Navesink River Rowing

Providing public access to rowing and the river since 1983




Safe Sport Policy Manual

At Navesink River Rowing (NRR), we believe that here are many reasons to row competitively or recreationally– at any level. Since this sport can be a life-long activity, people of all ages often row to have fun and spend time with friends. Rowing encourages a healthy lifestyle and builds self-confidence.  Participants learn goal-setting, teamwork and time management skills. Studies show that rowers are less likely to use cigarettes, drugs and alcohol; youth who row have higher graduation rates and are more likely to attend college.

To support the rights of all rowers to pursue this sport in a safe environment--one free of bullying, harassment, hazing, and other misconduct (emotional, physical, and sexual)--we have created the "Navesink River Rowing Athlete Protection Handbook."  This manual details our organization's policies and procedures as they relate to these concerns.  Click here to download a copy of this publication.

NRR Safety Guidelines during Covid-19 pandemic

  • All NRR youth on-water programs are suspended until further notice.
  • Member-owned singles only – It is not possible to insure virus-free equipment for shared club-owned boats and oars. It is also not physically possible to maintain social distancing of 6’ in multi-seat boats. Until Federal, State, and Local guidelines are relaxed, rowing is restricted to member-owned singles only.
  • Social Distancing – Social distancing of 6’ or preferably greater between individuals must be maintained at the NRR site. If there are multiple people on site, do not enter until social distancing is practical. No group meetings, lessons or sessions will be scheduled or allowed.
  • Member-owned equipment – To minimize the chance of virus transmission, member-owned boats will be dispersed across all available racks. It is also recommended that personal oars not be stowed on site and personal boat slings be utilized.


Watch this video to remind yourself how to get back into your boat after flipping:



Things to avoid when rowing: letting go of the oars . . . hitting buoys . . . colliding with other rowers

Sticking to known traffic patterns helps ensure the safety of all rowers - and also makes rowing on the Navesink more enjoyable. Just imagine how stressful it would be if you never knew where you might encounter other rowers or from which direction they might come. See map.


  • Row east (towards the Oceanic Bridge in Rumson) on the south (Fair Haven) side of the river.
  • Cross the river perpendicular to the shoreline.
  • Row west (back toward Red Bank) on the north (Middletown) side.
  • As you return to the area across from the Red Bank boat mooring field, slow down before the end of the rock wall and be on the lookout for rowers taking lessons.
  • Do not return to the site along the same corridor (between boat mooring field and Red Bank shore) that rowers take when they leave the site.
  • AND PLEASE-- Do not come into the rowing site area at full speed.



Darkness - If you're an early morning or late afternoon rower, you can't avoid it. But you can take measures to make sure you are seen and don't hit anything.

  • Be certain you know traffic patterns (below) and follow them at all times.
  • Commit the locations of channel markers and buoys to memory. If you know where they are in daylight, you’ll be able to give them a wide berth in darkness.
  • Stay alert. Keep an eye out for other shells and watch for all oncoming traffic.
  • Of the most importance - Have working lights on board. Bow lights should be red-for-port, green-for-starboard, and the stern light should be white. However, any light (a flashlight taped to the deck, a head lamp, etc) is better than none at all. West Marine stores sell lights. Jersey Paddler and EMS stores may too. You can buy them online from Chesapeake Rowing, Space Saver Rowing Systems or other businesses [Search "rowing lights" for options]



  •  BUDDY UP. Row with at least one other person.  This is a year-round policy, and essential under cold water/cold weather conditions and early or late in the season when there are few or no other boaters or fishermen out on the water to offer assistance should you need it.
    > Get to know your fellow rowers when you see them at the site and make connections for future rows.
    > Most members don't mind meeting up with other rowers, especially when we'll be coming down to row anyway...so you might want to take note of popular rowing times and plan your rows around them.    
  • USE THE LOGBOOK.  The logbook is located in the main shed - on the desktop to your left as you enter. Sign out BEFORE you launch. Include your estimated return time. Sign in when you return (any time before walking away from the site, will do).
  • TELL SOMEONE YOU PLAN TO ROW.  It’s a good idea for someone on land - at home, at work, even at a distance - to know you are on the water and roughly when you are due in. It’s quick and easy to send a text message to someone before and after you row.
  • CHECK ALL EQUIPMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU LAUNCH.  Make sure everything is attached properly and securely; tighten hardware if necessary. Tools are accessible in the shed.
    > East and West Winds of more than 5 mph pose a major challenge for rowers in small boats. Many of us avoid rowing at all under those conditions. Others stick to rowing bigger, more stable boats or stick to going back and forth in one of the coves. We recommend the former.
    > North and South winds are tolerable at higher rate. Rowers can contend with them by rowing along the shore on the side of the river the wind is coming from. If this places you against traffic patterns, be extra careful about looking out for other rowers who won’t be expecting you there.
    > Generally (and obviously) speaking, if you see white caps on the water or larger boats than the ones we row being bounced around in the boat mooring field, you are better off not rowing.
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