Twelve companies honored for innovation

MIAMI – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) honored eleven marine products with 2011 Innovation Awards on Thursday and one as an Honorable Mention. The recognition took place during a State of the Industry Breakfast at the Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail Miami.

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.

“We had an outstanding group of entries this year and saw innovations that are sure to pave the way for boating industry advancement,” said Zuzana Prochazka, Innovation Awards’ judge, technical editor of Latitudes and Attitudes, and president of BWI Board of Directors. “The judges were impressed with the depth of products submitted this year, needing to select multiple winners in two categories, and are looking forward to what the future of the industry has in store for boaters.”

The awards were presented in these categories:

Cruisers (25′ to 60′ including fishing craft)
Company: Chaparral 327
Product: SSX Bow Rider
The 327 holds a patented cockpit-cabin design that allows the sizeable cabin to span the beam of the boat

PWC, Jet boats, Pontoon Boats
Company: BRP
Product: Sea-Doo GTI SE 130 Watercraft
The GTI SE 130 is a comprehensive package of features for the value-minded rider

Company: Beneteau
Product: Beneteau Sense Series
Its an impressive boat that takes the intimidation factor out of big-boat sailing.

Docking and Fendering Equipment
Company: Imtra
Product: SidePower SEP Speed Control Thurster Series
The Side-Power SEP Series is the first DC thruster range that provides exact proportional control and eliminates the danger of overpowered or underpowered docking.

Consumer Electronics and Software – dual winners and Honorable Mention
Company: Simrad
Product: BSM-2 Broadband Sounder
This sounder is the only recreational sonar to incorporate commercial-grade frequency sweeping pulse compression (CHIRP) technology and delivers up to five times greater target resolution.

Company: B&G
Product: Zeus Sailing Navigation System
This comprehensive package, designed specifically for sailors, combines broadband radar and sounder, AIS tracking, sonar imaging, and more in one multi-function display.

Honorable Mention: Company: Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)/Product: Take Me Fishing Boat Ramp Mobile App

Consumer Installed Non-Electronic Hardware
Company: Seldén
Product: Seldén Reversible Winch
Seldén’s manual, two-speed winches are a combination of a unique handle and specially designed jaws that allow the drum to be rotated in two directions.

Water Sports and Equipment  
Company: Mastercraft
Product: Mastercraft Zero Flex Tower 5P
The Mastercraft ZFT tower raises or lowers to three different positions and can tow at all three.

Outboard Engines
Company: Suzuki
Product: DF 40A/50A
The DF 40/50 3-cylinder outboards provide 15 percent more displacement and are 5 percent lighter than their 40 and 50 HP predecessors.

Consumer Safety Equipment – dual winners with completely different approaches
Company: Navionics
Product: Navionics Mobile iPhone Marine & Lakes Mobile App with user overlay
On the high-tech side, Navionics developed an app that allows for users to add their knowledge to the Navionics database and help identify the latest conditions that may be transferred wirelessly to their boat’s navigation system.

Company: Lake Lite
Product: Lake Lite Solar Powered Illuminating Buoys
With these LED-lighted, solar-powered buoys, nighttime navigating is a breeze.

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