It’s cold out there, the docks are gone, and —can we all agree on this?— erging does get a little tedious after a while. High time then to take a first peek at the CRC survey’s results. Before beginning, though, a caveat —  once we dig in deeper into the substantial data we accumulated some of the points below will undoubtedly be amended; others will be added; and ultimately all will be fully reported. Meanwhile, here’s what we can glean from the outcome right now:

  • A total of 169 of you completed the survey. This amounts to a response rate of about 50%, which is —so the experts say— an excellent result. Thank you all!
  • Interestingly enough, 40% of respondents are women and 60% men. This  “male-dominance” might indeed reflect the senior membership’s makeup, but could also be just a reflection of the survey responder’s gender. Something to determine…
  • There’s a clear dichotomy in shoe sizes — among men the larger feet (>11) dominate at 50%, although medium ones (9-11) are also well represented (42%); among women, however, more than 75% have medium-sized feet (7-10), with an almost negligible (3%) representation by smaller feet, the remainder falling into the above-size-10 category. [This shoe-size item may seem trivial, but from CRC’s view point, providing appropriate shoes for such a broad distribution of rowers, is a serious worry. As we all know, it’s impossible to fit into shoes that are too small; yet, it also is a frustrating challenge to row in shoes that are substantially too large.]
  • The overall rowing weights of responders does not hold surprises, following a predictable distribution — 11 and 14% occupy the two extremes of the spectrum (below 130 lb and above 200 lb, respectively) and the middle (151-180 lb) is represented by 32%, the remainder taken up by groups in between.
  • With regards to age, the “middle years” (50-69) clearly dominate — over 55% fall into that category; only 7% make up the youngest group (<30 yrs), followed by about 12 and 17% in the 30-39, and 40-49 yr-old groups, respectively. And yes, as we all know, there also are some true oldsters…
  • The answers to the survey’s question 6 —namely the one concerned with the “reasons for being at PBC” — form a complex array that needs some careful teasing apart. Still, a few, first-cut trends are clear — Among the “top choice”, to row “mostly for recreation” captured a significant (perhaps surprising?) 30% dominance, followed by 26%, 22% and 20%, respectively, for “in organized, competitive programs”, “your personal single”, and “competing outside organized programs”. Unsurprisingly, “erging” is in the tiny left-over percentage,  but so is “social programs”. And no one seems to be at the club solely to paddle and use canoes… As one moves down into the second and third choice of reasons to be a PBC member, the lure of social programs begins to grow drastically, as does that of erging, canoeing/paddling. But rowing for “recreation” never really looses its luster.
  • Again interesting are the answers concerning which form of rowing is preferred — Sculling (alone) drastically (49%) outperforms sweeping (alone; 10%), but about 42% of respondents also love both. Worthy too of mentioning is the fact that both scullers and sweepers are mostly (or think they are?) “advanced” rowers, although scullers have a larger percentage of intermediate folks. Furthermore, several of the scullers do not row sweep at all, whereas virtually all sweepers profess to do some sculling.
  • Painting the next few survey answer sets in very broad strokes, it appears that at least in terms of percentages, a clear and sometimes overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that they are well served by the CRC singles, doubles, and quads. This entire section of the survey, however, also has numerous text answers, not amenable to quick analysis. What seems to come through already though, is that true lightweights, and particularly women ltwts — although admittedly in a minority— are likely underserved by the current fleet. In many ways this portion of the survey constitutes one of the core aspects and needs substantially deeper consideration.
  • Regarding the questions on what type of CRC singles to purchase in the future, the answers give unequivocal mandates for a middle-of-the-road approach that emphasizes compromises, and even sturdiness, over world-class competition boats.  Here too, many comments were provided, but the final interpretation is neatly represented by the numbers.
  • A systematic turn-over of older boats is favored by 52% of the respondents with respect to future purchase plans, although 42% prefer continued maintenance and refurbishment. And, combining that with 23% of opinions seeking to fill in weight class gaps in the fleet, the apparent take-away message is another solid compromise mandate. Again, substantial and spirited comments followed this question as was expected, and they will furnish CRC with valuable suggestions.
  • Singles were the overwhelming top choice (41%) for new CRC boat purchases, with doubles and quads following with nearly equal (about 20%) support. Of considerable interest is the fact that only a small number of respondents preferred the purchase of coxed sweep boats (between 3 and 5%). Dropping down to the 2nd and 3rd choices, the priorities do change a bit, but the popularity of singles, doubles, and quads continues to dominate.
  • Which leads into the, at least at first glance, startling answers to question 25  — Almost 30% of the respondents thought that CRC’s two pairs (convertible 2xs) and the Spirit quad (convertible 4x) offered enough sweep rowing opportunities for club rowers, and only 33% stated that this was not enough.
  • The final question gave members a chance to add lengthier, additional comments. The respondents certainly took advantage of this opportunity. There are numerous, thoughtful and valuable suggestions and opinions that will require some time to interpret appropriately.

We intend to follow-up this “First Look” with a full report of what we think the substantial survey data and manifold text answers are telling us. Of course, even though about half of the club’s members did respond, we’re not working here with what one would call “random sampling”. Extrapolations to the “PBC universe” at large, therefore, will have to be ingested with many grains of salt, or otherwise we’ll wind up with some fascinating correlations such as shown in the graph below…

—-The CRC Survey Team (Cheryl Capps, Kathleen Landauer, Dana Perrone, Fritz Theyer; decisively assisted by Virginia Bryant)

Survey Results Just In: "In general, 72 percent of people know which directions "port" and "starboard" refer to. But among those who don't excel at Microsoft Excel, 84 percent know which directions "port" and "starboard" refer to."  --- Based on a survey of 139 people who don't excel at Microsoft Excel and 382 people total  (from

Survey Results Just In: “In general, 72 percent of people know which directions “port” and “starboard” refer to. But among those who don’t excel at Microsoft Excel, 84 percent know which directions “port” and “starboard” refer to.” — Based on a survey of 139 people who don’t excel at Microsoft Excel and 382 people total (from