In the third annual Boating Industry Top Products list you’ll find 50 of the best products for the marine industry, ranging from boats to engines to accessories and more.
This year’s selections were chosen from hundreds of products introduced or significantly updated since the beginning of 2015. The honorees were selected for their innovation, their impact on the industry, creativity and more.
The Aegis Lifeshirt marries a comfortable shirt to an inflatable life jacket device in a way that style and function are not compromised. Lifeshirt can be worn in automatic or manual mode. In the automatic setting, Lifeshirt instantly inflates when the device is submerged beneath the water’s surface. Lifeshirt can also be set to manual mode where the wearer must pull a ripcord to activate the inflation. Lifeshirt won Best of Show at ICAST for the Technical Apparel category.
ARI has introduced scalable Digital Marketing Services packages designed to meet the needs of all marine dealers, with packages ranging from $99/month to a full “digital agency” engagement. Available at several price points and service levels, including local search and social media, digital marketing, SEO, content creation, pay-per-click advertising, strategy development and more.
The Bayliner VR5’s is designed with a goal of enhanced performance, refined styling and maximized usable interior space with Bayliner’s BeamForward and AftAdvantage design. Compared with a traditional design’s more pointed bow, the VR5’s design creates a, large, oversized bowrider section. The VR5 also moves the swim platform aft, using all the area over the hull for seating and lounging. Bayliner also added a three-position companion seat, rear lounger with walk-thru, a self bailing cockpit, a quick-planing Deep-V hull design with all-fiberglass stringer system, and distinctive hull side sculpting.
The ClearVision Livewell – offered in the 2000, 2200 and 2400 Pure Bay Series – is clear acrylic, backlit with blue LED lights, offering aesthetic appeal and practical benefits. The clear acrylic allows light inside which prevents users from “flashing” their fish – which causes stress to fish when going from dark to light – every time the lid is opened and closed.
BRP’s new Intelligent Shift and Throttle (iST) system for Rotax Jet Propulsion Systems helps remove anxiety when docking jet boats. When in neutral, the iST system’s reverse gates are positioned to redirect a portion of the forward and rearward thrust to minimize boat speed. The iST system replaces most of the mechanical shift linkage with an electronic actuator, providing for finer adjustment of the neutral position. iST allows the boat operator to adjust the reverse gate position directly from the helm. When underway, iST monitors boat speed via GPS.
OXE is the world’s first high-performance diesel outboard aimed at increased durability, fuel-efficiency and low emissions compared to other outboard engines.
The outboard uses a marinized automotive diesel engine that is mounted horizontally, tested over time in line with automotive demand. The concept eliminates bevel gears and transfer shafts by utilizing innovative belt technology which allows for high torque transfer. The slim submerged modules provide less drag, reduces fuel consumption and increases speed.
Designed for in-cabin use, Clarion’s Full Digital Sound System maintains a digital audio signal from the source to the speaker voice coils, resulting in pristine sounding audio with zero loss in quality and no added noise from analog connections. Featuring multiple custom-developed LSI chipsets, the FDS system is the first audio system specifically designed for the marine space capable of maintaining a 96kHz/24-Bit digital audio signal from the source to the speakers without ever converting it to analog or passing a signal through a traditional amplifier.
The Dometic CRX is the first 3-in-1 marine refrigerator with a patented, removable freezer compartment, which transforms the unit into a larger capacity refrigerator-only or freezer-only unit. The “easy-slide” compartment has no moving parts and can be removed or replaced with no tools. The CRX also has a flush-mount electronic thermostat control panel, which features soft-touch temperature controls, on/off switch, and bright LED lamp triggered by an infrared sensor. It is available in three sizes: The 45-liter CRX-50, 57-liter CRX-65 and 78-liter CRX-80.
The TD-4000 is the answer to large bulky reels in the cockpit of sportfishing boats, which take up valuable fishing space, plus it eliminates the problem of where to store them at the end of the day. It includes numerous microprocessor-controlled features controlled by a single keypad on the unit or from a remote keypad in the tower or other location. The TD-4000 has four separate motors driving four spools that can be programmed and controlled individually, in pairs, or all at once to automatically deploy or retrieve lures (teasers) and dredges.
