The PortSide crew has a high sense of fun and lively team spirit - and a great ship cat Chiclet. Join us and help bring life and change to NYC’s waterfront!

Volunteering at PortSide was featured in Time Out!

Help further our new 2018 business plan!

We are working a new business plan to expand into building space next to the ship.  It was submitted 8/10/18, and we could use people good at community outreach to get the word out and grow community involvement.

Other diverse volunteer opportunities:

Fundraising: We have fundraising work associated with completing our FEMA-funded hurricane Sandy Alternate Project.  We have identified many potential sources of funding for programs and operations and could use help writing grants. Willing to help us thank donors with emails and phone calls?

Varied admin and creative work:  It’s always a help to have more people in the office; that work requires a regular commitment so you come to learn the work be it web updating, photo downloading, etc. We could use a volunteer coordinator, someone good at communicating with and motivating people and getting folks to run ship tours or TankerTime. Part of the job is arranging volunteer appreciation events and gifts. We can use specialized skills such as historical research, and book conservation. Can you edit sound and video? Our e-museum Red Hook WaterStories could use interviewers and sound editors for oral history.

Help run events:  Want to enjoy time outdoors on the ship? We can expand TankerTime hours to the weekend if we have enough people to being on the ship to keep the deck open. We can always use greeters and ship docents (we train!) for public programs, and helping hands at program and fundraiser events (where you get to have a good time too!).

Educational program development: Do you work in education? We could use your input to grow and deliver education programs. 

Organizing stuff:  Great at tidying closets? Our tool crib, electrical locker, paint locker and storage area for catering supplies could use an organizer wizard.  The battle against entropy is a constant one.

Shipwork: we are particularly interested in help from people with trade skills (welding, plumbing, refinishing of woodwork, painting).  

  • Marine ops advisor and purchasing agent wanted! Someone who determines what doohickey does the job, who makes it and where to get it.

  • Plumbing repair to restore central heat system and domestic water systems.

  • Interior improvements: Willing to tackle heavy-duty cleaning (eg, degreasing)? Sanding & painting, restoring tile floor in the otherwise restored galley.

  • Welding: We need some light welding repair in various places.

  • Painting: there is always something to paint.

  • Varnish/brightwork: there is exterior brightwork to do. You must have deep experience to tackle this one.

  • Portholes need regasketing.

  • Mechanical/engineering: We need parts of connecting rods taken off a spare engine block, and there is always mechanical tinkering to do.

To get involved, call 917-414-0565 or email  Please send an email describing what kind of work you want to do (or don’t want to do), your relevant experience (if any) and the kind of hours you have available and on what days.  

PortSide NewYork and the historic ship MARY A. WHALEN  are on Pier 11, Atlantic Basin, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY 11231. This is a evocative location sandwiched between the hip cultural center Pioneer Works, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and the Red Hook Container Terminal and next to the new NYC Ferry dock in Red Hook. We are  25 minutes from Wall Street by ferry.   Our view sweeps from the Statue of Liberty to the Freedom Tower.