Last week, the NMMA and Boating Writers International (BWI) honored 10 recipients and three honorable mentions with the 2023 Miami Innovation Awards during the Industry Breakfast at the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show.
The 2023 Miami Innovation Award winners are:
- Center Console/Walkaround Fishing Boats: Viking Yachts, Valhalla Boatworks – V-55 Center Console – “The Valhalla V-55 takes big sportfishing yacht features and seamlessly integrates them into a package that’s manageable by a single owner/operator. The belowdecks mechanical space keeps sensitive systems safe and dry but easily accessible. The massive tower is supersized, and the easy-access console cabin feels like the interior spaces you’d find on a much larger sportfish yacht,” said judge Gary Reich.
- Honorable Mention: Boston Whaler, 280 Dauntless
- Consumer Electronics, Mobile Applications and Software: Navico Group, Lowrance® HDS PROwith Active Imaging HD and ActiveTarget 2 – “Lowrance HDS PRO brings fish finding to a new level by combining two live sonar systems giving a more comprehensive and wider view to the angler. The innovation doesn’t stop there. With new overlay features and FishReveal now in SideScan mode, locating trophy fish has never been quicker and easier,” said judge Glenn Hayes.
- Honorable Mention: Maretron, WSO200 Ultrasonic Wind and Weather Station
- Consumer Safety Equipment: ACR Electronics, Inc., ResQLink AIS Personal Locator Beacon – “For many boaters, an AIS equipped personal locator beacon was the holy grail of safety equipment. In the ResQLink AIS PLB, ACR has achieved this in a compact form-factor device that can attach to an inflatable PFD,” said judge Jennifer Brett.
- Honorable Mention: Navico Group, B&G Zeus S
- Cuddy Cabin, Bowrider, Deck Boats: Sea Ray, SLX 260 Outboard – “This all-female designed boat provides an updated, one-touch Power Tower that can be lowered while underway, a hinged dash that provides easy access for maintenance and a clever aft portside locker for water toy,” said judge Kate Bush.
- Deck Equipment: Deckpad, Deckpad – “Deckpad is a versatile new product that you won’t want to leave behind. Its multiple uses as a deck cushion, platform, float, and sunshade make it the most used and versatile accessory aboard,” said judge Hayes.
- Electric Motor/ Battery Powered Propulsion/ Hybrids: Mercury Marine, Avator 7.5e Electric Outboard Motor – “Much thought went into the design of Mercury’s Avator including the convenient exchange of the battery, the tiller that doubles as a carrying handle, and the easy removal of the engine from the transom bracket,” said judge Zuzana Prochazka.
- Mechanical & Electrical Systems: Navico Group, Fathom e-Power System – “A growing trend in recreational boat systems uses high capacity electric systems to power all the house loads including Air conditioning without an onboard generator. Navico Group meets this challenge with a fully integrated system based on Lithium Batteries operating at 48-volts to extend the time away from charging sources and remove one internal combustion engine from the boat,” said judge Tim Murphy.
- Outboard Engines: BRP, Rotax S – “The BRP Rotax S creates additional deck space traditionally taken up by one or more outboards by orientating the engine block horizontally and tucking a portion of it under the surface. This allows the addition of an expansive aft deck while still allowing the engine to be tilted completely out of the water,” said judge Reich.
- Personal Watercraft: BRP, Sea-Doo Explorer Pro 170 – “The Sea Doo Explorer Pro 170 is suitable for long haul adventures, it opens a whole new market and likely to draw new boaters,” said judge Alfred Boer.
- Propulsion Equipment & Parts: Volvo Penta, Joystick System for Single Diesel Aquamatic Sterndrives – “Joystick control takes boat handling stress out of docking, and Volvo Penta now brings that operation to boats with single diesel-powered stern drives. The system integrates steering, bow thruster, gear, and throttle into one handed operation,” said judge Murphy.
The Miami Innovation Awards judges’ committee was comprised of eight BWI members who perform product testing throughout the year and have specific expertise in marine products and equipment. The judges’ committee included Ben Stein (Chair), Zuzana Prochazka (Co-Chair), Alfred Boer, Jennifer Brett, Kate Bush, Glenn Hayes, Tim Murphy and Gary Reich.