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. Both can be found here. Below is a summary of some of the more commonly relevant club policies.

NBC Waiver: Universal Release of Liability

All members and class participants need to sign the NBC Universal Release of Liability upon joining or renewing as a member, and before taking a class. The waiver must be renewed yearly.

NBC Safesport Policy

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

Sculler Certification

All new members and all members new to sculling start with a D rating.

Upon request, the Captain will arrange for on the water testing for members wishing to advance in rating.  The testing will include fundamental skills along with knowledge of navigation rules on the Seekonk, the harbor and the Providence River.  The Captain may add restrictions to any rower.

All participants in the junior program should follow the rating progression.  Ratings will determine boats used by juniors at away races and when rowing outside the program with an approved adult chaperone.

All rower ratings are subject to review.

To advance from a D rating to a C rating:

  1. Scull a minimum of 50 miles / 80 kilometers in a “D” Single (or single assigned in a class).
  2. Pass an evaluation by the Captain or Lieutenant.

To advance from a C rating to a B rating:

  1. Scull a minimum of 200 miles / 320 kilometers in a “C” Single  (or single assigned in a class).  Miles / kilometers in a team boat do not count.
  2. Pass a rowing test administered by the Captain or Lieutenant:
  3. Demonstrate how to take out a boat and return a boat to its rack in the boathouse or the boatyard
  4. Demonstrate the proper way of adjusting foot stretchers and oar lock heights
  5. Launch from mid-dock without assistance
  6. Display good “rowing form”
  7. Row with no feather without tipping or stopping for 30 strokes
  8. Do 360 degree river turns in both directions
  9. Execute an emergency stop from at least 20 SPM at full pressure without flipping
  10. Row, steer, and navigate continuously without stopping to look frequently
  11. Land against and with the current
  12. Land rowing in and backing in
  13. Demonstrate how to strap down a boat to the outside racks
  14. Demonstrate how to cleat a line
  15. Take and pass an ad hoc oral navigation quiz
  16. Explain “low tide” rowing rules
  17. Explain procedures for reporting and taking responsibility for equipment breakage
  18. Explain pre-launch activities (weather check, log book, garage door)
  19. Explain cold weather and darkness rowing restrictions
  20. Demonstrate (within the last two years) the ability to self rescue, i.e., re-enter a flipped shell or straddle and paddle 50 meters.

To advance from a B rating to an A rating:

  1. Scull a minimum of 1000 miles / 1600 kilometers.  These miles / kilometers must be in bow of a sculling boat.
  2. Final determination of rating will be made by the Captain and the Rowing Committee. Things to be considered are:
  3. a record of responsible navigation
  4. responsibility for equipment used
  5. compliance with the safety rules
  6. compliance with the Policies and Procedures

B Quad Bow Rating (in full light north of the Henderson Bridge):

  1. Must be an A rated sculler
  2. Must complete four trips in bow with a Captain-appointed instructor in 2-seat or launch accompaniment
  3. Must pass the on-the-water B quad test

A Quad / Straight Four Bow Rating:

  1. Must be an A rated sculler
  2. Must have a B Quad Bow Rating OR complete four trips in bow with a Captain-appointed instructor in 2-seat or launch accompaniment
  3. Must pass the on-the-water A quad test (which includes rowing at rate through the railroad and 195 bridges to buoy #6 at India Point)

B Double Bow Rating:

  1. Must be an A rated sculler

A Double Bow Rating:

  1. Must be an A rated sculler
  2. Must complete 20 trips in bow of a B double

Cold Water Single Scull Rating (PFD not required):

  1. Must pass a flip test in cold water conditions
  2. Must have permission of the Captain and Safety Committee

 Coxswain Certification

All new coxswains or experienced coxswains new to NBC have a C rating and must be accompanied by a launch.

To advance to a B coxswain rating (can cox a four without a launch):  

  1. 20 trips on the Seekonk
  2. Approval by the Captain

To advance to an A coxswain rating (can cox a four or eight without a launch):

  1. 40 trips on the Seekonk
  2. 18 years or older
  3. Approval by the Captain

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. Boats can be reserved through the NBC Logbook.

5. All boats must be signed out in the logbook 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

Off-site use of car-topped or trailered club boats is subject to the Captain’s permission. The fee is $25/person/day or $75 for unlimited off-site use for one season. The same fee applies to trailer space for private boats. See the Sign Up page to pay.

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 repairs@rownbc.org. 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!

Click here to view the video of navigation rules.

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. In colder weather months (November, March, April), the captain determines when rowing is permitted, based on water temperatures.

2. In March and until water temperatures are warm enough, a motorboat for safety must accompany all rowers without exception.

3. During the months of April, November, and December, and anytime the captain determines that the water is cold enough, 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 may 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.