Minnesota Boat Club   Rowing in St. Paul since 1870

Adult Learn to Row/Scull Classes  

2015 Classes

The dock is in and we're looking forward to getting on the water!  If you're interested in learning to row or scull, you're on the right path.  Below are details about rowing and sculling, information about our classes, and links to registration.  Please read on....

Learn to Row

Learn to Row classes teach sweep rowing, which is a team sport where each rower has one oar. This class will introduce you to rowing technique, terminology and equipment, and engage you in a rigerous exercise that uses all of your major muscle groups.

Students begin learning on an indoor rowing machine, then move to a rowing training-barge out on the mighty Mississippi River. The final days of the class will be in an 8 person rowing shell! Our instructors are experienced rowers who will guide you through each step.

Competitive rowers are among the most fit athletes there are. Even at the beginner level, some basic strength and fitness is required. If your idea of exercise is a quiet stroll around the block after dinner, or if you have trouble getting up off the floor or going up/down flights of stairs, this class is probably too demanding for you at this time. If you can lift at least 30 pounds, and already lead an active lifestyle enjoying activities like biking, swimming, hiking, (or even playing with kids all day), you're ready to have a great experience while learning to row.

Each Learn To Row session consists of 8 classes (13 hours) over 2 1/2 weeks.  The early days of each session are 1 1/2 hours.  The last few days are 2 hours.  After completing a Learn to Row session, you will have enough basic skill to row at the Novice level.  

Many of our students have told us they enjoyed the class so much that they wished it was longer.  Knowing that,  we are happy to offer you a "bonus week".  If you are interested in continuing, we invite you to row with our Novice Team and their coach for the week following your class.  It is a great way to put your new skills to work, to meet more of our members and to experience the club. There is no additional charge for this extra week of rowing, but  you do need to do it during the week immediately following your class. Graduates are also welcome to become members of the Minnesota Boat Club.  You will receive more details from the coach of your session.

We are offering 5 Learn to Row sessions in 2015. Please check the dates and times carefully as each class builds on material from the previous days.  Classes are most successful when everyone can attend each day!

Below is a snapshot of the summer classes.  Details of the specific sessions follow.

Click here to REGISTER for any adult class!

Session A is during the day on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. 

Please note:  even though this class is during the day, all future opportunities to row at the Minnesota Boat Club will be in the evening.  This INCLUDES the bonus week with our Novice team directly following your class.

Times   Session A
10 - 11:30 W May 27
10 - 11:30 F May 29
10 - 11:30 M June 1
10 - 11:30 W June 3
10 - 11:30 F June 5
10 - 11:30 M June 8
10 - noon W June 10
10 - noon F June 12
bonus wk, 6-8 pm!   June 15 - 18


Sessions B, D and H are Monday, Wednesday & Friday eveinings.

Times   Session B   Session D   Session H
6:15 - 7:15 W May 27 M June 15 M July 27
6:15 - 7:45 F May 29 W June 17 W July 29
6:15 - 7:45 M June 1 F June 19 F July 31
6:15 - 7:45 W June 3 M June 22 M August 3
6:15 - 7:45 F June 5 W June 24 W August 5
6:15 - 8:15 M June 8 F June 26 F August 7
6:15 - 8:15 W June 10 M June 29 M August 10
6:15 - 8:15 F June 12 W July 1 W August 12
bonus wk, 6-8   June 15 - 18   July 6 - 9   Aug 17-20


Session F is Tuesday, Thursday & Friday evenings.

Times   Session F
6:15 - 7:15 T July 7
6:15 - 7:45 Th July 9
6:15 - 7:45 F July 10
6:15 - 7:45 T July 14
6:15 - 7:45 Th July 16
6:15 - 8:15 F July 17
6:15 - 8:15 T July 21
6:15 - 8:15 Th July 23
bouns week   July 27 - 30

Click here to REGISTER for any adult class!


Learn to Scull

We do not have any sculling classes on the calendar at this time.  We are working to coordinate some summer sessions, and we may be offering additional semi-private sculling lessons.  If you would like to be notified of future opportunities to learn to scull, please send an email with "Sculling" in the memo line to: learntorow@boatclub.org  (If you already did this over the winter, I still have your info and will keep you informed!)

In sculling, each person has two oars.  Sculling boats come in three sizes:  1 person ("single"), 2 person ("double") & 4 person ("quad").  Our classes are taught in training singles, on Lake Phalen in St Paul.  

After completing a class, you will have the tools to continue improving your sculling skills on your own if you have access to a boat and a quiet body of water.  You will also be welcome to join the Minnesota Boat Club.  If you join the club, you will have some opportunities to scull, but in the beginning you will mostly row in eights.  The larger boats are much more stable and safe than the smaller ones, so out on the mighty Mississippi people have to work thier way down in boat size as thier skills improve!


General Information


Students must be able to swim and/or tread water for 15 minutes.

Students must be at least 14 years old.  (13 - 18 year olds, consider our one-day High School Learn To Row Classes.)

Class Size

Each session of Learn to Row will have 8 to 12 students and 2 instructors.

Each session of Learn to Scull (once we add them) will have 1 to 4 students and 1 instructor.

Course Fee

The course fee for each Learn To Row or Learn to Scull session is $220.


After you register for a session someone will contact you via email, usually within 1 business day, to confirm your spot.


Meet at the Minnesota Boat Club, on Raspberry Island (under the Wabasha Street bridge) in St Paul. Please check the directions under "Contact" on our home page; your GPS probably won't find us by address!

What to Wear/Bring

Wear old tennis shoes or other stable footwear.  (No sandles or flipflops.)  You should also wear fitted shorts, like Spandex, because looser clothes can get stuck in the moving parts of the rowing machines and boats.  If you have a water bottle it's good to bring it.  There is water available at the club (and at Lake Phalen).

Waiting List

If the session you wanted to take is full, you can register and be placed on the waiting list.  If a space opens up, we will contact you to confirm your interest BEFORE you are charged anything or placed in the class.


Rowing is a weather-dependant sport, but classes will be held rain or shine, with as much time as possible spent in boats.

Make-Up Classes

Because this is a team sport, we can not offer make-up classes for individuals.  Please choose a session that allows you to attend and participate in all the classes!


Boats come in different sizes.  Our largest boats (and the boats we use for classes) can acommodate people up to 240 lbs.  The maximum width for each seat in the boat is 24", or about the width of an easy chair.  Our equipment is not safe for anyone above those limits.

Refund Policy

You can receive a full refund if you cancel your enrollment more than two weeks prior to your session. You will receive a 50% refund ($110) if you cancel 8 to 14 days before the start of your session. No refund will be given if you cancel during the week before you session.

Contact us

If you have any other questions, please contact the School of Rowing coordinator, Kerry, at learntorow@boatclub.org