1. Azorean Maritime Heritage Society (New Bedford)
The Azorean Maritime Heritage Society preserves the area’s traditional Azorean maritime heritage by rowing and sailing traditional Azorean whaleboats. The unique, brightly painted wooden boats were traditionally used for whaling, but now they provide an opportunity to connect with the waters of Buzzards Bay. The Azorean Maritime Heritage Society practices in New Bedford’s Clarks Cove from June to September, and members participate in both local and international regattas.
2. Buzzards Bay Rowing Club (Fairhaven)
Buzzards Bay Rowing Club offers open rows in their whaleboats four times per week throughout the year, which is a great way to try out rowing and meet new people. Based at the Fairhaven Shipyard, Buzzards Bay Rowing Club rows primarily in inner New Bedford Harbor. The club also travels from Essex to Martha’s Vineyard to compete in races, and sponsors some races of their own, such as the Open Water Challenge and Working Waterfront Race.
3. Dharma Voyage (Westport)
Based out of the Westport River, Dharma Voyage has a range of rowing options, from relaxing social rows to intense race team training and coastal excursions. Crews row two different boats: a 32-foot, six-oared Cornish Pilot Gig as well as an Australian surf boat. All of Dharma Voyage Rowing is enhanced with instructor Ben Booth’s international Zen-based training, bringing the ancient path of personal mastery into the art of rowing.
4. New Bedford Rowing Center (New Bedford)
The New Bedford Rowing Center rows in racing shells, which are longer and narrower than whaleboats or pilot gigs. The center offers programs for adults and youth of all skill levels, and the center’s teams compete in regattas throughout the region. They row in New Bedford Harbor from Pope’s Island Marina.
5. Watuppa Rowing Center (Westport)
Watuppa Rowing Center rows racing shells on the 3.5-mile long South Watuppa Pond when they aren’t traveling to compete. Boris Kusturic, a rowing champion and the center’s owner, offers programs for all ages, including middle and high school summer camps.
6. Whaling City Rowing (New Bedford)
Whaling City Rowing members row in New Bedford Harbor from Pope’s Island Marina. This club connects to local history by rowing in replicas of the whaleboats that whale ships carried when they embarked from the harbor. Whaling City Rowing offers two free rows to those who are interested in trying whaleboat rowing before joining.