The FLIR AX8 thermal monitoring camera keeps a watchful eye on onboard machinery like engines, pumps, motors, generators and electrical panels using FLIR infrared thermal imaging. If the temperature of the monitored equipment exceeds programmed parameters, the camera sends both an audible and visual alert through the Raymarine navigation network to connected multifunction displays. Each AX8 camera can monitor up to eight individual temperature spots in its field-of-view.
The quatix 3 marine GPS smartwatch is the first general-purpose boating smartwatch and comes equipped with cruising, fishing and sailing capabilities. The quatix 3 streams NMEA 2000 data from compatible onboard Garmin marine electronics including speed, depth, temperature, wind data and more, and comes preloaded with marine-specific feature sets, and support for additional multisport activities. The quatix 3 also features a 3-axis electronic compass, barometer and auto-calibrating altimeter.
The WT-1 is a wake sports boat designed to re-engage millinneals and other segments who either cannot or choose not to pay the average inboard wake boat price. The WT-1 design creates a big wake with a smaller boat without the need for tabs or gates. The smaller boat is easier to tow, easier to store, cheaper to operate and less expensive, with a price tag under $40,000. The idea behind the WT-1 is to create a boat that fits the budget and lifestyle of younger buyers.
The 5-foot inflatable Round Aquatic Device (RAD+) is designed to replicate the classic “discing,” of the 1960s but with the advanced materials and construction methods of today. The water toy allows users to just stand and play on the disk, or stand and be towed behind any boat. Made for any boat, from a fishing boat, pontoon, cruiser or even a yacht. Using drop-stitch construction, an air-tight coating is applied to the top and bottom of the support material to ensure an airtight seal.
Hobie’s new Mirage i11s i-Series inflatable kayak offers the company’s hands-free MirageDrive propulsion in its most low profile and lightweight package yet. The i11s is equipped with Hobie’s adjustable Vantage CTi Seating System. A newly engineered finger-tip rudder control can be switched to either side for use with either hand. The PVC hull and rubberized underside is coupled with easy-to-grip carrying handles to facilitate smooth launching, landing and portaging. For increased tracking and stability, a fin is included that can be inserted into the built-in slot on the bottom of the hull.
Hyndsight Vision System’s Journey is the first rearview vision system designed specifically for the boating industry. Its camera and monitor are totally portable, wire-free and can be mounted on any type of power or sailboat. With a sun-light readable screen, Journey is designed for the harsh boating environment and is rugged and weather resistant. It can operate four to five hours before charging is required or can be optionally hardwired, with the ability to pair-up to four cameras per monitor.
The Strainer Pro has integrated two products into one unit incorporating an easy hose connection to simplify engine flushing. Boat owners can now protect their engine from debris and simplify aquatic invasive species flushing and maintenance with one product instead of two. Indmar also added a radial O-ring to improve sealing capabilities and the units straight axial flow design enables water to flow more freely straight thru the strainer and reduces flow loss.
Malibu’s Integrated Surf Platform is the culmination of years of research and development that started with the Surf Gate, released in 2012. The system includes several components: model-specific hulls and running surfaces, surf-specific swim platforms, tested and sized for every model; and surf gates sized by model. The latest innovations include re-engineering of the Power Wedge II, with 22 percent more surface area and 1,500 lbs. of simulated ballast; the release of the Viper II operating system; and the introduction of the Surf Band, allowing surfers to control the size, length and shape of their wave.
Marine Exhaust Systems’ new patent-pending Thinline Linear Muffler with throughport raw water bypass is a new way to handle excess engine cooling water inside a muffler. Without any impact to performance, excess water travels through a second baffle cavity and discharges through a diverter. This keeps it from intermixing with the gas and exhaust water spray to avoid back pressure issues.
The Flo-Torq SSR HD hub system offers a solid stainless-steel design that features a bonded rubber drive sleeve that employs Mercury’s new SSR – or soft shift rubber – technology. Once under load, the stainless steel end of the hub engages the core of the propeller, creating a solid hub that can reliably transfer the significant power generated by high-horsepower outboards. The bonded SSR drivesleeve allows the propeller to rotate port and starboard, decreasing shift clunk and vibration by up to 25 percent for smooth and quiet shifting.
At 153 hp per liter, the Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard is the most powerful consumer outboard ever produced by Mercury Marine and provides the highest power-to-weight of all other four-stroke outboards in its class. The 400R is the first Verado to feature the race-proven Sport Master gearcase with low water pickups for added performance. The 400R is available in both Cold Fusion white and Mercury Phantom black. Cold Fusion white models come standard with Mercury Racing Blue accent colors. In addition, a total of seven custom-colored accent decal kits are available on Cold Fusion white models to match a variety of boat graphics.
