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Welcome from Sailomat Creator

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your interest in SAILOMAT and welcome to this Web Site. We hope that our present material contains sufficient and valuable information in order for you to select the best overall self-steering system for your cruising yacht: The SAILOMAT 601.

Since the start in 1974, when I founded the SAILOMAT company, with manufacturing facilities in Europe and the design office and factory-direct sales located in USA, our team has been recognized as a pioneer and innovator in the development and building of sailboat quality self-steering systems for all sailboats up to 65 feet LOA. Today, the SAILOMAT has grown to be the world's most respected manufacturer and unchallenged leader in this specialty field.

As proof of a broad professional acceptance, some of the early SAILOMAT technology from 70's and 80's will now be used under patent license (or is copied) by other vane manufacturers. However, for demanding and serious offshore cruising, the current state-of-the-art equipment from SAILOMAT is better performing, and still the ultimate and the preferred choice in self-steering.

The proven and well established SAILOMAT 601-series is our fourth generation of production self-steering systems. Using the established 'servo-pendulum' principle, the advanced SAILOMAT 601 design is based on several of our most recent patents, years of extensive engineering development work and ocean testing. First introduced in 1992, the SAILOMAT 601 series was recently upgraded, including further improvements and simplicity in mounting to any hull size and shape, enhanced and unmatched bearing technology suited for high bearing loads in the emergency steering mode, as well as improvements and refinements in component design and material selection for even higher strength and corrosion resistance for the light-alloy design..

The SAILOMAT 601 systems thus incorporate many years of professional engineering development work and practical sailing experiences gathered from over 2000 systems delivered worldwide to blue water cruising and racing yachts. The SAILOMAT 601 represents the ultimate in self-steering, with superior overall steering performance, unmatched strength (over 5 times stronger than next competitor), simpler handling, far simpler installation- including the possibility of unique off-center mounting, enhanced light-wind sensitivity, and conversion capability to emergency steering, using an optional new rudder blade extension ('BEST').

The SAILOMAT offices in California, USA specialize in sailboat self-steering and offers free professional assistance and advice to customers worldwide. We invite you to contact us directly with your particular self-steering request or questions. Please include a scale drawing and yacht specifications (submit by fax or e-mail), so we can better assist you with equipment selection and further recommendations. We will thoroughly review every such proposal, and give our best professional advice from 25 years experience of self-steering design and manufacturing - your guarantee that the SAILOMAT system recommended for your yacht will perform to its full potential and to your satisfaction.

Happy sailing!
Stellan Knöös
SAILOMAT Manager and Company Founder
Ph.D. Engineering

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New Sailomat 601


Blue Water Sailors all over the world seek the freedom at sea. When you are cruising or racing and need reliable assistance at the helm, a good Self-Steering system will keep you on course and give you more freedom to enjoy the open blue waters.

The comfort and safety onboard depends on the correct selection and quality of the yacht's equipment. Most cruisers agree that the single most important gear for a successful voyage is the windvane Self-Steering system.

For a quarter century SAILOMAT has developed and built the very best Self-Steering vanes. These have steered all types of yachts for hundreds of thousands of carefree miles around the world.

Innovative design and unique manufacturing quality, combined with high performance and durability have characterized each SAILOMAT generation, and earned SAILOMAT the name of being the most experienced and distinguished leader in its field.

The continued efforts by the SAILOMAT design and manufacturing team to enhance steering performance and offshore reliability have resulted in our latest system: SAILOMAT 601, in every vital aspect the superior performer in all wind and sea conditions.

SAILOMAT 601 is the new proven standard for offshore cruising and passagemaking, and universally acknowledged as the professional choice and the most advanced production steering system ever built.

The SAILOMAT 601 is built on the proven 'servo-pendulum' principle, and easily fitted to any type of sailboat 23'-65' LOA. It is built on patented unique SAILOMAT principles, proven by years of ocean testing. The design is characterized by unmatched simplicity, very high strength and yet low weight.

The SAILOMAT 601 uses a patented low-friction direct linkage and advanced bearing technology for the enhanced performance. The design permits exceptionally large side swing motion for the servo blade (140 deg to port /170 deg to starboard), a most important feature for the performance, safety and convenience. The lightweight SAILOMAT 601 main frame can be instantly removed from a compact Universal Base, attached to the yacht. Light alloys are used for superior high strength. Corrosion is minimized by using marine grade alloys, electric insulation of components, and extensive use of Helocoil thread inserts.

As all previous SAILOMAT systems, the SAILOMAT 601 is designed and built under the experienced leadership of Dr. Stellan Knöös, aerospace engineer and SAILOMAT company founder.

The SAILOMAT 601 components are manufactured and assembled in high-technology manufacturing facilities in Europe and USA. Factory-direct sales and professional assistance to our worldwide customers are performed by our Design and Sales Offices in the U.S.

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Main Features

- unique mechanical design
- variable vane-to-oar ratio
- sensitive, all wind conditions
- all sea conditions

- all transom geometries
- only four bolts to hull
- compact 'footprint'

- perfect fit to modern reverse transoms
- automatic 'pumping-off' of sea weed

- will clear swim ladder
- walk-through transom
- outside hung rudder
- double ender (canoe stern)

- state-of-the-art design (patent)
- superior light-alloy materials
- shaft 500% stronger than competition

- out-of-water (140 deg/170 deg)
- overload safety
- convenient upright blade parking

- unique design concept
- stowing convenience

- 7 sizes available, 23'-65' LOA
- perfect fit to any yacht

- permitted
- added rudder area: 'BEST'

- clean and compact base

- 'Servo-pendulum' all-mechanical system.
- Line circuit with blocks, connected to yacht's tiller or wheel.
- Dual-axis air vane sensor.

