Frequently Asked Questions

How do I learn to row at Swan Creek?

Swan Creek periodically offers clinics where non-members and new members may learn about the club, safety, procedures, and rowing.  The clinic dates are advertised in the local newspapers and on the club’s website. Upon completion of the clinic you must pass the club’s Basic Skills checklist.

After passing the Basic Skill checklist, you may row on your own at any time during the club’s normal rowing season during daylight hours as weather and river conditions permit.

I already know how to scull/row, can I start right away?

If you are an experienced rower, you must attend the Learn-to-Row/New Member clinic to receive orientation about the club, safety, and procedures. At the end of this informational session, you can take the Basic Skills checklist to verify your rowing ability.

Are there fixed times when I’m allowed to row?

You may not row during darkness or during shad netting (times will be posted in the spring).

How far up or down river can I row?

Upstream (north) to the stone house, downstream to the creek above Odette’s in normal conditions, downstream to the boat launch ramp in fast-current or other dangerous conditions. See the River Maps in the Membership Booklet.

If I flip my boat, what should I do?

First do not leave the boat. Currents are fast and deceptive, even for experienced swimmers. Second, do not over-exert yourself, especially in cold water. Exhaustion is a leading cause of more serious unpleasantness.
Third, head for the nearest land where you can upright the boat or head for any boat that is lending assistance.

For more information, review the safety document in the binder in the desk on the island and attend the annual SCRC Safety Clinic.

How will I know when it is too dangerous to row?

First, use common sense. If it looks too dangerous to row (current too fast, too windy, high waves, too foggy, too cold, water temperature less than 50 air less than 32°), do not row. SCRC uses a flag system to warn rowers of hazardous rowing conditions.

  • When necessary a flag will be posted at the boat storage site.
  • No member may remove or change a flag without authorization from a board member.  The only exception is that a member may upgrade from no flag to yellow or from yellow to red if he or she believes there is a significant risk to rowers.  The member must then enter the change in the site’s log book and immediately notify the board.
  • Red Flag indicates dangerous conditions. Nobody rows.
  • Yellow Flag indicates caution is needed. Novicesmay not row. Others should use great care and proceed directly upstream above the free bridge.  Only return below the free bridge to land.  Do not go below the sewer plant wall when approaching the landing area.
  • Blue Flag indicates cold water. Novices may not row, and experienced rowers row at your own risk.
    Singles should not go out alone.
  • Fish Flag means shad fishing is in progress, be alert to avoid the fishing nets around and upstream of Lewis Island.

I damaged one of the boats while rowing, what should I do?

First, log the damage in the Boat Repair Log in the desk. Second, put a “Do Not Row” sign on the boat if the damage is severe. Third, inform the Boat Captain. Remember, we do not ask members to pay for damaged equipment, so please don’t be shy about reporting a problem. It’s important for the
safety of your fellow rowers that the equipment be taken out of service and repaired.

Does the club have access to bathrooms or showers?

No. However, if you have a membership at the Lambertville Body Tech Fitness, it is a short distance from the launch site Also, public restrooms are located adjacent to the boat site.

When does the rowing season begin and end?

The rowing season is from mid-March until mid-November, depending on the weather and water conditions.

Which boats and oars belong to the club and which are privately owned?

Club oars are stored in the rack, and club boats are on the three racks nearest the front of the site. All other racks hold private boats and oars, and the racks are so indicated. Club boats also have SCRC numbers or names.

I have my own boat. What is the club policy regarding storage of private boats?

Space on the island for racks, as well as winter storage space, is limited. Therefore rack space is limited. Club equipment gets priority, though SCRC knows the importance of providing space for private equipment. Space for private equipment is available on a first-come-first-served basis. Private owners are responsible for moving their own equipment on boat-moving days. The club does not charge any rack fees.

My 10 year-old would like to row, is that OK?

If your child is under 13 years old, they must row with you on the water and they must wear a personal flotation device (AKA life preserver) that you provide. If a club boat is used, you must row a novice-level boat. Both you and the child must be members in good-standing. See the Bylaws for more information.

Can I bring a friend to row?

If you are not a novice rower and are in good-standing with the club, you may bring a guest who is an experienced rower. Guests must be approved in advance by the Board and must sign a liability waiver. The same individual may row as a guest up to three times.

I’d like to row one of the high-end boats; can I just take one out?

No. You must be checked out by the Boat Captain.

There’s a regatta I’d like to attend, can I use a club boat?

SCRC attends several regattas throughout the year as a club. You are welcomed and encouraged to row with the club. When rowing at a club-attended regatta, you may sign up to use equipment with the Regatta Coordinator. Equipment is reserved on a first come-first-served basis. Equipment is limited for regatta use depending on the expected needs of the general membership. For a list of club-attended regattas, see the Club Calendar.

If you want to row at a regatta that SCRC is not attending, you must complete a Regatta
Equipment Checkout form and receiving approval from the Boat Captain.

How can I get involved in running the club?

Provide your name to the Nominating Committee, in late summer, for the board elections at the Fall membership meeting. Dates for nominations and elections are listed in the Club Calendar.

est. 1992