Full Membership in the Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club (RIRSC) includes:
Unlimited rowing with other club members in a variety of shells, supported by a safety launch
Use of the ergs
Participation in regattas and races
Use of wherries
Ability to invite guest rowers
Social events and camaraderie!
Membership Dues for 2023-24
Full Membership: $400
Associate Membership: $100
When We Row
The club rows from April through October, weather depending, including a daily morning row around 7:00 a.m. In the late spring-summer, an earlier row is scheduled to accommodate those with work schedules. Afternoon rows are also available. The schedule changes throughout the summer as needed. The morning row is approximately 6 miles and goes round trip to the paper mill, Rat Island, or Fort Worden, lasting about 45 minutes.
Members sign up online for the days they would like to participate in the club outings, and are assigned to boats in a way that provides a fun, safe, and equitable experience. Cancellations can occur due to rough water or fog.
Where We Row
Port Townsend Bay is a marine inlet off Admiralty Inlet at the northeastern extreme of the Olympic Peninsula in the U.S. state of Washington. It was named Port Townsend by George Vancouver in 1792.
RIRSC open rows can go from Point Hudson south to the Port Townsend Paper Mill and back, North to Fort Worden and back, or East to Rat Island and back. All are approximately 5-7 miles roundtrip.
Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club was named for Rat Island Shoal off Indian Island, a frequent destination for Open Rows. Every year, the Rat Island Regatta leaves from Fort Worden goes around Rat Island and back.
Steps from the beach
Spectacular mountain and saltwater views
At the center of historical wooden boat capital Port Townsend
High ceilings and concrete floors
Access to expansive decks and outdoor commons
Wooden Boat shop and chandlery
Center of the Wooden Boat Festival
Velocity coffee house for after our morning rows.
Concept2 ergometers for indoor rowing or rowing on the waterfront deck.
Rowing is inherently a potentially dangerous sport as we are out in deep, cold water, subject to dangerous weather conditions, and exposed to navigational hazards and other boat traffic. The safety of every rower in our Club is of paramount importance. All rowers are required to view a video on rowing safety. Rows are accompanied by our safety launch, which is equipped with a VHF marine radio, cell phone, life jackets and other safety equipment. If weather and water conditions are considered unsafe, the row will be cancelled or terminated early as needed.
The club has a variety of shells for use by members. These include fiberglass quads, our Pocock wooden shells, and several wherries and doubles. Oars are provided. The club does not own single shells. Individuals can rent space in the boathouse for their personal shells by contacting the Northwest Maritime Center.
The club has ergs in both the boathouse and the rec center. The boathouse ergs are free. The rec center requires an annual waiver to be signed plus $1/day to use the ergs & weights in the room. No need to sign up for the ergs in either place. On the Concept2 website you can keep an on-line logbook. Be sure to choose Rat Island as your affiliation & check "Yes" to be included on our list.
How to Join
The current cost of membership can be found above. Learn-to-Row Class attendees can join at a reduced fee for the first year after successfully completing the class.
Membership forms include:
Registration and Emergency Contact form
RIRSC Waiver and Release of Liability
US Rowing Membership and Waiver
If you are an experienced rower and would like to join our club, please contact us and someone from our membership team will respond to discuss next steps.
An Associate Membership supports the club financially, and keeps members who are no longer rowing with us connected to the club socially. Some of our associate members drive the launch and guest row with us occasionally.