Programs & Schedule

New Bedford Rowing Center (NBRC) offers rowing programs for youth and adults with all levels of experience. See our schedule for the current season’s details.

New Bedford Rowing Center (NBRC) rows year-round with “on the water” activities Spring, Summer and Fall, and indoor training during the winter. For members with competitive interest, we offer the opportunity to participate in regattas throughout the year as well as indoor erg regattas during the winter.

Experienced and new rowers welcome!

Masters Open Row Sessions

September through November, NBRC offers adult open row sessions for experienced rowers and novices who have completed a Learn to Row course.  Theses sessions offer a fun, recreational rowing experience allowing NBRC members to continuously develop their rowing skills, get a good workout in and enjoy the waters of New Bedford.

  • Thursdays from 5:00-6:30 p.m. - October 20 & 27, November 4 & 11
  • Saturdays & Sundays from 7:50-9:00 a.m. - October 15,16, 22, 23, 29, 30, November 5 & 6

Each session is accompanied by one of NBRC's USRowing-certified coaches.


  1. Determine whether NBRC can meet your needs. Contact
  2. Register (or renew) with USRowing. A basic membership is sufficient (club code: E8DXZ)
  3. Complete the NBRC registration form (below), including the NBRC Waiver and Release of Liability
  4. Pay the NBRC Annual Masters Program fee of $250.
  5. Register with the NBRC Boat Reservation and Line-Up System through iCrew. (Club code: nbrc2022)

NBRC Learn-To-Row (LTR) Program 2022

The goal of the NBRC LTR program is to equip beginning rowers with the basic skills of boathandling and rowing technique, enabling them to row safely and with confidence in four- and eight-oared “shells.”

Individual goals may range from recreation, through fitness, to competition, or a combination of these that may change seasonally or evolve over time. Rowing can be a life-long activity.

Each LTR class consists of four weeks of instruction, divided into eight on-the-water sessions, of ninety minutes each, totaling twelve hours of instruction. New classes begin each month during June, July, and August.

Participants may choose the time slot that works best for them, although NBRC reserves the right to consolidate classes that do not meet minimum enrollment. Current choices consist of:

 Learn to row courses beginning again in 2023!

Instructors are experienced USRowing-certified coaches attuned to the needs of beginning “Masters” (i.e., adult) rowers.

Each class will consist of one coach and no more than twelve rowers. At the coaches’ discretion and based on participant learning needs and/or weather conditions, a portion of some sessions may include instruction on indoor rowing machines. Rain-dates and make-up sessions will be scheduled as needed.

The cost of the NBRC Learn-to-Row Program is $250. This program fee is in lieu of the annual NBRC participation fee for experienced rowers (renewable March 1 of each year) and allows LTR participants to row through the end of the on-the-water season, Nov. 1, at no additional cost.

All NBRC Masters, whether beginners or more experienced, must also register with USRowing, the national governing body of the sport. The annual cost is $15.

Upon completion of the LTR program, “beginners” become “novices” and may take part in self-organizing “open” rows during specified hours, including NBRC's unique Saturday/Sunday “gams.” (That's gams, not games.)

NBRC is committed to building community among all participants in its Masters Programs. Gams are opportunities for novice Masters, who have completed an LTR class, to combine with novices from other LTR classes, as well as experienced Masters, to crew the entire NBRC “fleet” during collective rows. These gams also provide a basis for casual and impromptu organizing and socializing ashore. (See Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick, Ch. 53, for the origin of the term, keeping in mind that Melville was no stranger to the Acushnet River!)

To sign up for an LTR class:

  1. Register with USRowing. The annual fee is $15 for a "basic" membership. (Club code: E8DXZ)
  2. Complete the NBRC registration form (below), including the NBRC Waiver and Release of Liability
  3. Pay the NBRC Learn-to-Row Program fee of $250.

All three steps must be completed to reserve a place in a particular class. Reservations are on a first-come basis.

FAQs about the NBRC Learn-to-Row Program

Additional specific information will be provided no later than the week before the start of each class.

Q: What should I wear? 

Wear slip-on sandals (not flip-flops) to carry equipment to the water, then remove before entering the shell. Wear snug shorts to avoid getting them caught under the wheels of the sliding seats. Depending on the weather, layer up as necessary, donning and doffing garments as the weather and personal comfort dictate.  Bring a couple of pairs of socks in case the shoes affixed to the shell are a size too large. Wear sunscreen (even if overcast.) A hat or cap with a visor and/or sunglasses will shield eyes from the direct or reflected glare of the sun.

Q: What should I bring? 

Bring a full water bottle to stay hydrated and a small hand towel/cloth to use if needed. 

Q: When does class begin? 

The key moment is "hands on." This command literally announces the start of practice as rowers line up alongside the shell to lift it off the rack and carry it to the water. In preparation, rowers must arrive early enough to warm up, stretch, carry oars to the launch area, and receive preliminary instructions from the coach. Although repeated practice can minimize the time necessary to prepare, beginning rowers will have a lot to absorb at the outset, so arriving fifteen minutes early is a reasonable compromise, with efficiency as the ever-present goal. 

Q: When does class end? 

The goal is always to end class at the appointed hour. Ideally, "seven a.m. to eight-thirty" means free to leave at 8:30 a.m., sharp. Coaches will do their best to take into account wind, waves, and current, as well as keep in mind, when planning practice, the experience and proficiency levels of their rowers. However, conditions on the water can change suddenly, causing occasional (and, hopefully, infrequent) delays. IF a rower has a hard stop at a particular time, THEN that rower should alert the coach in advance, so appropriate arrangements may be made. 

The end of class does NOT mean that participants must vacate the area. Those with time to relax or converse together should feel free to do so.

Q. What if I am going to be late?

Inform the coach, via the agreed upon method,  at the earliest opportunity, i.e., as soon as being late seems likely.

Q. What if I must be absent?

Make clear when signing up or inform the coach at the earliest opportunity, via the agreed upon method. Graduations, weddings, and other family and business commitments are part of adult life. So, unfortunately, are illnesses and accidents, our own or those of others. The earliest possible notice allows the coach to make alternative arrangements, such as recruiting a member from another LTR class to temporarily fill in.

Ideally, all participants are able to attend every session, for their own benefit as well as the coach's convenience in planning instruction and practice for the remaining members of the class. Realistically, a few participants are likely to be absent at least once. Practically, more than two absences, neither made up, is likely to impair a participant's progress and possibly that of others in the same class, since rowing is the ultimate team sport.


Register Online

Your Information

Emergency Contact(Required)
NBRC Waiver and Release of Liability(Required)
Swimming Skills(Required)

Today's Date(Required)

Programs (secure pay with Paypal)

Visa, MC, AMEX, Discover

Upon successful completion of an LTR class, you will be automatically signed up for an annual membership (until 04/01/2023), which provides you the opportunity to explore the sport during the summer months. Participation fees are $250 for ten offered lessons, of which you will have to complete eight to gain permission to row during adult open row sessions.

Price: $250.00
For renewing members or experienced rowers hoping to join NBRC valid until April 01, 2023 *Note: If you are signing up for an LTR program you do not need to sign up for the annual membership. It is already included in your LTR program costs.