Skip to main content
HomeEquipment Use

BCR Equipment and Facility Use

The rules in this section address the use of BCR facilities and equipment, and individual equipment stored within and dependent on BCR facilities.

Use and Care of Fleet

All bow-certified BCR members that have paid equipment use fees shall be entitled to the use of club shells and oars subject to applicable BCR safety regulations and competency certifications.

Coxswains shall be BCR qualified before they may assume responsibility for boat handling and pilotage.  Coxswains not so qualified shall be under supervision and within hailing distance by a BCR coach while moving boats from their racks or while on the water.

All crews using non-coxswained boats in a non-coached setting shall have a BCR bow-certified individual in bow seat.  Bow certification (competency) requirements are found under BCR safety and competency policies.

Shell Sign-out Log

BCR shall maintain a shell sign-out log for its fleet and all private shells hosted in the boathouse.  Required log entries shall be date, time out and in, name of person in bow seat, names of crew constituents, shell name, where shell is headed, and session / cumulative distance rowed.  Log entries are first and foremost a safety measure and are a requirement of our liability insurance coverage.  Cumulative distance serves multiple uses, including guidance for future equipment purchases, preventive maintenance scheduling, and personal shell storage eligibility.

Each time a BCR or private shell is taken from its storage location in the boathouse, whether for immediate use or for transport to regattas, all applicable fields in the shell sign-out logbook shall be completed.  The crew member responsible for logbook entries shall be bow seat, of which there is always one.  Coaches may act as bow seat surrogate.

Pre-row checks

In general, the individual in bow seat is responsible for pre-use checks unless otherwise noted.

Ensure boat is not under repair; check for both an attached tag (which may have fallen off) and entry in equipment status board.

Check boat status board or on-line reservation log to make sure someone else has not reserved the boat in this time or to determine when the boat needs to be back in the boathouse to honor a reservation.

Equipment sign-out log shall be completed.

Slings shall be set by each crew.

Prior to use, all crew members shall visually inspect boat  and its rigging for damage or excessive wear, loose rigger connections including top nuts; bow is required to ensure such damage is noted.   Boats found to require repair shall not be rowed.  This ensures crews are not held responsible for damage to boats that they did not engender and will minimize the probability of equipment related mishaps during your row.

Crews shall ensure heel-ties are affixed to their shoes and the foot stretcher (2" slack).

Bow ball shall be in good repair and firmly attached.

Determination shall be made that lighting provisions are in good working order if rowing between sunset and sunrise.  Lighting must be adequate to row, i.e. red/green at bow, white at stern, not obscured by boat structure, and at designed intensity – no weak batteries.

Crew members shall inspect their oars and ensure collars, handles, and blades are secure and undamaged; of particular concern are cracked shafts.

After Rowing

Crews shall wash boat hulls, decks, riggers, and oar locks and clean residue from seat tracks after each row and rinse with clear water while avoiding soaking the shoes, which promotes their rapid deterioration.

Oar handles shall be wiped down with soapy water, and the entire oar rinsed with fresh water after use.

Crews shall inspect boat for items that require maintenance or repair and notify individual in bow seat so that they can email necessary maintenance to Repairs.

Slings shall be returned to their storage point, currently at the end of the club singles rack.

Boats and oars shall be returned to the racks from which they were taken.

Shell Reservations

Reservations for the use of BCR boats by individuals and program coaches shall be made on-line using a shared Google doc, or at some future point, through the BCR page of the Mind Body web site.

BCR coached programs shall have priority in the use of club equipment.

If there is significant demand for a particular boat, usage shall be apportioned equally among the interested parties.

Reservations for boats to be used at away regattas and for trailer space for private boats shall be made in advance by the Head Coach in consultation with the Boathouse Manager and Coaching staff.

Equipment Loans

BCR oars and shells shall be loaned to other clubs only with the approval of the BCR president, boathouse manager, or head coach, and such loans shall not interfere or inconvenience BCR crew’s use.

Individuals and organizations that damage loaned BCR equipment shall be financially responsible for its repair in its entirety.

