Avid Sailor James Feldkamp Offers His Top Sailing Tips for Beginners

The summer of 2020 is in full swing, and people are taking to the water to cool themselves down. Sailing is a summer sport that offers a way of getting out on the water while learning a number of valuable skills in addition to the act of sailing itself. Avid sailor James Feldkamp explains that sailing offers opportunities to learn about water safety, weather patterns, map reading and more.

However, James Feldkamp adds that sailing can be as difficult to learn as it is fun. That’s why he’s offering his top beginner sailing tips for those who want to learn to voyage via sailboat on the open water this summer.

“Learning to sail is always an activity best enjoyed with an experienced sailor on a boat that’s most ideal for learning,” James Feldkamp says. “An instructor certified by the American Sailing Association (ASA) is always recommended for your first few sailing lessons; however, I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to learn with a well-experienced friend.”

James Feldkamp added that learning to sail aboard a vessel that’s the right size and simplicity can make a major difference in how you advance. He states that most beginner ASA courses take place on 22-foot keelboats. That’s because these boats are small enough to control yet large enough to be sturdy. A boat that’s too small may capsize a frustrating amount of times, while a boat that’s too large will be difficult to control.

“Weather conditions are an essential part of sailing, and learning to read them will benefit you greatly,” James Feldkamp states. “As a beginner, it’s important to sail on days that offer sunshine and a very small chance of precipitation.”

James Feldkamp adds that a day with a 0-percent chance of precipitation is ideal. Lighter winds are also more ideal than strong winds, as the air is often windier away from the shore. James Feldkamp explains that anyone new to boating should remember the temperature is always cooler on the water as well, so it’s better to wear layers and remove them when needed. There’s a high likelihood that you’ll end up in the water at least once when learning to sail a small vessel, so taking the water temperature into account is essential too.

“It’s important to do your research before trying any new hobby, and sailing is no different,” James Feldkamp explains. “Familiarize yourself with common terms, like port, starboard, gybe, tack and more, so you can be of help on the boat.”

According to James Feldkamp and sailors around the globe, the sport of sailing is one of the best ways to get on the water, appreciate nature, and simply have fun in the summer months. He hopes more sailors will sign up for ASA courses and get on the water during the summer of 2020, and beyond.

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