CLCR Guide for New Captains & Members


  • Check the weather! Boats should not launch if there are thunderstorms, whitecaps, or impaired visibility! If you’re unsure about conditions, stay on the safe side or reach out to Pam/another coach for input before heading out. Consider the following guidelines:
    • Avoid thunderstorms! Check the radar/forecast for storms before going out; do not plan to go out if there are storms forecasted in the area. If you are at the lake and you suspect bad weather or hear thunder in the distance, check the forecast; seek shelter immediately if you see lightning or hear thunder nearby. If you are out on the water and observe thunder or lightning, head back to the dock or row to the nearest shore where you can safely dock and get off the water. 
    • Rain and other precipitation. You can row in the rain, just avoid heavy downpours (it’s actually quite pleasant to row in light rain/drizzly conditions; the water is usually flat and there’s hardly any boat traffic)! Also consider other factors such as temperature and wind; if rain is accompanied by windy conditions or colder temperatures, avoid going out. 
    • Check wind speed and direction! Both the direction and speed of wind are important considerations as they create varied conditions on the lake. For instance, WNW winds are the worst on our lake because they come right down the middle but E or W winds that come across the lake can be manageable depending on speed and/or if you stay close to the appropriate shore (ex: the left side of the lake may be calmer with winds from the south). See the diagram for what different wind directions look like on our lake:
    • If unsure about conditions, take out rec boats rather than racers (these will be more stable). Bigger boats (quads, fours, and eights) will also be steadier in poor/windy conditions. 
    • Concept2 oars (blue blades) may be better in windy conditions— they’re slightly heavier than the Crokers (white blades), so they don’t get picked up by the wind as easily! 
    • Be mindful of winds that may push you into the shore or other lake hazards! If you are not confident in your ability to turn quickly and row strongly under windy conditions, do not go out! 
    • Do not go out if there are any whitecaps!  
    • In addition to looking at the general weather forecast, you may also find it helpful to get an app like Windy or Windfinder for wind forecasts (these apps will also usually provide additional details like wind direction/gusts and can be helpful for visualizing wind direction and its effects on the lake)! 
  • Check the calendar for conflicts and sign out boats before heading out! 
    • Group classes and other programming will be listed on the google calendar along with the boats they will be using (ex: youth summer programming uses all rec boats & racers, the adult novice group uses all rec boats). Check for conflicts and boat availability before adding yourself to the calendar/going out! Please be mindful of other members and group programming; make sure you return to the dock in time if there are people using the boats after you. 
    • If there are incoming groups or rowers you can ask if they’d like the boats to be left out, but don’t assume and never leave boats unattended on the dock/in the water. If leaving boats out for the next group, make sure to run the oars in and secure/tie the boat to the dock if needed. If it’s windy or there are wakes, stay with the boat until you hand it off. 
      • Note: When leaving boats in slings, avoid submerging the bow/stern of the boat, especially for extended periods of time (this leads to water getting into the boat). If you hear water when carrying a boat, you can open the port holes or plug to allow water to drain out. 
    • When creating a calendar event, include a) the time/duration of your row, b) the names of the individual(s) who will be rowing, and c) the boats that you will be using. Make sure to update the calendar with any changes! Editing access should have been granted for the email you used to register, please contact Pam if you cannot add events!


  • Patriot’s Park access. Depending on when you go out (time of day and season), the main gate by the senior center may be open. If it is, you can enter there (let the attendant know you’re with CLCR/the rowing team) and park in the senior center parking lot. If you get there early in the morning and/or the main gate is closed, you can use the other entrance by the community center. Please close and lock the gate behind you if you open it! 
  • Equipment access and use. Please respect our shared equipment; see the guidelines below for equipment usage and storage! If you notice an issue or suspect damage to equipment, please let Pam or one of the other coaches know as soon as possible. Do not use equipment you suspect is damaged!
    • Life vests (both low profile and standard versions) are located in the blue box along with the log book, basic tools, and first aid supplies. Personal belongings can be stored/locked in the blue box while you are out on the water. Please make sure the oars and blue box are locked before leaving the lake.
  • Selecting a boat. Choose a boat that is appropriate for your skill level, size, and the current conditions. Do not attempt to row boats you are not familiar with without supervision— you may end up damaging the boat or injuring yourself! Consider the following when selecting a boat:
    • Size: Each boat has a weight range, and it’s important to row in a boat appropriate for your size! When you’re too light for a boat, you sit higher out of the water and will likely have difficulty balancing; on the other hand, if you row in a boat that is too small it will sit lower in the water, making it harder to row. See the specific guidelines for each boat below. 
    • Skill level: Captain’s privileges are granted for specific boats/boat types (i.e. rec boats or racers). If you were granted captain’s privileges in a rec boat (aero or zephyr), you have been cleared to row in the rec boats but should not take out a racer/other advanced boat without supervision. If you were granted captain’s privileges in a racer, you are free to row in that boat or any of the rec boats (rec boats may be a good option in poorer conditions). 
    • Conditions: Wind, boat traffic, temperature, and other factors will also determine which boat you should select. In rougher conditions, rec boats may be the better option for most rowers!
Recreational Boats (located on small silver trailer) Racers/Advanced Boats (located on wooden racks and large silver trailer) Other (located on wooden racks)
Maas Aeros, up to 240 lbs

