Adult Learn to Row

Princeton National Rowing Association offers several opportunities for recreational rowing.

Row in the Barge on Mercer Lake

This is a low-key, fun way to get out on the water and enjoy beautiful Mercer Lake in West Windsor. The Barge will enable participants to take rowing strokes at their own pace on a stable platform. An experienced coach will be on the boat at all times. This program is great for active seniors, as well as being an introduction to rowing for anyone who would like to progress to the Learn to Row Program (see below).  Class size is limited to 8 people.

We will offer Barge sessions in the Fall, Spring and Summer. There will be two sessions per week, one hour each, on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 am.

*Please note, this program will stay in the barge for all sessions. If you are interested in progressing to a rowing shell, please see the Learn to Row program offerings below.

Click HERE to view and register for Barge Sessions.

Adult Learn to Row

Our Learn to Row program will take place over 8 weeks with an option to sign up for one, two or three nights/week. The program starts June 18 and will end on August 8 and is offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5:45 to 7:15 pm. The Learn to Row program is a pre-requisite for joining the Competitive and/or Recreational Masters Program. Please review the Adult Recreational Sweep Rowing description for more information about rowing opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I have never rowed before in my life, will I be at a major disadvantage?

NO – this is the perfect introduction to rowing for people who have never rowed. It’s also great for people who rowed a long time ago (maybe a semester in college way back when…) as well as people who are more experienced but just don’t have the time, energy, or commitment to row on a competitive team.

Q: Will the boat flip over?

Highly unlikely. While accidents do happen occasionally, it’s very rare for an 8 person rowing shell to flip or sink. The coaches are trained to recognize unsafe weather or water conditions and your boat will not go on the water in dangerous conditions (thunder/lightening or excessive wind).

Q: What can I do to prepare for the program?

Rowing is a mostly aerobic activity that utilizes the whole body – legs, torso/trunk, and arms. While we will not be doing highly strenuous or intense rowing (the emphasis is on fun here), you should have some very basic fitness and strength. (For example: the boats weigh approximately 220 pounds which dispersed over 8 people, equals about 30 pounds per person to carry.)

Q: Do I need to be a strong swimmer?

In the unlikely event that you end up out of the boat and in the water, you should know how to swim but the coach’s motor boat will immediately come to get you out of the water. You should be comfortable being in the water but in the event you end up in the water, you should stay with the boat NOT swim to shore.

Q. What is the deadline to register?

In order to plan for coaches and coxswains, please register no later than June 12.

Q: I am on vacation for part of the summer and will miss a few sessions, can I still participate?

Sure! At the beginning of the program, we create a list people who are willing to sub on different days and then if you know you are going to miss a session, you can arrange for someone to take your place off the sub list.

Q: How do I register and pay for the program?

Register HERE and be sure to choose 3-days, 2-days or 1-day/week

Community Learn to Row Day

June 15, 2024. This will be offered as a 90 minute introduction to rowing. No prior experience required. Participants will receive instruction on land on the rowing machine (“erg”) followed by an overview of the rowing equipment and then will take strokes on the water either in the Rowing Barge or an 8 person Rowing Shell. Minimum age 11. Sign up for a 90 minute time slot HERE.

Private Lessons

Additionally, PNRA offers private lessons for adult sculling (subject to coach availability). Please fill out the Health History Form and Waiver below and contact Hilary Gehman ( to set up a lesson.

Masters Health Form & Waiver

Cost for lessons:

Single: $75/hour (one person)

Double: $60 per person/hour (two people in the boat)

Quad: $40 per person/hour (four people in the boat)


Have a question that is not answered above? Contact Events Manager Hilary Gehman at or 609-527-9108.