Volunteering Opportunities with BAADS

Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors is an exciting all-volunteer sailing organization, with a fast yet safe fleet of colorful small boats and sleek keelboats. If you enjoy helping others while learning new and challenging skills, together we can help make sailing accessible to people with differing abilities. We are looking for dedicated volunteers eager to pitch in and help in numerous ways – from dock, sailboat and chase boat assistance to boat maintenance, organizing, fundraising and regatta preparation. Previous experience on the water is greatly preferred, but not required.


How to become a BAADS volunteer

If you are new to BAADS and interested in becoming a volunteer, please fill out our volunteer application form. In case you have any questions, you can contact our volunteer coordinator Chris at baadsvolunteer@gmail.com or at (415) 674-4101. Before sailing we require all helpers to attend a mandatory small boat dock training. We will be in touch with applicants to schedule training. After the dock training, we’ll invite you to come out sailing with us that day. If you decide to become a BAADS volunteer, you’ll then need to get a BAADS membership (minimal annual fee: $50) and to come out to help at least once a month. We hope to see you on the dock soon!


Volunteer Benefits – Make a big difference in someone’s life!

As a  trusted part of BAADS you’ll enjoy many adventures on the world-famous San Francisco Bay. By supporting our sailing program regularly, you’ll learn valuable new skills and eventually crew and sail alongside our other members. In addition, you’ll also become a part of the vibrant South Beach Yacht Club community.

Volunteer Commitment – Can you commit to help us at least once a month?

As a volunteer with BAADS,  you’ll be learning (and eventually teaching) many new skills. Although it typically takes several months before new volunteers get up to speed and become really helpful, your initial participation and manpower is still quite valuable. When deciding to join BAADS, we request volunteers make a long-term commitment, and come sail with us at least once a month.


Volunteers assembling a Liberty

We ask that everyone take their commitment to BAADS very seriously: volunteering with BAADS is a highly responsible position: our sailors rely upon you and your fellow volunteers to sail safely in a very challenging and windy environment. Therefore, we reserve the right to refuse or revoke a volunteer position to anyone. But in return for your serious commitment, we will commit back to you – by actively helping to improve your newfound skills, both on and off the water. Please consult the Small Boat Program page to find a few of our educational resources.


Volunteer Jobs – What you’ll do

Small Boat Dock

We need most volunteers to support our small boat program (dinghy program) on Saturdays. You’ll assist sailors to get safely in and out of their sailboats, follow and safeguard sailors in their sail boats with BAADS chase boats, teach basic sailing skills, organize races and help assemble and disassemble our sailboats. If you have any questions about volunteering, please contact our volunteer email (baadsvolunteer@gmail.com) or call Chris at (415) 674-4101. Please see below for information on how to become a BAADS volunteer.

Volunteers in chase boat

Volunteers in chase boat


A typical small boat sailing day starts with boat assembly at 9:30 AM and ends after the boats have been put away between 2 and 4 PM. New volunteers need to work with the small boat program first, before they can migrate to the less volunteer-intensive keelboat program.


Keelboat Program

If you already have some sailing experience, you can help out with the keelboat program.  We are looking for keelboat skippers, competent crew and we always need help with maintaining our boats. If you are interested to volunteer, please send an email to baads.keelboat@gmail.com. Alternatively you can leave a message on the sailmail voicemail (415) 281-0212 and we will get back to you.  Please don’t forget to tell us about your skill level, so we can decide how you can help best.


Our fleet needs continuous maintenance. Maintenance is mostly done during the week. If you are interested in helping to maintain our boats, please consult the maintenance page for more information.



1. What should I bring to the dock?

 Most importantly, bring sun protection (hat, glasses and sunscreen) since you are very exposed to the sun. We also suggest you bring a snack to the dock or get something at the Java House nearby. Definitely get or bring a drink to prevent dehydration.

2. How should I dress?

Since the Bay Area weather is notoriously unpredictable, we suggest you dress in layers. While working to put all the boats together you might be really hot, but you can get very cold very quickly once you are out on the water. If there is a chance of rain or heavy winds foul weather gear is good to bring. A windbreaker and hat with a sun brim is always a good idea. Most of the time, we do not get wet since our boats are very stable. So you don’t need to bring a wetsuit. If you want to be very safe, bring clothes to change, although that is usually not necessary.

3. Where can I find the small boat (dinghy) dock?

The small boat dock is right behind the Java House in South Beach Harbor. You can see our colorful boats from the parking lot in front of Pier40. See location for more information.

4. How can I get to the small boat dock?

By car

Parking close to the dock is difficult. We have a very limited number of parking passes for parking at Pier 40. These are usually reserved for participants with limited mobility. If you have to come by car, please inquire about the parking pass situation or park somewhere else.

Alternative parking is available at the UCSF mission bay campus at 3rd and 16th Street. The campus is a 15-min walk or 3 MUNI stations (T line outbound, towards SF downtown) away from the dock. If there is no baseball game, parking costs $2.50 a day. See Mission Bay Public Parking for more information.

By Public Transportation

Take Muni T or N line inbound from San Francisco downtown and get off at 2nd and King. Walk back 3 minutes towards the bay and South Beach Harbor. The dinghy dock is right behind the Java House restaurant.