Equipment Problems and Damage

It shall be the responsibility of each crew member to identify issues with their boat that require maintenance or repair and notify the individual occupying bow seat.  Bow seat, of which there is always one, shall be responsible for reporting problems or damage to the supervising coach, if present, and for entering the required information at Repairs.

BCR pays for maintenance and repair of equipment as necessitated by normal wear engendered through routine use.

BCR crews that damage equipment through carelessness, inexperience, or negligence of rules and common sense shall participate in its repair, or may be assigned other maintenance and repair related tasks as deemed appropriate by the boathouse manager, so as to allow more skilled boatmen to make said repairs.  This includes damage caused by handling, transportation on a private vehicle, and on-water damage such as caused by collision with bridge, shore, other boats, dock, etc.

Fleet Identification

Boat Naming, Convention and Styles

Boat names shall be rendered in Arial font using standard upper / lower case convention.  Name color shall be black or white as contrasts hull color.

BCR 8+ and 4+/- – shall be named for Baltimore communities or points of interest, e.g.  Federal Hill; Tide Point; Mt Vernon; Brewers Hill; Bolton Hill; Canton.

BCR 4x shall be named for local bodies of water, e.g. “Middle Branch”.

BCR 2x and 2- shall be named for local parks, monuments, and landmarks, e.g. “Fort McHenry”

BCR 1x shall be name for individuals and other Baltimore related items and phrases e.g. “Eubie Blake” .

Oar Identification

BCR sweep and sculling oars shall exhibit the color scheme shown in Figure 1 on both sides of the blade.  Width of the diamonds shall be adjusted in proportion to the blade dimensions to result in six approximately equal quadrilaterals, with non-uniformity allowed at blade-to-shaft junction.

If you own a set of private oars, BCR has no requirement at this time concerning colors - but you are encouraged to sport BCR colors when competing.  This also helps to keep them from getting lost at regattas!

Shell Trailer

BCR owns and maintains a trailer, and the use of the trailer itself and its insurance is included in the benefits of membership.  Cost of transporting boats to regattas via BCR’s trailer however shall be evenly apportioned across all individuals that use the trailer for that regatta.   Costs usually include truck rental, drivers, tolls, gas, incidental repairs, maintenance, supplies, and any other out of pocket expenses incurred.

When BCR takes a trailer to an away regatta, members may us it to transport their private boats on a space available basis.  Requests for space shall be presented through the on-line boat reservation system. Owners of private boats on the trailer are responsible for covering their per seat share of these expenses.

Totaling all expenses and dividing that total by number of seats on the trailer shall determine the price of trailering for each individual.


Launches shall be operated only by members of the BCR coaching staff or as authorized by the boathouse manager and shall be operated in accordance with local and Maryland regulations.

Registration and licensing of launches and launch trailers shall be current and in accordance with Maryland regulations as a requisite for their use.

Operators of BCR launches born after 1 July 1972 shall obtain and carry a Maryland issued certificate of boating safety education.

Launch operators and passengers shall wear a PFD at all times when in the launch.

Launches shall be signed in and out by their operators in the provided launch sign-out logs.  Entries required shall be launch number, date, time in and out, operator’s name, and cumulative time.  Cumulative hours of launch use are used for preventative maintenance scheduling.

The launch operator shall be responsible for inspecting launch, engine, and fuel system prior to use and for reporting damage or issues at Repairs.

Launch equipment kits containing (10) PFD, (1) bailer, (1) paddle, (1) first aid kit, (9) Mylar emergency blankets, (1) bow line, (1) air horn or whistle, (1) Type B-1 fire extinguisher, and (1) flashing night time signaling device, and (1) distress flag shall be checked in and out of dock-side storage by launch operators.

Launch equipment kits are paired with launch hulls according to identification number and shall only be used with their respective numbered hull.

The launch operator shall be responsible for inspecting contents of kits and reporting shortages or loss of required items when observed at Repairs.

Fuel for launches shall not be stored in deck boxes.

Reaching Us !

You can reach us through various ways, either through the following contacts or through social media below.

Baltimore Community Rowing
3301 Waterview Ave, Baltimore, MD
Postal Code: 21230

Check us out on Instagram!