Jim began sailing with his family on Muskegon Lake when they became members of the Muskegon Yacht Club in 1973. Under the name "Foxfire," they first raced a North Star 500, then an Irwin 30, followed by a C&C 34 and finally on the J-35, nicknamed Neighborhood Kids. Sailing with his friends and family from a very young age taught him a love for the sport and competition. While studying at MCC and later Central Michigan University, he began his sail-making career working part time for the Marchidos at North Wind Sails, and Ed Reynolds at Shore Sails Great Lakes in 1993. After graduating in 1994, Jim moved to Chicago to work for North Sails Midwest. During his tenure there, he took advantage of sailing opportunities, participating in multiple regattas across the US and Canada. He also became an award winning service manager, overseeing employees and a multi-state sales territory.
Jim brought his family home to Muskegon in 2003 to open Bluffton Bay Sails. He has been an independent North Sails dealer until recently when he was approached by Quantum Sails Great Lakes, World Headquartered in Traverse City, MI.. "With the recent developments through the 'American Magic' AC team, 'Quantum Racing' TP52 and other one-design classes, Quantum's Fusion products have reached a point I feel are equal, if not better, than all the other products available. They have focused on refining the lamination process and invested a huge amount of time and personnel toward the iQ design suite with direct, real-time, real-life, improvements on the products. I am excited to use and sell these sails."
Jim's sailing career has been spent primarily in mixed fleet PHRF and one-design keel boats. He has competed in over 30 Chicago-Mac Races, multiple Port Huron-Mac Races, Queen's Cup, Clipper Cup, Double Handed cross lake, Key West Race Weeks, San Francisco Big Boat Series, Miami SORC, North American, National, and World events in the J-24, J-35, Mumm 30, One Design 35, Farr 40, and Melges 24.
Jim and his wife Kim are current members of Muskegon Yacht Club, where their four sons have all participated in the junior sailing program. He hopes to pass down the same love of sailing and competition that he learned on these waters from his father.