Barton is proud of its heritage and invites you to browse some key dates in the history of the company.

1948 – Whitstable Shipwright and boat builder Ron Barton establishes R.S.J. Barton. He was one of the first to use a fabric based laminated plastic called Tufnol and stainless steel to manufacture yachting blocks which were much lighter and stronger than previously achievable.

1960 – Sees the introduction of GRP boats, bringing sailing to a larger audience. Demand for Barton’s innovative, lightweight and cost effective products continues to grow. Ron realised that Tufnol was too labour intensive and costly so set about re-designing the entire Barton product range to become the first marine company to use a new plastic injection moulding process using revolutionary fibre glass reinforced plastic materials. RSJ Barton now becomes a limited company.

1963 Newsletter May
1963 Newsletter July
1963 Newsletter September

1963 – RSJ Barton moves to Cromwell Road, Whitstable. The Barton brand becomes known internationally, Barton winches take off in the USA! Now commonplace on smaller cruising and racing yachts.

1967 Newsletter
1967 Newsletter

1971 – Barton now a leading manufacturer of lightweight yacht fittings; new products include slab reefing kits, ball bearing blocks, deck organisers, mainsheet systems and rope clutches. Barton expands its Cromwell Road factory to cope with demand. Plastimo appointed as distributor for France.

1972 – German distributor Robert Lindemann KG starts selling Barton winches and snatch blocks, the company is now one of the largest distributors in Europe

1975 Catalogue Cover
1976 Catalogue Cover
1977 Catalogue Cover

1986 – Ron Barton retires and Barton is sold to David Coleman, who brings a wide experience and knowledge of the yacht equipment market and global distribution. Barton Marine Equipment Ltd is formed; Belship appointed as distributor in Holland.

1987 – Barton now fully computerised, Variloc range of blocks introduced

1988 – Barton attends the first METS trade fair in 1988, this proves to be the launch pad into the global marine market. Barton today supplies 35 distributors in 32 countries. METS has also helped strengthen Barton’s brand image in the OEM market with many international boat builders realising the benefit of high quality, reliable products at a competitive price.

1991 – Introduction of an entire new range of 25 and 32mm T track cars, Barton, to this day, still continues to manufacture the widest range of T Track accessories in the world.

1992 – Shroud cleats and sliding cleats introduced. Simple yet innovative handling solutions. The sliding cleats are designed to fit International standard 25mm and 32mm T Tracks. Pinstop adjustment ensures exact positioning when attaching spring lines to the dock.

1994 – Barton awarded Supplier of the Year by distributor Simpson Lawrence

1995 – Size 1- 4 delrin ball bearing blocks introduced. A brand new design featuring twin rows of delrin balls running on a large diameter acetal cantre boss. This enables the load bearing surface to be maximised over the greatest number of bearings for optimal performance.

1997 – Spectro grey anodising is introduced, a brand new technology offering Barton aluminium products a superior, longer lasting finish. Patented by Henkel in Germany, only 12 centres around the world are licensed to perform this highly advanced process. K Cam cleats introduced to include composite Kevlar and Zytel filaments.

1999 – The Nautilus range of composite winches is launched offering high performance and ease of maintenance, lightweight too. Available in single and twin speed 16:1 or 23:1 they offer a low cost alternative to alloy and s/s versions.

2000 – The Barton Boomstrut is launched – the rest, as they say, is history! Now available in six sizes, standard fit on the Beneteau Figaro, Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200, Beneteau First 34.7 & Petticrow Dragon. Barton receives the MEX award and achieves ISO 9002 accreditation.

2001 – New re-circulating ball bearing traveller systems introduced utilising Spectro grey anodising for an exceptionally smooth action. The design features integrated control line sheaves giving a low, sleek appearance and comes with the option of control line cleats on the traveller car or end fittings. Three sizes are available for yachts from 6m to 14m.

2003 – Dinghy mast support introduced.

2004 – Barton moves to brand new purpose built factory in Whitstable, this allows further expansion and efficiencies in production. Barton is very fortunate to have a highly skilled local workforce, a number of whom have worked for the company for over 15 years, passing on their skills to the younger members of the team. Clamseal wins the coveted Dame innovation award at METS.

2005 – Barton celebrates 20 years of independent ownership, distributors and industry leaders from around the globe attend a gala event to celebrate. Lean manufacturing processes introduced as expansion continues.

2006 – Director Paul Botterill is awarded the title of Young Business Person of the Year, Brand new retail packaging introduced further raising Barton’s brand profile in the retail market. Barton sets up Barton USA in association with Ocean Marketing.

