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      1. Our History

        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.


        barton marine Catalogue 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.

        Barton Marine - May 1963 Barton Marine - July 1963 Barton Marine - September 1963
        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.

        Barton Marine - May 1963 Barton Marine - 1967 Newsletter - Old Block Barton Marine - May 1963
        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

        Barton Marine - Catalogue Cover 1975 Barton Marine - Catalogue Cover 1976

        Barton Marine - Catalogue Cover 1977

        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.

        Barton Marine - Shroud cleats and sliding cleats introduced - 1992 Barton Marine - Shroud cleats and sliding cleats introduced - 1992

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

        Barton Marine - Size 1- 4 delrin ball bearing blocks introduced - 1995 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. Barton Marine - Size 1- 4 delrin ball bearing blocks introduced - 1995

        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.

        Barton Marine - The Nautilus range of composite winches is launched - 1999 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. Barton Marine - The Nautilus range of composite winches is launched - 1999

        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. Barton Marine - New re-circulating ball bearing traveller systems introduced - 2001 Barton Marine - New re-circulating ball bearing traveller systems introduced - 2001

        Barton Marine - Dinghy mast support introduced - 2003 2003 - Dinghy mast support introduced. Barton Marine - Dinghy mast support introduced - 2003

        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.

        Barton Marine - Site 2005

        DAME - Design Award 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. Barton Marine - Barton celebrates 20 years of independent ownership - 2005

        Barton Marine - Director Paul Botterill is awarded the title of Young Business Person of the Year - 2006 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. Barton Marine - MD David Coleman is awarded a lifetime achievement award - 2007

        Barton Marine - DO 550 rope clutch drawing 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.

        Barton Marine - Size 0 20mm block range - 2009 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. Barton Marine - Size 0 20mm block range - 2009

        Barton Marine - Varianta 18 - 2010 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. Barton Marine - Varianta 18 - 2010

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