Upper Valley Rowing Foundation Hanover Connecticut River
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UVRF Junior Sculling Policy - Parent Information Sheet

For the purposes of this policy, a Junior rower is defined as any rower 14-19 years of age during the calendar year of the eprogram.  PLEASE NOTE: These policies do not apply to rowers and their boatings in UVRF coached programs (sweep or scull).  In UVRF coached programs, decisions about rowers and appropriate boatings for both home practices and races (home and away) are at the discretion of the program coach.


Juniors must familiarize themselves with and follow all the rules and policies applying to regular members, including the rules regarding certification for various levels of sculling equipment.  In addition, certain restrictions apply to Junior members who want to use club sculling equipment:

1. Juniors may not scull unaccompanied by a coach or an adult rower unless their parent or guardian signs the UVRF Parent Permission form.  

Please read and fill in the form carefully and completely, sign it and either (a) mail it to UVRF, PO Box 419, Hanover, NH 03755; or (b) scan it and email it to uppervalleyrc@gmail.com; or (c) leave it in the sculling book at the boathouse (and email us to let us know you did that).

2. Juniors will not be allowed to scull unaccompanied by a coach in a launch when the water temperature is below 60F. It is the rower’s responsibility to check the thermometer before you row (see No. 10 - “Cold Water Rowing” below for location of thermometers on docks).


3. Juniors may not take out the quads unless 1) accompanied by a bow seat rower who is 21 or older and UVRF-certified to toe bow, 2) accompanied by a coach in a launch, or 3) to participate in Row the Prouty if given special permission by a UVRF coach.


4. Juniors must pass the UVRF Captain’s Test (administered at a Sweep to Scull clinic) before taking out any sculling equipment.

Below is a synopsis of relevant sculling safety information, which parents and Juniors should read before signing the UVRF Parent Permission form.  UVRF’s complete set of safety guidelines, boat use guidelines, and equipment certification policies are available on the UVRF website at www.uppervalleyrowing.org.

Any activity that takes place on or near the water requires a markedly higher level of safety awareness than it would on dry land. Use good judgment when assessing your rowing ability and the conditions on the river. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own safety.

1) Sign in/sign out

All scullers must sign out in the log book before launching, and sign in upon their return.

2) Launching and Landing

ALWAYS launch and land with the bow facing upstream.

Launching boats have priority for dock space over landing boats.

3) Dock Etiquette

Exit the dock promptly. Especially during peak hours (6am-8am), scullers are expected to be off the dock within 3 minutes of arrival.

Scullers carrying their boats off the dock have priority over those bringing boats onto the dock.

Keep the dock clear of obstacles! Oars should be left out of the path of others using the dock. No shoes, extra clothes etc. may be left on the dock.  At Dartmouth/Fuller sculling dock, leave items up on the ramp out of the way; at the Kendal dock, leave items beside the ramp.

Be alert when swinging the boat overhead or to the shoulder for carrying and when turning a corner while moving to and from the boathouse.

4) Traffic pattern & rules of the river

All boats must stay to the New Hampshire shore traveling upstream (north), and to the Vermont shore traveling down-stream (south).

In general, overtaking boats have the right of way. Use appropriate caution and in general, stick closer to the shore out of the way of faster boats.

5) Known Water Hazards

Conditions on the Connecticut River change continuously. The hazards described below represent a sample – they are not a definitive list:

  • Ledyard Canoe Club – boats frequently cluster around the canoe dock, and may not adhere to the traffic pattern.
  • Swimmers – particularly between the Narrows and the Dartmouth Rowing dock.
  • Boat Grabbing Trees – in various places on the NH and VT shore line, most notably at the “big bend” just south of Kendal Riverfront Park.

6) Rowing in the Dark

Club boats may only be rowed during daylight hours. This means club boats may not launch before sunrise, and must return to the dock by sunset.

Private boat owners who choose to row in the dark must use lights, and are strongly encouraged to wear bright colored or reflective clothing.

7) Rowing in the fog

Do not row in fog unless your visibility to shore is as least 100 yards (roughly the distance from the sculling dock to the Vermont shore). If fog sets in while you are on the water, move slowly, and be prepared to stop quickly. Use a sound-making device (coxbox, horn, or whistle) to advise other boats of your location.

8) Flow rate

Club boats may not go out if the flow rate is above 15,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Novices may not go out if the flow rate is above 10,000 cfs.  Check the Wilder Dam Flow Rate.

9) Weather Conditions

Rowers should not go out if:

  • There are white caps on the water.
  • You hear thunder or see lightning.
  • A thunderstorm has passed through within the last 30 minutes.

If you are on the water and a thunderstorm comes up get off the water as quickly as possible.

10) Cold Water Rowing

Flipping into water colder than 60F can be deadly, even for strong swimmers. For this reason, juniors are not permitted to row unaccompanied by a coach when the water temperature is colder than 60F. In general, the water temperature rises above 60F at the end of May/beginning of June, and drops down below that again in September. There is a pool thermometer attached to the Dartmouth sculling dock, on the side closest to the safety launch approximately 3 feet south of the safety dock, and to the Kendal dock just south of the ramp on the side of the dock closest to shore.    It is your responsibility to check the thermometer before you row, and to take appropriate precautions as described below.

11) What to do if you flip your boat.

If you flip your boat, try to get back into your boat if you can. If you cannot, do not leave your boat, rather, swim with your boat to shore.

We recommend watching the below youtube videos on getting back in a boat after you've flipped, or take a junior sculling clinic where this skill will be taught.



Use your common sense when assessing your rowing ability and the conditions of the river, particularly those that affect the likelihood of whether you will flip or not. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own safety.


UVRF Captain's Test

  • Remove the boat from the rack without damaging it or adjacent shells (either solo or with a partner)
  • Carry boat to the sculling dock
  • Put the boat in the water without hitting the skeg on the dock
  • Place oars in oar locks correctly
  • Get in to the boat
  • Launch the boat away from the middle of the dock without a helper
  • Row 100 strokes
  • Demonstrate ability to navigate and steer
  • Check the boat down without flipping
  • Turn boat around
  • Back the boat down
  • Land the boat without a helper
  • Remove oars and return boat to assigned rack facing in the correct direction
  • Describe the traffic pattern on the river including launching and landing pattern
  • Describe known water hazards
  • Describe unsafe weather conditions
  • Describe what to do if the boat flips
  • Describe rights of way and passing instructions
  • Describe how to handle powerboat wakes

Racing Singles

Scullers who wish to take out racing singles must demonstrate all of the boat skills listed above in a racing single. Scullers who are approved to row in recreational singles must be checked out in a racing single before moving in to a higher level boat.


2019 Rev2 FINAL 01-13-2019