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Rowing and Kayaking


Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Human power on the water.

Tuition: $825

Rowing boat photo

This course will give students the opportunity to get out on the water in fine style at low cost. Recreational rowing in traditional craft is making a strong comeback these days. Instructor Havilah Hawkins, a lifelong waterman, will use a variety of human-powered boats to take students across open water to coves, creeks, and islands out back of nowhere, exploring places where large sailboats and powerboats dare not go. Along the way you’ll learn healthful (and potentially life-saving) skills that will increase one’s strength and endurance, yet will prove gentle to joints and muscles. Anyone who can get in a boat can learn to row. This week you’ll learn how to row correctly.

You’ll row fine traditional pulling boats, dories, prams, peapods, flat-bottomed skiffs, and try out other designs. No matter what previous experience you bring to the course, technique can always be improved. You’ll learn to keep as comfortable as possible since rowing is supposed to be fun. A variety of rowing and paddling strokes will be covered and practiced, including the art of sculling—that is, how to propel a boat by working a single oar over the transom. We’ll also look at safety equipment, tides and wind, simple navigation and charts.

Rowing boat photo

Havilah will cover the history and evolution of rowing craft and designs. Students will have access to the WoodenBoat Research Library where your instructor will explain how to read and understand hull-lines drawings. What makes a suitable boat? How does one choose proper oars, oarlocks, and accessories? How is thwart placement determined?

There are a lot of folks out there who think of rowing as “work,” to be avoided if at all possible. This week with Havilah Hawkins will be enlightening and enjoyable as we debunk that myth and discover the joys of messing about in small boats.


Elements of Coastal Kayaking

Note: Kayaks, paddles, sprayskirts, and life jackets will be provided by the School, but students are welcome and encouraged to bring their own if desired. Students should be in good physical condition, have reliable balance and agility and the ability to enter and exit kayaks from beach or rocky shore. This is a five-day course ending Friday afternoon.

Tuition: $825

Photo of kayak on the water

Selecting an appropriate kayak; safety skills; basic gear and equipment; transporting kayaks; paddling strokes; launching and landing; nautical charts and navigation; capsize and recovery skills; and better understanding of weather and sea conditions are a sample of the many topics covered in this fully comprehensive course. Good fun and a great education!

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