Palm Beach Rowing Association

The Premier  Rowing Club of South Florida


I. Introduction

Purpose of the Club

PBRA was organized to foster national and international sports competition within the meaning of Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In addition to promoting competitive rowing at the national and international level, the Club is dedicated to the introduction of rowing to the general public, and the promotion of public awareness to the sport of rowing.


PBRA was incorporated as a not-for-profit Florida Corporation in January 1980 by a group of ex-collegiate rowers interested in competitive rowing. In 1986, the current boathouse was erected on Lake Mangonia in cooperation with the City of West Palm Beach. The boathouse is now leased from the City for an annual fee. Organization

The affairs of the Club are managed by a Board of Directors, elected annually at the year-end General Membership meeting.

Current members of the Board are:

President-  Raymond Tollman

Vice President-  Jim Green

Secretary/Treasurer-  Charles Stein

Barry Singer 

Chris Meline

Peter Derow

Martin Conroy

Tim Tress

Dave Lill

Board meetings are held on an as-required basis, usually at the boathouse. The President shall have the responsibility to call for Board meetings and shall give at least 7 days notice to Board Members by phone or e-mail. Members are welcome to attend Board Meetings. A current list of members and their phone numbers is posted on the front door of the boathouse.


The boathouse address is 2957 N. Australian Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33407. It is located on the north side of the Lake Mangonia boat Ramp, approximately 1.2 miles north of Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. and 0.8 miles south of 45th Street.

Tax-Deductible Status.

PBRA is a “non-profit organization” as defined under Section 501(C)(3) of the IRS Code. Under current IRS rules, membership dues and rack fees are not tax-deductible. However, other contributions to the Club may be tax-deductible.

II. Membership Categories.

A complete description of the membership categories is posted on the bulletin board.

Full Membership ($540.00 per year)

Full Members are entitled to un- restricted use of the boathouse and use of all club boats, except as described in Section IV below.

Family Membership ($630.00 per year)

Family members of Full Members who are 18 years or older, are entitled to the same privileges as Full Members.

Student Membership ($60.00 per year)

Full time college and high school Students under the age of 19. Student members 18 years and older are entitled to Full Membership privileges, except for guest privileges. Students under 18 must be under the supervision of a Full or Non Resident Member at all times.

Non-Resident Membership ($270.00 per year)

Non-Resident Members may use the boathouse and equipment on a limited basis throughout the year. Non-Resident Members may invite guests to the boathouse, subject to the prior approval of the President or Commodore.

Monthly Membership ($120.00 per month). Monthly members are not entitled to guest privileges.

Guest Policy. Full and Non-Resident members are entitled to bring up to two guest to the club on any single occasion. Guest must complete the USRA and club waiver form.  A donation to the club funds for use of equipment is strongly suggested.  Up to five visits by any guest will be allowed per year; thereafter the guest will be required to become a Monthly, Non-Resident or Full Member of the club.

Guest must be accompanied at all times in the boathouse and on the water by the hosting member. Guest may only use single shell if they are able to comply with the club’s boat capsizes drill policy, otherwise the host must accompany them in a multi oared.  Any damage to club equipment that cannot be recovered under our insurance policy must be paid for by the hosting member or guest. 

US Rowing Association Membership.


Without this, individual members are not covered under their 'umbrella' insurance policy. For 2017, the Basic membership is $5.75. 

III. Security and Safety.


As with all urban areas, there is always a risk of petty crime. While we have not had any problems at the boathouse for over a decade, we need to observe simple precautions. Please observe the following security procedures:

Lock your car. Remove all valuables that can be seen from outside your car. Do not transfer valuables into your car trunk while you are parked at the boathouse. There are lockers in the boathouse for storage. Keep the front door of the boathouse locked, even while in the boathouse. The rear door need only be secured by a single latch when the boathouse is in use. If you are the last person out of the boathouse, secure both the rear door latches. Note: The boathouse phone can be used to secure assistance. DIAL 911

Boating Safety.

You must sign out in the logbook before going out on the water.

This procedure is required by our insurance company. More importantly, it may alert others if you are experiencing a problem on the water.

Row in accordance with the traffic pattern diagram posted on the front door of the boathouse. Boats proceeding counterclockwise around the lake must stay close to shore. Conversely, boats moving in clockwise direction must stay away from the shore. Heads Up! Be constantly aware of other boat traffic on the lake, especially, fishing boats.

If feasible, row with a partner.

It is preferable to wear a High Visibility [Hi-Vis] rowing shirt to aid other rowers to locate you to minimize the chances of a collision. Thunderstorms in South Florida can build up rapidly, especially during the summer. It is recommended that rowing be stopped at the first indication of thunder or lightning in the area. Remember that lightning strikes can occur in clear skies in advance of a thunderstorm. If in doubt, row close to the boathouse.

Learn how to get back into a capsized boat. If you are close to shore, the best procedure is to swim to shore pulling the boat. Never leave the boat. It will float – YOU may not!

