
  9. Lift the pitch gauge away from the oarlock and hold it up to the light to see where the two triangles intersect – this is the pitch in degrees of the gate.

Why do we prefer this rowing pitch gauge?

Compared to other designs there are two huge advantages

a)  there is no hinge to open when placing into the oarlock.  This hinge can create inaccuracies if there is play between the two faces. This pitch gauge has the right angle permanently bent into place reducing the chance of errors.

b)  Checking the pitch through the intersection of the two triangles gives a more accurate reading than a moving lever because the degree markings aren’t painted on, they are etched into the aluminium and also there is no inaccuracy caused by the point of rotation for the moving lever which (if it becomes loose) can give poor readings.

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