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 create our new 2018 business plan!

We are working a new business plan to expand into building space next to the ship.  There is plenty to do in market research and community outreach. We also have fundraising work associated with completing our FEMA-funded hurricane Sandy Alternate Project.  That work is covered in the PortSide description in our current internship ad

Other diverse volunteer opportunities:

Website design. We want a new one!


2018 update:  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 how 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.
  • Mechanical/engineering: We need parts of connecting rods taken off a spare engine block, and there is always mechanical tinkering to do.
  • 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.

Grant writing: We could use help writing grants.

Varied admin and creative work: We seek a volunteer coordinator, someone good at communicating with people and getting folks here to run ship tours or TankerTime. We can use specialized skills such as historical research, and book conservation. Can you edit sound and video? We could use a graphic designer (often) to design flyers, exhibit banners we hand on fences near the ship and more.

Help run events:  Want to enjoy sunsets afloat? We seek volunteers (2 per night) to expand our Sunset TankerTime from the 2017 schedule of Second Sundays in summer.  We need 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 our 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. 

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.