IV. Use of Equipment.

Boat Use.

The Club has the following boats available for use:

Vespoli 4X/4-

Vespoli 2X/2-

Fluidesign 2X [MW]- new in 2016

Harrison 1X (HW)

Wintech 1X (LW)

Vespoli, 1X (M/W)

Vespoli, 1X (H/W)

Fluidesign 1X [super H/W] new 2017

Durham 1X recreational shell. (M/W).

The club 1X’s and 2X’s are all marked with a “PBRA” on the bow.

Except for the Vespoli 4-/4X and the Fluidesign 2X, the club shells are available for general use, contingent only on the member’s demonstrated ability to operate these boats safely. At least one PBRA Full Member is required in the crew of the 4-/4X and 2X.


Club sculls are stored on the west wall of the boathouse. Club sweeps are located in the northwest corner. All remaining sculls are privately owned. Please do not use privately owned sculls without permission of the owner.

Care of Equipment.

Examine your boat and oars before rowing. If they are damaged, do not use them. You may aggravate the damage. Do not make any adjustments to the boat’s rigging except for moving the stretcher. Wipe down the boat after rowing. Make sure to remove any sand, particularly from the seat tracks. Look for any damage after rowing. If you are responsible for any damage, you will be asked to participate in its repair or to pay for such repair costs, not covered by insurance. Note any damage or rigging problems in the logbook, and also on the blackboard. 

Wipe down ERG track after use. You may oil the chain, but do not try to oil the seat bearings.

V. Use of Boathouse.


While guests are always welcome at the boathouse, it is important that certain rules be followed regarding their use of the boathouse and its equipment. Before using any Club equipment, all guests must fill out a membership application as an Introductory Member and sign the insurance waiver on the back of the form. Note: Guests must be accompanied by a member at all times. Student members may not have guests at the boathouse.

Non- Resident members must obtain prior approval from the President or Commodore before having guest at the boathouse to use any of the equipment.


The boathouse telephone number is (561) 848-1767. The phone will not make distance calls or connections to the operator. Diall 911 for emergencies. The boathouse phone is equipped with an answering machine. Instructions for use of the answering machine are printed on the face of the machine. You can access messages on the recorder from your home phone. 

VI. Boat Racks.

Racks for privately owned shells are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis by the Club President. Please do not rearrange shells without consulting the President. 

The rack rental fee is $180 per year for a single, in addition to Full Membership dues. Non-Resident members must upgrade to Full membership to rent a rack.

VII. Private Shells.

Private shells must not be used without permission of the owner. Owners of privately owned shells must provide their own sculls.

VIII. Insurance.

PBRA carries a $250 deductible insurance policy on the Vespoli 4X/4-, Wintech 2X, Fluidesign 2X Vespoli 2X, Vespoli 1X- M/W, Wintech 1X, L/W, Harrison 1X, Durham Rec Shell. The remaining 1X shells are not insured. In the event of damage, the Club will require the member responsible, to repay the Club for repairs, less any reimbursement from the Insurance Policy.

The Club does not carry insurance for damage to, or loss of, private boats or personal property.

The Club’s USRowing liability policy no longer covers individual member’s liability and medical insurance. This coverage is now available as part of individual membership in USRowing.  The Board strongly recommends members to avail themselves of this insurance coverage.

Members are strongly encouraged to insure their own boats.

IX Procedure for Using Boats.

We suggest following this procedure when taking out a shell:

Enter boathouse and re-lock the front door.

Sign out in logbook. (Date, time out, your name, and equipment being used).

Check log to see if other rowers are on the water.

Open rear door. Make sure it goes up slowly.

Put slings out in yard.

Put oars out at water’s edge.

Take shell out of the rack and set on slings. Check shell for any damage.

Close rear door and lock it.

Leave lights on.

Exit through front door and lock it.

Put shell in water.

After rowing, put shell on slings. Do not leave shell unattended in the water.

Enter boathouse via front door and open rear door.

Bring oars back into boathouse.

Rinse-off shell both inside and out and clean the slides. Dry off shell and re-check for damage.

Return shell to rack.

Note: shells go into racks with stern pointing toward the street.

Bring in slings if not needed by other rowers.

Close the rear door. Lock both door latches if you are the last person out.

Sign out in log (time in). Make a note of any equipment damage.

Turn out lights if you are the last person out.

Lock the front door.

X Tidiness and Cleanliness.

Members are requested to respect the Club’s premises for tidiness and disposal of garbage. To discourage any vermin problems, food waste must not be left in the boathouse. Please show courtesy to fellow members by leaving the shower and toilet facilities in as clean a condition as you would wish to find them.

​XI Lake Mangonia Boating

The City of West Palm Beach have regulations in place that limits boating to Lake Mangonia. A notice is posted on the pipe at the entrance to the canal leading to Clear Lake advising that boats may not proceed beyond that point. Members and their guests are strongly recommended to adhere to the City ordinance.