Los Angeles Maritime Institute is an extraordinary place to Volunteer

The opportunities we provide for volunteers are endless.

At sea or in port, volunteers are a vital part of what we do here at LAMI. Whether you have a lot of nautical skills, or none, we welcome you as a volunteer. Volunteers work with professional crews to sail our boats. We provide an in-depth training program to teach you the ropes, so that you can teach others. You will increase your own skills while you help our young people to develop theirs.


Never sailed before?  No problem. We’ll teach you.

Have a ton of sailing experience? Great! Come add to it and put your skills to the test in a very unique environment.

Enjoy working with kids?  Excellent. You’ll thrive with us.

Crew Training Program

When it comes to sailing, our training program can take you from standing on the dock, without ever having stepped aboard a sailing vessel, to be a qualified sailors and deckhands… if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

Our “Sail Training Logbook” is your guide to a solid foundation and will start you on a rewarding journey into the maritime world. Our policy with all activities for students is “challenge by choice,” and the same applies to our volunteer crew. You proceed through the levels at your own pace. Whether you prefer to go slowly or move as quickly as you can, LAMI’s experienced crew and staff are there with enthusiasm to support you.

We’ll provide hands-on instructions in conjunction with the logbook. You’ll become proficient in setting, handling, and taking in all sail, steering and sailing the vessel, tying lots of knots, navigating, watch standing, marlinspike seamanship, and, above all, safety procedures used in shipboard emergencies, such as a man overboard, fire, or abandon ship scenario. We have some great online training materials at LAMI Training Materials.

Completion of the Deckhand level qualifies you as a member of our Coast Guard designated crew and rates you capable of joining our voyage crew (a drug test is also required).

Volunteer Orientation 1500x1000

Think sailing might not be for you?

Our at-sea operations require a lot of dockside support, and we always need help with them. There is a constant demand in the following areas:

  • General boat maintenance – sanding, painting, cleaning the vessels, rigging, down rigging, wiring, haul out, repairs,
    barnacle removal and bottom painting.
  • Repairs and upgrades – canvas/sails, carpentry, plumbing, mechanical and electrical projects
  • Organization support – Sea Scouts, Harbor Sailors
  • Ship maintenance
  • Fundraising
  • Festival and Event hosts
  • Merchandise sales
  • Administrative tasks
  • Marketing support
  • IT support
  • Bring your own skills, we will apply them

…and much more! If you have the knowledge or desire to learn, we have a place for you.


The bottom line is – the only thing necessary to succeed and have a truly rewarding experience with us is time and a willing attitude.

Ready to Volunteer?

Follow these steps below to become a volunteer. Click Step 1 to get started!

Click Apply Now to submit your documents (Volunteer Information Form, waiver, health insurance card).

Download the waiver to sign and re-upload to the application form.

Complete Youth Protection Training (YPT) at my.scouting.org. You will need to create an account to access the training.

Need some help? Click here

MRT Training (Mandated Reporter Training)

*Please plan for a 1.5 hour training, which can be done in various sessions.

Contact Donna at volunteercoordinator@lamitopsail.org or call 310.833.6055 to attend a Volunteer Orientation. Orientations are held on a Saturday of each month at 9:00 am (usually the second Saturday).

Be fingerprinted for a background check at #1 All Safe & Secure located at 4172 Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance.  Just tell them you are from LAMI.  We ask for a $25 donation to cover the cost at lamitopsail.org/donate.

Check our sailing calendar to check for available sails.

Contact our Volunteer Coordinator to sign up for a sail.

Not interested in sailing?

You can also reach out to Donna at volunteercoordinator@lamitopsail.org for other opportunities that fit your interests.

For additional information, please contact Donna Dunn at (310) 833-6055 or email at volunteercoordinator@lamitopstail.org