Grab an oar and get out on the water with the family or your housemates this summer! As part of the Museum’s Champlain Longboats program, we are introducing custom small group rowing tours this summer featuring our experienced open-water rowing staff and fleet of traditional wooden rowing gigs.
Open-Water Rowing Tours
Groups of four to six people can book an open-water rowing lesson or tour with the Museum for outings up to three hours on Lake Champlain or Otter Creek. All tours will leave from the Museum’s campus in Vergennes, VT. Due to regulations from our local Coast Guard, rates are based on single-day rowing memberships.
|Single-day group rowing membership||$50 per person|
We’ll be rowing in pilot gigs with a minimum of four rowers and one Museum staff member. Rowers can be as young as 11 years old. Depending on group size, there might also be space in the bow for a young passenger to sit and enjoy – contact us to figure out what is right for your group! The majority of these boats were built by our team of expert boat builders or as part of our youth boat building program and are used in races around the region each year.
Groups will be asked to follow our rowing safety protocol, which follows the latest COVID-19 guidance from the State of Vermont, to ensure the health and safety for themselves and our staff.
Ready to book your tour? Not sure if open-water rowing is right for your group? Contact us using the button below!
About Open-Water Rowing
Open-water rowing is an international sport, with clubs in the USA, UK, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Australia, Bermuda, and more. A full-body exercise, a crew of sweep-rowers and a coxswain navigate over an open body of water – ocean, river, or lake.
The larger of the two boats we use, 6-oared Cornish pilot gigs were traditionally used to transport pilots to their ships and are more commonly recognized as some of the first shore-based lifeboats that could quickly get people in distress off the coast with an experienced team. Crews would regularly hold competitions against each other. Today, these boats are largely used for sport – including right here in Vermont! The boat shop at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum makes pilot gigs for other clubs in the Northeast region, hosts several races in the spring and fall, has several adult teams, and teaches middle and high school students how to build and row these traditional boats every year.
Open-water rowing is a fun, easy-to-learn hobby and a great way to experience Lake Champlain.
Rowing & Safety Protocols
To prepare for your rowing tour, please bring your own:
- Mask or face covering
- Water Bottle
- Snacks (if needed)
- Gloves (cycling, rowing, kayaking, or even gardening gloves!)
- Seat Pad or Cushion
In accordance with the State of Vermont’s COVID-19 plan, we have introduced some new safety protocols for our staff and any rowers:
- All participants must sign our new Lake Activities Waiver before any on-water activities with the Museum. Please review and sign: Lake Activities Participation Waiver
- Equipment, and other supplies provided by the Museum, including oar handles and life jackets, will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between use
- The Museum will not book separate groups together or on the same day
- Upon arrival, you will be asked if you have any symptoms and your temperature will be taken
- Participants must wear a mask or face covering when on site and on the docks. While rowing, masks will be worn around necks at all times, to be used as necessary when physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain
- When not in boats, participants will maintain 6’ social distancing as much as possible
- Do not share your personal equipment with people not in your trusted group
- No spitting when in the presence of other rowers or staff members
- Participants must bring their own water bottle and cannot share water bottles or food with people not in your trusted group