sailing heritage society  

Each year we continue to make life-long memories for hundreds of children and families from several different groups in the community. In 2008 will take 1000 non-profit guests on nearly 100 therapeutic, confidence-building and skills development sailing cruises.

“Our families love being able to relax and enjoy one another outside the hospital.” – Starlight Starbright

“The captain and crew always let the children take turns steering the boat and they always have the biggest smiles on their faces. It makes them feel so special! At the end of the trip they are given captain’s certificates with their pictures on it. They come back to the shelter and show everyone and tell them how wonderful the trip was for them.” -- DAWN Children’s Advocate

“For our foster families, this is a chance for them to bond and for the kids to just be kids. Thanks to all the volunteer crew for all their hard work!” –Ryther Child Center


Volunteer with Sailing Heritage Society

Sailing Heritage Society is very proud that all trips are captained, crewed and hosted by a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers who truly make this fun and unique work possible.

Although we currently have over 100 volunteers we're always looking for new active volunteers who can commit to going on at least 2-3 trips each month or 10 over the busy summer season.
Not an experienced sailor? No problem. Most of our volunteer crew start out as novices or with very little experience. Everyone is welcome and we provide bun, very relaxed onboard training with experienced crew and captains.
All new volunteers start out as Crew 2 or 3. This generally involves following the lead of and assisting the Crew Chief in handling lines while departing, sailing and landing along with making sure the boat is clean and safe and the passengers are enjoying their trip.
After ten trips or if you are already a competent sailor, you might consider becoming a Crew Chief. Crew Chiefs have more responsibilities, including ensuring all volunteer crew are assigned to different duties, completing a thorough engine check prior to departure, and helping to train newer, less experienced crew.
There are also opportunities to volunteer as a Host/Ambassador, especially on non-profit trips. This is a very important role in ensuring guests receive a warm welcome, are comfortable on the boat and enjoying their experience out on the water. Along with creating an energetic and fun atmosphere, hosts also give tours of the boat, telling about its unique history, initiate social interaction between guests, create Honorary Captain's certificates for the children and serve healthy snacks.
For the more ambitious, there are also opportunities to eventually become licensed Captains.  


Please complete and return our Volunteer Application Form.


Once we receive your application, we'll invite you to an onboard initial safety training and orientation session.

This is very basic and designed mainly as an opportunity for people to get comfortable with what an actual sail entails, familiar with the boat and some basic safety issues and introduced to other people involved in the organization. Much more broad training will be received on actual trips.

An excellent training session and information packet has also recently been created by long-time volunteer Judy Rohrbach specifically for Hosts/Ambassadors. If this is an aspect of volunteering you'd like to be involved with we strongly recommend this invaluable training.


After completing the training you'll be given a log-in and password which will allow you to sign up for trips directly from the SHS Online Cruising Schedule.

To get an overview of the number and kinds of trips we do please look at the Cruising Schedule on the SHS Website.

As many of our trips are often working with children, we do run background checks through Washington State Patrol on all volunteers. There is an authorization on the application form.


  • New volunteers are encouraged to sign up for as many trips as they can definitely commit to. In order for our programs to run smoothly, we rely on volunteers not to cancel trips.
  • New trips are added to the schedule daily along with occasional changes. Please keep a regular eye on the schedule. 
  • All new volunteers are welcome to sign up for Crew 2 and Crew 3 positions. These are essentially the same. Please don't sign up for Crew Chief unless you are one.
  • Often there are several openings for additional crew on non-profit trips. If you'd like to come along but all the positions look "full" on the online schedule, please call the office and we'll let you know if there is space. These are the best opportunities to learn more!
  • Crew and Hosts should be at the boat at least ½ hour before departure time.
  • Crew and Hosts should wear navy blue polo shirts and khaki trousers or shorts. Polo shirts with the SHS logo are available for $20.
  • We'd also love to know if your workplace gives matching funds for volunteer time.

- Volunteer Checklists can be downloaded here:

Volunteer Crew Checklist

Volunteer Host/Ambassador Checklist

Sailing Heritage Society
117 East Louisa #503
Seattle, WA 98102-3203

Please feel free to phone or e-mail with any questions or suggestions.


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