NMMA kicks off its winter boat show season with the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show opening today at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and running through Sunday, Jan. 23. The region’s longest-running boat show – celebrating its 49th year – showcases the latest boat models, marine technology and accessory debuts.
To attract attendees of all ages and skill levels and engage the wave of new boaters who have entered the market, the show has an extensive lineup of interactive features, including the Antique & Classic Boat Display, virtual boat racing, Fred’s Shed How-To Center Presented by Progressive, Land of 10,000 Lakes oasis featuring live music, and Innovation Way, displaying the year’s most innovative products.
A Sneak Preview event was held last night where guests, media and influencers were invited to tour the show floor and attend the 2022 Minneapolis Innovation Awards presentation, which honors the best of our industry, with a nod to the manufacturers and suppliers who are advancing the recreational boating industry.
The NMMA and Boating Writers International (BWI) announced the winners of the 2022 Minneapolis Innovation Awards, recognizing groundbreaking new consumer marine products, during the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show’s Sneak Preview event on Jan. 19.
The Minneapolis Innovation Awards honor manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products in the boating industry to market in the following categories: aluminum fishing boats, fiberglass fishing boats, pontoon boats, and furnishings. This year’s program evaluated 14 products; judges ultimately selected four Innovation Award winners and one honorable mention.
“We’re proud to honor this year’s Innovation Award winners here in Minneapolis. The marine products we see here tonight were developed by companies who represent economic resilience, perseverance, and forward-thinking amid the last two years,” noted Show Manager Darren Envall. “We’re excited to showcase these products and the dozens of other innovations at the 2022 Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show, and provide attendees a premier destination to discover the best in boating.”
In the aluminum fishing boat category, Lund Boats received the Innovation Award for the Renegade. “The Lund Renegade takes a bass boat and makes it more family friendly without compromising fishing ability. Anytime you can enhance a boat’s versatility, that’s a bonus,” said Judge Eric Colby.
In the fiberglass fishing category, Bass Cat Boats was honored with the Innovation Award for the Puma STS. “The bass boat market is so hotly contested that small details make big differences, from the magnetic buckle rod straps to the dual electronic shelf to the new lift latches the Bass Cat Puma STS is the sum of its parts,” says Judge Eric Colby.
In the pontoon boat category, BRP, Inc. was honored with the Innovation Award for the Sea-Doo Switch Pontoon. “With so many families wanting to get into boating for the first time, the development of the new and affordable Sea-Doo Switch is not only great for the pontoon industry, it’s huge for the entire boating industry,” said Judge Brady Kay.
In the furnishings category, Premier Marine, Inc. received the Innovation Award for the Intrigue Rev with Mercury 600XL Verado. “Offering versatility is crucial for boaters’ ever-evolving needs today. Premier’s 360 degree Revolution seating offers new experiences for all at every turn,” says Judge Adam Quandt.
Brunswick Corporation received an honorable mention in the pontoon boat category for Mercury Marine’s Joystick Piloting for Single-Engine Pontoons.
2022 Minneapolis Innovation Awards’ judges bios:
Brady Kay, this year’s Innovation Awards Chair, is the executive editor of Pontoon & Deck Boat magazine and has been at the helm of the publication for over 20 years. During his tenure, he has tested and reviewed countless pontoon and deck boats, traveled to all 50 states for feature profiles and has taken thousands of photos. He also oversees Great Lakes Boating magazine, a sister publication at Harris Publishing, and serves as the president of Boating Writers International.
Eric Colby is the editor at BOATTest.com. He has written about boats and the boating industry for 35 years for Soundings, Soundings Trade Only and Boating magazines. He was the Editor-in-Chief at Powerboat magazine for seven years.
Adam Quandt is the editor and the Top 100 Program Director for Boating Industry magazine. Adam tackles everything from testing and reviewing new products, to tracking and reporting on industry trends, and serves on the board for numerous industry-focused award programs. Though not necessarily born into the boating world like many others, he has quickly developed a passion for the industry and strives to continue bringing boaters together.
For general questions about the Minneapolis Innovation Awards, please contact Rachel Harmon, email@example.com. The Minneapolis Innovation Award winners will be on display throughout the show, Jan. 20-23 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.