Thirteen Products Honored For Boating Innovation at IBEX 2011


CHICAGO – October 17, 2011 – Thirteen marine manufacturers were honored this morning for innovative achievement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) at the 2011 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) Innovation Awards in Louisville. Eleven winning companies received their 2011 IBEX Innovation Awards, and two received honorable mentions, during the annual IBEX Industry Breakfast at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by BWI, recognize those products that best meet the following criteria: innovative distinction from other products currently being manufactured; benefit to the marine industry and/or consumer; practicality; cost-effectiveness; and availability to the consumer within 60 days of award receipt. A total of 65 new products were entered in this year’s IBEX Innovation Awards program.

“The winners recognized at IBEX today are a testament to the ongoing commitment to boating ingenuity necessary to the future of our industry,” noted NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “It’s encouraging to see companies focus their efforts on forward-thinking solutions to help consumers and further the industry, and I’m excited to see how these products adapt in the market.”
“One of the motivators for writers involved in the Innovation Awards is the ability to see and touch the future. This is our Discover Boating, and this year’s product submissions didn’t disappoint – from the electronics OEM’s that wowed us with game-changing technology to engine manufacturers that delivered more efficient products than we’ve ever seen,” stated Alan Wendt, IBEX Innovation Awards committee chair and contributor to “The future of boating advancement is bright.”
Additional BWI members serving on the IBEX Innovation Awards judging panel this year include: Zuzana Prochazka, editor of, technical editor for Latitudes & Attitudes, freelancer for publications including Sea, Sail, Yachtworld, Lakeland Boating, and DIY Boatowner, and president of BWI; Frank Lanier, accredited marine surveyor, public speaker; and contributor to numerous publications including Sea, Practical Sailor, Lakeland Boating, and Southern Boating; Susan Canfield, accredited marine surveyor, technical writer, and Wooden Boat School instructor; Roger McAfee, former lawyer, contributor to Pacific Yachting, Sea magazine, Southern Boating, Lakeland Boating, ShowBoats International and Dockwalk, and past president of the Metal Boat Society; Brady Kay, editor of Pontoon & Deckboat magazine and Houseboat magazine; and Patricia Kearns, former ABYC technical assistant, contributor to DIY Magazine, founder and CEO of Marine Experts Group, maritime consultant, and frequent speaker at IBEX.
IBEX Innovation Awards were presented to the following companies in these categories:
Deck Equipment & Hardware
Winner: Nautilus Marine Group, Windlass V500                  
Judge Susan Canfield noted, “The well-engineered windlass tension band keeps the rope and chain splice in constant contact with the chain wheel easily handling knots and hackles of life at anchor.”
Honorable Mention: Ameritex Fabric Systems, Four-in-One Boat Cover
Electrical Systems
Winner: Charles Industries, Intelligent Marine Charger
“The introduction of different battery voltages and recharging times created the necessity for a programmable charger,” according to Judge Pat Kearns. “The IMC 40 eliminates the need for multiple onboard battery chargers. The built-in redundancy will get you home.”
Furnishing & Interior Parts
Winner: Thetford Curve, Porta Potti
“Serious thinking time was spent addressing multiple ways to improve and innovate one of life’s basic necessities,” according to judge Roger McAfee. “The originators of the Porta Potti redesigned everything from a battery powered flushing mechanism to a hidden, integrated toilet paper holder.”
Inboard Engines
Winner: Indmar, 5.7L Assault 345 Inboard
“Wakesurfing is rapidly growing in popularity,” noted judge Brady Kay. “However, the strain on engines required proactive engineering to reduce engine failure. Indmar has a workhorse for rugged watersports.”
Mechanical Systems
Winner: Attwood, Universal Sprayless Connector
“This category begged a focus on new ABYC and future EPA rulings regarding fuel shut-off systems and inlets,” stated Judge Frank Lanier. “There were several intriguing fuel inlet designs, each with different approaches. Attwood’s Universal Sprayless Connector, however, stood out in both simplicity, ease of adaptation and global application.”
OEM Electronics
Winner: Raymarine, e7D Multifunction Display
This compact navigation solution brings multiple features, including built-in WI-FI connectivity to a marine multifunction device. “Where Apple iPad integration, pop culture and intuitive operation meets useful maritime technology,” said Judge Alan Wendt.
Outboard Engines
Two Winners: Honda Marine, BF 250 Outboard Engine and Mercury 150 FourStroke Outboard
“There are two clear winners in this category – each being the first to bring features to the market.
Honda offers the first dual-circuit induction system that provides improved combustion, while delivering additional amps for charging boat batteries,” noted Judge Zuzana Procheska. “And Mercury found a way to trim 24 pounds of their new 150 FourStroke, while helping to satisfy the growing need for superb fuel efficiency and performance.”
Propulsion Parts, Propellers
Winner: Powertech Propellers, Power Stop Propeller
“The rapidly growing pontoon and deck boat market is always faced with ways to reduce the effects of wind, tide and a variety of performance issues. Powertech Propellers answers those concerns with a brilliantly crafted reverse thrust propeller, providing new levels of control without harming overall performance,” said Judge Brady Kay.
Honorable Mention: Livorsi Marine for its improved Raw Water Flow System that helps to prevent cosmetic and structural damage to expensive exhaust headers and intercoolers
Safety Equipment
Winner: Protomet Corporation, Panoramic Mirror System
“Having a second set of eyes on your kids while towing them in any variety of watersports is inherent parental responsibility,” noted judge Alan Wendt. “Protomet’s prescription grade optics provides unparalleled viewable range.”
Winner: US Marine Products, EFOY Fuel Cell
“Our environmental award goes to US Marine Products for the EFOY Fuel Cell. This is a green solution to providing on board power with a fuel cell that converts methanol into 12 to 24 volt power,” noted Alan Wendt.
For more information on IBEX or the Innovation Awards program, visit
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About NMMA: National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry in North America. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. For more information visit
About IBEX: IBEX is owned and produced by Professional BoatBuilder magazine and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and is the marine industry’s largest technical trade event. For boat builders, marine industry dealers, aftermarket suppliers and buyers, designers, repairers, surveyors, and boatyard/marine operators, IBEX is the single source for the latest boatbuilding technologies, tools, and materials. For the latest information, visit