Welcome to the Charles River Alliance of Boaters

We are a coalition of individuals and organizations that use the Lower Basin of the Charles River from Watertown Square to the Charles River Dam. CRAB organizations offer a wide range of boating experiences for all boating interests from sightseeing to Olympic training. Whether your interest is with an oar, paddle, sail, motor, or even helping to keep the river clean, CRAB organizations can provide what you need.

Our mission is to encourage safe and accessible boating by the entire community on the Lower Basin of the Charles. This includes power boaters, sailors, rowers, paddlers, and others, working together to keep the Charles River a healthy resource for the enjoyment of boaters and park users alike. A cornerstone of our effort is the development of better avenues of communication between and among this diverse community of nearly 100,000 users. The intent of this web site is to gather a lot of diverse information in one place that can be easily accessed by everyone who uses or wants to use the river.

The most important accomplishments of CRAB are our traffic plan for use of the Charles River by the nearly 100,000 people that use the water sheet every year and our recent depth chart of the Charles River. First developed more than 20 years ago, the traffic plan is an integral part that allows rowers, sailors, paddlers, and powerboaters to use the river cooperatively. The depth chart, done in partnership with the MIT Sea Grant College Program, is the first detailed chart of the river bottom since 1902, showing the changes that have happened over the past century. Both on-line and hardcopy versions of the chart are freely available to the public.

The Charles River in eastern Massachusetts flows along a meandering 80-mile path from Echo Lake near Hopkinton to Boston Harbor. Between the Watertown Dam and the New Charles River Dam, the 8 miles of the Lower Charles River Basin is one of the busiest recreational rivers in the country, if not the world, with more than 20 facilities dedicated to rowing, sailing, paddling, and power boating. On a typical day from April to October, more than 5000 rowers, 500 sailors, and 500 paddlers are on the water. The lower end of the Basin is home to the MIT Sailing Pavilion, the birthplace of collegiate sailing and the most active college sailing venue in the nation, to Community Boating, the oldest and one of the largest public sailing programs in the country, and to Union Boat Club, the third oldest rowing pavilion in America. At the upper end of the Basin is Community Rowing, one of the largest rowing programs in the country. As the venue for weekly collegiate and scholastic regattas for both rowing and sailing, the Basin is also home for the Head of the Charles, the largest two-day rowing event in the world, attracting over 11,000 athletes and thousands of spectators.

CRAB emails weekly notices about activities on the river as well as other occasional notices and requests.
If you'd like to get these emails directly, please subscribe to CRAB's list-server.
CRAB will not share your personal information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Useful Information