What we're about

At Holt, we've been pioneers in small sailboat hardware and accessories for over 60 years. In that time we've remained true to our founding principles: to design, manufacture and supply affordable, high performance products for the marine market. Our outstanding reputation for quality and reliability means we now supply the majority of the world's dinghy builders as well as bespoke items for Yacht and Powerboat builders.

Coupled with our engineering expertise, we're also enthusiastic sailors - some of us to championship level. So we know our products inside-out and we're brimming with ideas. In addition, our Team Holt programme works closely with key, elite sailors. They provide great insight into how sailing is developing, and how we can improve their performance. Together with our internal research, their help allows us to refine our existing products and develop exciting new ones.

That's where we are now. This is how we got here:

Our beginnings

Back in 1945, Jack Holt and Beecher Moore set up a partnership to design and build a new breed of sailing dinghy. The Merlin Rocket, as it became known, soon became the fastest racing dinghy around. It also proved the pair's innovative potential and, from their base in Putney, their influence began to spread worldwide.

The Merlin's success inspired Yachting World to commission Jack to design and build a new low cost dinghy that would allow children to enjoy sailing. Jack's answer, the Cadet, began a revolution. The plywood chine construction lowered the cost, broadening the sport's appeal. The GP14, which followed in 1950, was the first boat to be sold in kit form.

With these new boats making sailing accessible to more and more people, the dinghy market was expanding rapidly. However, Jack and Beecher were frustrated by how difficult it was to obtain the type and quality of fittings they needed. At the time, every fitting was custom made in small quantities for individual boat builders. They needed a solution and, when developing the International Enterprise in the early 1950s, inspired by Glen and Tony Allen, they hit on the idea of producing dinghy hardware on a commercial basis.

Glen and Tony were Essex based engineers with a passion for sailing. They produced a small amount of dinghy equipment in their garden shed and readily agreed to make a range of die cast 'alloy' fittings for Holt. This was a revolutionary step, moving away from heavy cast bronze hardware.

Initially, they just used these new fittings on Holt's own boats. However, word of this lighter, more efficient hardware spread fast, and soon their products were in great demand. The hardware side of the business was so successful that it quickly overshadowed the boat building division.

So Holt grew rapidly, but always with the guidance of the founders' principles. Today, we are still a family business, run by Beecher's son Chadwick, and with probably the most comprehensive product range available, running to over a thousand items. Together with Holt Performance Hardware, Marine Pre-Packs and the newly introduced yacht hardware range Holt Nautos, we can now supply an even more extensive product range - and fast. This is a real benefit to our UK and overseas customers.

Designing our future

As Chadwick Beecher Moore says, "We are a great team! Our designers have developed a good feel for the type of products sailors want. This, combined with our sales team, whose considerable product knowledge comes from their active participation in the sport, (sometimes a little too active in the summer months!) puts us in a unique position to be able to develop our products in such a hands-on manner."