Volunteer Faculty

Become a Volunteer Instructor

Anyone with an Adult Program membership and a Green rating may volunteer as part of the Faculty. It requires no regular commitment; you can sign up for spots around your personal schedule. The more you volunteer and the more ratings you earn, the more classes you’ll be eligible to teach!

As highly valued members of the CBI community, Volunteers also enjoy perks such as:

  • Volunteer Cookouts and Night Sails
  • Annual Volunteer cruise with the Charles River Boat Company
  • That rewarding feeling when you teach something you love to someone new…
  • AND when you help out a non-profit you love!
  • Getting to know a ton of new CBI members
  • Eligibility to join the CBI corporation
  • Endless opportunities to improve your own sailing through teaching
  • Recognition of volunteer excellence from our Board of Directors

Below are descriptions of the available volunteer “positions”. If the idea of teaching and helping CBI sounds fun to you, please reach out to volunteer coordinator [email protected] to get started!

Introductory Classes

Orientation Leader

Orientation is one of the most important offerings in the Adult Program; it serves both as an introduction to CBI and demystifies one of the largest and most diverse sailing programs in the country. Orientation is heavily structured with a fully developed script and a quick-reference guide that will answer any tricky questions potential members may have. Volunteers are encouraged to learn the script and modify it to highlight their experiences and why they sail at CBI.

Rating Requirements: Green Rating or higher

Training Requirements: Reading of the lesson material, shadow an Orientation (Aprrox. 1 hr.)


Rigging Instructor

Rigging, along with Shore School, is one of the main introductory sailing classes offered at CBI. It requires both an in-class portion describing parts of the boat, and a guided hands-on portion where students can practice rigging and derigging a Mercury. This is a great class for Volunteer Faculty new to teaching to get their feet wet.

Rating Requirements: Yellow Rating or higher

Training Requirements: Online Learn-To-Teach class, shadow a Rigging class, & in-person training session (approx. 5 hours total)

Shore School Instructor

Shore School is the last class students need before they are eligible for the Mercury Green Rating.  This course is basically a driver’s ed for sailing, it focuses on all the theory students need to get in a boat themselves. Volunteers are encouraged to take advantage of the simulator boats on the dock to accompany the in-classroom talks. This class is great opportunity for Volunteers who want to improve their sailing skills do so by helping others learn!

Rating Requirements: Yellow Rating or higher

Training Requirements: Online Learn-To-Teach class, shadow a Shore School class, & in-person training session (approx. 5 hours total)

Intermediate Classes

First Sail Instructor

First Sail is a chance for Volunteers to take students out on the water and practice basic skills as they transition from classroom to on-the-water learning. It is almost always a 2:1 student to Volunteer ratio with lessons scheduled in advanced. This is a great opportunity for Volunteers who prefer teaching in smaller groups and creating their own schedules.

Rating Requirements: Yellow Rating or higher

Training Requirements: Reading lesson materials & check in with Education Director (approx. 20 mins)

Mainsail Instructor

Mainsail classes are students’ opportunity to build basic sailing skills using simulator demonstrations and on-the-water instruction. Volunteers will be teaching students with some sailing competency, and will receive powerboat training so they can be effective teachers out on the Charles. These are great classes for Volunteers confident in their sailing and teaching abilities.

Rating Requirements: Red Rating

Training Requirements: Online Learn-To-Teach class, shadow a Mainsail class, & in-person training session

Jib Instructor

Jib classes are aimed to prepare students for sailing in heavy wind. These are some of the most challenging (and most rewarding) classes Volunteers can teach. As a higher-level course, class sizes are generally smaller, allowing more directed instruction from Volunteers. This is a great opportunity for Volunteers who are familiar with more advanced sailing techniques and enjoy a challenge!

Rating Requirements: Red Rating

Training Requirements: Online Learn-To-Teach class, shadow a Jib class, & in-person training session

Instructor Schedules

Schedule a First Sail appointment here!

Instructors who are cleared to teach may add their name to the schedule by clicking the link below.

Volunteer Schedule 2022 – Live

Volunteer Faculty Code of Conduct