The Hoofer Sailing Club originated as and still is a volunteer-based club that has been around since 1939. We operate on the beautiful shores of Lake Mendota, just a couple of steps away from UW- Madison’s Memorial Union. Volunteering for the club can earn you your work deposit. We pride ourselves in all the volunteer options we have to offer to our members! Volunteering with the club is a great way to meet fellow sailors, make long-lasting friendships and have fun! You get to do all this, while giving back to the community! What could be better?

What does volunteering at Hoofers look like?

Volunteering at Hoofers is not required, but highly recommended! It is permeated in our club history and is still an integral part of our club today. Again, it’s a great way to meet other members and it can help members become even more knowledgeable in the different types of fleets offered here at Hoofers! Volunteering is usually a commitment of a maximum of four hours. The workload required from members varies on the specific event; but feel free to talk with your work party leader or the volunteer coordinator if you have any concerns! You can come and go as your schedule demands; and any help is better than none! Volunteering is also a great learning experience. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, there is a volunteer opportunity for every member! What else does volunteering at Hoofers look like? Fun! It’s not all hard work and no fun. Play some music, share some dinner, enjoy the weather, volunteering isn’t boring unless you make it!

Why should you volunteer?


“It's friendships and fun that inspire people to get involved, and it's these people that make the club work!” Besides keeping member dues low and getting your work refund back, volunteering is a great way to socialize! In the end, the real payment doesn’t come back in the form of money, but in the form of great memories, fun experiences and camaraderie. The best feeling in the world though? Knowing that you’ve given back to the club in some way! It’s thanks to the hard work and dedication of our fellow members who volunteer that we are able to have a club that is as awesome it is today!

Here are some volunteer opportunities offered in the club:

  • Special Events: When Hoofers has special events, volunteers are needed to set up and take down equipment, cook, and/or serve food. These are all easy ways to earn your work deposit back!
  • Socials: Our Friday Night Socials during the summer wouldn’t be possible without the help of our members! Volunteers are needed to set up equipment and serve food.
  • Kickoff publicity: Volunteers are needed to help chalk, put up posters, and distribute flyers around campus to advertise for our awesome events!
  • Winter work: During our hibernation, there is often simple repair work and cleaning on the keelboats that need to be done while they’re out at the farm! This includes repairing sails!
  • Pier-in and Pier-out: At the beginning and end of the sailing season (and in case of inclement weather), we need volunteers to help us put in our piers to kick off the season, and help take out the piers so we can hibernate until next summer! This usually takes place in late April and again in late September.
  • Lift-in and Lift-out: At the beginning and end of the sailing season (early May/mid September), all the help is needed to put in and take out the boats from Lake Mendota! You definitely want to participate, as it is quite a feat to watch!
  • Regattas: Volunteers are needed to help cook food, set up equipment, or be a judge on the racing committee! Either way, you get to see some great competitive racing among some of the best sailors in Madison!
  • Lead: We value our members and their input! We offer numerous opportunities for members to lead in Hoofers! Join the Board of Captains, help out in the shop or if you’re feeling confident, volunteers can lead work parties!
  • General summer work parties: There are numerous work parties throughout the season for general maintenance at Hoofers. Whether it is pier, boat or sail repair, there’s a work party for everything! Come when you can, and leave when you have to! Make sure to join in on the fun; it’s called a party for a reason!
  • The shop: Help with more complex boat repairs; such as fiberglass on the boats, and other types of skilled labor. You don’t even need to know how to do it, we’ll teach you!
  • Instruction: Most of our sailing instructors are all volunteers! What does that mean for you? Well, if you feel confident in your skills, teaching and inspiring our next future sailors on any of our fleets is a great way to give back to the club!

Any additional questions or concerns? Feel free to shoot the volunteer coordinator an email at


Air Temp
Water Temp

Useful Weather Links