IBEX organisers have announced the panel of judges for this year’s IBEX Innovation Awards.

Eight judges with extensive technical boating knowledge will review the nearly 90 new products submitted for an award, and all products entered will be displayed throughout the duration of IBEX along Innovation Way, located inside the exhibit hall at the Tampa Convention Center in Florida.

The Innovation Awards honour achievement in product development in 13 areas of the marine industry: Boatbuilding Methods & Materials; Deck Equipment & Hardware; Furnishings & Interior Parts; Mechanical Systems; Electrical Systems; Inboard Engines; Outboard Engines; Boatyard and Dealer Hardware and Software; Propulsion Parts, Propellers; Boat Care and Maintenance; OEM Electronics; Trailers, Parts and Trailer Accessories; and Safety Equipment.

The panel of judges for the 2017 IBEX Innovation Awards are:

  • Alan Wendt (Chair): Past President of Boating Writers International and contributing writer for Lakeland Boating & Southern Boating, Yacht Rendezvous Event Planner for Manufacturer based customer cruises
  • Zuzana Prochaska (Co-Chair): Writer and photographer who freelances for over a dozen boating and travel magazines
  • Charlie Levine: Editor and publisher of FishTrack.com and Buoyweather.com, which provides weather, fishing charts and a database of articles for offshore anglers and mariners
  • Brady Kay: Executive editor of Pontoon & Deck Boat, Houseboat and Great Lakes Boating magazines
  • Craig Ritchie: A contributor to IBI and other trade titles like Boating Industry, Boating Industry Canada and Marine Business (Australia)
  • Nigel Calder: Author of the 'Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual', 'Marine Diesel Engines', 'Cuba: A Cruising Guide', and several other titles
  • Ben Ellison: Editor of Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
  • Melissa Wood: Associate editor for Professional BoatBuilder magazine and an editor for national trade magazines covering commercial fishing and seafood

The IBEX Innovation Awards will be presented during the annual Industry Breakfast on September 19 in the Grand Ballroom at the Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel in Florida.

The IBEX Industry Breakfast, held on the opening morning of IBEX, will include a state of the industry address by NMMA president Thom Dammrich. Jim Craig, ‘Miracle on Ice’ USA Olympic Hockey team goalie, will deliver this year's keynote address.