Get Involved

Get Involved, Volunteer at the Maritime Museum.

Traniees and mentors

A San Diego treasure, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is more than a collection of world-class exhibits and ships. It is a family of volunteers, members, and supporters like you, who are joined together by their passion for the sea, maritime history, and creating an inspiring and enlightening experience for children and adults alike.

We have opportunities for young & old alike. Docents, Sail/Maintenance Crew, Special Event Volunteers, we have plenty of opportunities. Come join our family and be a part of history.

Sail and Maintenance Crew

The ships at the Maritime Museum are sailed and maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Have you ever wanted to learn to sail and maintain tall ships? The Maritime Museum will teach you. Learn about ships from four different centuries which include the 19th century Californian, a tops’l schooner; the 18th century HMS Surprise a full rigged British Frigate, the 19th century three masted Bark the Star of India, 16th century Spanish Galleon San Salvador and the 20th century steam yacht Medea.

Sail and maintenance crew members can expect to learn skills such as rope making, knot tying, climbing the rigging, maintenance of the ships, and much more. Don’t think you are a climber? No problem, we have needs for people of all abilities.

Crew meets on Sunday aboard the Star of India, plus we have ongoing opportunities during the week for sailing and maintenance. Fill out the online application form, and we can email you crew information about joining. Or show up at the Star of India, Sundays 8:00am. Ask for Mr Davis.

Volunteer Application:
Click Here

Crew members must be Maritime Museum members and have their own health insurance.



San Salvador:

Star of India:

HMS Surprise:

Museum Docents

Maritime Museum of San Diego Docents are a special breed of people. They are our volunteer teachers. These knowledgeable and talented individuals are experts on our ships and exhibits, interpreting the museum’s collections for our visitors. They also lead organized tours for groups ranging from grade school to scout groups to conventioneers.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego accepts individuals who wish to volunteer as docents at any time. Training can be accomplished by Docent Training Classes, Docent Mentorship Program or a combination of the two. Museum Membership is required to be accepted in the Docent Training Program.

Once a year formal training is arranged, beginning in early January and running for 11 consecutive weeks. Training sessions are on Tuesday’s. They begin at 9:00am with a short meet and greet social. Classes run till noon and cover a comprehensive variety of topics.

For further information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator’s office at (619) 234-9153 x 129 or send an email Click Here to email.

Library and Archives

There are always plenty of opportunities to help with cataloging, preserving, and protecting thousands of books, periodicals and historic artifacts in our museum library and collections department.

Help is also needed in the curatorial department developing and installing permanent and temporary exhibits.

For further information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator’s office at (619) 234-9153 x 129 or send an email Click Here to email.

The San Diego Ship Modelers Guild

The San Diego Ship Modelers Guild is a group of artisans sharing a common interest in ship modeling, maritime history, and lore of the sea. The Guild provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, information, skills, and techniques on all matters related to crafting of nautical models. Visitors are welcome, and the Guild is always looking to recruit both skilled modelers and those new to the craft. Meeting nights are the second Tuesday of each month, at 6:00 P.M. on the upper deck of the ferryboat Berkeley.

San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Star of India Wharf
1492 North Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

For further information email the Guild Master: Click Here to Send Email.

San Diego Ship Modelers Guild Website

Maritime Museum Dancers

Experience social life of the Napoleonic era with the Maritime Museum Dancers aboard the HMS Surprise.

Since their debut performance on Labor Day 2005, the Maritime Museum Dancers have been delighting museum guests with dance, wardrobe, music and song of the 1805 period.

Interested in joining the dance troupe?

Contact: Ms. Elizabeth Albe
Troupe Director
(949) 295-3236

Performances: The Maritime Dancers have a practice, Sunday June 27, 2021 at 1pm.

Public Events

The Maritime Museum of San Diego frequently has opportunity for volunteers to help at many of our public events. These events include Family Days, Exhibit Openings, Sea and Air Parades, Ship Festivals, Members Nights, as well as countless other events.

Volunteers should be friendly, helpful, able to work with the public….and most importantly able to have fun. Positions will vary from event to event but often include concessions, ticket sales, security, crowd control, ushers and others.

For further information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator’s office at (619) 234-9153 x 129 or send an email Click Here to email.

Maritime Museum Membership

As a member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, you support our preservation and education efforts, and in return receive many benefits! Bring the adventure and discovery to life as often as you would like with your Maritime Museum Membership.

CLICK HERE for Memberships Page

Volunteer Portal

Welcome to the Volunteer Page of the Maritime Museum of San Diego! Here, you can access our Volunteer Orientation Handbook as well as the link to our Volunteer Portal. Click the link to access your personal volunteer profile, which will show your total hours, the assignments you have performed, as well as allow you to log in the hours that you have volunteered. To log in, click the link below to take you to the portal’s log in page. Once there, click on the “Need a password” link and follow the instructions to set up your account. Below are the manuals with detailed instructions explaining the pages and functions of the website. Please read through the manuals and if you have any questions, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Rebecca Saikowski


There are many ways to volunteer at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, contact the Volunteer Coordinator’s office at (619) 234-9153 x 129 or send an email Click Here to email.

We appreciate the support, contributions, and enthusiastic participation of our many volunteers at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.