Three types of craft are available at Bath Boating Station; The Skiff, The Punt and The Canoe.
The Skiff is a type of rowing boat adapted for leisure use on inland waterways: long, graceful and slender for speed, but broad enough for stability and comfort. The oarsman sits in the centre (amidships for purists) and rows ( again, strictly speaking “sculls” since he is using both oars); his passengers, meanwhile, sit back in comfort and make encouraging remarks and also steer the boat by means of a pair of lines to the rudder. Larger skiffs have positions for two oarsmen (oarspersons, perhaps, nowadays?). The most elegant have wicker backrests; all are traditional varnished wood and most were made here where the tradition of boat building goes back over a century and a half.
The punt is a flat-bottomed boat, typically used in small rivers and canals. It is propelled by pushing a long pole against the river bed and forcing the punt forward through the water. The same pole is used to steer by trailing it in the water astern after the propelling stroke is finished and moving it to one side or the other. It sounds more complicated than it really is and a little tuition at commencement will send most novices happily on their way.
The Canoe is the traditional Canadian style with wooden paddle.
Kayak style canoes with the traditional double paddle are also available.