The ways in which boathouse spaces are configured varies from nation to nation and club to club. From new builds to using old spaces in a new way, World Rowing has put together a short (and by no means exhaustive) list to share some useful and interesting ways to make the most of boathouse space.

1)            What’s old is new

Boathouse space, Community Rowing Inc, Boston, USA © Evan Healey


The idea of slinging shells from the ceiling by raising shells up to the rafters is a time-tested method of saving space that even the newest and biggest boathouses continue to work into their plans. The bustling boat bays at Community Rowing’s Harry Parker Boathouse on the Charles River in Boston, USA seem designed with just this in mind.

2)            Doubling up (and down)

Using boathouse space Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club, Glasgow, UK © Alan Oldham



When there’s not a lot of space, doubling up (and down) on existing racks is one simple solution. After a long row on Glasgow’s River Clyde, these club singles can enjoy a well-padded rack to rest side by side in the small but efficient boathouse at one of Scotland’s oldest clubs, the Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club in the UK. Also note the standard tennis ball rigger protector for top and bottom protection (essential for this unique single set up)

3)            Oarsome interior designs

Boathouse space, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand © FISA



When the University of Otago Rowing Club designed their new boathouse and aquatic centre in Dunedin, New Zealand, they stylishly incorporated a few classic elements of the sport into fully functional components of the structure. Both door handles and railing are understated examples of the club’s long history in the sport that fit in well with the clean modern look of the overall building.

4)            Transforming an old space

Boathouse space at Leander Boat Club, Canada indoor rowing machines © FISA

Unfortunately, not all old boathouses retain their aesthetic appeal over the years. Canada’s Leander Boat Club in Hamilton, Ontario brightened up their concrete block building with a fresh coat of paint, clearing out a boat bay for an inviting winter ergo space for rowers to stay fit and ready despite the frozen lake outside.

5)            Outdoor oasis

Boathouse space, Canottieri San Cristoforo, Milan, Italy © Alan Oldham


Members can relax and enjoy a pleasant drink and conversation in the boathouse courtyard at the Canottieri San Cristoforo in Milan, Italy. Despite being a relatively new rowing club, founded in 2009, these rowers are certainly embracing a long tradition in the sport by creating a space where community can be fostered within the rowing club environment.

These are just a few ideas from practical boat racking and equipment protectors to inspiring design elements and community-fostering spaces. If you have any other examples of practical solutions to every day boat house issues, please share your pictures and stories with World Rowing on twitter and facebook @WorldRowing