NIBS awards are handed out

NEWPORT, R.I. – Judges of “Newport For New Products” at the Newport International Boat Show picked two boats from Portsmouth, R.I. companies as the best new boats at the show, one of several awards handed out, organizers reported in a recent release.

Ted Hood’s 55 Expedition motor sailer won the award as “Best Sailboat” and Hunt Yachts’ new Surfhunter 25’ Center Console was named “Best Powerboat.” The “Best New Boating Product” award was won by the SeaKits Marine Maintenance System that provides high tech yacht and workboat maintenance and spare parts management.

Those awards were part of the “Newport For New Products” program which spotlights the new boats and boating products that make the most significant contribution to the experience of recreational boating.

Sponsored by Cruising World, Sailing World and Power Cruising magazines, the program recognizes the Newport Show’s unique place as the first United States boat show for the new model year and a show at which many domestic manufacturers choose to introduce newly launched products and foreign manufacturers first introduce their offerings to the American marketplace, organizers said.

Judging was done by an independent panel of boating experts and awards were given based on innovation, value to the consumer and aesthetics.

The Hood 55 Expedition was acclaimed by the judges as “perfectly hitting the design criteria” for its category…”a proper motor sailer and not just a sail assisted motor cruiser.”

The Surfhunter 25’ CC is built on the established Surfhunter 25 hull with a complete design change that allows for a center console configuration with three power options to include a gas or diesel jackshaft stern drive, an inboard diesel shaft drive, or diesel water jet drive propulsion. The judges chose the 25 as a boat that brings “New England flair to the center console market”.

The SeaKits Marine Maintenance System was named “Best New Boating Product.” Offered by SeaKits Inc. of Bolton, Mass., the MMS is a fully integrated, Web-based maintenance management system that keeps track of equipment maintenance needs, spare parts requirements, condition monitoring and every conceivable bit of operational information needed to run a passagemaking and offshore yacht or workboat. The judges noted that the “access to a huge database specific to each boat on which it’s installed makes it a huge time and boat saver.”

Nearly 50 boats and boating products were entered into the “Newport For New Products” program of the Newport International Boat Show, a display of over 700 boats in the water and on land around famous Newport harbor. In addition, several hundred exhibitors of boating equipment and accessories are part of the total of 800 exhibitors at the show this week.

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