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When is the adult rowing season? The adult season runs from mid-May to mid-to-late August, depending on the availability of our cox’n staff. The registration period will start in April.

How do I register? Watch our website for registration information. You can register as an individual or as a full boat.We will match up those without a full boat to make complete crew. It’s usually best to have five or six rowers in a crew, as this makes it easier to cover for vacations among the group.

What happens during a typical adult rowing session? Lots of fun and great exercise! This is a description of a typical outing. If the boats are up at the boat house, the crew helps the cox’n load the boat with oars, sliding seats, foot stretchers, life preservers, and a safety box and radio. Then, under the direction of a cox’n, the boats are transferred to the water using the dolly. Crews enter their boats at the direction of the cox’n, and take off for their row. There is usually slow rowing and warm up getting out of the harbor, followed by more vigorous rowing outside. There are rest periods to enjoy and scenery, and a slower row back to the launch area at the end of the session. If another crew is going out after your boat, you will normally tie up at the float. If yours is the last session of the day, you will return the boat to the boat house and put away the gear before leaving.

What should I wear? Layers of comfortable clothing that will dry quickly if they get wet. Jackets should be short, with no loose parts hanging, which might get tangled in the seat slides. Remember that it’s usually cooler on the water than on land. You should wear shoes that you can get completely wet, as your feet will be in the water when loading and unloading the boats. Sunglasses or a hat are useful for the glare, and if your hair is long, something to hold it out of your face.

What do I need to bring with me in the boat? A water bottle, a hat or sunglasses, a fleece or windbreaker if you are unsure about the temperature. You should use sunscreen before you start rowing.

If I am new to rowing, how do I learn the correct techniques? Tell the cox’n you are new before the row starts. The cox’n will guide you through the session, help you learn the technique, and make sure you have fun!

What time should my crew arrive at the boathouse for my session? It’s best to arrive 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start time of your rowing session. This allows time to get the boats in the water, or to manage the swap with crews returning from their sessions. If your crew is late, it reduces your time on the water.

Where should I park? Please park in the lot behind the Lightkeeper’s House. Although there is often room in the Parker Avenue lot, we are better neighbors if we leave those spots from people launching boats.

What are the procedures for putting a boat in the water? The cox’n will direct you. Rowers gather around the bow and stern of the boat, and put ‘hands on’ the gunnels.With the command ‘Up in two, one, two’ the boat is raised to waist level and carried forward to sit on the dolly.The cox’n ties the boat to the dolly, and with one other person at the head of the dolly, guides the boat over to the ramp. At the ramp, the boat is backed down to the water’s edge. All stop while the boat is untied. Then the dolly is pulled out from under the boat, while the boat is handed forward into the water by the crew members. Your feet will get wet, but you shouldn’t have to get wet above the knee. Two people stay with the boat to set it up, while the others may go back for another boat.

What are my responsibilities when we are putting a boat in the water? Join in to help and follow the direction of the cox’n.

If the cox’n asks me to ‘set up the boat’ what does she want me to do? After a boat is in the water, the oars need to be put into the correct oarlocks so that the boat is ready to row. The cox’n will help you figure out which oar goes into which oarlock.

How do we get in the boat when it is in the water at the bottom of the ramp? Once the boat is set up, you get in at the direction of the cox’n. She will sometimes load from bow to stern, and sometimes opposite, depending on the situation. It’s important to wait to be told it’s OK to get in the boat. Once seated, make sure your slide is moving easily, and that your foot stretcher is comfortably placed.

How do we get in the boat when it is tied up to the dock? The oars will not be in the oarlocks if the boat is tied up to the dock. Wait for the cox to tell you to get into the boat, and then follow his direction for putting your oar in the oarlock. Getting out of the boat, either at the dock or at the bottom of the ramp, wait for the cox’n to tell you it is your turn to get out of the boat. If you are at the boat ramp, your feet will get wet. Be sure to exit the boat to the land side.

What are the procedures for taking a boat out of the water and storing it? Two crew members hold the boat in the water at the bottom of the ramp while someone gets the dolly. The dolly is lined up with the bow, and one person pushes the dolly firmly forward while the crew lifts the boat and pulls it up onto the dolly. Once it is in position, the cox’n ties it down and guides the crew in pulling the dolly back to the boathouse. The oars, sliding seats, foot stretchers, life preservers, safety box and radio are returned to the boat house. The seats and stretchers go in a plastic bin labeled with the name of the boat. The safety box goes on a shelf to the left of the oars, the radio is placed in a charger. The oars hang on the wall. The boat is rinsed with fresh water, the bailer is left open. The boat is then moved to its cradle using the ‘up in two, one, two’ command, with all crew members helping.

What are my responsibilities when we are taking a boat out of the water? Follow the direction of the cox’n, and be sure to stay until all boats are out of the water and all gear stored.

If I row on a weekday evening, or am in the last session on a weekend, do I have to wait for all the boats to be pulled out of the water and stored before I can leave? Yes, but many hands make light work, and remember you may get a bit wet during the process of pulling the boat.

What are the basic commands the cox’n use? Commands such as “Sit ready”, “Ready all”, and “Row” are used to start all four rowers together. When asking someone to stop rowing, “Let it run” or “Weigh enough” will be used. On your first day, the cox’n will go through these commands with you.

Are there any emergency commands I should know? ‘Hold water’ is the most important emergency command. It is for stopping the boat as quickly as possible and is used to avoid objects and other boats. Drop your oar into the water, holding it with the blade perpendicular to the water. Hold firm against the pressure of the moving water. This command is also used in non-emergency situations.

Are there any emergency procedures I should be familiar with? In the event of an emergency, your cox’n will direct you, but boating common sense applies to rowing as well. If a boat capsizes, stay with it; if the weather is bad, stay close to shore; if the weather is worsening, head in!

What should I do if I notice a problem with a boat, or any of the equipment? Report any problem you notice to the cox’n, who will report it to the proper person. If you are rowing one of our smaller boats, please follow the directions on the Float Plan or simply contact Doug McLellan with a description of the problem.

If the weather looks doubtful (heavy rain, thunder or high wind forecast), how do I find out if we are rowing or not? We never go out if there is thunder or lightening in the area. The cox’ns check with the harbormaster for clearance if they are uncertain. If the wind is high outside the harbor, we can row inside White Head, or if the tide is right, go up to into the Gulf. Because forecasts and conditions can vary so much across our area, we always come down to the boathouse to see first-hand how the weather is. Then we make the decision to go on the water.

If I need a sub, how do I find one? If you can’t make a regular session with your crew, you are responsible for finding a sub. Remember that the rest of your crew may not be able to row without a sub. There is a list of those willing to be subs in the boathouse. Please take a copy.

If my crew can’t make a regularly scheduled session, should we let someone know? Your crew should let a cox’n know. In the past, crews have been able to reschedule sessions, so discuss the option with your cox’n.

I have a friend who would like to try rowing—is there any way to try it out without paying the full membership fee? Ask about our Learn-to-Row program. Sessions are held at the beginning of the season. Your Learn-to-Row fee is applied to the full season fee if you like rowing (We know you will!) and want to continue.

What is erging? Erging is using a rowing machine, or “ergometer”. From the Greek for “work” and “measure”, the ergometer is a great way for rowers to stay fit off the water. There are several ergs in the loft of our boathouse.