Four-Oar Rule, River Conditions & Weather

Four-Oar Rule


In Effect:  NO

No club single or pair may be used unless escorted by a coaching launch that remains in visual contact.

The Four Oar Rule means that no club-owned boats with fewer than 4 oars are allowed out on the water when the combined temperature of the air and the water is below 90 degrees.


The exceptions are:

- Boats which will be escorted by or in the line of sight of a coach in a launch for the entire row;

- Privately-owned boats, which are rowed at the owner's risk


Some things to keep in mind:

- Body heat is lost up to 4 times faster in water than air

- Cold shock is dangerous even when water is 60 degrees (it's 47 right now)

- Hypothermia begins when the body temperature is less than 95...

- Getting back in the boat (when was the last time you practiced that? how long did it take?) is only part of the danger, now you're rowing to safety in wet clothes and moving air...

- Should you go in, DON'T LEAVE THE BOAT, the shore might look close, but you have no floatation and WET CLOTHES, if you believe you must swim to shore, then swim with the boat as your floatation

- Remember that for long stretches of the river there are walls that you will not be able to climb


All Together! (safely)

Philadelphia & Schuylkill River  Conditions

River Discharge

Use caution if rowing when the river discharge is in excess of 12,000cfs.

Rowing is PROHIBITED when the river discharge is in excess of 18,000cfs.

Schuylkill River Discharge

River Temperature

Use caution if rowing when the air temperature is below 32F.

Schuylkill River Temperature

Gage Height

The Vesper Boat Club will flood when the river height is in exceess of 11ft.

Members may be asked to assist with preparing for—and cleaning up after—flooding.

Schuylkill River Height