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Sailomat History

History Photo 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.

History PhotoSAILOMAT 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.

History Photo 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, making it the most advanced self-steering ever manufactured.

Sailomat History PhotoToday, 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.

Our Design and Factory-Direct Sales office in California,USA handles all customer inquiries and provides professional advice and assistance to all our worldwide customers. Systems are delivered by air freight or ground transportation from factory warehouses in California or Europe.


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