How can I get started?

The best way is to sign up for a free trial row. Click on Join Us! in the menu bar for more information. Also, consider attending an OARS membership meeting (usually first and third Fridays at 7:30 a.m. at the Anacortes Public Library - though less frequent during winter months). Meetings are short and informative – and a great way to meet club members and get involved.

What does it cost?

Your trial rows (up to three) are free. After that you need to join OARS. The basic membership cost is $60 a year. Also, you must purchase a row card. The cards are $50 – good for 20 rows. Members keep their cards at the shelter and mark down each row. Membership fees and row card revenue are what keep our club afloat.  Click on Join Us for more information.

Are there any requirements?

Anyone 12 or older who can physically handle a 13-foot oar can row with us.

Anyone rowing in an OARS boat must have a Liability Release form on file with the club. You can review/download the form here. The Membership Committee chair helps new members and trial rowers with the paperwork process.

What should I wear?

Personal Flotation Device first and foremost. We have loaners at the shelter. Soft-soled footwear is required. We have to protect our boats. Clothing should be appropriate to the season and rowing conditions. Remember, it’s often cooler on the water. Dress in layered garments capable of withstanding wind, rain and spray. Your cox will stop the boat if you need to shed - or add - a layer. Sunglasses are handy, and many people always wear hats. Gloves are nice in cold weather.

Will I be safe?

Yes. Safety is a top priority. Any time an OARS boat is taken out, it must be under the command of a Master in good standing. Masters have met skill and safety requirements and participate in ongoing training. We are careful. An OARS boat cannot leave the marina if whitecaps are present or wave height exceeds two feet, or if visibility is less than one nautical mile.

Will I get training?

Yes. Masters and experienced rowers are happy to help new members get started. They’ll show you how to get into the boat safely, where to sit, how to adjust the stretchers so your legs are comfortable, how to get your oar in position and much more. As you build your skill, you’ll enjoy the great satisfaction of your crew rowing well together.

How are crews formed? Who decides who rows when?

Our club has established crews that row at regular times each week. Some have been rowing together for decades, others have just been formed. What’s needed is a Master and four other members who can commit to rowing at a certain time. We have open time slots available.

The best way to get on the water is to be on the substitute list. With vacations, etc. crews often have an empty seat and they like to invite the newer members to row with them. Subbing is a good way to meet a lot of people and get involved quickly.