2007 – MD David Coleman is awarded a lifetime achievement award in recognition of his services to the Marine Industry and particularly in Export Marketing.

2008 – John Foord takes over as Barton’s new product designer, taking over from Don Oliver (who sadly passed away having been with Barton for over 20 years). John works closely with technical director Paul Botterill to bring design ideas through initial brief to full production. All tooling work is undertaken in house and extensive testing carried out before release into the market. The fuel whistle is launched at METS (image tech drawing 2Omm block) along with the new DO 550 rope clutch range. Barton partners Swobbit Inc. to set up Swobbit Europe, a jointly owned company.

2009 – Sees the launch more exciting new products – the Size 0 20mm block range, Size 0 re-circulating ball bearing traveller range and the dinghy boomstrut.

2010 – Two significant OEM accounts secured. Dehler Yachts in Germany specify Barton Marine deck hardware for the Varianta 18 range of pocket cruisers. Sealine International approve a specially adapted Size 0 sliding roof traveller system for the SC35.

2010 – New Barton Sliding Roof contracts with boat builders Hanse and Sealine

Special model of Boomstrut designed for Beneteau for the Figaro Class    

Die Yacht Magazine – rates Barton overall block test winner!

Barton High Load Eyes launched

2012 – Barton High Load Eyes feature at the Olympic Games

T Track Towable Cars upgraded

Introduction of the Removable Mainsheet Traveller System

Barton’s French website launched just as

Barton’s largest worldwide distributor goes under, Navimo Group file for bankruptcy

2013 – Marathon Leisure are appointed UK Distributors along with Plastimo & Navinordic

PBO Magazine reports Barton as block test winner again!

2014 – Barton Carbon Fibre Tiller Extensions, Pillar Fairlead upgrade and new Winch Handle Pocket are introduced

We lose David Coleman to cancer with over 450 colleagues and friends attending his Memorial from around the world

Suzanne Blaustone enters Barton as new CEO

Paul Botterill appointed MD at METS

2015 – The Victory Wooden Block Range is launched at METS as Barton targets the Classic Yacht market

2016 – Paul Botterill departs Barton

Dermot Bealey arrives as Production and Operations Manager focussing on factory upgrades, systems and restoration of tools and equipment 

Brexit Referendum passes and Barton assess how to manage global distribution without the advantage of free trade in the EU

2017 – The New Barton Block Range is announced at METS “Endurance Restyled”

2018 – The New Barton Block Range of 1800 new products goes into Production for sizes1-7

The new Barton Ratchet Block launches along with the QuickCleat range

Distributor Comar Marine comes onboard in Cyprus

Distributor GibYachts comes onboard in Gibraltar

2019 – The Outhaul Block is launched

EP Barrus appointed as Barton’s UK Distributor

Barton produces its Brexit Brief to reassure global customers that Barton is prepared for freight and tax issues

2020 – Barton announces that it is an ‘Essential Business’ and does not close during the worldwide Covid Pandemic and there are no significant Covid cases in the factory or offices

Distributor DeckHardware comes onboard in Australia

Barton opens Barton US LLC and initiates its own distribution network in the USA with warehouse operations in Hampton Virginia, which is set up virtually online due to Pandemic travel restrictions 

Barton produces its first Virtual METS with 3D exhibition stand meeting with all its global customers  

Brexit Regulation is initiated in the EU and Barton does not lose a single customer

2021 – Turnover in the US triples through Barton US LLC 

Distributor Gin-A Co Ltd comes onboard in South Korea

Distributor Sail in Siam comes onboard in Thailand

Barton launches SkyDock and the new low friction ring Stanchion Bullseye

2022 – Distributor Tan Vien Dong Trading Co comes onboard in Vietnam

Barton Launches SkyLock Blocks 400kgs and 800kgs

Barton Launches Stainless Steel Deck Plates

From New Zealand, the award winning range of Windicators is added to Barton’s accessories line

Barton sponsors the first ever International Women in Marine Event at METS

Jeff Webber enters Barton as Chief Commercial Officer

Dermot Bealey appointed Production Director

2023 – Distributor EELAT Pte Ltd comes aboard in Singapore

Barton launches the new Tufnol block range using the former Barton brand name Tuphblox 

Barton launches the Land Sailing range of kits and accessories

Barton introduces the Outboard Motor Sling

Barton Launches the new dinghy and racing branding scheme bartonRace

Barton Celebrates 75 years as a UK manufacturer in the leisure marine industry