Mass Bay’s rowing concept is built upon the tradition of the Cornish Pilot gig, which originated in Cornwall in the southern part of England. In the 1800s, when ships would arrive to bring in supplies, a pilot gig with coxswain, crew, and a harbor pilot would venture out 25+ miles offshore to await incoming sailing vessels. The first gig to put its pilot on board to guide the ship to port got paid; hence, pilot gigs were built for speed, endurance, and stability in the often rough seas, to ensure employment for ship pilots.
Pilot gigs are 32-feet long and just over 4 feet wide (4′ 10″) and are built to a detailed specification from wood. There are six rowers and a coxswain. Mass Bay practices rowing most every week all year long, as long as there is access to the water, and the bay is not frozen over. We row for recreation and to prepare for competitions. All crews compete in numerous events each year in Massachusetts, throughout New England, and we have even competed in England and Holland.
We are always looking for new rowers, both expert and novice, of any age, who are willing to compete or just have fun and meet new people. No experience is required, as we have a very knowledgeable group of veteran rowers who will be more than happy to teach you the techniques of rowing these exceptional vessels. Mass Bay also welcomes other water enthusiasts such as kayakers, canoeists, and SUP paddle boarders.
Massachusetts Bay Open Water Rowing, Inc. is organized as a charitable entity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and all contributions are tax deductible.
Boats We Row