North Sails enters sailing gear market

Published on November 26th, 2020

When Helly Hansen acquired Musto in October 2017, the merger of these two sailing gear brands created an opportunity for outside interest to enter the market, and North Sails is strutting through that door. Launching in Spring 2021, here’s the update from Ken Read, North Sails President:


We thought that now was the right time to tackle this challenge. We started by ensuring we had an industry leader to spearhead the project. We hired Nigel Musto – you probably recognize the name.

Nigel understands the blend of technology, art and craft – along with the intricate design detail – that makes for great foulies, and he was as frustrated as the sailors at the recent lack of progress. He knew that in other extreme sports there had been more innovation in design and technology. There were lessons to be explored from these sports in fabrics, design and detailing.

The next step was getting GORE-TEX onboard. This was mission critical, as it’s been proven as the only waterproof, breathable material tough enough for a sailboat.

With GORE-TEX secured we went out to the sailing community, both those within North Sails and those at the very top of the sport; the ranks of America’s Cup, Ocean Race, Vendee Globe, and Olympic sailors.

There was no shortage of feedback, ideas or information… the hard part was to distill it down to the fundamentals that needed to change, and how best to change them. It wasn’t easy, but now we’re ready to share what we’ve developed.

This is foul weather gear for sailors, by sailors – the best you’ll find. Period.

It wouldn’t have our name on it if it wasn’t.


This video shows Kevin Escoffier who is using the gear in the 9th edition of the Vendée Globe:

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