Boats and Boat Use Policy

The club have recently been able to buy a significant number of new boats to add to the existing fleet. In light of this the committee would like to take this timely opportunity to review and introduce a formal ‘boat use’ policy to ensure that our new and existing boats remain in the best possible condition for everyone to go fast in and to enjoy.
Racing boats are extremely expensive and equally fragile and we quite obviously cannot enjoy our sport without them. All of our fleet should be treated as the valuable and fragile pieces of equipment they are, even the older ones. This will ensure they remain fast and enjoyable to row for as long as possible.
Below are a few simple rules to try and protect and preserve our boats, old and new. This covers handling boats on and off the water, and which boats it is appropriate for different abilities of rower to use.
If you see boats being mishandled please do point it out and refer people to these rules.

Boat Handling

  • If a boat has a cover, this must remain on whist taking it on and off racks.
  • For big boats (quads/fours and eights) one person – either the cox or a member of the crew – should be responsible for making calls to move the boat.
  • LOTS of damage happens to hulls from the riggers of the boat above:
    • On the rolling floor racks, someone needs to hold up the riggers of the boat above when sliding the rack in/out.
    • On any other rack the boat must be carefully rolled on from a half turn, on most of our racks there is not space to slide directly in or out.
  • Watch out for the fin.
  • Do not try and lift a boat that is too high for your crew to comfortably reach or too heavy. Ask for help and use the steps. If you are stretched you will not be able to control how you lift the boat and this is when damage happens.
  • If you do damage a boat, write it in the book so we can fix things promptly.


  • Check your boat when you use it, whether you rigged it or not. Things to check:
    • Are the riggers tight?
    • Are the feet tight? This includes the foot stretcher and the shoes themselves on the foot plate.
  • If anything is loose, tighten it. DO NOT row with loose fittings; this damages the fittings and the hull. If something comes loose whilst you are using it TIGHTEN IT as soon as you can. DO NOT leave it loose for the next person.
  • If something feels wrong i.e. pitches, or there’s something you cannot fix yourself write it in the book.

Boat use
All boats are labelled with stickers which indicate three things:

Use the table below to see which boat ‘type’ you should be using depending on your ability and the situation.
Make sure the person steering your boat is both experienced and confident that they can handle the situation.
If you see people using boats they shouldn’t, refer them to the boat use policy.

Green EveryoneAll juniors and beginner or intermediate crews should use green boats unless they have permission to use a blue boat.
Blue Experienced crews, e.g. Seniors or J16-18Experienced crews should use blue boats for training unless they have express permission to use a red boat.
RedVery experienced crews, e.g. Seniors; named racing crews. Very experienced crews may use red boats for training with permission. Named racing crews may use red boats for race preparation with permission. No race pace pieces without launch supervision.