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RED BANK: DIFFERENT STROKES ON THE RIVER

dory-5-1519049Nice gig if you can get it… and you can, if you come down to Marine Park on Saturday. 

It’s called a “gig” boat… that is, when it’s not being referred to as a “dory” or even a “dorie.”

After a bit of back and forth, the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association (NMHA) has settled on “dory” as the proper name for the four- and six-oared rowing vessels that once plied the region’s waterways as lifeboats, ferries and water taxis. And on this Saturday afternoon, the wooden workboats return to our beautiful Navesink River in Red Bank for what could just be the start of a beautiful ,renewed relationship.

Since retiring from their various active workaday duties, the crewed craft have been enjoying life as recreational vehicles for a growing number of enthusiasts, “popular wherever there is water and a desire to build and row them,” according to an NMHA press release. Tracing their origins to the late 17th century, the dories have in recent years become the focus of numerous programs designed to involve kids and adults in constructing and operating the teamwork-powered boats. On Saturday, the NMHA will be gauging local response to determine the level of interest in offering dory-building as an extension of its wooden canoe-building program.

Anyone interested in experiencing a scenic river ride as a member of a dory crew is invited to meet at the horseshoe marina area of Marine Park between 12 and 4 p.m., when NMHA volunteers will assemble crews made up of four rowers and a skilled cox (situated in the stern of the boat, and considered the “Captain”). Up to two passengers (one in the bow and one in the stern) will be allowed per crew excursion, with each row lasting approximately 30 minutes.

No previous rowing experience is necessary to join in the crew, and there’s no charge for participating. For more information or possible weather-related updates, call (908) 902-1150 or email [email protected].

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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