Building off the original Ulterra motor, Minn Kota now offers the Riptide Ulterra for saltwater anglers. The Riptide Ulterra bow-mount trolling motor features fully automated stow and deploy, power trim, Spot-Lock anchoring and recording paths, all controlled wirelessly with the i-Pilot remote. Riptide Ulterra also comes standard with i-Pilot GPS functionality.
MYMIC Training Technologies has introduced a Web-based training portal with content exclusively designed for the marina, boatyard and recreational boating industry. Using a Learning Management System platform, MYMICLEARN allows users to receive a consistent training program from any device with internet connectivity. MYMICLEARN launched with approximately 20 modules including topics such as dock safety, fueling, pump out, electric shock drowning, and many more. Future content will include topics such as fall protection, confined spaces and conflict resolution.
MyTaskit Pro has added several new enhancements to its Pro Coordination module, including a subcontractor coordination feature and dynamic prioritization. The subcontractor coordination feature makes it easier for service professionals to coordinate work tasks and communicate directly with their customers and technicians online. With dynamic prioritization users can also prioritize the posted tasks that get submitted to various service providers and subcontractors.
Nautique Surf Select allows surfers the ability to fine-tune their wakesurfing experience from behind the boat. Nautique Surf Select includes the Nautique Surf Switch and the Nautique Surf Select app for the Pebble smart watch. The Nautique Surf Switch is a hand-held remote that allows for one-touch transfers exactly when the surfer desires. Nautique developed an app for the Pebble watch that features the ability for the surfer to fine-tune the Zero Off Speed Control, Nautique Surf System with WavePlate and Nautique Configurable Running Surface, as well as stereo volume and track.
OceanLED’s Pro Series HD OceanDMX Kit allows users to create an on-water light show. The custom-designed application was designed for use solely with the OceanLED DMX Controller allowing easy access for connectivity and a transparent lid to view connections. OceanLED’s user interface offers a touch RGBW color wheel to create virtually any color imaginable and powerful, easy-to-use slider to adjust brightness, speed and sensitivity for static color, cycling through color wheel, sound to light with audio, strobe effects and the “Rock the Boat” feature that strobes as the vessels rocks on the waves.
The 2016 Dodici is the world’s first 12-foot wide production pontoon, made possible by Premier’s new 42-inch PTX center tube. The package also makes it possible to accommodate the first triple engine application on a pontoon boat and is rated for up to 900 HP. The model is available in two layouts, the Pub and the Cruise. The Dodici features seagrass flooring paired with tessellation stone. The flexsteel furniture on the Dodici features new heritage fabric with climate-control technology that resists the effects of temperature changes.
Under development for two years, the new self-retracting Ricochet ladder is an option on all of Premier’s 2016 models. The ladder uses forward force of the boat to return the ladder to a safe, retracted position while the boat is in motion, avoiding damage to the ladder or boat.
With the Infinity Basslink SM amplified subwoofer from Prospec Electronics, boat owners can experience the same powerful, vibrant lows as in a car or home, without sacrificing on-board space. Fitting easily inside a storage seat or helm, this new subwoofer features an 8-inch driver powered by an internal 100W Class D amplifier.
Raymarine Quantum CHIRP radar is the industry’s first recreational marine radar dome featuring CHIRP pulse compression technology. Quantum’s CHIRP Pulse Compression technology uses multiple compressed, radar pulses with FLIR’s exclusive ATX advanced target separation technology to display targets like boats, landmarks, rocks, buoys and weather cells. Quantum’s on-board processing also automatically eliminates rain and sea clutter, blocks interference from other radars, and ensures a noise-free, easy-to-interpret image in congested waterways.
Reverso’s new Outboard Flushing System allows for flushing of up to four outboard engines. The system works whether the vessel is in or out of the water. It’s a permanently mounted system that will flush all engines automatically and shuts off when complete. It can be installed at the OEM level or as a retrofit. Flushing hoses are connected to each engine with a Y-fitting, allowing for a connection directly to the flushing system, as well as an optional port that a service technician may need.
