What makes a ‘Top Product’

This week, we announced our first annual Boating Industry Top Products awards.

I thought it might be interesting to you to know what goes into picking a product.

When we decided to launch a Top Products program last year, we wanted it to be a little different. There’s plenty of recognition for products in our industry, but most of it is with a consumer focus.

The Boating Industry Top Products, though, is about products that help those working in the business. What I mean by that is that we picked products with an eye toward how they advance the boating industry.

Take, for example, the Sea-Doo Spark. What grabs us is not necessarily the ride or its specs, but how it has the potential to get more people on the water through its low price point and heavy promotional campaign.

Or the ARI PartStream plug-in that offers a turnkey eCommerce solution for boat dealers. It’s not a product that’s ever going to catch the attention of a boater, but it matters a great deal to the dealer.

We considered more than a 100 products that were nominated for this inaugural program and were pretty happy with the response from the manufacturers. To be considered, products had to be new or significantly updated in 2013 or early 2014. Products could be submitted by the manufacturer themselves or nominated by someone else.

But we’d also love to hear your feedback … and if you’ve got a product to submit for 2015, keep an eye out for entry information coming early next year.



  1. Unified Marine designed a unique product in 2012 , our trailer jack with a built in Tongue weight scale. After introducing it we met resistance due to the cost
    159.99 msrp.
    We then went back to R&D and instructed them to design another jack with a scale but make it so it would sell around the same price as a regular swing up 800# jack.
    In the past the boating public had no way to easily check the tongue weight which is essential to towing a boat and trailer safely. Considering that each vehicle used in towing has a recommended tongue weight maximum the importance of easily obtaining the current weight becomes critical to ensuring a safe experience whenever towing the families boat and trailer to or from a days fun on the water .
    It is true that at the time of purchase the dealer will usually ensure that the rig is set up correctly , over time though as the boater adds additional equipment or is preparing to head out on vacation the load can become heavier and in the past no way to check easily . Placing more weight on the tongue can cause lose of control of the trailer leading to accidents .
    Summary , in 2013 we introduced our newly designed jack which compares to a well made 800# galvanized swing up jack but with a scale that reads weight at a glance up to 800lbs.
    Now the Boating public can trailer with safety for 79.95 msrp !
    Yet while having attended all major and other industries shows I continue to wonder in the interest of safe trailering why after entering our product in
    individual show competition it is ignored while products that might look slick or have sizzle win ? I might sound self interested , greedy etc but when I know that we have designed a item to make the experience of enjoying safely a day on the water with family and help ensure they arrive home with great memories why is this new , affordable item continually ignored?
    Just the press alone would help pass the word out to an unaware public !
    I really had to hesitate to write this email knowing that my competition along with others will again take it as self serving ,I can only reply that I believe in this item as a way to prevent accidents enough and as a manufacturer this is one of our least profitable items that after 30 years of participating in shows and entering other items I felt it is time to express my opinion and observations.
    David Nirenberg CEO
    Unified Marine mfg of SeaSense Marine Accessories

    • jonathan.sweet

      David – it sounds like you have an interesting product. I’d encourage you to apply for the awards next year.

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