join us on the water


Who can row?
Rowing is a great physical activity, for people of all ages, and when done correctly can benefit every part of the body. That being said, rowers should be over the age of 13 and should have no medical conditions that prevent them from doing physical exercise. If you are in doubt, please consult your doctor.

What should I wear to row?
You should wear athletic clothing that is relatively tight-fitting and comfortable. If it is a windy day a light jacket would help keep you warm. The boat comes with shoes in it, but you should wear some shoes that you do not mind getting wet while you are on the dock. Do not forget a hat if it’s a sunny day, and also a bottle of water.

Do I need to know how to swim?
In the very unlikely event that you end up in the water, it is highly suggested you know how to swim. That being said, there is very little danger of falling in the water. We have safety boats out on the water for each session, and life jackets are worn in the boat. The learn-to-row boats are very stable and are not susceptible to capsize.

How much time does it take?
Each session on the water takes between an hour and a half to two hours. The whole time will not be spent rowing. In the beginning, you will help take out and put away the boats and oars. It is suggested that you show up a few minutes before your scheduled start to prepare. Please ask your coach for details.

Can I change when I am there?
Though we have washrooms available they are not very big. It is suggested that you arrive in the clothing you want to row in.

Am I expected to bring or buy any equipment of my own?
No, we will provide all the equipment you need to row on the beautiful Northwest Arm!

If I am taking a Learn-to-Row Class what can I expect for my first class?
You will arrive at Saint Mary’s Boat Club on your assigned start day. You will descend the stairs on the side of the club and meet your instructor in the furthest boat bay. Your instructor will then introduce her/himself, provide a tour of the Club and also show you the rowing shells. After this, you will cover rowing safety, and begin to learn proper rowing technique (this will begin on a rowing machine, because it is easier to learn that way). After every crew member has learned the basic technique you will make your way to the boat. Once it has been placed in the water and the oars have been attached you will practice your new found technique while attached to the dock. In your second and subsequent sessions, you will proceed beyond the dock to rowing out in the Northwest Arm.

What does it cost?
You can find information about the costs of a Learn-to-Row Class and HRC’s other programs by looking at our Membership Fees page.

Once you have registered and paid for your Learn-to-Row Class, there are no additional costs to learn to row. Once you have completed your class, we hope you will have learned to LOVE rowing and want to continue to row. You can do this by signing up as a Development Rower at a special price.

As you progress as a rower you can choose to become a Fitness Rower or a Competitive Rower. Competitive Rowers pay a higher fee because they get more specialized coaching and training. Also, these rowers must pay regatta and boat transport fees to compete in races.