Row to Herkimer Home – Crew Information – September 5 – September 8, 2023

Also known as ‘The Big Row, 2023’

Last update of this document, August 19, 2023.

by David Manthey, Bateau Bobbie G, Captain

Information for the Crew


At present, I have the following people committed to the full row:

David Manthey, captain Bobbie G
Kevin R-M.
Reb M.
Judy W.
Bill M.

Kevin and I will be organizing breakfast and dinner for the trip (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday dinner; Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday breakfast). I’m hoping others will help cook and clean up.

We’ve worked together long enough that we don’t have an official camp master for the trip.

I am captain of the Bobbie G and overall commander of the trip.  It looks like we’ll have five crew for the entire trip. We will only be using the Bobbie G unless this changes.

Anyone Meeting Us En Route

Because a rowing trip is subject to the vagaries of the weather, there is a chance that we won’t be camped at our intended locations at the time claimed (see the write up from 2005, for example).  In the most extreme case, we might have contrary winds and lightning storms that prevent us from moving at all.  While we expect that we’ll make the trip as planned, it is possible that we will be delayed or halted (or even change the route at the last minute).  As such, if you expect to meet us en route, please give me your phone number ahead of time, so that I can contact you in the evening if we are not camped where expected.  Furthermore, as we have on occasion camped in odd spots, ask what points will work for pick up and drop off.

Equipment and Food

We will be travelling in as period-correct a manner as possible. Any non-period equipment must be stowed out of sight. Of course we have modern safety gear (first aid kit, PFDs, etc.) stowed in the bateau (in the sail-cloth sacks that are normally in the bow). I will have a VHF radio and a cell phone for use in emergencies. I will also supply a modern dry-bag disguised in a period covering to stow items that we don’t want to get wet (ideally, we’d stow these in a barrel or an oilcloth).

We will be camping along the way in wedge tents.  Bring sleeping gear that will keep you comfortable.  Make sure that your blanket roll is packaged in a manner that it won’t get wet if it rains.

I have spare burlap bags to help hide non-period gear, if anyone needs them.

Required items:

Everyone (including those out for one day):

  • Canteen
  • Standard clothing – the time period the Revolutionary War; dress appropriately.  We are commercial bateaumen out of Schenectady.  You can dress as a civilian, New York Militia, or as a sailor. 
    As a bateaumen the standard attire is trousers, shirt, frock, neck cloth, round hat, and a pair of shoes and stockings.   If you aren’t certain if what you have is correct, please ask.
  • Thwart blanket – to sit upon.  The thwarts are hard and unyielding, and most of the effort of rowing is transmitted to the boat through one’s bottom.  Expect this blanket to get wet if it rains, or possibly dipped in the bilge; it probably should be distinct from your sleeping gear.
  • Jacket, coat, or frock – it may cold, and you need to be able to deal with it; similarly it may rain.
  • Food for lunch and snacks – Kevin and I are arranging the supply of breakfasts and dinners, and I’m asking others to bring enough food to contribute to lunch and snacks each day.  A possible list is bread, cheese, sausage, and apples or other fruit.  It is much better to have too much food than too little, as rowing is hungry work.  Our planned meals are from Tuesday lunch (the day of launch) through Friday afternoon.
  • Prescription medications – If you have a medical condition (such as an allergy to bee stings), discuss them with the crew, so we will know what to do if necessary.
  • Cup or mug – for rum ration, shrub, etc.

Everyone spending a night (also see above list):

  • Sleeping gear (July is often warm, but it could also be cool and rainy).
  • Eating gear – your usual plate or bowl and a utensil
  • Change of clothes – one change is probably sufficient; we will get sweaty and smelly, but that is expected.
  • Extra warm clothes – it may be cold and rainy.
  • Storage bag that will remain dry – for your clothing and bedding.  If possible, this should either be a period bag or covered in a period bag.  We will have some spare dry storage and spare burlap sacks.

Captain (me, David M.):

  • Tent and poles
  • Nautical kit (captain’s basket) – spare rope, bailing sponge, tin horn, navigational light, speaking trumpet, etc.
  • Eggs for all breakfasts
  • 2 Dinners
  • Rum ration (2 fifths)
  • Cookies and tins
  • 1/4 barrel for food
  • Water
  • Emergency bucket
  • Water jug


  • One lantern and candles


  • Tent and poles
  • Salt and pepper containers
  • Brazier and charcoal
  • Lanterns and candles, including one lantern appropriate for night travel
  • Coffee
  • Cooking pans
  • Coffee pot
  • Breakfast meats for two breakfasts
  • 1 dinner
  • Rum ration


  • Tent and poles
  • Brazier, charcoal, and fire starting material.
  • Shrub
  • Coffee
  • Cooking pans
  • Funnel for filling canteens


  • Cookies

Others not listed:

  • Food to share for lunch or snacks

Optional items:


  • Camera – I encourage people to bring a camera which is kept out of sight when not in use.
  • Sunscreen – if you don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, you will need this.
  • Tents – The plan is to have two people per tent on the row, but we will want more space when we get to our destination.

Do Not Bring:


Note that if you want any of this at the destination, we can send it up by car ahead of time, so it will be waiting when we arrive.

  • Chairs, cots, etc. – historically, bateaumen probably sat on the barrels they were transporting.
  • Modern clothes – aside from something for a true emergency, everyone should remain in period clothes the entire trip (including nights).
  • Coolers – we will have two 1/4 barrels for food storage, which will keep food relatively cool.  Foraging from the countryside is period-correct and encouraged.

Rowing Commands

I encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with period rowing and sailing commands.  Reb and my write-up on these can be found here:


We will be camping in wedge tents along the way.  You do not have to bring period-correct sleeping gear, though it is recommended.


We will be proceeding under any non-dangerous weather conditions.  If it rains, we will get wet.  Likewise, it may be miserably cold or hot.  If you do not have period clothing that will keep you comfortable in wet or cold weather, consider modern clothing that can be hidden beneath period clothing (such as modern long underwear).  We will have some dry storage available, so you should be able to have dry clothing at night.  You will most likely want sunscreen.

If you haven’t been out on a multi-day trip where you may be cold or wet, please ask for advice.

Other Information

All crew members are strongly encouraged to read and learn the list of period rowing and sailing commands.  They can be found here:

Also, for those interested, I have posted a list of all navigation and canal laws that we are required to obey here:  There are a few other pages of information and photographs related to the bateau on my own website ( and on the Second Albany website (

If anyone is interested in more documentation on any aspect of the trip, please ask.  I can supply copious data on anything from rigging to water conditions.  As always, I can be reached at enable javascript to see email address.

Contact Information

My full contact information is:

David Manthey
Telephone (cell): (518) 265-0215
email: enable javascript to see email address
Address: 100 Kingsley Road, Burnt Hills, NY 12027