Seven products honored for innovation at 2007 MIBS

MIAMI – The National Marine Manufacturers Association and Boating Writers International honored seven marine manufacturers yesterday morning for innovative achievement at the Miami International Boat Show, NMMA said in a press release yesterday. Winning companies received their 2007 Miami Innovation Awards during the Miami Media Breakfast 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.

“This year, a total of 50 products were entered in eight different categories,” said Zuzana Prochazka, Innovation Awards co-chair and BWI board of directors member.

In the Consumer Electronics & Software category, the judges selected Johnson Outdoors’ CannonLink. The CannonLink module enables any Humminbird fishing system to simultaneously or individually control the operation of up to six Cannon downriggers. The user can automatically deploy or retrieve outriggers, monitor downrigger depth off the bottom and view temperature at depth and speed through water. An Honorable Mention in the Consumer Electronics & Software category was also presented to Simrad’s GB 60 Glass Bridge System.

Lewmar’s One Touch Winch Handle was the winner in the Consumer Installed Non-Electronic Hardware category. Squeezing the locking mechanism anywhere on the shaft, users can quickly engage or release the winch handle.

In the Consumer Personal Gear category, the Innovation Award was given to Speedtech’s Windmate 350. The Windmate is a comprehensive wind and weather monitor that gives digital wind speed, wind direction, a digital compass, temperature, barometric pressure, humidity and an audio storm alarm.

Way Marine Design’s No Profile Boat Lift took home the Innovation Award in the Daysailing Equipment category. An alternative to the conventional metal boatlift, the auto-leveling No Profile 18K Platform Boatlift creates extra dock space and provides easy access for boat servicing and maintenance.

Glacier Bay’s Isle Runner was the winner in the Inboard & Outboard Cruisers category. The 30-foot Isle Runner combines a patent pending hull design, surface piercing rails and “Super Chines” to provide a soft and dry ride. Features include a sunken offside galley, port side entry, convertible helm and dual bait well locations.

In the Runabouts & Fishing Craft category, judges presented the Innovation Award to Chris-Craft for its Catalina 23. The Catalina 23 Center Console offers good looks and a serious fishing platform in a family-friendly sport boat.

Island Packet Yachts’ SP Cruiser was awarded the Innovation Award in the Sailboats category. The SP Cruiser combines good sail keeping with all the comforts of a trawler. Two cockpits, push-button sail control with the StoWinch sheeting system and a dry interior helm connecting to the forward cockpit are just a few of the unique features of this design.

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