- Seven sizes for perfect matching to any yacht 23'-65' LOA.

- Very high overall strength. Oversize shafts and bearings permitting use as emergency rudder.
- Very high strength/weight ratio. Weight: from 20.5 kg (46 lbs).

- Universal base (will fit any transom geometry). Compact 'footprint'.
- Simple 4 bolt attachment to hull (high position mounting).
- Off-center mounting permitted (to clear swim ladder or 'walk-through' transom)

- State-of-the-art system (patents, worldwide).
- Compact light-alloy design for superior strength-to-weight ratio.
- Pendulum swing range: 140 deg port / 170 deg starboard, out of water.
- Swing-up blade for vertical parking.
- Six-position variable vane-to-oar ratio (for enhanced light wind sensitivity).
- Simple and instant removal of equipment from Universal Base.

- Marine grade light-alloy main castings with Helicoil.
- Aluminum alloy extrusions (anodized), with high yield strength.
- Advanced composites. Bronze castings.

- Stainless steel 316. Helicoil thread inserts.

- Excellent resistance.
- Electrically insulated components, minimizing electrolysis.
- Helicoil inserts.
- Tefgel inhibitor compound . Non-welded design.

- Simple conversion to emergency rudder, using optional blade extension component 'BEST'.

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Model Program
LOA (feet)
Sailomat 601-S2 23'-33'
Sailomat 601-S3 28'-38'
Sailomat 601-SP 35'-42'
Sailomat 601-X5 35'-42'
Sailomat 601-X6 39'-41'
Sailomat 601-X7 49'-63'
Universal Base UNB
Wheel Coupling WHC
Extra Air Vane EXV
Remote Course Control (Mechanical) RCC
Long Mast Tube LMT
Emergency Rudder
(Blade Extension for Emergency
Steering; increased rudder area)
Base for canoe stern UNBDE


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Sailomat History

The SAILOMAT history started in the early 1970's with innovative design work, prototype manufacturing and testing of self-steering concepts made by Swedish-American aerospace engineer Dr Stellan Knöös, also a cruising sailor. The building and testing of the early prototype systems were performed mostly in Sweden. After a few years, this work resulted in the design of the now legendary and innovative SAILOMAT 3040 system. The SAILOMAT 3040 design was patented, and manufacturing initiated by the newly formed SAILOMAT Sweden Corporation (AB). These efforts were also supported by the Swedish Board for Technical Development (a government institution).

When first marketed in 1974, the SAILOMAT 3040 became an instant success, and recognized by the yachtsmen worldwide as the ultimate self-steering design, and the most advanced system built. The SAILOMAT 3040 utilized a small servo-pendulum driving an auxiliary rudder, with the unique coupling mechanism integrated into a compact light-alloy housing. The SAILOMAT 3040 steering was independent of the yacht's own rudder.

SAILOMAT became famous and known to the entire yachting world in 1978, when Naomi James with a SAILOMAT 3040 on her 53' yacht 'Express Crusader' broke Sir Francis Chichester's 11 year old speed record for sailing single handed around the world. In recognition for her extraordinary achievements and heroism, Naomi James was awarded the title 'Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire'.

The next generation of self-steering systems from SAILOMAT came 1983 with the all new SAILOMAT 500/536 design. These systems were simpler, had much fewer mechanical components than the 3040, and utilized a different principle with a line circuit connecting the 'servo-pendulum' with the yacht's own rudder.

The light-alloy SAILOMAT 536-series was based on additional innovative design (patented) concepts, such as the universal base with small 'footprint', instant removal ability of system from universal base, full pendulum swing out-of-water, slanted shaft and blade, and the unique and durable SAILOMAT vane-to-oar linkage system with spherical joint technology (no gear mechanism).

The strength of these SAILOMAT systems was lifted to such a high level, that to this date no breakage has yet been reported for any 500/536 shaft and blade, which is true also for the subsequent (600/601) systems!

Model SAILOMAT 600 model was introduced in 1992 as a refinement of the 536 model. The state-of-the-art SAILOMAT 601 came 1995, with further oversized shaft and bearing components. The product was further upgraded in 2002 and again in 2000, making it the most advanced self-steering ever manufactured.

Today, the SAILOMAT Design Office holds and represents the accumulated know-how from over 25 years of engineering design, development, manufacturing and hundreds of thousands miles of sailing experiences on all oceans with four SAILOMAT generations and over two thousand individual SAILOMAT self-steering systems.

SAILOMAT is therefore the most experienced self-steering manufacturer where customers can deal directly with the original product design team.

Today, The SAILOMAT components are manufactured in professional plants in Europe and USA, using advanced technology and quality control.

Effective June 2000, all Sailomat sales and inquiries for North America including U.S. territories are handled by Greg Davids of Davids Cruising Systems in Richmond, California, USA.

Sales for Europe, South America, Caribbean and the rest of the world, as well as Sailomat manufacturing in Europe are still under the supervision of Stellan Knöös of Sailomat International office in La Jolla, California, USA.

Both offices handle customer inquiries and provide professional advice to all our worldwide customers. Self-steering systems are delivered by air freight or ground transportation directly to the customer from factory-direct warehouses in California or Europe.

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