The new Sea Ray 450 Sundancer made its world premiere at this year’s Yachts Miami Beach. An open floorplan creates connected social zones throughout the boat. This includes an enclosed sunroom that connects to the cockpit, and features an electronically opening skylight and “gourmet-ready” galley. Below, living quarters include a full-beam master stateroom and an additional forward stateroom, each with its own head. An optional gourmet transom center adds a countertop with grill and sink. Sun coverage is provided by an optional foredeck shade and cockpit SureShade. Available with standard Axius and optional Zeus power packages.
Made in the U.S. from closed-cell EVA materials specifically formulated for the marine environment, SeaDek’s first ever removable Helm Station Pad comes with six heavy-duty, UV-resistant Velcro tabs so the pad can be applied and easily removed for cleaning or hatch access. The foam thickness has increased from 13mm to 21mm and now consists of a dual-density formulation. Each pad is made up of a new 18mm low-density bottom layer for added shock absorbency and a durable, non-skid 3mm top layer. The surface texture is a brushed texture with a CNC routed outer pinline and a laser-etched SeaDek logo.
The Seakeeper 3DC is the first battery-powered gyro stabilizer, doing away with the need for a generator. The 3DC can be installed virtually anywhere onboard, including deck level underneath the leaning post. The Seakeeper 3DC is designed to achieve up to 95 percent roll reduction on boats up to 10 tons. The Seakeeper 3DC requires only modest electrical power, has no outside appendages, and can be installed off centerline, if necessary. Seakeepers can be installed as a refit, as well as on new builds.
SGM 1003 and SGM 1005 help eliminate staining/oxidization of aluminum tubes/logs. These products are resistant to saltwater oxidation (passed 6,000 hours under the ASTM B117 Salt Fog test with no blistering or rusting), galvanic corrosion, UV breakdown and chemical corrosion. It will not chip or deteriorate over time and is an environmentally safe product with virtually no VOCs or offensive odors. In saltwater environments, the product is expected to last up to five years and up to 10 years in freshwater.
The Simrad HALO Pulse Compression Radar range is a high-performance solid-state, open-array radar system with pulse compression technology, suitable for recreational and light marine markets. HALO provides navigational visibility and awareness as close as 20 feet within the pulse radar’s short-range “blind spot,” where once only Broadband Radar could operate while also offering long-range performance up to 72 nautical miles. Using its Dual Range mode, HALO can also function as two radars in one with no signal loss – monitoring two distance ranges simultaneously with independent display controls.
Star brite’s new Ring Clean+ is formulated with deposit control compounds, plus a proprietary enzyme package. Ring Clean+ is engineered to remove deposits from carburetors, fuel injectors, intake ports and combustion chambers. The formula is designed to improve fuel combustibility to help prevent formation of future deposits, as well as improving fuel economy. The product can be used in all gas and diesel engines.
The patented SureShade RTX Pull-Out Shade operates with a simple push-in/pull-out mechanism to extend or retract shade for a cockpit or bow within seconds, providing access to sunshade on smaller boats. Using specialized mounting brackets, RTX can be installed on hardtops, T-tops, arches or towers. A manually operated and fully self-supported shade, RTX requires no electrical wiring or obstructive support poles and can be factory installed or aftermarket.
The Taco Marine Seaspension Pedestal System is a shock-mitigating system for helm seats on both recreational and commercial boats. The low-profile design is the lowest fully engineered pedestal system in the industry. The Seaspension Pedestal System comes with integrated auto forward position lock feature with a swivel function for added safety. The system meets ABYC H-31’s standards for seat structures and is also available in custom color power-coat finish or polished version.
Torqeedo introduced a new flagship model for its low-voltage Cruise line in 2015, the Cruise 10.0. This 20 horsepower-equivalent, emission-free outboard can plane light boats at speeds up to 21 mph and moves displacement hulls from 3 to 10 tons at up to 9 mph. Designed to be a clean, green and quiet alternative for commercial and recreational users who prefer the simplicity and easy handling of a low-voltage system, but require more speed, thrust and power than previously available.
Dominion and Jester Communications have partnered to create an inventory application for marine dealerships in North America and abroad. Built on JCOM’s proprietary “Toucan Touch” application, it is designed to work with all of Dominion’s Network, including Boat Trader, YachtWorld, boats.com and Cosas de Barcos. Toucan Touch is built to simplify communication and streamline sales efforts by managing inventory and showcasing products.
