The NMMA and Boating Writers International (BWI) announced the winners of the 2023 Minneapolis Innovation Awards, recognizing groundbreaking new consumer marine products, during the Sneak Preview event on January 18 at the Discover Boating® Minneapolis Boat Show, in partnership with Progressive® Insurance.
The Minneapolis Innovation Awards honor manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products in the boating industry to market in the following categories: fishing boats, pontoon boats, and furnishings. This year’s program honored four Innovation Award winners – one in the fishing boat category, two in the pontoon category, and one in the furnishings category.
“The marine products honored with this year’s Innovation Awards were developed by companies dedicated to advancing the recreational boating industry,” noted Show Manager Darren Envall. “We’re excited to showcase these innovations and the dozens of other new marine products at the 2023 Discover Boating Minneapolis Boat Show, providing attendees a boating hub to see and shop the best in boating.”
In the fishing boat category, Lund Boats received the Innovation Award for the Veer X13.
“Bringing in an entirely new concept of boat with next generation technologies and an entry-level price point, the Veer X13 offers the joy of getting on the water to a whole new generation of boaters and offers access to waters never before explored by a motorized boat,” said judge, Adam Quandt.
In the pontoon boat category, BRP Inc. was honored with the Innovation Award for the Manitou Explore, and Premier Marine received the Innovation Award for the 230 Sunsation Angler.
“The combination of the low profile Rotax 150S outboard and Max Deck design unlocks 38 square feet of aft deck space and eliminates the visual intrusion of the outboard motor. Exterior panels formed of powder coated aluminum supported by a composite inner structure offer a distinctive and handsome profile, and also integrate exterior lighting. The result is a pontoon that breaks new ground for both function and style,” Charles Plueddeman said about the Manitou Explore.
“Designed to open access to the water for anglers, the Open Water Panels fold away for a layout all boaters will appreciate. Combine the panels with a unique stern fishing station and you have a truly great fishing setup,” noted Brady Kay about the 230 Sunsation Angler.
In the furnishings category, Barletta Boats received the Innovation Award for the Meridian Lounge.
“As the popularity of multi-function rear lounges continues to grow, Barletta discovered a unique way to give you the same versatility but in a center walkthrough design,” said Kay.
2023 Minneapolis Innovation Awards’ judges bios:
- Brady Kay (Chair) – Kay is the executive editor of Pontoon & Deck Boat magazine and has been at the helm of the publication for over 20 years. During his tenure, Brady has tested and reviewed countless pontoon and deck boats, traveled to all 50 states for feature profiles, and has taken thousands of photos. He also currently oversees Great Lakes Boating magazine, a sister publication at Harris Publishing, and is in his third year as the president of Boating Writers International.
- Adam Quandt – Quandt is editor-in-chief and the Top 100 program director for Boating Industry. Adam tackles everything from testing and reviewing new products, to tracking and reporting on industry trends, and serves on the board of numerous industry-focused award programs. Though not necessarily born into the boating world like many others, Adam has quickly developed a passion for the industry and strives to continue bringing boaters together.
- Charles Plueddeman – Plueddeman a self-employed writer and photographer based in Wisconsin. A staff editor and contributor to Boating Magazine since 1986, he is the author of its "Off My Dock" column. His editorial work has appeared in many national publications, including Popular Mechanics, Men's Journal, Playboy, Popular Science, Cycle World, and Harley-Davidson Enthusiast. Charles is an avid road and mountain bicyclist and collects vintage Arctic Cat snowmobiles.