The Rockland Rowing Association is seeking to purchase a barge for use with both our adaptive teams and for helping teach novice rowers. While rowing is typically associated with sleek, narrow racing shells, there are situations where a stable barge is the better choice. Obviously, for would-be rowers who have little experience in the water, jumping right into a tippy rowing shell is not always the best approach to learning the sport. Working on the basics of rowing mechanics and spending some time on the water can be accomplished with a barge that is not only stable, but allows the coach to stand alongside the rowers and provide more direct instruction than is typically done from a launch moving alongside a rowing shell.
For the RRA, we have an even more compelling reason to obtain a barge. One of the programs we started in 2016 was an adaptive rowing team for those with developmental challenges. Working with our partner, the Rockland ARC, we have developed a program that met once a week all summer and fall. The rowers, some with autism, some with other developmental issues, have been having a grand time learning about rowing via land-based rowing machines. But, they all want to get on the water! To safely permit this group of rowers to row on the water, we need the stability and control afforded by a barge.
We have spoken to several potential rowing barge manufacturers, and have decided on a version made by Still Water that will cost us $25,000. This barge will accommodate 8 rowers at a time and can be expanded if necessary in the future by purchasing additional components. We are currently seeking donations to fund this purchase so that we can have the barge available for late spring. If you have any interest/ability to make a contribution, please contact our Director of Rowing, Melissa Boyd, at email@example.com