MIAMI — Ten companies were recognized with IBEX Innovation Awards at the 2005 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference Industry Awards Breakfast & Keynote Presentation held Oct. 21 in Miami.
Nine of the award winners received Innovation Awards, while the tenth recipient was presented with the NMMA Environmental Innovation Award, introduced into the Innovation Awards program earlier this year.
The Innovation Awards program, organized by NMMA and judged by Boating Writers International, recognizes those products that best meet the following criteria:
Innovative distinction from other products currently being manufactured
Benefit to the marine industry and/or consumer
Roger Marshall, vice president of BWI, and NMMA President Thom Dammrich presented Innovation Awards to companies recognizing nine different product categories.
In the Boatbuilding Methods & Materials category, the award was presented to Bayview Edison Industries for its BEI Reusable Infusion Port. BEI’s port features a reusable aluminum bushing, allowing set up to be simple and efficient.
Auto Anchor Systems was selected in the Hardware & Fittings category for its Panel Mount Rode-Counter System, which tells a boat owner precisely how much anchor line is out and is capable of resetting itself if the anchor line slips.
In the OEM Electronics Category, the judges selected Mercury Marine’s Shadow Technology Digital Throttle & Shift. The digital system allows a boater to control his or her engines with just two throttle controls.
In the Mechanical Systems category, AvXcel Inc. won with its TropiKool 40 marine refrigerator. The refrigerator employs a reverse stirling cycle engine and natural refrigerants such as helium and carbon dioxide to cool the unit and contains only two moving parts.
In the Outboard Engines category, the judges said many companies selected smaller versions of existing engines for consideration. Since the technology of the engines was largely the same, judges decided to give the Innovation Award to an engine component instead. The winner was Yamaha Motor Corp. for its Multifunction Tiller Handle.
Attwood Corp. was recognized for its VisionAir Seat in the Furnishings & Finishes category. The seat uses an elastomeric mesh to help distribute a person’s weight evenly and relieving pressure from concentrated areas.
In the Yard & Boat Construction Hardware & Software category, judges all agreed the award belonged to Forest City Tool for its Quick Change Hole Boring System. The system features a bit capable of drilling through gel coat without it chipping. The hole saw is also self-cleaning.
Blue Sea Systems’ Dual Circuit PLUS Battery Switch, which simplifies switching between two battery banks won for the Electrical Systems category.
In the Inboard Engines category, Volvo Penta was chosen for its Inboard Performance System, which one judge described as “the first new drive system in more than 40 years.”
NMMA also presented its Environmental Innovation Award during the breakfast. The award, which was presented for the second time ever at this year’s IBEX, recognizes companies that go above and beyond in terms of environmental responsibility in the recreational boating industry.
The 2005 IBEX Environmental Award was presented to Royce Industries for its Smart Cap, a marine tank monitoring system that virtually eliminates the possibility of overfilling the tank.
Judges for this year’s awards included: Marshall, editor for Boatbuilder magazine and technical editor of Dockwalk and Boat International magazines; Jan Mundy, editor, DIY Boat Owner magazine; James R. Barron, technical editor and writer for Trailer Boats magazine; Lenny Rudow, senior technical editor, Boating; Dean Travis Clarke, executive editor, Sport Fishing, Marlin, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters and Boating Life magazines, and host of “Sport Fishing Magazine TV” on The Outdoor Life Network; Zuzana Prohaska, technical editor, Latitudes and Attitudes; Bill Pike, senior editor, Power & Motoryacht magazine and author of “The Complete Book of Motorboating.”
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