Go Sunfish Sailing in Jamaica
When a landlubber thinks of sailing, images of a gleaming sleek craft gliding effortlessly along the sparkling azure seas with tanned bodies decorating the sun-drenched deck, surely come to mind. Anyone who has been sailing knows it is a magical experience. There is nothing like the feel of a gentle breeze sweeping across one’s body as the sailboat and water make contact, creating a beautiful sound.
If you want to take up this sport, take a tip - do so on a Sunfish sailboat on your next vacation in Jamaica. Here are some of the reasons why:
The Sunfish is the perfect beginner’s craft.
This simple sailboat has been in production for over fifty years, with very little change in the design. It is suitable for up to two persons. It uses only one sail, a centre-board, and a rudder, with the sailor powering up or down by pulling in or letting out the sail and veering further from or closer to the wind. It’s a two-handed operation requiring some skill as you sit on the windward edge with your feet resting in the cockpit.
When the wind fills the sail and the power drags you forward, a smile will spread across your face. As you gain experience and venture out in stronger winds, you will enjoy tucking your feet under the edge of the leeward side of the cockpit and leaning back into the wind to balance the boat on its side and bounce across the waves as the water splashes across the deck and sprays your body all over.
Sunfish sailboats are readily available.
Almost every resort in Jamaica is equipped with Sunfish sailboats. The resort staff at the water sports desk will take guests out for a ride, but there is no reason why you cannot take over the controls and master this sport in a few days. Also, on the popular beaches of Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, and Negril, there are water sports operators who hire equipment by the hour and day.
Jamaica’s climate is perfect for the beginning sailor.
It’s warm in Jamaica year round, so there is no need for wet suits. Just slip into a comfortable swimsuit, put on a floatation vest, apply sun block and don a hat, and you are ready. There is no anxiety about getting splashed or tipping over in that gorgeous, refreshing Caribbean Sea.
Jamaica is a small island but large enough to create its own weather systems. For sailors, this means daytime heating on land creates an onshore breeze which starts off gently in the morning and builds as the day matures. The sailor can therefore match his or her level of ability to the strength of the wind by simply waiting for the right time. And should anything go wrong when you are out sailing in Jamaica, there is no need to worry, as the wind will blow you back to the shore. Unlike windsurfing and kiteboarding, Sunfish sailing can be enjoyed in very light winds, perfect for the beginner.
Sunfish sailing is economical.
At most all-inclusive hotels in Jamaica, Sunfish sailing is free. Where it is not included, boats may be hired at very reasonable rates. One of the great advantages of sailing, is that once you have the craft, the sport is very economical as the wind is free. There are no operating costs.
When you return home from your Jamaica vacation, if you decide to make Sunfish sailing part of your life, it is not an expensive option to buy a boat. Used boats are readily available and can cost as little as a few hundred United States dollars. A new one will set you back less than five thousand dollars.
So come back from your next vacation in Jamaica with more than a tan. Come back with a new skill and memories of fun-filled days as you sailed the Caribbean Sea.