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Founded in 1869, Potomac Boat Club is the oldest rowing club in the Washington, D.C. area and one of the best known in the country. It is home to some 300 senior members, ranging from recreational rowers to Olympic athletes. PBC hosts several successful competitive programs for scullers and sweep rowers, and has served as the home of Arlington’s Washington-Liberty High School crew, one of the first public schools to have a rowing program, dating back 65 years. PBC strives to build and maintain a culture where diversity and inclusiveness are a reflex, not an initiative; where a deep sense of pride, passion and belonging is embraced by members and all who row at PBC; and where each member is committed to excellence, diversity and social responsibility.

PBC is a USRowing High Performance Partner Club, helping train, support and develop the elite athlete talent pool that will represent the United States in international competition. In 2021, USRowing invited PBC to host the USA W8+ and W4- Selection Camp for the 2021 World Championships.

The boathouse is listed in the DC Inventory of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places. Thanks to the efforts of the Potomac River Boathouse Foundation (PRBF), in 2017, the Club was awarded the District of Columbia Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation Stewardship (external link). In 2006, PBC was granted tax-exempt status by the IRS as a qualified social club under Section 501(c)(7) of the tax code. Pursuant to the requirements associated with this tax-exempt status, copies of the IRS forms are publicly available for viewing upon request of the Club Treasurer.


The Club has a long-standing relationship with Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington, Virginia, whose crew members train out of the Potomac boathouse. The alumni, friends, and boosters also have a W-L Crew Boosters website (external link) with information about the program and its storied history.

The Potomac River Boathouse Foundation (PRBF) was created in 2014 for the purpose of preserving for the benefit of the public the PBC historic boat house, in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines for Treatment of Historic Properties. The boat house is listed in the Local and National Register of Historic Places. The PRBF also supports efforts to preserve, beautify and maintain the scenic Potomac River shoreline and the historic Georgetown waterfront. 

The Potomac River Sports Foundation (PRSF) is a private non-profit charity that provides grants and other support to pre-elite and elite athletes and programs in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to encourage their development and performance in major national and international competitions. Scores of PBC athletes and coaches assisted by the Foundation have won medals in such competitions as the Olympic Games, World Rowing Championships, U.S. National Rowing Championships, Royal Henley Regatta, and the Pan American Games..

As a USRowing High Performance Partner Club, PBC's High Performance Program emphasizes training athletes in small boats for selection and development of senior athletes on the U.S. national teams through trials and selection camps. HPP works in coordination with USRowing's Chief High Performance Director on the national training program, monitoring, and events. Our HPP athletes are able to utilize and partner with national team resources for medical, nutritional, additional sport performance, coaching education and development needs.


Half a mile downstream from PBC is Thompson Boat Center, the only other D.C.-sited rowing facility on the Potomac River. Thompson’s is home to a large number of high school and university crews, and also runs its own sweep and sculling programs.

Next door to the Potomac boathouse is the similar-vintage Washington Canoe Club, the area’s largest group of canoeists and kayakers. PBC maintains a friendly relationship with WCC, rooted in common interests in protecting recreational use of local waterways, including the Potomac River and C&O Canal.