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Rowing at Potomac Boat Club


Club Rowing and the CRC (Club Rowing Committee): Club Rowing generally entails all boat-related activities at PBC that are not conducted under the aegis of the Racing Committee. (Because we have a limited number of hulls in house, some coordinated sharing occurs for the morning practices of coached workouts.) The participants in Club Rowing comprise a diverse spectrum of PBC members ranging from scullers and sweepers to paddlers; from aspiring to former Olympians; and from highly competitive masters to members simply out on the Potomac for recreation. With the exception of those strictly rowing private boats, these PBC members use the equipment procured, managed, allocated and maintained by the CRC.  This Club fleet currently consists of 12 singles, 9 doubles (5 of which are convertible into pairs) and 3 quads (one of which can be rigged as a straight four) of various weight classes. The CRC fleet is complemented by well over a dozen sets of sculls, 4 sweep oars, and several canoes and paddle boards.

The CRC fleet is generally available on a first-come, first-served basis to all Senior club members. Boats can also be reserved in advance for specific events, such as regattas, by contacting the CRC chair.  Due to limitations imposed by PBC’s physical size and shape, boat handling at the club is often challenging and requires dedicated attention; members are encouraged to ask for assistance when needed.  Most of the CRC singles and all 3 quads are located in the main bay of the boathouse, at reasonable rack heights, making them as accessible as possible. This is also the case for 4 of the CRC doubles, which are in the adjacent upstream bay, with remainder stored under the nearby aqueduct. There are also 2 Maas singles under the aqueduct, up against the street side aqueduct wall. The CRC sculling oars are in the clubhouse’s downstream-most bay.

A complete inventory of the current CRC fleet, including brands of boats and weight classes, is found in the Club Boat Inventory, present in the Document Repository. Note that CRC boats are to stay on the Virginia side of the river when passing the Three Sisters and on the D.C. side when passing Roosevelt Island. There is a map across from the login station showing where the boats are allowed to go.


PBC generally does not support true beginners in rowing, but learn-to-row opportunities can be found at neighboring organizations, including Capital Rowing Club, Thompson Boat Center and Alexandria Community Rowing. Rowers interested in participating in formal Racing Committee-supported programs at PBC, which lie outside CRC’s auspices, should refer to descriptions provided on the Racing Committee section of the website.

Visitors to the area, who are bona fide members of other clubs and would like to train and row at PBC while temporarily in the DC area, should contact the PBC Secretary for information. Such visitors need to be sponsored and chaperoned at all times by Senior Members, or acquire temporary club membership, to be eligible to row in CRC boats and utilize the facility. These visitors are not allowed to sit in the bow seat of any CRC equipment. This means a visitor cannot take out a single.  Members’ guests are required to sign waivers and respect rules outlined for guest rowing at the club. CRC boats are available to club members first, and reserved use may be requested from the CRC chair. Request for use of CRC boats by racing teams shall also be made directly to the CRC chair.

The CRC is deeply indebted to volunteers, who not only help maintain the equipment in great shape, but who also are active in myriad of other ways, as befits a successful, world-class rowing club. We thank them for their hard work, participation, and interest in helping to support the mission of the committee. You, too, could be part of this great team. Indeed, if you use CRC equipment, please consider pitching in and helping shape the future of the club. Your comments, questions, suggestions and help are always appreciated. Members can post them to the Club Rowing Forum on the website.




River Neighbors

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.