FAQ's

Cambridge Boat Club has provided a unique backdrop for a variety of events for generations, and CBC members are always delighted when we meet people both near and far who have enjoyed a special occasion at our historic clubhouse on the Charles River. We hope you and your guests will join that happy band!

Below, please find answers to the questions we hear most often. We look forward to speaking with you to explore how CBC might fit your needs.

The Clubhouse

  • How big is the space?
    • You can see our floor plan here. There are two connected rooms, one of 925 sq. ft. with a bar and hearth, and the other a 1,600 sq. ft. open space. Both rooms open to a full length porch overlooking the Charles River. Bathrooms and space for coats are adjacent. The rooms can be configured however you like, for cocktails, dining, dancing, music, and other functions.
  • Is the club air conditioned?
    • Our club is a historic building and not air conditioned. In warmer months, opening the porch doors and windows to allows for a lovely, cooling cross breeze.
  • I love the dock! Can I have my event out there?
    • CBC guests can enjoy the sunny afternoons and sparkling evenings on our full length, covered porch overlooking the Charles. But, because we are a fully functioning rowing club and in the interest of the safety of you, our equipment, and our members, we cannot allow renters on the dock, in the boat bays, or on the lower grounds.
  • What about parking?
    • The parking lot in front of the club fits about 30 cars. There are several public (free) parking areas within easy walking distance, although availability is not guaranteed. Especially for larger events, we strongly recommend that guests carpool or use ride sharing options.
  • I'd like to take a look at the facilities in person. Can I just stop by when I am in the area?
    • We would be happy to give you a tour! Please contact us to make an appointment as our staff is not on site every day and we don't want to miss you!

Timing, Set-up, and Logistics

  • How late can our event go? Are there time limits?
    • Typically, all events must be wrapped up early enough to allow for cleaning and lock-up by midnight. Events lasting past midnight, may be allowed with prior permission and will be charged at a rate of 1.5 times the hourly rate for hours after midnight.
  • I think I will need more set up time. Can I come in early?
    • All set up must take place within your rental window. One hour of set up is included in the standard rental package. If you'd like, and the time is available, you can add up to three additional hours to your set up time, at a rate of $75 per additional hour.
  • Is there someone who can help with set up and clean up?
    • Renters are responsible for all set up and clean up. If you're planning to hire a caterer, they may be prepared to help with this — make sure it's included in their contract.
  • Can I leave items overnight to pick up the next day?
    • No. Our members use the clubhouse every day, and need full access to and use of the space. Leaving items at CBC beyond the rental window will result in additional charges.

CBC Cost and Other Expenses to Plan For

  • What's included in the rental fee?
    • We rent the clubhouse by the hour. As part of the standard package, one hour to set up, and one hour to clean up are included.
    • Use of the club's tables and chairs included. We can provide details on the number and size of tables.
    • Not included: catering and bartending services; set up, breakdown, or cleaning services.
    • A State Police detail is required for all rentals and is not included in the rental fee. The cost of the detail is $220 for events 0-4 hours, and $440 for events over 4 hours. We make the arrangements with the State Police for this service and include it on your invoice.
  • What additional items should we plan to rent?
    • All table linens, glassware, flatware, china, utensils, decor, and A/V equipment are up to you. Peak Event Services handles such rentals for CBC. You can contact them at781-729-4000 or www.peakeventservices.com. You can work directly with Peak for all your needs.
  • Do you provide event managers or day-of event coordinators?
    • We do not provide event managers or coordinators, but a CBC Club Monitor will be present in the background during your event to answer questions and help make sure the club is fully buttoned up when it concludes. This service is included in the standard package.

Food and Beverage

  • Are catering services available?
    • We do not have catering services; but, if you'd like, we are happy to share a list of our favorite caterers we and others have used for past events. You are welcome to any caterer, as long as they are properly credentialed and insured to do business in Cambridge.
  • What is your alcohol policy?
    • If you are planning to provide any alcohol, you must provide professional bartending services. All bartenders must be certified and insured (TIPS certificates must be provided.) No kegs are permitted. Our insurance policy allows for open bar only — a cash bar is not an option.

Restrictions

  • Is the capacity really limited to 150 people?
    • It's not up to us. Per the Cambridge Fire Department, the maximum capacity is 150 persons. Please note, this includes all waitstaff, caterers, DJ, band, etc.
  • Can I use candles?
    • Because CBC is an historic building, candles or fire of any kind are not allowed. We've found that LED tealights look lovely!
  • Are there any other decorations I shouldn't plan on using?
    • Our renters find incredibly creative ways to decorate the clubhouse to suit the individual character of their events, using lighting and other portable decor. We donotallow glitter, confetti, rice, sequins, or anything else of the sort. Drapery or hung fabric are also off limits. You'll find plenty of hooks and nails already in place for anything else you might want to hang, and we ask that you do not put any more holes in the beams, rafters, or walls.
  • What about the fireplace?
    • Use of the fireplace is not available.

Booking

  • I'm ready to go — can you reserve the date for me?
    • In order to lock in your date, we will need a security deposit and signed contract — as soon as we have those, you've got it.
    • To get started, complete the Rental Request Formand we will be in touch within 48 hours.
  • How can I pay?
    • Once we're received your request and agreed on an available date, we'll send you an invoice for the security deposit. You can pay by credit card online, or send us a check.
    • Payment in full is due 60 days prior to your event.
  • What if I need to cancel?
    • You may cancel at any time, but may incur a loss of all or a portion of your security deposit based on the below schedule:
      • If you cancel your event:
        • On or before 180 days of the Function Date, no loss of Security deposit;
        • Between 179 and 90 days of the function Date, 33% loss of Security Deposit;
        • Between 89 days and 30 days of the Function Date, 66% loss of Security Deposit;
        • Within 30 days of the Function Date, 100% loss of Security Deposit.
      • Should the Club cancel an event, the Security Deposit and all other fees will be returned to you.
  • I have more questions...

Thank you for considering Cambridge Boat Club for your event. We look forward to working with you to make it a great success!