Sailing is a wonderful way to see the world while out on the water. It is fun at any level, whether the sailor is an amateur or a professional. Sailing can be highly technical, and requires an understanding of the boat and equipment being used. This list compiles tried and true brands for sailing boats, equipment, and gear.
Hallberg-Rassy produces the most premium, high performance, and often luxurious sailing boats in the world. Most of the best sailing yachts that cross the seas were made by the company, making Hallberg-Rassy the most desired sailing yacht brand by sailors. The manufacturer sells sailing yachts of different sizes, prices, and luxury levels; all large, sea-cruising boats. The Swedish company has been around since 1972. Halberg and Rassy were rival ship builders until that year, when Halberg purchased Rassy's shipyard, founding the company we know today. A Hallberg-Rassy boat is uniquely crafted, and the company has become a symbol of reliability and luxury in the sailing world, making it one of the best and most respected bluewater sailing yacht manufacturers in the world.
Musto is a world-leading sailing clothes brand. Wearing Musto is synonymous with comfort, style, and safety. Inevitably, sailors and their boats get wet, but with Musto, water won't be a problem. Musto's apparel will keep their clients and their personal items dry, while their special rubber sailing shoes will keep people from slipping on the boat, guaranteeing safety even in the worst conditions. The company was established in 1964 by a British sailor who took pride in innovating and engineering the best pieces of equipment. Cutting edge technology is part of Musto's DNA as a sailing manufacturer to this day, and stays one of the world's best sailing brands. Musto is also the sponsor of many celebrated sailing teams, like the British Sailing Team, the German Sailing Team, the Swedish Sailing Team, the Swiss Sailing Team, and the Netherlands Sailing Team.
While Hallberg-Rassy produces big, blue water yachts, which are often very luxurious, Mackay focuses on small, fast, and competitive sailing boats, like Lasers and 49ers. Since its foundation in the 1960's, the company has become one of the premier boat manufacturers in competitive sailing. Mackey produces 10 types of off-shore sailing boats, providing sailing boats to some of the most prominent sailing athletes and teams in the world such as Great Britain's, New Zealand's, and Australia's sailing teams. In the last two Olympics, Mackay boats have been used to win a combined 14 medals, and every year in world championships many of their boats make it into first positions.
There are many different sailing disciplines, and still, all of them have a sail, making it one of the most important pieces of equipment in the sport. When it comes to sails there is one company that stands out: North Sails. The brand has every sail need that a sailor may have, producing sails for both competitive and recreational sailing, making many options available for customers to choose when equipping their boats. Since its foundation in 1957, North Sail is always innovating, and has revolutionized the sailing world many times by coming up with new sail materials and types. Many of the world's best sailors use North Sails, not because they are sponsored by the company, but because they are one of the best in the business.
Harken is a sailing company that produces hardware and accessories. Harken's products are present in all types of sailing boats, from 49ers produced by Mackay to mega yachts produced by Hallberg-Rassy, which feature Harken's hydraulics, travelers, blocks, and winches. Today, Harken is a big international company selling products to sailors worldwide, including athletes that compete in World Championships, the Olympics, America's Cup, and the Volvo Ocean Race. The company started small, with two brothers producing sailing blocks at home. Incredibly, Harken has evolved into one of the premier sailing brands in the world. Although the company's focus is on boat hardware accessories, Harken also sells equipment for sailors such as sailing gloves, bags, hats, and shirts.
Garmin is one of the most important and technological companies in sports, making high tech material for sports like running, swimming, golfing, and of course, sailing. In sailing, Garmin focuses on making chart plotters and instruments that produce data and better inform sailors about their boat and the water. Garmin's products are used mostly on big sailing boats that go around the world in long regattas and have a team of sailors that take care of the boat. Garmin is the technology brand in outdoor sports, and can provide sailors important information like wind, speed, depth, tides, and creating important maps. All together, Garmin provides the information necessary for sailors to make the best decisions possible when in the sea. Always creating and innovating, recently the company has come out with a sailing smartwatch, which aids sailors of big yachts to communicate and access data easily, in any condition, and from anywhere.
Raymarine designs operating systems, apps, sensors, and marine electronics, all to help sailors better understand and control their boats. One of the company's most successful and important pieces of gear are their autopilots, which are an important part of sailing large yachts. Raymarine's innovative tradition and long-time reliability make them one of the best technological companies in sailing, and their auto-pilot system one of the most searched by sailors to install in their boats. Since Raymarine's foundation in 1923, the company has revolutionized technology and data in sailing, and many of their products have received international awards in both the technology and the sailing worlds. The company also produces equipment used in fishing, and sponsors many pro fishers. In sailing, the company sponsors celebrated racers Andrea Mura and Alex Thomson.
Sailing boats use wind-power to move most of the time, but larger sailing boats have small engines, which help the boat move in times of wind scarcity. With engines being an important part of sailing, one of the main engine manufacturer's top sailing brands is Yanmar. Yanmar specializes in small sailing engines, which are different than regular boat engines. The company has many options for sailing boats of different sizes and speeds. Whenever you see a big sailing yacht, they will likely have a Yanmar engine in case the wind is not enough. The company has been around for over 100 years, and is always looking to be more efficient and powerful.
Seldén is a sailing company that makes pieces of equipment used in boats of all sizes, disciplines, and levels. The company's main product is masts, producing masts of different materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum. Seldén's care and attention to detail have made the company into one of the industry's leaders and preferred brands of the top sailors in the world. Not surprisingly, Seldén equipment has been in boats that have won Olympic, World, European, and National championships.
Inmarsat is yet another tech company in this list, showcasing the importance of technology in sailing. Inmarsat is not a sailing specific company as it also deals with aviation, but its industry leading satellite communicating technologies are very important in big regattas on long trips. In such competitions, where sailors find themselves isolated in the middle of the ocean, it is Inmarsat's antennas and equipment that allow the crew to keep in touch with those outside their boat. The company often partners with sailing races such as the Volvo Ocean Race, proving the quality of their products in the most extreme conditions. In competitions like these, the company is not only responsible for monitoring boats and delivering information, but also for the overall safety of all of those taking part in the race by allowing communication in case of medical emergencies and when repairs to the boat are needed.