What’s a Dock Parent?

To let our coaches focus on coaching, and for parents to have some fun at the river too, we are seeking “dock parents”.

What’s a dock parent? They help out at the docks at Wilson’s Landing—starting the motorboats, bailing, making sure the safety gear is in them, receiving our dear rowers when they return and closing the boats. A bit of schlepping is involved. We need 4 parents per day–2 early shift (3:45-5:15pm; and 2 late shift 5:30-7:15pm).

New This Year: Dock parent orientation FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2016 AT 4PM. For newbies and those who’d like a refresher, please join Scott Howell and me at Wilson’s Landing. We’ll show you the ropes and get the varsity launches going. No sign up required.

Dock Parent Sign up (one or two shifts/week is a big help):


Thanks for helping out! Our main duty is to get the 9 coaches’ launches (motor boats) ready to go so that when the students hit the water, the coaches can follow right away. Here’s the run-down. There’s no one to supervise so let Laura know if you need an orientation.


1. Take out 9 red Geri-type gas tanks (assumes 2 launches) from gas tank storage room (near the bathrooms where the sculls are stored). The coaches have the keys to unlock the door if needed. One is “supersize” for Win’s launch and one is a gas/oil mix for Blair.

2. Top up. Make sure there’s enough gas in the tanks; if not, top them up from the large Geri can. Put the tank in the large plastic tub out on the grass so spills don’t go all over the place. Don’t top up Blair’s (the oil/gas mix). It’s his job.

3. Take 8 kill switch “keys” (or make sure they’re tied to the gas tanks already).

4. Load the gas tanks into the carry cart.


5. Take the following safety gear from the barn next door (looking at the river–it’s the big building to the left that we park around) and load it into the cart or take 2 trips down to the docks:

Safety gear for each launch:
– 2 paddles
– a “coach’s” tote bag containing an air horn, fire extinguisher, seat cushion, life jacket
– large duffel bag containing 8 lifejackets
– ladder
– bailer (may already be in the launches)

Note: in the HHS spring season, the students take care of the safety equip. Because the fall only has 2 launches, and they want to get the students on the water quickly for the relatively short practice, the parents do this.


6. Unload the gas and safety gear into the launches. Leave the cart by the dock on shore.

7. Unlock the boats and place the lock wire out of the way so no one trips on it. It’s best if you can wrap the lock wire it around the long handrail; avoids getting all knotted up.

8. Re-tie the boats to the end of the dock to be ready to go. Get the motors ready. If the water is deep enough, you can start the engines. If not, get them ready by plugging in and priming the gas, place the kill switch key. Lower the engines (if deep enough).

9. Bail if needed.


10. Tidy up by placing stray students’ shoes near the other baskets on the dock.


11. Help the students land their boats.

12. Bring the gas tanks, & shut-off keys back to the gas room.

13. Make sure the students take the safety gear up.

14. Lock up the boats.

Enjoy the scene by the river and thank you so much for your help!

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