To launch a sweep(rowing) boat with relative ease we need 6 to 8ft of flat surface less that 1ft off the water as the blades extend 9 to 10ft from the side of the boat. There is nowhere on the Jordan river that we can launch a boat from the bank and only one place on the overflow canal that we are able to do this. So the two competitive junior crews have moved house so to speak and now thanks to the generosity of Nickerson Company now operate from our trailers out of Nickerson's factory yard. We boat at Delong street and have had more outings than any previous years. A purpose built boathouse would require multiple bays for equipment storage, parking spaces, restrooms and a landing dock which would also require alteration to the bank and sufficient anchors to hold it.
Even so thousands of dollars worth of equipment sit outside in the sun, rain, wind and snow. So we know we can row on the Surplus canal or the Jordan river, we just need a proper boathouse to operate from.
A boathouse of the Jordan river or Overflow canal would have many benefits. It's central location has easier access, much better conditions and is big enough even for a boat as big as an eight. We would have somewhere to clean and maintain our equipment and easily accessible restrooms would be an immediate advantage. Boats are very expensive and suffer easily from bumps, dents and accidents all of which need to be repaired somewhere dry and accessible. It would also protect from vandalism, give easy access to storage, showers, even a training facility and social gathering location. We would have storage for club and private rowing boats as well as public and private storage of canoe's and kayaks.
So rowing on a smaller, calmer body of water would have many advantages. There are two places that rowers can use. The Jordan river from about 2850 South to 2100 South is about 2000 meters, plenty wide enough and always has water. The overflow canal is also suitable and has about 2,700meters of row-able water but we only use about 1,300 meters regularly because of bridges and crossing roads etc. This stretch is from the junction of Indiana Ave. and Delong St., to California Ave next to Redwood Rd., this is not as wide as the Jordan river but is straighter. Its big disadvantage is the fact that regularly there is not enough water to row in the spring until approximately 15th April. With our first regatta normally being about the end of April this gives us 2 to 4 weeks to teach our beginners to row. When many clubs have been practicing for months this leaves us at a distinct disadvantage. There are a number of potential locations but any location would need to be discussed at length to try to change preconceived ideas and plans to allow us to use it.
Currently there are three rowing clubs, Great Salt Lake Rowing is open to anyone who wants to row from about 14 to 114, Utah Junior Crew which is open to school age youth mainly students from West High and other downtown High Schools and lastly Waterford crew open to people attending Waterford high school in Sandy. This is approximately about 60-70 youth and 20-30 adults in total. The Great Salt Lake rowing club still operates from the Salt Lake marina but many individuals would love to have easy access to the river. There is room for expansion in all our programs to give a lot more people the enjoyment of rowing.