Every year in the early fall, over 100 people from all around the city of New York and beyond join together to row 30 miles around the island of Manhattan and raise money for Rocking the Boat. This is Rocking Manhattan.
Rocking the Boat empowers young people from the South Bronx to develop the self-confidence to set ambitious goals and gain the skills necessary to achieve them. Students work together to build wooden boats, learn to row and sail, and restore local urban waterways, revitalizing their community while creating better lives for themselves.

at rocking the boat, kids don't just build boats, boats build kids

Know that your contribution to Rocking Manhattan 2017 will have an immediate impact on all of the youth we serve at Rocking the Boat. Our Youth Development programs help them grow up in one of the toughest districts in the country.


Students in our Sailing program will experience what it’s like to be on a boat in their local waterways for the first time in their lives; participants in the Environmental Science program will eagerly return to eel and oyster monitoring stations they tended all summer; and our Boatbuilders will embark on the six-month process of building a 26 foot Whitehall gig, just like the ones our Rocking Manhattan participants be rowing one week from today, September 23.

Threading through all of our programs are all-important individual and group social services, that help kids navigate challenges in high school, get them into college, and address problems at home and in relationships.  As a donor, you play a fundamental role in every aspect of this work! 

rocking the boat is committed to helping its participants:

  • Stay in high school until they graduate or receive an equivalency diploma
  • Enroll in college or trade school and be prepared academically and emotionally to succeed there
  • Develop technical skills such as sailing, boat handling, navigating, chart reading, carpentry, sample collection and testing, scientific observation, and recording data, all of which reinforce STEM concepts and put them into a practical context
  • Develop soft skills such as leadership, communication, teamwork, problem solving, and critical thinking

highlights from 2017

  • 13 graduated high school, 12 started their college careers, including two grads who started boatbuilding school this fall
  • 17 juniors toured five colleges upstate and were welcomed by Rocking the Boat grads enrolled there
  • Two delegates represented Rocking the Boat at a Youth Leadership Climate Summit in upstate New York
  • Seven sailors received US Sailing Counselor certifications, meaning they reached an industry-recognized level of competence, and taught sailing to younger students over the summer
  • Boatbuilders are approaching the exciting conclusion of construction of the classic but tremendously complex Herreshoff sailboat started two years ago. They proudly brought the work-in-progress to the Wooden Boat Show at the Mystic Seaport in June, garnering great praise.
  • Environmental scientists were singled out by the Bronx Parks Commissioner for their efforts to reintroduce the once-vanished alewife river herring back into the Bronx River
  • Rocking the Boat purchased its building, and received a significant grant from the City to increase its energy efficiency
  • 26 students and alumni received over $150,000 in college scholarship money from Rocking the Boat

kids don’t just build boats, boats build kids

rocking the boat
812 edgewater road
bronx, ny 10474

phone: 718.466.5799
fax: 718.466.2892