COVID-19 Paddling Protocols for NBBC

Because of the ongoing pandemic, this season is going to look much different for North Brooklyn Community Boathouse (North Brooklyn Boat Club). We want more than anything to go back to serving our community in the best way we know: by connecting local residents and visitors to their local waters and their rich history and ecology as well as the joy of being out on them in a human-powered boat.

But because safety is our top priority, we have have come up with the following protocols to keep NBBC trip leaders and trip leaders in training on the water while we hope that the pandemic soon ends. The trip leaders and assistants will stay in training and make sure they are aware of current conditions on the East River and Newtown Creek. We all hope to one day soon bring NBBC members and the wider community back on the water once more.

See the bottom of this post for some pictures from the first trips of the season.

Pandemic Social Distance and Sanitization Protocols

For Qualified Paddlers

At this time only Official Paddlers who are active members of the boathouse and their guest member (1 per official paddler) are qualified to paddle using North Brooklyn Community Boathouse equipment. All guest members must be Advanced Paddlers (canoe and kayak qualifications are on the website), and everyone must sign a waiver.

The North Brooklyn Community Boathouse does not and cannot ensure that paddlers using the facility will be protected from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. All paddlers and anyone using the facility acknowledge and accept that this already risky activity now carries another layer of danger and that NBCB cannot be responsible for your safety.

  • Paddle in groups of six or less.
  • Wear masks on shore (wherever you are launching/landing) at all times.
  • Maintain social distance (6 feet) at all times except in an emergency.
  • Wash hands with soap & water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, before opening containers.
  • First person in the container should wipe down all high use touchpoints (locks, container handles, etc.) with sanitizing wipes or cleaner (as available).
  • Only one person should be in a container at a time unless two are needed to pull out or return a boat.
  • Use the trip log to document your trip; include time out, time back, and the names of participating paddlers.
  • On return, wash hands with soap for 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer
  • Hose down and scrub with soap/disinfectant all hard-surface equipment (boats, paddles, radios, spray skirts pumps etc.).
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: PFD’s and kayak skirts ARE NOT TO BE SHARED. Members who do not own a PFD and/or a skirt shall be allowed to “adopt” one from the club, take home and maintain properly. You must, of course, return any “adopted” equipment when asked. (follow directions posted in the container when adopting PFD and/or skirt)
    Last one out of the container should wipe down all high-use touchpoints (locks, container handles, etc.) using sanitizing wipes or a cleaner (as available)
  • After returning equipment to the containers, everyone must leave the boatyard. There can be no gatherings (not required to launch or land) in the boatyard.

All other boathouse policies and protocols still apply. Failure to comply with the above may result in loss of paddling privileges. We will continue to review the government regulations and recommendations and look forward to opening our facilities to all as soon as we can!

In the meantime, life on the river continues. The cormorants have returned, and their young are almost fledged. The ferry traffic is much reduced. We love the waters and the people of New York City and can’t wait to bring them together again.