Links to online training materials

Basic Skiff & Rowing Terminology

Like many sports, rowing has a language all its own. For the novice rower who's told to "back off”, it's helpful to know some basics.

The boat

At Dundee Sailing Club, we use a St. Ayles Skiff called Eider. The St. Ayles Skiff (pronounced Saint Isles) is a 4 oared rowing boat, designed by Iain Oughtred and inspired by the traditional Fair Isle skiff.

Some Skiff terminology

The layout and positions in Eider

BowFront of the boat
Coxswain (Cox)The person who steers the boat
Gunwale(pronounced "gunnel") The top edge of the side of the boat
PortLeft side of the boat while looking from stern to bow
RudderPart of the steering fastened to the stern of the boat
TillerThe lever that you use to turn the rudder
StarboardRight side looking from stern to bow
SternRear of the boat
StrokeThe rower in the stern-most seat of the boat. They are also the one who sets the pace for other rowers.

VHF use (the basics)

VHF Radio Check

Emergency or Distress  Radio Procedure (MAYDAY)

Capsize procedure

Training Videos

Understanding Marine Buoyage

Basic Knots

Fixed Seat Rowing Technique


An introduction to nautical charts

Local Information and Weather

Useful Websites