Mariners 936


100 Percent Volunteer Led

It is through the selfless efforts of volunteers that we are able to offer enriching experiences, training and mentorship to our young Mariners.  Relying on the dedication and expertise of volunteers, we strive to create a vibrant community centered around sailing and the positive development of our youth, where passionate individuals come together to provide transformative sailing experiences positively impacting their lives on and off the water.

No Sailing Experience Required

Mariner facing volunteers serve as instructors, coaches, event organizers and role models, generously sharing their knowledge and love of the sea. They create a supportive environment that nurtures learning, fosters camaraderie, and instills a sense of responsibility and teamwork in our members.

And while we need and welcome volunteers with sailing experience to serve as our adult sailing advisors and to Captain our Catalina and other long cruises, we have even more volunteer needs that do not require sailing skills.  We rely on volunteers to collect our dues and manage our funds, wrangle paperwork, coordinate our recruitment and fundraising functions, maintain our website, organize events, serve as chaperones on our overnight events, teach leadership and organizational skills, maintain our boats, procure our insurance, and maintain our good relations with our landlord, the County of Orange.

A Unique Opportunity to Connect with Your Teen and to Know Their Friends

Volunteering in our Mariner programs provides numerous personal rewards.  Volunteering allows individuals to give back to their community and create lasting friendships and connections, all while inspiring and positively impacting the lives of young Mariners.  And for many of our volunteers with youth in our programs, volunteering provides a unique opportunity to connect with your youth and to get to know their group  friends.

Our Volunteer Leaders

The Mariner programs are overseen by a group of over 80 dedicated volunteer adult advisors, the majority of whom are the parents of youth that are currently participating in, or formerly participated in, our programs.  As required by California law, all volunteers that spend significant time with Mariner youth have been fingerprinted and background checked in accordance with California AB 506 and have completed the mandatory California required youth protection training.  

Saturday Sailing Program

The Saturday sailing program operates during the fall and spring Mariner program seasons.  Beginning sailing instruction is conducted on single person Terras and is held 9 am to 12 pm Saturday mornings and intermediate instruction is conducted on single person Lasers and held from 1pm to 4 pm on Saturday afternoon.  An advanced J24 racing team practices on Saturday afternoons or at such other times as agreed upon between the team and the adult racing instructor.  During the summer a free sail program generally operates from 1-4 two Saturdays per month. All of our sailing programs originate from our seabase in Dana Point Harbor.  Students are required to complete a swimming test prior to the commencement of sailing instruction and to wear life jackets while on the dock and during sailing instruction.  Each sailing class is taught by two senior level student instructors and is supervised by at least two adult volunteers.

Swabby Program

The Swabby program is an opportunity for youth to do maintenance on boats and other equipment and earn swabby dollars which can be used to offset program dues, and costs for cruises.
Swabby operates during the fall and spring Mariner program seasons, generally from 9 am to 12 pm on Saturday mornings.  Each swabby session is supervised by at least 2 adult volunteers.

Volunteer Opportunities 

Whatever your interest, we have a job for you where you can work with youth, work on boats or work behind the scenes on administrative projects. We love having parents involved.

Here are some of the volunteer opportunities that we have where you can make a difference:

Office Staff

There are a number of responsibilities that are handled by our volunteer office staff, these include uniforms, paperwork, membership roster and bookkeeping. Most of these volunteer jobs are very flexible and are perfect for someone looking to help out from home.

Fundraising/Donations & Sponsorship

Financial support is always needed to maintain boats and subsidize trip costs. If you have creative ideas for fundraisers or would like to assist in implementation of fundraising ideas, this is your department.


This department is responsible for communicating information about meetings, events, trips & competitions to youth and adults via emails, Facebook and Mariners website.


The racing department is always looking for sailing enthusiasts to help our youth develop racing skills and implement fun racing events.

Trip Chaperones

In order to comply with Scouting America (BSA) two-deep supervision requirements, we are always looking for adult volunteers willing to chaperone sailing trips and competition events.


The recruitment department does outreach in the community to introduce potential recruits.  We’re always looking for fresh ideas on how to reach kids in this age group through social networking and affordable advertising. Please let us know if you can lend your expertise in this area.

As Needed

If you can’t make an ongoing commitment to a specific department, we can add your name to our “as- needed” database of volunteers and will contact you when there is a need for additional assistance on a project.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these volunteer opportunities, please contact us and indicate your area of interest.

All adult advisors working with Mariners youth will be asked to fulfill the BSA registration requirements including a background check.  This process is mainly in place as a protective measure for anyone interacting with our youth.