1. The cox is responsible for the welfare and safe-keeping of the crew and the management
of the boat. The cox therefore makes the final decisions regarding the outing after
the Launch Officer has given permission to go on the water.
2. Read the notes on Safety on this website. There is lots of essential advice here.
This page just covers a few basic points. The WSRA Presentation on Coxing Celtic
Longboats covers in depth all the aspects of Coxing Celtic Longboats, including motivation,
responsibilities, racing tactics and safety.
Then click on: WSRA Presentation on Coxing Celtic Longboats
3. Call the sides of the boat red side or green side. Call the rowers number one
or bow, number two, number three and stroke.
4. BOARDING: Supervise the boarding of the crew one at a time. Watch out for incoming
swells and washes from passing boats and ships. Ask the crew to push the gunwhale
down to help rowers to board and disembark.
Put the oars on the far side of the boat
to avoid having to climb over them.
LANDING: Approach the shore very slowly to assist the bow rower to get out and
take hold of the boat. Instruct bow and 2 to stop rowing and just 3 & 4 to row lightly.
Ask for one or two more strokes if required.
Supervise the disembarking of the crew
one at a time.
Take the rudder off while the boat is still in the water.
5. Check that your boat displays a yellow flag and carries a vhf radio switched on,
a throw bag and a yellow bag containing first aid kit and space blankets.
6. Check all crew are wearing life-jackets or buoyancy aids.
Put the bung in!
7. It is better to row into the wind first and then have the wind behind you on the
return leg (unless the wind is light and the tide very strong).
8. Check each rower is ready separately before starting to row. Don’t just say “Is
Note: The standard starting procedure is: quarter stroke, half stroke, three-quarter
length stroke, full-length stroke.
9. Then use these commands:
Come forward to row … Row = whole crew rows
Ease oars = stop rowing
Hold water =Brace yourself & lower blade into water
Row lightly = row at same rate but with less pressure
More pressure = to speed up the boat or to ask one side to row harder
so less rudder is needed
Back down = row the boat backwards
One stroke = when approaching the shore
Ship oars =take oars out of gates and lay oars in the boat
Oars in = pull oar in right across boat to avoid collision
Hands down = raise oar out of water to avoid obstacle
These commands can also be addressed to the Red Side or Green Side or to pairs of
rowers e.g. 3 and 4 or to individual rowers e.g. Bow. 10. Try using the rudder only
when the blades are in the water. This is less likely to de-stabilise the boat.
11. Keep to the right when meeting other boats. Make your intentions clear early.
12. After 15 minutes or so of rowing the crew will probably need to stop to take
off a layer of clothing. Don’t cook the crew!
13. If a rower falls overboard, appoint
a crew member to point at the rower until he/she is back on board.
14. If the boat
capsizes, check all crew are present and life-jackets are inflated. Make a Mayday
call on vhf channel 16.
15. After landing:
- ensure that the Launch Officer is aware that your crew has returned
- take the bung out so rain water will drain from boat.