America's Oldest Rowing Club
Ever Since 1838

Learn To Row at NBC

NBC’s learn-to-row program allows people of all ages, backgrounds, and athletic abilities to discover the joys and benefits of the sport of rowing. NBC’s junior program, which has produced several national champions, allows middle and high school students to row after school, while the adult learn-to-row program allows adults to row weekday mornings or evenings. Both junior and adult programs have ample racing opportunities.

You can visit the boathouse and try rowing at an Open House/Introductory Row. In 2017, introductory rowing lessons will be held at 9:00, 9:45, 10:30, and 11:15 AM on these dates:

March 18     April 22    June 3     July 22     August 26

Register for Open House

For more information and to register for a class: 

Adult Classes Youth Classes

Or go straight to the sign-up page.


Overview of class progression for adults and youth

Barge: Those with no rowing background begin in the barge, a wide and stable 12-person boat steered by an experienced coach. The barge’s stability allows its pupils to learn the fundamentals of the rowing stroke before progressing into narrower, less stable boats.

Zephyr: Progressing into the Zephyr is the first step in learning to scull (rowing with two oars, one in each hand). A Zephyr is a one-person boat which, while much narrower than the barge, is still very stable and allows rowers to continue to master the rowing stroke without the threat of flipping.

Training Single: The next step for scullers who have proven their abilities in the Zephyr is the training single, a far narrower and less stable boat which simulates the challenge of a racing single.

Racing Single: Those who have proven their proficiency in the training single may move into racing singles, the fastest and most fragile boats at NBC. As the name suggests, these boats are suitable for racing, in addition to recreational and general fitness purposes.

Sweeps: Sweeps rowing is different from sculling in that each rower only has one oar, requiring boats of two, four or eight athletes. Those who have successfully completed the Zephyr, or have prior experience, may enroll in NBC’s sweeps classes if they prefer to sweep rather than to scull.

For more information on classes, click here for the FAQs. 

Winter Training

Indoor rowing takes place on the Boat Club’s Concept2 erg machines during the winter months while the Seekonk River is frozen. The erg machines do a great job of mimicking the rowing stroke, while also providing an excellent workout. Morning and evening classes are offered, and members may use the machines any time the club is open.

For more information, email or call 401.272.1838 and leave a message. If you wish to visit us in person, Ricky Brightman, our Registrar, is usually available from 4:30-5:30 pm, Monday through Thursday. Play it safe—schedule an appointment.