About us .... then
The first Piermont Rowing Association was founded in 1878. As widespread enthusiasm for the sport swept America, thirty sociable Piermonters took to the Hudson River in a small fleet of hand-made, wood-and-paper shells, supplemented by a four-man gig and a barge with eight wide seats for rowing with guests (i.e., their wives and girlfriends). Their charming Victorian boathouse had a large upstairs room with two pool tables lit by ornate gas chandeliers.
One of PRA’s best scullers, O. Westervelt, was the grandson of James Westervelt, who founded the Piermont Fire Department in 1852. In that era, the New York City region boasted more than 60 active rowing clubs. However, heavy steamship traffic and dangerous wakes made the Hudson River, New York Harbor and Long Island Sound unsafe for small fragile craft and nearly all of the clubs disappeared by World War I.
Times have changed, and the large ships are gone. In 1999, a group of local friends came together to bring this magnificent sport back to Piermont. They were inspired by their love of rowing and by a much calmer and cleaner river. Piermont’s idyllic riverfront setting at the base of the Palisades cliffs, sheltered between the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Piermont Pier, makes a perfect venue for rowers.
About us .... now
We are a masters recreational rowing club, predominantly scullers. We offer coaching programs geared to all skill levels. Our approximately sixty members range in age from 20-something to "over-qualified for the AARP discount."
Members tend to be self-reliant individuals with a passion for rowing. We appreciate the raw beauty of the scenery surrounding Piermont. We are a congenial group who enjoy each others' company as much as we enjoy tracking the growth of bald eagle chicks in nests high above the Piermont Marsh or watching the dawn spread across the Hudson and touch the cliff along its edge.
Experienced rowers are welcome to join at any time during the season, which generally runs from mid-April through mid November. Our bi-annual Learn to Row program starts in March.
Our large fleet of relatively new shells (Fluid Design, Kaschper, Filippi etc.) includes five quads, five doubles, and three singles, along with an eight and a four. A club motor launch is available when coaching is being offered. Members may row at any time between sunrise and sunset. Our outdoor racks are located near the breakwater in Pirelli Park. A ramp leads down to the small beach, where we wet-launch.
PRC members enjoy a variety of social gatherings throughout the year, both on and off the water. During the on-the-water season, a weekly "All-Row” is held, either early morning or at sunset, when members gather to mix up their boats and row with new friends. After morning rows, we enjoy coffee and well-earned muffins at Piermont’s two excellent bakeries. The eight goes out at least once each weekend. During the summer or fall, you'll find some of the hard-core members challenging themselves to our annual "long row." Other members bring the food and a festive picnic, currently held at the Palisades Interstate Park in Alpine, NJ, caps off the event. A winter potluck is held every February.
Because we row on a major river with bridge construction,
weather, tides, current, and other recreational boat traffic,
safety is of the utmost importance, and all members must
follow our club’s safety guidelines.
Sign out all boats & rowers in the log book for every row.
Check all oars, riggers, nuts, spacers, tighten screws etc. while launching, every time, so that equipment doesn’t fail on you, while out on the river.
The bow-person is always responsible for navigation and safety unless a boat is coxed. Check the water ahead on every 5th stroke, looking over alternate shoulders during the drive/finish part of your stroke.
Never row further than ¼ mile from shore.
Under no circumstance should any rower in the water leave his/her shell unless boarding another boat. Bring a cell phone in waterproof bag to summon help. Do not swim for shore.
Direct Line for Piermont Underwater Rescue is: 845-359-0240. ENTER THIS IN YOUR CELL PHONE. DO NOT CALL 911—THEY CANNOT FIND YOU
Restricted Areas: No club shells are allowed anywhere near the TZ Bridge construction activities, or the main shipping channel on the Tarrytown side of the river.
Avoid collisions: Be aware of other club shells and other craft at all times. LISTEN & LOOK. Assume other boats cannot see you. Row at least 100 yards away when passing the Marina entrances. Aim to the stern (behind) of any vessel to cross its path.
Wear fluorescent, day-glow green & orange shirts & hats for visibility.
Underwater obstacles; high tide dangers are different from low tide dangers—learn all of our evil snags from experienced rowers. After storms, watch out for floating river debris.
Club Traffic-Flow Pattern: Rowers should pass all directly on-coming boats by steering to the right, from the coxswain’s point of view (i.e. stay to starboard, so that your port side passes their port side, by pulling harder on the port oars)
Rowing is not permitted during dangerous weather
PRC Rowing shells are NEVER permitted to be used in:
Thunderstorms where lightning can be seen or thunder can be heard in any direction. Rowers must wait 30 minutes after lightening has been sighted to re-launch. If already on the water, return to shore immediately if a thunderstorm is approaching.
White caps (generally caused by winds above 8-10 mph)
Fog (visibility of less than 100 yards, i.e. from the corral to the apartments).
Darkness (before or after Civil Twilight)
If there is any doubt, don’t go out!
Rules for cold water conditions
It is the policy of U. S. Rowing that water temperature plus air
temperature should equal a minimum of 100 degrees for safe rowing
in any type of boat launched from our fleet. For exmaple, if the water is
40 degrees, the air must be at least 60 degrees.