For the fourth annual Boating Industry Top products list, we’ve selected 50 of the best new or updated products and services for the marine industry, ranging from accessories to boats to engines and more.
To be eligible, products had to have been introduced or significantly updated since January 2016. From hundreds of nominations, these products stood out for impact on the industry, innovation and how they advance their product category – or create a new segment.
3M Perfect-It Gelcoat Finishing System
The 3M Perfect-It Gelcoat Finishing System is a complete line of refinishing liquids for the marine industry, including compound, polish, wax and wash. Each product in the system was formulated specifically for gelcoat surfaces by industry experts. The system includes five products in multiple sizes and meets the need of any gelcoat boat refinishing, from professionals using the system to remove scratches, to bringing back that that “like new” feeling after a normal boating season’s wear-and-tear.
Ameritex SST bimini top
The reengineered design of the SST Bimini Top from Ameritex Fabric Systems makes the top stable with only two support stanchions. The addition of threaded eye-ends locks the deck mounts down tight, reducing rattling to almost nothing, even when a boat is moving. The result is a sturdy bimini top with no obstructions aft or fore so fisherman can fish without rods being impeded and drivers have better visibility, the company says.
Aqualuma’s Gen 4 FF12 Surface Mount LED underwater lights offer performance where a thru-hull fitting is not possible. Available in Aqualuma’s Brilliant White and Ultra Blue, the Gen 4 FF12 replaces the original FF12 with a new design, higher output and built-in thermo control, allowing greater life. Featuring a fully self contained fitting with a simple two-wire installation, it produces both distance and width from the single fitting and can be mounted on any flat surface.
Bayliner Element E21
The Element E21 is Bayliner’s largest self-bailing deck boat design to date — aimed at family cruising, water sports, and other day boat activities. With a nearly 21-foot LOA, it has the same clean, open layout the Element line is known for, in addition to the stability provided by the M-Hull design — this time with an even deeper entry, giving it improved performance in choppy conditions. The bow features comfortable lounges and, thanks to its larger beam, more overall space.
Bennett Marine AutoTrim Pro
Bennett Marine’s new AutoTrim Pro is an all-in-one trim tab control system, combining a myriad of features into one helm display. Features include automatic trim tab control, manual trim tab control, automatic tab retraction, and trim tab position indication. Programmable “Favorite” buttons regulate the boat’s trim angle based on settings selected by the operator, and then holds that angle across a variety of speeds and shifting conditions. The operator can take manual control at any time by simply pressing any button on the Helm Display.
BEP Combination Output Interface
The new BEP Marine Combination Output Interface is a complete system that combines five CZone modules into a single module. This offers faster installation, lower price point and a smaller footprint. With fewer connection points, COI is designed for smaller vessels, while offering the ability to add modules to scale the digital switching system for any installation. The COI is enclosed in a compact, rugged IPX5 housing with an optional cable cover which provides greater flexibility for installation location.
Bellingham Marine temporary floating docks
Bellingham Marine’s new temporary floating docks were born out of the design of a custom timber dock system developed for the Miami International Boat Show. Bellingham produced the first 100 percent EPA-compliant temporary marina that can be compactly stacked in storage. The dock features a universal connection system, which makes connecting individual modules quick and easy. The modules can also easily be formed into platforms with all necessary utilities passing through the modules.
Boston Whaler 380 Outrage
Boston Whaler introduced the new 380 Outrage, built for offshore runs or social gatherings. For entertaining, the optional summer kitchen includes a grill and refrigerator/freezer, plus storage for snacks and essentials. The air-conditioned cabin with a convertible settee/V-berth provides a place to duck out of the elements, enjoy a meal or stay overnight. For anglers, fishing features include the standard 60-gallon transom livewell, leaning post, an integrated hardtop with rod holders and large in-floor fish. An Upper Station with advanced helm is an available option.
The Ri257 is a nearly 26-foot boat with room for 18 passengers along with 5,550 pounds of available ballast. Two sub-floor tooled-in tanks fill with as much as 2,600 pounds of water in as little as 45 seconds to create pro-level waves or wakes that can be adjusted independently midsession. This towboat’s modified Deep-V hull is designed for wakeboarding and wakesurfing at world-class levels behind the same boat, while an oversized rudder, the Centurion Articulating Tracking System and rack and pinion steering make handling easy.
