Helpful Crew Definitions:

  1. Sure, here are a few definitions we found on Wikipedia you may find useful:

  2. Novice rower - A rower who is rowing his first year. 

  3. Bow (or bow seat) -The rower closest to the front or bow of a multi-person shell. In coxless boats, often the person who keeps an eye on the water behind him to avoid accidents.

  4. Bowside - Any sweep rower who rows with the oar on the Bowside (usually, the right or starboard side) of the boat.

  5. Engine room-The middle rowers in the boat. In an 8-person shell, these are generally seats 6, 5, 4 and 3. They are generally the biggest and strongest rowers, who provide most of the power to the boat.

  6. Hammer- A rower known more for his or her powerful pulling rather than technical rowing proficiency.

  7. Heavyweight - A rower who weighs more than the limit for lightweight rowing. Often referred to as Open weight.

  8. Lightweight - A rower whose weight allows him or her to be eligible to compete in lightweight rowing events.

  9. Port - A sweep rower who rows with the oar on the port or left side of the boat.

  10. Sculler - A rower who rows with two oars, one in each hand.

  11. Seat number  A rower's position in the boat counting up from the bow. In an eight, the person closest to the bow of the boat is 1 or "bow," the next is 2, followed by 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and finally 8 or "stroke." In certain countries the seats are numbered the opposite way, from stroke up to bow.

  12. Starboard - A sweep rower who rows with the oar on the starboard (or right) side of the boat.

  13. Stroke (Seat)  The rower closest to the stern of the boat, responsible for the stroke rate and rhythm.  

  14. Sweep  A style of rowing in which each rower uses one oar.

  15. Wash The wake from a motorised boat, disliked by rowers as the wash affects the boat stability and can cause water to flood over the gunwales.

  16. Sculling - In a sculling boat, each rower has two oars or 'sculls', one on each side of the boat.

  17. Rigging - how the boat is outfitted, including all of the apparatuses (oars, outriggers, oarlocks, sliding seats, etcetera) attached to a boat that allow the rower to propel the boat through the water. The term comes from an old Old English wrigan or wrihan, which means "to clothe." It literally means to outfit or clothe a boat.

  18. Backstay - a brace which is part of the rigger of sweep rowing boats, which extends toward the bow from the top of the pin.

  19. Backstop - The stop mechanism on the seat slides which prevents the rower's seat from falling off the sliding tracks at the back end (towards the boat's bow) of the slide tracks. As a command, it instructs the crew to adopt this position.

  20. Blade - The spoon or hatchet/cleaver shaped end of the oar. Also used to refer to the entire oar.

  21. Bowloader / bowcox / bow steered - A shell in which the coxswain seat is near the bow of the boat rather than its stern. The seat in a bow loader partially enclosed and is designed so that the coxswain is virtually lying down, in order to reduce wind resistance and distribute coxswains weight so as to create a lower center of gravity.

  22. Bow - The front section of a shell; the first section of the shell to cross the finish line.

  23. Bow ball - A small, soft ball no smaller than 4 cm diameter securely attached to a rowing or sculling boat's bow. Primarily intended for safety, but also used in deciding which boat crossed the finish line first in very close races.

  24. Bow number - A card displaying the lane number assigned to the boat for a race.

  25. Cleaver blade - Modern oar blades that have a more rectangular hatchet-shape. (also hatchet blade)

  26. Collar / Button - A wide plastic ring placed around the sleeve of an oar. The button stops the oar from slipping through the oarlock. 

  27. Ergometer (also ergo or erg)  An indoor rowing machine.

  28. Footchock An alternate name for the cross bracing which allows a rower to secure his/her feet.

  29. Foot stretcher and Footplate -The piece of the boat to which the rower's feet are attached, either by tying their actual shoes in, or (more often) by putting their feet into a permanently attached pair of shoes.

  30. Foot stretcher -An adjustable footplate which allows the rower to easily adjust his or her physical position relative to the slide and the oarlock. The footplate can be moved (or "stretched") either closer to or farther away from the slide frontstops.

  31. Gunwales  (pronounced: gunnels) The top rail of the shell (also called Saxboard) 

  32. Handle - The part of the oar that the rowers hold and pull with during the stroke. 

  33. Hatchet blade - Modern oar blades that have a more rectangular hatchet-shape.

  34. Hull - The actual body of the shell.

  35. Inboard - The length of the oar shaft measured from the button to the handle.

  36. Keelson - A structure timber resembling the keel, but on the inside of the shell.

  37. Launch - A motorboat used by rowing instructors, coaches or umpires. Referred to as a "coach boat" in Canada.

  38. Leather/Sleeve - A thick piece of leather (plastic) around the oar to keep the oar lock from wearing out the wood.

  39. Lines - The ropes held by the coxswain to control the rudder.

  40. Loom - The part of the oar between the blade and the handle.

  41. Macon blade - Traditional U-shaped oar blade. (also spoon blade and tulip)

  42. Oar - A slender pole which is attached to a boat at the Oarlock. One end of the pole, called the "handle," is gripped by the rower, the other end has a "blade," which is placed in the water during the propulsive phase of the stroke.