VDO AcquaLink is a CANbus-based marine monitoring system that can be installed on both new and old vessels, even pre-NMEA boats with older analog engines. VDO AcquaLink incorporates sensors, displays, gauges and “black boxes” that tie all engine, navigation and operation inputs into a combined network. The network can display all data on the main bridge/helm, fly bridge and aft docking station, using multifunction TFT liquid-crystal displays and VDO AcquaLink instruments. AcquaLink features a modular design that allows for easy expansion in the future.
The next generation Volvo Penta engines, based on GM’s Gen V aluminum blocks, introduced several features including lightweight all-aluminum, common-rail direct fuel injection, freshwater cooling standard in all models and more. Volvo Penta has designed a Front Engine Accessory Drive (FEAD) that integrates the freshwater and raw water pumps, heat exchanger, expansion tank, oil cooler, engine oil filter, marine alternator, power steering, fuel system and other components, all driven by one serpentine belt. All service points are in the same place across the line and accessible from the front of the engine.
Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive made it possible to have an I/O powered boat be safe to wakesurf behind. Wake WorX worked hand-in-hand with Volvo Penta and its major OEM builders to invent a surf tab system that produces a clean and well shaped surf wave on either side of a Volvo Forward Drive equipped boat. The Wake WorX tabs provide the benefits of traditional trim tabs and help get the boat on plane faster particularly when ballasted for towed water sports and help correct for list caused by loading or wind.
WakeMakers has introduced the first aftermarket retrofittable wakesurf system. Boat owners now can gain the convenience of instantly changing the surf side with the push of a button. It also gives the driver the option to fine tune the surf wave with an easy to use control tab. WaveControl does not take the place of ballast but will increase the wave’s total length while allowing the driver to dial in the perfect shape to compliment the riders style. WaveControl’s patent-pending technology is designed to work with an evenly weighted boat.
WaveFront speaker technology, a joint venture between JL Audio and Nautique Boat Co., features two JL 6.5” M-Series speakers firing through a specially-tuned aperture at the base of the windshield (one port; one starboard). Previous systems delivered sound to the driver from directly behind or through a tweeter on the dash that was unable to produce the sound quality experienced with WaveFront. The WaveFront is only available on the Super Air Nautique G23 and G25 models.
The Weego Jump Starter Battery+ will start an engine, charge a phone and fit in a pocket. For 2016, Weego has introduced two accessories to expand the versatility and functionality of Weego Jump Starter Battery+. The Weego OBDII 12V Memory Saver allows the user to disconnect their car or truck battery without losing any of the electronic presets including radio/clock settings, seat positions, alarms, GPS, keyless entry codes, and more. The Weego 12V DC Adapter connects Weego Jump Starter Battery+ to any 12V DC plug to power an air compressor, heater, fan, lantern and more.
The SOS Distress Light is the only electronic flare to qualify as a U.S. Coast Guard-compliant visual distress signal for night use. It is the only alternative to traditional flares that will satisfy USGC requirements. It flashes only the SOS sequence, per USCG regulations. The LED light flashes up to 60 hours on three C-cell batteries and is visible for up to 10 nautical miles. When combined with a daytime distress signal flag (included in package), U.S. Coast Guard compliant for day and night use.
YachtCloser introduced the YachtCloser Network, a broker-to-broker Multiple Listing Service for the boating industry, offering real-time, live data based on actual signed contracts. The tool allows a broker to find a boat on the network, make an offer, and instantly create a contract to send to buyer, seller and brokers for electronic signature in a matter of seconds.
The new Yamaha F2.5 is certified with three stars from the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board for “ultra-low emissions,” due to improvements that make combustion cleaner and more efficient. Clean-burning features include a new intake manifold, new combustion chamber design, a four-degree cylinder offset, an enlarged water jacket and a two-stage exhaust gas recirculation system. Comes with a new ergonomic carrying handle that can be used for reverse steering assistance.
The redesigned for 2016 2095 BTX backtroller has several changes from the previous model. The steering helm gives the ability for other engines with a hydraulic tilt steering cylinder integrated into the design, on a raised cone alongside the isolated bait well. Floor space has increased over the previous design and storage increased by over 50 percent compared to the old model. The cross-cockpit console allows five different mounting positions for RAM mounts with access to dual mount screens. It is also the first model to morph over to the Bass Cat all-fiberglass hull with vacuum process assembly.