Membership of OULRC is by competitive selection drawn solely from student members of the university. OULRC commences the selection process in September prior to the beginning of Michaelmas term, recruiting from both undergraduate and postgraduate members of the University. By the end of Michaelmas, the squad is reduced to two trial eights which compete in a Trial Eights race at Henley-on-Thames over the course used for the race against Cambridge. From this squad the club selects a first crew, known as the Lightweight Blue Boat, and a reserve crew, known as Nephthys.
The Blue Boat goes on to race Cambridge. From 2000 until 2006 Nephthys also raced against a lightweight reserve crew from Cambridge, Granta. Since 2007, however, Cambridge has declined to field a Granta crew, and Nephthys has raced in the Tideway Head and other external races. The squad also participates in BUCS championships.
Nephthys derives its name from the Egyptian goddess of the same name who was claimed to be the sister of Isis. Isis is the name given to the heavyweight reserve crew, and is also the term used within the University for the reach of the Thames between Osney lock and Iffley lock on which the college crews row.
Although the Blue Boat does not compete in regattas after racing against Cambridge, OULRC does occasionally field crews in the Henley Royal Regatta, which often compete as Nephthys.
The Blue Boat crew have the right to wear a distinctive uniform. This includes a cream cable sweater with two blue stripes around the neck and the club insignia embroidered in the centre of the chest. They also wear a blue and white broadly striped blazer with the club insignia on the chest pocket. This replaced a blue blazer with white piping and embroidery worn in the early years of the club. Nephthys members wear a white blazer with blue piping, with crossed blades and the word Nephthys on the chest pocket.