The National Sailing Hall of Fame announced Friday that its new home will be named The Sailing Museum, offering an innovative multi-media experience dedicated to celebrating sailing’s heritage, showcasing its heroes and inspiring generations of sailors to come.

Situated in the historic Armory building on the waterfront in downtown Newport, The Sailing Museum will feature more than 11,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, displays chronicling the history of the sport, and galleries honoring inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. The Sailing Museum experience has been developed by Healy Kohler Design, a recognized leader in interactive museum and sports hall of fame design. The museum is scheduled to open in Spring 2022.

“Our new home will be a feast for the senses, harnessing technology to bring the excitement of sailing to life and honoring our sport’s heroes in exciting and innovative ways,” said Gus Carlson, president of the National Sailing Hall of Fame. “Our goal is to create a special place that engages everyone, from our sport’s faithful to casual sailors to newcomers who are curious about what happens when wind and water meet. We are confident The Sailing Museum will be a unique venue to showcase our sport and the accomplishments of its heroes.”

Sailing museum

The heart of The Sailing Museum will be galleries for the National Sailing Hall of Fame and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, honoring the achievements and commitment to excellence of those men and women who have contributed to the sport of sailing at the highest levels. Like Hall of Famers from across the sports world, these sailing stars undergo a rigorous and competitive nomination and selection process to earn this honor.

“I am lucky indeed to be a member of both the National Sailing Hall of Fame and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame,” said Tom Whidden, CEO, North Technology Group. “What an honor it will be to sit alongside so many accomplished people, who have achieved so much in our sport, presented in this incredible new facility in Newport. For anyone, of any age, who loves to sail, The Sailing Museum will be a must visit.” 

In addition to the Halls of Fame, The Sailing Museum will feature a mix of high- and low-tech interactive exhibits with built-in “stealth learning” components that share the principles of sailing and provide seasoned sailors with opportunities to test their skills and knowledge. The museum will include the only on-site Virtual Regatta experience in the country and connect visitors with an interest in trying sailing to providers locally and around the country. A corresponding educational program will be offered for visiting groups with school-aged children.

“Our goal is to create an educational experience for school-aged children that is complementary to what is currently being taught on the dock or in the classroom,” said Heather Ruhsam, executive director of The Sailing Museum. “The Sailing Museum will be able to offer a hands-on and high-tech platform to illustrate some of the more challenging concepts, or those that are weather dependent. REACH is implemented at 400+ sailing centers and events across the US, and as the nation’s sailing museum it makes sense to align our educational programming with that of US Sailing.”

“We are thrilled with the innovative approach the National Sailing Hall of Fame has taken in creating the vision for The Sailing Museum,” said Jack Gierhart, CEO of US Sailing. “The National Sailing Hall of Fame plays an invaluable role in recognizing leaders in the sport who have shaped sailing through the years, and now they are providing an opportunity for people to not only experience this history first hand, but also to connect with sailing personally and get involved. We are excited to support this initiative and play a part in introducing more people to sailing.”

Experience a sneak peek of The Sailing Museum through the rendered virtual tour