The boat refers to both the craft and the athletes in it. Shell is another name for the boat and is often used interchangeably.
Types Of Boats
A sculling boat for eight rowers. Must have a coxswain.
A sculling boat for four rowers.
A sculling boat for two rowers.
A sculling boat for one rower.
A sweep boat for eight rowers and a coxswain (diagram above)
Four (4+ or 4-)
A sweep boat for four rowers. Can be with or without a coxswain.
Pair (2+ or 2-)
A sweep boat for two rowers. Can be with or without a coxswain.
A coxless sweep shell. Only for a pair or a four. Referred to as a 'straight four.'
Refers to a type of boat (usually a four) where the coxswain rides lying down beneath the bow decking. Most racing fours are bowloaders.
Positions of the Rowers in a Boat
Refers to the rower's position in the boat counting up from bow to stern. In an eight, these are counted as the bow seat being 1, then 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and finally 8 in the stern. 8 seat is also referred to as 'stroke' seat.
The pair of sweep rowers in bow of the boat. This would be seats 1 and 2 in an eight or a four. The bow pair has the most effect on the set of the boat.
The pair of sweep rowers in the stern of the boat. This would be seats 7 and 8 in an eight or seats 3 and 4 in a four. The stern pair is responsible for setting the rating and rhythm for the rest of the crew.
Person who steers the shell and coaches for the crew on the water in a sweep boat.