NMMA Hall of Fame Awards Logo The National Marine Manufacturers Association Hall of Fame was established in 1988 to recognize and honor individuals who have made or continue to make substantial contributions toward the advancement of the marine industry. It is NMMA’s most prestigious recognition.


To be eligible for the NMMA Hall of Fame Award a candidate must:

  • Have made a substantial and lasting impact on the industry or their particular segment

  • Are known in the industry and are beyond personal or professional reproach

  • A past (deceased/retired) or current member and supporter of NMMA

  • Actively involved in the marine industry for a minimum of ten years


Nominations are being accepted for the 2024 program through June 27, 2024. Active members in good standing with the NMMA are eligible to nominate a worthy industry leader. An official nomination form must be submitted, along with; supporting documents (letters of support, articles around the candidate's work in the industry, etc) that will enhance the nomination portfolio by the given deadline.


All nomination portfolios will be reveiwed by the NMMA Hall of Fame Committee after the nomination deadline. The NMMA Board of Directors will make a final vote to determine the award recipient(s). Nominators will be notified of award status August 2024.


Award recipients will be presented at IBEX during the Industry Breakfast taking place on Tuesday, October 1 in Tampa, FL.


Contact: Rachel Harmon
Email: [email protected]


View past recipients of this prestigious award.

1988: Elmer Carl Kiekhaefer, Charles Frederic Chapman, Garfield Arthur Wood, Ole Evinrude and Christopher Columbus Smith

Garfield Arthur Wood, 1880–1971

The man who was name after Presidents Garfield and Arthur was also the first person to travel over 100 miles per hour on water. This legend, Garfield Arthur Wood, who began his racing career at the age of eighteen, would come to dominate powerboat racing headlines for over two decades.

As inventive in industry as he was in creating trophy-winning speedboats, Gar Wood capitalized on a concept first conceived by his father to utilize hydraulic hoists to facilitate the unloading of truck cargo. And it was upon this patented invention that Gar generated the financial means to design, construct and pilot World Championship speedboats from 1917 through 1933.

When asked what he considered to be his greatest personal triumph, Gar Wood responded by recalling the highlights of the 1920 British International (“Harmsworth”) Trophy race; an event he would win eight times as a driver and nine times as an owner! The 1920 Harmsworth victory on England’s Osborne Bay was the first time since 1911 that an United States team would recapture what was considered to be the traditional symbol of speedboat supremacy. His craft, the 26-foot MISS AMERICA 1 swept both heats in a best two-out-of-three format with a record-setting average speed of 52.43 miles per hour.

In 1933, the last race for “The Gray Fox of Grayhaven”, a “hometown” crowd of over 600,000 people cheered Gar’s 7600 horsepower MISS AMERICA X (holder of a straightaway record of 124.91 mph) as it set a new Harmsworth record of 86.93 mph off the banks of Lake St. Clair.

Following his retirement from racing, the Detroit, Michigan native remained active in boating. In fact, during World War II, Gar assisted in the development of Navy Patrol Torpedo boats which used the same engine installation concept pioneered in the MISS AMERICA X. Today, the spirit of the Gray Fox’s contribution to powerboat racing is maintained by the Unlimited Hydroplane award which bears the title — The Gar Wood trophy.