Los Angeles Maritime Institute is an extraordinary place

The opportunities we provide for volunteers are endless.


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 different 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 deckhand… 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 professional crew and staff are there with enthusiasm to support you.

We’ll provide hands-on instruction in conjunction with the logbook. You’ll become proficient in setting, handling, and taking in all sail, helming 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 Volunteer Documents.

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).


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
  • Repairs and upgrades – canvas/sails, carpentry, plumbing, mechanical and electrical projects
  • Organization support – Sea Scouts, fundraising, IT, merchandise, office projects

…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?

You will need to submit a Volunteer Information Form, waiver and a copy of your health insurance card.  The forms are available by clicking here: LAMI Volunteer Documents.

You’ll also need to attend an orientation.  Orientations are held on a Saturday of each month at 9:00 am (usually the second Saturday).  Please check our calendar to confirm and email our Volunteer Coordinator to RSVP at volunteercoordinator@lamitopsail.org.


Steps to volunteering and getting your official crew shirt:

  1. Submit your documents (Volunteer Information Form, waiver, health insurance card) to volunteercoordinator@lamitopsail.org.
  2. Attend a Volunteer Orientation.
  3. 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 (lamitopsail.org/donate).
  4. Complete Youth Protection Training (YPT) at my.scouting.org.  You will need to create an account to access the training.
  5. Sign up for a sail (check our sailing calendar for availability) or sign up to help with maintenance.
  6. Once you have accumulated 40 volunteer hours, you’ll receive your first official crew shirt.  Talk to our volunteer coordinator to get your shirt


Here’s how you sign up for a sail:

Email volunteercoordinator@lamitopsail.org.  You can also call the office at 310-833-6055.

  • Let us know what sail(s) you would like to sign up for.
  • If there’s room on the crew, we will put your name on the list. If the crew is already full, we’ll put you on the waitlist, and you’ll get a call if a cancellation opens a slot.


Please give at least 24 hours’ notice if you must cancel from a day sail, and five days’ notice to cancel from a voyage.