Rowing Program

Dolphin Club members have rowed on the Bay since 1877. Today we maintain a fleet of 18 rowboats including five doubles and one six-oared barge–the completely restored John Wieland. We also have open-water single and double shells (Maas).

Only Dolphin Club members who have been certified in our training program may row our boats and all club members are encouraged to become certified. Dolphin rowers run the gamut from beginners to experts. Our membership includes former Olympic rowers, former collegiate rowers, and many who first pulled an oar after joining this club.

Dolphin rowers engage in a variety of rowing activities including races, trips, and leisure cruising. Certified rowers are free to take boats onto the bay on their own schedule and within the limits of our safety rules. Once a year club rowers undertake the mother of all rows; a three-day trip up the Delta to Sacramento.

If you have questions about our rowing program please contact the rowing commissioners at

Below a recent video of the six-oared barge John Wieland competing in the Norm Peterson Regatta below by Anna MacKinnon.

Lake Merced

There are several boats available for members’ use at our Lake Merced facility. A regular group typically rows at 6:00 AM several weekdays with a larger group on weekend mornings at 8:00 AM.

Although there are few formal regattas informal racing can occur any time two boats get together on the water. While several members out at Lake Merced have received national as well as international recognition most members row for recreational purposes. The Lake Merced boathouse is owned by the city of San Francisco and leased to the club.

Lake Merced Boathouse
Lake Merced Boathouse – photo by Morgan Kulla

Kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards

The club owns several kayaks and stand up paddle boards for recreational and pilot use. A number of members also store kayaks at the club. Private boats may be used by any qualified member. Kayak training is held several times throughout the year. The first day of rowing training the Introduction to Bay Conditions is a prerequisite.