Judges select 18 winners and one honourable mention in 18 categories

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) announced the winners of the 2019 Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards during the annual Innovation Breakfast at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin this morning.

The Innovation Awards judges’ committee is comprised of eight BWI members have specific expertise in marine products and equipment and who perform product testing throughout the year. This year’s program evaluated 66 products across 26 categories. The judges ultimately selected 18 winners and one honourable mention in 18 categories for a total of 19 honorees.

Six boatbuilders were cited for innovative models:

  • Center Console/Walkaround Fishing Boats: 332CC, Blackfin, which judge Allen Jones described as a “fully-featured fishing boat packed with features normally found on much larger center console designs.”
  • Cuddy Cabin and Bowrider Boats: Cobalt Boats A29. “Cobalt has incorporated a number of lifestyle experiences like the fun Splash n Stow and the hi-tech Medallion Instruments vessel control system for today’s active family,” said BWI director Alan Wendt.
  • Deck Boats: 160 Super Sport from Boston Whaler described by Kim Koditek as “a great entry level boat with simple and adaptable seating that may excite a new generation of boaters.”
  • Tow Boats: X24 MasterCraft. “When 95% of your customers are wake surfing, the ability to switch and enhance the wave is key. Mastercraft’s Switchback tank opens up the sport to expert riders, kids and goofy-foots like never before,” Koditek said.
  • Jet Boats: 275 series Yamaha WaterCraft Company featuring DRiVE. “Yamaha’s DRiVE system makes handling a big jet boat at slow speeds intuitive and confidence-building,” according to Koditek.
  • Personal Watercraft: Sea-Doo FISH PRO 155. “With fishing being the most popular on-water activity, Sea-Doo is the first to create a purpose-built small craft fishing machine that’s just as happy inshore as offshore,” said Alan Jones.

Engine and motor category winners included:

  • Electric Motor/Battery Powered Propulsion/Hybrids: Torqeedo’s Deep Blue 100i. “Torqeedo keeps turning up the juice with electric propulsion for two new target markets – one for large torque needs as well as one for high speed applications like tow boats,” said Pat Rains.
  • Inboard Engines: the 2.3L Ecoboost from Indmar Marine Engines. “The successful marination of a compact and powerful engine creates room in the boat for things you want to carry like gear or extra ballast,” said Jones.
  • Outboard Engines, Integrated Outboard Propulsion: Volvo Penta “The marriage between Volvo Penta and its 7 Marine division clearly demonstrates innovation in highly integrated and smooth-shifting helm to prop outboard propulsion systems,” said Alan Wendt.

Other Innovation Award category winners were:

  • Environmental Award: Untangled Collection - Baffin, Costa. “Made of recycled fishing nets, these lightweight sunglasses remove plastic from our oceans and give fishermen incentive to turn in their old gear,” said Greta Schanen.
  • Boat Care and Maintenance: Padxpress, Valen SAS
  • Consumer Electronics, Mobile Applications and Software: Aurora, SIOnyx, LLC, Honorable Mention: Sail-Sense, Spinlock USA
  • Consumer Safety Equipment: Galaxy-INFL8, Shakespeare Electronics
  • Deck Equipment: ComfortGrip, Edson International
  • Docking and Fendering Equipment: Dry-Dock Seapen, Solstice Watersports/Seapen
  • Fishing Equipment, Gear and Tackle: SeaTrace 3000, FT-TEC USA Corp
  • Propulsion Equipment and Parts: MicroTuners , Nautique Boat Company

The judges’ committee is co-chaired by Zuzana Prochazka and Alan Wendt, and was comprised for the first time of 50% male judges, 50% female judges. Other judges were: Alan Jones, Kim Koditek, Frank Lanier, Pat Rains, Greta Schanen, and Ben Stein.