The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) announced the winners of the 2015 Innovation Awards at the opening annual Industry Breakfast of the 2015 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show. These awards recognize exceptionally innovative new consumer marine products, and were on display throughout the show from February 12-16, 2015, at the show’s three locations – Miami Beach Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina and Miamarina at Bayside. This year’s program featured a record number of entries with 97 products—a 68 percent increase in entries compared to last year.
The 2015 Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award winners are:
- Alternate Drive Technology (pods, stern drives): Volvo Penta, Forward Drive; volvopenta.com
- Deck Equipment & Hardware: Taco Metals, Rub Rail Mounted LED Light; tacomarine.com
- Docking & Fendering Equipment: StormFender LLC, StormFender; stormfender.com
- Mechanical & Electrical Systems: Yamaha Watercraft, Connext Helm Control System; yamahaboats.com
- Inboard Engines: Indmar Products, ROUSH Charged Raptor; indmar.com
- Outboard Engines: BRP U.S. Inc., Evinrude E-TEC G2; evinrude.com
- Consumer Safety Equipment: Simrad-Navico, Forward Scan; simrad-yachting.com
- Watersport Equipment: LilliPad Diving Boards, LilliPad Diving Board; lillipaddivingboards.com
- Consumer Electronics, Apps & Software: Navionics, Inc, SonarCharts and SonarCharts Live; navionics.com
- Center Console & Walkaround Fishing Boats: Hydra-Sport, 53’ Suenos; hydrasports.com
- Cuddy Cabin and Bowrider Boats: Rec Boat Holdings/Four Winns, Horizon 440 Bow Cruiser; fourwinns.com
- Deck Boats: Boston Whaler, 320 Vantage; bostonwhaler.com
- Jet Boats: Chaparral Boats, Aerial Surf Platform; chapparalboats.com
- Personal Watercrafts (PWCs): Yamaha Watercraft, Yamaha RiDE System; yamaha.com
- Pontoon Boats: Apex Marine, Inc., Angler Qwest; apexmarineinc.com
- Tow Boats: MasterCraft Boat Company, X23; mastercraft.com
- Environmental Award: Wake Worx, LLC, Mussel Mast’R Aquatic Invasive Species Filter System; wake-worx.com
The Innovation Awards judging committee is comprised of BWI members who perform product testing throughout the year and have specific expertise in marine products and equipment. The committee is chaired by Zuzana Prochazka, freelance writer with regular contributions to SAIL, Sea, BoatUS and Cruising Outpost magazines as well as Boats.com, Yachtworld.com and TalkoftheDock.com. The judging committee includes:
- Nigel Calder: Associate/Technical Editor with Professional BoatBuilder, Sail, PassageMaker, Yachting Monthly and Ocean Navigator; and author of The Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, Marine Diesel Engines and several other titles.
- Alan Jones: Executive Editor of Boating World magazine.
- Liz Pasch: Editorial Director of Southern Boating.
- Lenny Rudow: Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com; Electronics Editor for BoatUS Magazine; and author of six books.
- David Schmidt: Electronics Editor at Yachting magazine; Racing Editor at SAIL magazine; U.S. Racing Editor of www.sail-world-com; and Owner and Founder of Alembic Media, LLC.
- Ed Sherman: Vice President and Education Director of American Boat & Yacht Council; contributor to Boating, Cruising World, Soundings, Professional BoatBuilder, and Yachting magazines; owner of Ed’s Boat Tips blog; and author of several books.
- Alan Wendt: President of BWI and frequent contributor to Lakeland Boating.