The Pontos Story

French Innovation

Co-founders Michel Chenon and Darryl Spurling started Pontos with the needs of today’s sailors in mind: “It’s the user that interests us, to bring a solution to the sailor, not just his boat.” They knew the traditional reason for changing winches was because they stopped working…now they have changed the game and created winches that can be selected because they improve comfort and performance aboard the boat.

The Origins of the Pontos Winches

After a tight-tacking, hair-raising episode in the narrow straits of Bréhat—the winch was too physically demanding for the inexperienced crew just when the nearby rock required top-notch performance--the two combined their resources to address the critical needs often felt aboard a sailboat. Curiously, despite the fact that the winch is one of the key pieces of equipment on a sailboat—it can do a lot to keep you off the rocks--it has barely changed over the years. Chenon and Spurling founded Pontos and decided to completely rethink the winch, starting with an in-depth analysis of customer requirements: more power with less effort for some, more speed and efficiency for others. In both cases the quest for performance and safety was paramount.

The results of three years of work by the R&D team are the most significant advances in winch design in more than a generation.

So from the shores of St. Malo, France, home to many yacht racers, comes the Pontos line of winches, which débuted in 2014 and won quick acceptance and high praise by elite racers as well as the cruising community.

Continuous Development, High-Quality Research, and Precision Manufacturing

Early in their work Chenon and Spurling decided to focus on exceptional R&D that teamed materials laboratories and testing with the world’s fastest ocean racers to assure that Pontos Winches underwent thorough onboard trials and met high development standards.

Quality control is a top importance in the Pontos facilities in Saint Malo, France, with component parts coming from top-notch specialists. Pontos winches are manufactured in collaboration with Tekno, a high-precision firm in Italy. Tekno has a long tradition of precision winch manufacture—they made the Barbarossa winches.

Michel and Darryl have recently teamed up with Peter Meyer, with 25 years experience in the sailing market, to continue to bring Pontos Winches to the world’s sailors. 

Pontos is now represented by an extensive global distribution chain, including Pontos Americas.


Winches are in stock in Canton, MA. 
PONTOS is now distributed in the USA and Canada by Bainbridge International Inc.
Having just celebrated 100 years of continuous service and innovation in the sailing industry and multiple locations in the USA,
Bainbridge International has an extensive knowledge of the marine market and a wide distribution network.
In addition to their full range of unique sailcloth products, Bainbridge International is also the North American distributor for
Karver Systems, Watt&Sea, Yale Cordage and Plastimo.

For more information:

Bainbridge International Inc.
255 Revere Street
Canton MA 02021
Tel:  781 821-2609
Fax: 781 821-2609
Contact: Sean Skrzypiec