America's Oldest Rowing Club
Ever Since 1838

NBC CLUB Policies

All members are responsible for reading and becoming familiar with the full text of the Policies and Procedures of NBC. Please see also the Club Constitution. Below is a summary of some of the more commonly relevant club policies.


All members and class participants need to sign the NBC Universal Release of Liability. Members agree to our waiver by paying their membership dues.


NBC has adopted USRowing Safe Sport policies. All of our coaches have SafeSport Certification and complete the annual Concussion in Sports certification program through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Certification of rowers

See Policies and Procedures, Section 4.

Certification of scullers is determined by the Captain, based on the following criteria:

1. To advance from a “D” Single (Zephyr) to a “C” Single (Dolphins and Peinerts marked “C”) a rower must scull a minimum of 50 miles in a Zephyr (or a sculling class) and pass an evaluation by the Captain or Lieutenant.

2. To advance from a “C” Single to a “B” Single a rower must scull a minimum of 200 miles in a “C” Single and pass a rowing test administered by the Captain or Lieutenant. The following must be successfully completed:

a. Display good “rowing form”

b. Row with no feather without tipping or stopping for 30 strokes

c. Do 360 degree river turns in both directions

d. Emergency stop from at least 20 SPM at full pressure without flipping

e. Row, steer, and navigate continuously without stopping to look frequently

f. Land against and with the current

g. Land rowing in and backing in

h. Launch from mid-dock without assistance

i. Demonstrate how to take out a boat and return a boat to its rack in the boathouse

j. Take and pass an ad hoc oral navigation quiz

k. Explain “low tide” rowing rules

l. Explain procedures for reporting and taking responsibility for equipment breakage

m. Explain pre-launch activities (weather check, sign out, lock doors)

n. Explain cold weather and darkness rowing restrictions

o. Demonstrate the proper way of adjusting foot stretchers and oar lock heights

3. To advance from a “B” to an “A” Single a rower must scull a minimum of 1000 total single sculling miles (including from the Zephyr onward) while maintaining a record of responsible navigation and compliance with the safety rules, have a record of compliance with the policies and procedures, and have demonstrated taking responsibility for equipment used.


Using club equipment 

See Policies and Procedures, Section 3. 

1. Use only boats that you are certified to use by the Captain.

2. Unless you are using your own private oars, use Club oars located on the river side of the boathouse.

3. Single shell usage is on a first come first served basis.

4. Doubles and quads must be reserved 5:30 – 7:00 am (6:30 – 8 am on weekends) on the online reservation sheet.

5. All boats must be signed out in the boathouse computer before launching and signed back in with trip mileage upon return.

6. Boats should both launch and dock facing south.

7. If no one else is in the boathouse when you launch, make sure to close the overhead door to the boat bay.

8. Please consult sections 3.2–3.3 of the Policies and Procedures document for detailed instructions on taking a boat out of the boathouse and launching.

9. Always wash your boat after rowing, especially the tracks.

Using Club Equipment offsite

  1. Off-site use of car-topped or trailered club boats (subject to Captain’s permission):
    1. $25/person covers up to two consecutive days of off-site club boat use (unlimited number of boats and rows)
    2. $25/person/day for each additional consecutive day
  2. Trailer use for private boats (subject to available space):
    1. $25/person flat fee for trailer use of a private boat per trip

Damage to equipment

See Policies and Procedures, Section 3.8

All damage, whether minor or major, must be reported on the whiteboard behind the computer desk and to the Captain and the Fleet Manager: please send an email to If the boat is not rowable, put a “Do Not Row” tag on the rigger.

Boat crews are responsible for repairs to damaged boats, including paying a deductible for the boat repair if needed. Deductibles are as follows:

  1. Single $‎250.00
  2. Double $‎350.00
  3. Four or quad $‎500.00
  4. Eight $‎1000.00


Navigating the river

See Policies and Procedures, Section 3.4

Follow these common-sense rules: When rowing up river, keep to the East Providence half of the channel or river. When going down river towards the bay, stay on the Providence side. All traffic should pass port to port. Do not row on the race course when the tide is low.

For maps and a detailed description of navigating the river, consult Navigation Rules for the Seekonk. Know and understand this document!


Seasonal and weather restrictions

See Policies and Procedures, Sections 3.12–3.13

1. From December 22nd to February 28, there is generally no rowing.

2. In March, a motorboat for safety must accompany all rowers without exception.

3. During the months of April, November, and December, rowers must use the “Four oars on the water” system. That means “A” and “B” single certified rowers may row, and must be accompanied by at least one other person, whether in the same boat or another. Singles must stay within 250M of another boat. Rowers of any other classification my only row in classes under the direct supervision of a coach during this period.

4. FOG: Rowers may not row in fog unless the Henderson Bridge is visible from the garage door of the boathouse. If the Henderson Bridge is visible but the red buoy #6 north of the boathouse is not visible boats may proceed to the South only and may not row beyond Marston Boathouse.

5. ICE: Rowing is not permitted when there is ice on the river.

6. LIGHTNING: Do not row in an electrical storm. If the storm is upon you, take your boat ashore and wait for the storm to pass. It is recommended to wait 30 min after the last sign of lightning before going back out on the water.