Innovation proved a fitting theme for this year’s Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) that drew to a close after its three day run in Amsterdam, on November 20

A record number of 21,086 visitors attended over the three days – up 2.9% on last year.

Stand outs included the new Innovation Lab, powered by IBI, which staged a series of interviews and presentations all taking innovation as their theme. They included presentations by Garmin’s Mike Wiegers on what we can expect from the electonics manufacturer going forward; and Mercury boss John Pfeifer on the engine maker’s bold decision to build its own sterndrive block from scratch (see pg59). Green Marine’s James Day also offered a glimpse of how boatbuilders could be using 3D printing technology in the future.

Other notables included as always the DAME awards, the overall winner this year being Jefa Steering with its innovative Steering Traveller. Other category winners were Glomex, whose integrated 3G/4G/Wi-Fi coastal internet antenna system, the WeBBoat 4G, picked up the Marine Electronics and Marine Related Software award, while Kenyon’s SilKEN2 induction cooktop was named winner of the Interior Equipment, Furnishing, Materials and Electrical Fittings used in Cabins category.

The Seabung won over the judges in the Marina Equipment, Boatyard Equipment and Boat Construction Tools and Materials category, for which it was named winner, while the MOB Search Light from Exposure Marine was named winner of the Life Saving and Safety Equipment category.

And finally, the simplicity and ease of installation of EZ-Mount Battery Switches from Marinco by BEP was also a big hit with the jury, who named it winner of the Machinery, Propulsion, Mechanical and Electrical Systems & Fittings category.

Positive vibe

The mood on the show floor was more upbeat generally than it has been for a number of years, the consensus by those canvassed by IBI that despite the still challenging market conditions, stable, single digit growth was realistic going in to 2015.

At the time of going to press an IBI Plus online poll had 75% of readers agreeing the show had been ‘Busier, with more serious enquiries than last year’.