Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show 2017 Innovation Award winners announced

The National Marine Manufacturers Association and Boating Writers International honored winners of the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards on Friday, Feb. 17, recognizing new consumer marine products, presented during the innovation breakfast held at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin. This year’s program evaluated 63 products across 23 categories. The judges ultimately selected 19 winners and two honorable mentions in 16 categories for a total of 21 honorees.

The 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award winners are:

  • Boat Care and Maintenance: Snap Tool Multi-Key, Davis Instruments
  • Center Console/ Walkaround Fishing Boats: 230 Outrage, Boston Whaler
  • Consumer Safety Equipment (Dual Winners): 100 N Junior Harness Lifejacket, Spinlock USA; SeaAngel SA15 ASI Flare SART/MOB, FT-Tec USA
  • Cuddy Cabin and Bowrider Boats: SLX 400, Sea Ray Boats
  • Deck Equipment and Hardware: Scout Articulating Rocket Launcher, Scout Boats
  • Honorable Mention: CLite2 LED Searchlight with FLIR Camera, IMTRA Corporation
  • Docking and Fendering Equipment: EZ Kayak Launch, EZ Dock
  • Electric Motor/ Battery Powered Propulsion: Cruise Fixed Pod System, Torqeedo
  • Fishing Equipment, Gear & Tackle: Sea Lime Fishing Lures, Sea Lime
  • Furnishings & Interior Parts: Anti-Spill Wine Glasses, Royal Stabilis
  • Inboard Engines: GDI Engine Series, Ilmor Marine
  • Personal Gear, Soft Goods: Deck-Boss Boot, Grundens USA
  • Personal Watercraft: Sea-Doo SPARK TRIXX, BRP U.S.
  • Propulsion Equipment & Parts: Volvo Penta Inboard Joystick, Volvo Penta
  • Tow Boats: Dock Star, MasterCraft Boat Company
  • Honorable Mention: Super Air Nautique GS-Series, Nauti que Boat Company
  • Watersport Equipment (Dual Winners): StereoActive, Fusion Electronics; Mirage Eclipse, Hobie Cat Company
  • Consumer Electronics, Mobile Applications and Software (Dual Winners): GX6500 Fixed Mount VHF, Standard Horizon; Axiom MFDs, Raymarine

The Innovation Awards judges’ committee is comprised of eight BWI members who perform product testing throughout the year and have specific expertise in marine products and equipment. The judges’ committee is chaired by Zuzana Prochazka and co-chaired by Alan Wendt.

Here’s the full panel of judges for this year’s Innovation Awards:

  • Nigel Calder:Nigel Calder got into motorcycles and sailing dinghies as a teenager, and has never been far from mechanical things and boats ever since.  More recently, he was the technical director of a four-year European Union funded project (HyMar) investigating the applicability of hybrid technologies to marine propulsion systems. He is a long-time member of the American Boat and Yacht Council electrical Project Technical Committee, and has also been involved in European boating standards development. Calder has authored hundreds of articles in numerous boating magazines. He is best known for his Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual (now in its fourth edition), and his Marine Diesel Engines (in its third edition).
  • Alan Jones:Alan Jones has been a full-time writer and editor for Boating World magazine for 20 years and is also a contributing editor for Sea  Jones writes the Editor’s Letter, Engine column, Watersports column and Fishing column. He performs all of Boating World‘s boat tests and last year got on more than 100 boats and did 72 video walkthroughs. He is also the social media director and content creator for Boating World and Sea and is an eight-time NMMA Innovation Awards judge.
  • Pete McDonald: Pete McDonald is the deputy editor of Boating Magazine, where he has worked for the past 18 years. He has also been published in several other boating and fishing magazines and is the author of the book, The Blitz: Fly Fishing the Atlantic Migration.
  • Tim Murphy:Tim Murphy is a lifelong sailor, award-winning marine journalist, and independent book editor based in Rhode Island. He is a Cruising World Editor-at-Large, BoatUS Contributing Editor, and longtime Boat of the Year judge. Raised as a liveaboard, he sails his engineless Vineyard Vixen 29, Ave Marina, from Narragansett Bay.
  • Bill Pike: Bill Pike is a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer as well as a former newspaper man. He’s been working in the field of marine journalism for 29 years and owns a Cape Dory 28 Flybridge (the Betty Jane II). Pike is the executive editor of Power & Motoryacht magazine and has sea-trialed literally thousands of boats over the years. He is a Vietnam combat veteran and Great Lakes Maritime Academy graduate.
  • Zuzana Prochazka (chair): Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for more than a dozen boating and travel magazines. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Prochazka is the founder of, a charter and flotilla organizer. She is an international speaker on charter destinations and outfitting for cruising, and has served on the board of Boating Writers International for the past 12 years. She heads up judging panels evaluating new boats and gear in the U.S. and abroad, including IBEX, where she is co-chair of the Innovation Awards.
  • Lenny Rudow:Lenny Rudow is the current president of BWI, and has been a boating writer for well over two decades. He is senior editor for Dominion Marine Media (,, and, as well as being electronics editor for BoatUS Magazine and boating editor for Texas Fish & Game. He lives in Edgewater, Md., regularly boating and fishing on the waters of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic – as well as anywhere and everywhere else the opportunity arises.
  • Alan Wendt (co-chair):Monthly contributor to Southern Boating and Lakeland Boating, Wendt is the past president of BWI and chair of the Innovation Awards judges’ panel at IBEX. His career has included decades of news reporting for newspaper, radio and TV news outlets, magazine publishing, Yacht Rendezvous and Special Dealer Events, and developing brand messaging for retail marine dealers, OEMs and related service providers.

Celebrating the thousands of innovative products, ideas and services showcased during the Miami Boat Show each year, the Innovation Breakfast featured a host of presentations focused on propelling the boating industry forward through innovation, including the Innovation Awards. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation presented the innovation breakfast with support from Dominion Marine Media and Enterprise Florida.

For general questions about the innovation breakfast, contact Rachel Timko at

The Innovation Award winners will be on display throughout the show, Feb. 16-20 at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin and Miamarina at Bayside (Strictly Sail Miami location).

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