Do you have any tips on making super tight turns?
If it’s sharp enough that you can’t get around using just your rudder, then you’ll have to tell one side of the boat to row light for a couple strokes while the other side increases the pressure. Anticipate the turn ahead of time and start turning before you actually get there, that way you’re already well into before you need to ask for the rowers to adjust their pressure. I’d say that at least 75% of the work should come from you and the last 25% from the rowers.
Related: I was wondering what the difference is between checking it and holding water. I think checking it is just once side and everybody holds water? But I’m not sure. and then also what do you think is the easiest way to turn around? I usually have my stern or bow four row with ports backing. Is that pretty standard would you say? Thank you again so so so so so much.
If you try to take the turn completely on the rudder, you’ll end up going way wide and if you try to go around having one side row at 110% while the other side is still rowing at 100%, you’re not gonna go anywhere. As you go around the turn, make sure you tell the rowers you’re on the rudder (and have them adjust their handle heights accordingly, if necessary). When you need them to “add in”, tell one side to go light for however many strokes (make sure you specify but try to make it five or less) while having the other side pound it out for the same number of strokes.
That’s really the secret to navigating tight turns – one side rowing lighter, not one side rowing harder.