About Us

What We Offer

Free community rowing sessions, April to November, Sundays at noon, plus many special events including races, round-Manhattan rows, and camping expeditions.  In the winter, we also offer free community boatbuilding sessions on Wednesday afternoons and Sundays.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Village Community Boathouse is to promote awareness of the public ownership of our urban waterways and to provide the means for everyone to access them; to introduce the public, and especially young people, to the joys of rowing and sailing Whitehall Gigs in New York Harbor and to revive the arts of small-boat seamanship and boatbuilding; to advance the environmental stewardship of the harbor and the estuary; and to foster a tradition of maritime hospitality and fellowship.


The Village Community Boathouse is located on Pier 40, at the end of West Houston Street in Hudson River Park.  The boathouse is on the south, or downtown, side of the pier, about halfway out the walkway under a metal portico.  The nearest subway is the #1 at Houston Street, but you can also ride the F, V, D, B, A, C, or E trains to West 4th Street, which is only a ten minute walk away.  In the summer and fall, we also offer community rowing in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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What We Row

Most of our fleet consists of wooden “Whitehall gigs,” built by students under our supervision and based on a traditional New York Harbor design.  The gigs carry four rowers and a coxswain, or skipper, certified by us, and can carry two additional passengers.

Who Can Participate

Community rowing is open to all, although some physical dexterity is required. The focus of the program is teamwork and recreation in a safe and respectful environment. Each participant must sign a waiver. Life jackets are provided.

Why We Do It

Our mission is to restore safe, universal public access to our city’s largest public space -– its waterways –- and to introduce the public, especially young people, to the joys of rowing, sailing, and boatbuilding.

How We Fund It

We are a nonprofit organization entirely run by volunteers. While no commitment is required from those who row with us, our facilities, boats, and equipment require regular upkeep and repair. Your participation — and monetary contributions — are vital to the health of our organization.