  43. Oarlock - The rectangular lock at the end of the rigger which physically attaches the oar to the boat. The oarlock also allows the rower to rotate the oar blade between the "square" and "feather" positions. Also historically called 'Rowing Gate' by some manufacturers.

  44. Outboard - The length of the oar shaft measured from the button to the tip of the blade.

  45. Outrigger - (See Rigger)

  46. Pin - The vertical metal rod on which the rowlock rotates.

  47. Pogies/Poagies - A type of mitten with holes on each end, which allow the rower to grip the oar with bare hands while also warming the hands, used frequently by rowers in colder climates.

  48. Port or Portside - The left side of the boat when facing forward. (Strokeside in UK)

  49. Rigger - Rowing slang name for an Outrigger. It is a projection from the side (gunwale) of a racing shell.[1] The oarlock is attached to the far end of the rigger away from the boat. The rigger allows the racing shell to be narrow thereby decreasing drag, while at the same time placing the oarlock at a point that optimize leverage of the oar. There are several styles of riggers, but they are most often a triangle frame, with two points attached to the boat, and the third point being where the oarlock is placed.Rigging refers to whether a boat is stroked by a port or starboard (i.e. port-rigged, starboard-rigged). With sweep rowing, riggers typically alternate sides, though it is not uncommon to see two adjacent seats rigged on the same side of the boat. Roller  The wheels upon which the seat slide travels along its track.

  50.  Rudder - Adjacent to the skeg and used by the coxswain (or in some coxless boats, by a rower using a "toe") to steer the boat via attached cables. Extra-large rudders are used on narrower and/or bendier rivers.

  51. Saxboard - The sides and top edge of a boat, which the riggers attach - see also Gunwales

  52. Scull - (a) An oar made to be used in a sculling boat where each rower has two oars, one per hand (b) A boat (shell) that is propelled using sculling oars, e.g., a "single scull," is a one-person boat where the rower has two oars.

  53. Seat - Molded seat mounted on wheels, single action or double action. Single action is fixed bearing wheel, double action is wheel on axle that rolls on track and rolls on horns of seat. A secondary meaning of location in the shell, the bow seat is one, and is numbered upward to the stroke seat (8, in an 8 man shell). Thirdly can mean a competitive advantage in a race, to lead a competitor by a seat is to be in front of them by the length of a single rower's section of a shell.

  54. Seating - Seating positions in a racing shell are generally numbered from the bow to the stern in English-speaking countries, unlike many non-English-speaking countries which count from the Stroke forward. Generally the forwardmost rower is called the "Bow" and the aftmost rower the "Stroke", regardless of the number of rowers in the boat, with all other seats simply being numbered. So for instance the crew of an eight (with coxswain) would number off from the bow: "Bow", "Two", "Three", "Four", "Five", "Six", "Seven", "Stroke", whereas a four (with or without coxswain) or a quad would number off: "Bow", "Two", "Three", "Stroke".

  55. Shell - The boat used for rowing. Shoulder  Load bearing supports that mount rigger and attach to keel of boat. (also knee)

  56. Skeg (or fin) - Thin piece of flat metal or plastic that helps stabilize the shell in the water.

  57. Slides (or tracks) - Hollow rails upon which a rower or sculler's sliding seat will roll. Older shells might be convex rails with double wheels. Slings  Folding, portable temporary boat holders. Two are required to hold a boat. Smoothie  A blade design in which the face of the oar blade is smooth, without the traditional central spine. Speed coach  A device mounted on the keel of some high-performance shells that determines the boat's speed based on the speed of a small propeller and transmits this information to thecoxbox.

  58. Starboard (or Starboard side) - The right side of the boat when facing forward. (Bowside in UK) Starboard rigged (US) A boat where the stroke rower is a starboard rower. (Bow Rigged in UK) Starting gate  A structure at the starting line of the race. The shell is “backed” into the starting gate. Once in the gates a mechanism, or person lying on the starting gate, holds the stern of the shell. 

  59. Stern - The rear section of a shell.

  60. Stretcher - A slang abbreviation for Foot Stretchers.  Toe  In some boats without a coxswain, a rower may be able to control the rudder and steer the boat by changing the direction his foot points. This is called "toeing a boat." And the mechanism is called a "toe."

  61. Top-Nut - The nut which screws onto the top of the pin holding the Rowlock in place.

  62. Wheel - See Roller Wing Rigger  More modern version of an outrigger in the shape of a wing. It has a stiffer workthru which makes the boat more responsive to the power of the stroke. This can also have the extra support of a backstay. Wing riggers can either be stern or bow rigged.