Fifteen marine products were honored for innovative achievement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Boating Writers International (BWI) at the 71st annual Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail. (Yes, that’s a longer name for the Miami boat show.)
I had the pleasure of working with six other judges from BWI and we ran ourselves ragged as we saw 68 products two days before the show opened. Although I gave a much more colourful presentation at the industry breakfast on Thursday – here are just the highlights of the winners as per NMMA’s release and a few of my blurry behind-the-scenes shots of the crazy judging process.
Thirteen companies took home 2012 Innovation Award honors and two others received honorable mention during the NMMA’s State of the Recreational Boating Industry Breakfast this morning at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by BWI, recognize products that best meet the following criteria: innovative distinction from other products currently being manufactured; benefit to the marine industry and/or consumer; practicality; cost-effectiveness; and availability to the consumer within 60 days of award receipt.
“The number of entries this year exceeded our expectations, and all of the products we reviewed paint a bright future for boating industry evolution,” noted Zuzana Prochazka, Innovation Awards judge chair, editor of TalkoftheDock.com, technical editor of Latitudes & Attitudes and president of the BWI board of directors. “The winners recognized at the boat show today are a testament to the ongoing commitment to boating ingenuity necessary to the future of our industry and we’re excited to see how these products adapt in the marketplace.”
Applications and Mobile Software: Beneteau Toucan Dealer App by Jester Communications
Runabout and Fishing Craft to 24 feet: Pro Skiff Series by Mako
Cruisers (25' to 60' including fishing craft): SLX 250 by Sea Ray
PWC & Jet Boats: Sea Doo RXP-X 260 by Bombardier
Sailboats: Oceanis Series 48 by Beneteau
Docking and Fendering Equipment: V-Lift by Sunstream Boat Lifts
Honorable Mention: Eel Shore Power Cord by Marinco
Consumer Electronics and Software: InReach by Delorme
Honorable Mention: MS-AV700 Audio and Video Entertainment Package by Fusion Electronics
Consumer Installed Non-Electronic Hardware: Scuba Donning Assistance System by Dive Mate
Water Sports & Equipment: Battle Saddle by Release Marine
Outboard Engines: DF300 AP by Suzuki Marine
Consumer Safety Equipment: AIS Watchmate Vision by Vesper
Pontoon & Deckboats: Ambassador by Avalon
Environmental Award: Propane Outboard by Lehr