“The Tubs” (Peinert Zephyrs), any weight

“The Katie” and “The Robin” (x25 Peinert Racers), 110-170 lbs

x26 Peinert Racers, 150-220 lbs

“The Sawtrap” (Original Peinert x26 model), 150-220 lbs *seat located in blue box

“The Grey Goose” (Vespoli Matrix 26), 140+ lbs *located on uconn men’s rack

Hudson Double, light-mid weight rowers

Sykes Double, mid-heavy weight rowers

“The Banana” (Maas Flightweight), ideal for smaller rowers, up to 140 lbs

Peinert Dolphin, any weight (designed for open water, wider with higher gunnels)

“The Carrot” (26 Race Trainer), 150+ lbs/mid-heavy weight rowers

  • Setting up boats and launching/docking.
    • Singles should be carried by two people (one on either end) unless you have been cleared to carry a boat by yourself (ex: individuals with Captain’s Plus privileges or other rowers who have been given explicit permission). Having two people carry a boat is easier and reduces the chances of damage or injury occurring!
    • Boats are fragile and should always be handled with care! When carrying boats, be mindful of riggers (bumping into other boats or dragging against the hull) and racks. Also watch out for the skeg/fin (located on the bottom of the hull in the stern)! The skeg is fragile and all boats with skegs should only be put in racks or the water (zephyrs don’t have skegs and can be placed ‘guts up’ on the ground when needed). When putting boats in slings or into the water from the dock, be sure that the skeg is clear to avoid damage. 
    • When getting into boats, please be careful not to put weight on the riggers, gunnels, or bottom of the boat, as this can cause damage! You may find that it’s easier to wet launch in wider rec boats like zephyrs and aeros. See the diagram below for guidelines and examples of damage caused by getting into/out of boats incorrectly:
    • Foot stretchers should be adjusted for your height (taller rowers/individuals with longer legs will move foot stretchers away/towards the stern, while shorter rowers will move foot stretchers towards the body/bow). Foot stretchers should be set up so that rowers don’t hit the front/back of their slides (at the catch and finish, respectively) and so oar handles are correctly positioned at the finish (should be 5-6 inches apart in front of your body). See the diagram below for correct positioning and tips for fixing issues. While foot stretchers can be fixed on the water if needed, it’s usually easier to adjust them on the dock so make sure to check their position before launching! 
    • Oars should be put in on the appropriate side of the boat (port/starboard) and oarlocks should be secured to ensure oars do not get loose while rowing. Make sure the oars are in front of the pin instead of pressing against the plastic of the oarlock. See the diagrams below: 
  • Safety on the water. 
    • Through May 31st, life jackets must be worn while rowing (we have low profile vests for this purpose); beginning June 1st, life vests do not need to be worn but should be kept on the boat while you row. In addition to being flotation devices, the orange/brightly colored life vests can be helpful for waving down boats and alerting others to your presence if needed! 
      • If you encounter waves or wakes, get parallel and sit easy/set the boat while you wait for the wake to pass. If needed, you can stick your legs into the water with particularly bad wakes (this will provide additional stability). 
    • When rowing through waves or small wakes, you may find it helpful to row at a 45o angle (diagonal) to the waves rather than perpendicular (ex: when crossing the lake in windy conditions). 
    • Follow the traffic pattern and be mindful of choke points and lake hazards. Don’t hang out in the middle of the lake or linger at choke points! Watch out for other boats, especially during periods of peak lake traffic. See the diagram below:


  • Complete a visual check of the area before leaving. Make sure all boats are tied down and all equipment is put away properly, even if you were not the one who used it last! Review the following:
    • Oars should be closed and locked with combination lock reset. Make sure oars are paired up properly; Concept2 oars are marked port (red) and starboard (green) on the oar shaft, Croker pairs are marked with tape. See below:
    • The blue box should be locked and reset, life vests and other equipment should be returned to the box. 
    • Boats should be tied down with two straps (one on either end) to ensure that they are secure. See the diagram below for correct technique and common issues. 
      • Note: The aeros should be put on the silver trailer opposite one another (stern to bow) so that the riggers don’t overlap. 



Having trouble reading this page? View the PDF version of this guide here: CLCR Guide for New Captains & Members