Teach Sailing

Youth Sailing1

Hello Everyone,

The Hoofer Sailing Club is now accepting instructor applicants for the 2021 season! As you might imagine, the Sailing Club is going to have to do things a little differently this summer due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but we are absolutely planning to get back on the water! We are certain we will be permitted to resume in-person adult activities, but are still waiting on decisions from the University of Wisconsin-Madison regarding the Hoofer Youth Sailing Program. More information will be provided to instructor applicants as we have it. In order to get back up and running, we need an excellent instructor team on hand to help lead the way. Please see below for more information on working as an instructor and instructions on how to apply.

Instructor Position Description – Volunteer and Paid

Hoofer Sailing Club

General Information: The Hoofer Sailing Club is an equal opportunity employer. We seek to maintain a wide variety of experiences, backgrounds, and identities amongst our instructional staff in an effort to better serve our membership. All employees must abide by the policies, procedures and behavioral standards of the Hoofer Sailing Club, the Wisconsin Union and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Eligibility for Wisconsin Union membership and Hoofer Sailing Club membership in good standing are prerequisites. Instructor positions are considered seasonal appointments and will terminate at the conclusion of the season.

Approximate sailing season dates (weather dependent):

Spring: April 26 – May 31

Summer: June 1 – August 27

Fall: August 28 – October 31

Hours: Sailing lessons generally occur from 9am through sunset every day of the week. Most lessons are set in 2 or 3-hour blocks. Highest demand for lessons among members is for evenings (after 5pm) and weekends. Scheduling is flexible, and instructors are permitted to schedule their lessons on a week-by-week basis on the fleet(s) of their choice. All paid staff will be expected to periodically work high-demand lesson types and timeframes as assigned by the Lessons Scheduling Coordinator and Head of Instruction. Volunteer instructors are expected to log 6-12 hours per week. Part time paid staff are expected to log 12-27 hours per week. Full time paid staff are expected to log 27-40 hours per week.

Prerequisite skills: Instructors must be competent sailors on beginning boats or introductory windsurfers and be able to teach practical skills and sailing theory to beginning sailors. Instructors should be enthusiastic, patient, work well with others, display professionalism in the workplace, and have strong communication skills, including competency in spoken and written English. Instructors will be expected to adapt to meet the individual needs of lesson participants to the best of their abilities. Instructors must manage their schedule well and always be on time for lessons, trainings and meetings.

Compensation: All instructors receive a Hoofer Sailing Club membership for the duration of their employment, although payment of the $13 Hoofer Council fee is required. Membership enables instructors to attend lessons, earn ratings, and use equipment outside of their lessons. The base hourly wage for paid staff is $12.00/hour, with raises available based on teaching experience, certifications (such as US Sailing and ASA) and other qualifications up to a maximum of $18.00/hour.

Volunteer Instructors: Volunteer instructors are hired to teach sailing using the same criteria as those used to hire paid instructors. Your willingness to volunteer your time and knowledge is deeply appreciated.

Training: Sailing Instructors will be trained in Club specific policies and procedures by the Head of Instruction. Ordinarily, Instructor Training would occur in-person, but due to Covid restrictions, training will occur this year through an online course. Accommodations can be made for those who do not have access to internet resources or are not comfortable using them. Paid staff will earn their hourly rate for all time used on trainings and instructor development seminars. Throughout the season instructors are expected to further develop their sailing and/or racing skills and ability to teach on additional fleets to increase future hiring potential. Instructors are encouraged to document their sailing hours for use towards national certifications.

Evaluations: The performance of instructors will be evaluated during the season by the Head of Instruction.

Instructor Application Procedure

The Application

Each instructor applicant must complete and submit either the New Instructor or Returning Instructor Application Survey (both linked below) by 5:00pm on March 26th, 2021.

The Interview

Interviews will be offered to selected new applicants based on the strength of their application. Selected applicants will receive email notification regarding their interview offer within a few days of completing the New Instructor Application survey. The interview will be conducted remotely via Zoom, and is roughly 30 minutes in length and consists of two parts. The first includes general questions regarding your background, qualifications and interests. The second portion is a short practical teaching assessment, where you will be asked to demonstrate your ability to teach a basic sailing concept (such as upwind sailing, wind clock, etc.) to a small group of your peers. The 30-minute time slot interview dates will be March 29th, 30th, and 31st. Returning instructor applicants do not need to complete an interview.

Hiring Offers

Hiring offers will be sent via email, along with the link to the instructor training course, to selected applicants on April 5th 2021. Instructors will have until April 21st to complete the online training course. Assuming the weather cooperates and our infrastructure install goes according to schedule, we are aiming to begin hosting lessons on April 26th, 2021.


If you have any questions about the application process or instructor position description/expectations, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Head of Instruction by email at headofinstruction@hoofersailing.org or to call the Outdoor UW Office at 608-262-1630.

Application Links:

New Instructor Application

Returning Instructor Application