Chaparral Surf Series
The Chaparral Surf Series consists of five models, the 246SSI-SURF, 227SSX – SURF, the 257SSX – SURF, the 244 Sunesta – SURF and the 264 Sunesta – SURF. They are models taken from other segments in the Chaparral line-up, but have a hull specially designed for wakesurfing. They also include the integrated Malibu Surf Gate, a ballast system and a custom helm with a Medallion Viper II touch screen display that controls everything surf. Available with the Volvo Penta Forward Drive Propulsion system, Chaparral is the only sterndrive manufacturer to license the Surf Gate technology from Malibu.
Clarion’s CMS4 is a two-piece marine-grade multimedia source unit, offering 280 watts of power, and four multimedia source zones, each with independent zone volume control. The built-in multi-band tuner supports reception of radio stations anywhere in the world, along with weather band including automatic reception of emergency information. The CMS4 offers an ultra-bright color TFT LCD display optically wet bonded to Corning Gorilla Glass and other heavy-duty materials.
The new Cobia Boats 280 Dual Console is built off the hull of Cobia’s 277 CC. At 27’ 7” in length and with a beam of 9’ 6”, the 280 DC was designed to maximize usable deck space and still allow for numerous amenities and plush seating for up to 12 passengers. The standard aft seating and optional port and starboard benches all stow away underneath covering boards creating a wide-open cockpit gunwale to gunwale. A standard kitchenette just behind the adjustable deluxe helm seat comes with a cooler, wine rack and sink, all surrounded by a Corian countertop.
Coovy Sports MyCanoe
MyCanoe is a patented, performance lightweight full-sized 14.5-foot, two-seat folding canoe. When it is folded to a case, it fits in most small sedans and can be stored in a closet. MyCanoe takes less than 10 minutes to fold and unfold and weighs only 52 lbs. The double-layer marine-grade, custom-manufactured polypropylene hull is rated for 20,000 folds. An optional stabilizer kit is available for added stability for rough water or active fishing.
Evinrude E-TEC G2 Mid-range outboards
Evinrude has introduced the next generation of Evinrude E-TEC G2 models with horsepower ranging from 150 to 200 – the E-TEC G2 150, 150 H.O., 175 and 200. The new Evinrude E-TEC G2 models deliver up to 30 percent more torque, up to 15 percent better fuel efficiency and up to 75 percent fewer total regulated emissions compared to leading four-stroke outboard engines. The new models also feature a distinctive, customizable look that allows consumers to match their boat.
Formula 430 Super Sport Crossover
The Formula 430 Super Sport Crossover combines the Crossover Bowrider with the versatility of a flush cockpit center console, at 43 feet in length with a 12-foot beam. With nearly 40 linear feet of cockpit space flowing uninterrupted on one continuous level, the 430’s SmartZone concept optimizes the space with a side console helm, creating separate areas that foster a variety of activities and boating preferences. Cabin accommodations offer amenities including a convertible dinette/sleeping berth, aft stateroom with queen-size memory foam bed, private stand-up head compartment and a full galley.
Fusion StereoActive is the world’s first purpose-built portable marine stereo, with built-in Bluetooth audio streaming, AM/FM radio with weatherband available in the U.S. and USB audio playback. Featuring the Puck mount system, users can easily and securely attach the stereo to any paddleboard, kayak, canoe, boat or even hot tub. To keep valuables safe from the elements, Fusion has also engineered the ActiveSafe, which will securely house any smartphone, vehicle keys, bank cards or loose change.
Grady-White Fisherman 236
The Grady-White Fisherman 236 is packed with fishing-and-family friendly innovation including many Grady-White “firsts.” There is easy access to port and starboard swim platforms and aft storage via a sturdy transom door. The console opens to an enclosed oversized head. Seating includes available bow seats with patent pending fold away forward facing bolstered adjustable backrests. Aft seating includes Grady-White’s patented fold-away aft bench seat, and there is an available pop up tow pylon for water sports.
HO Skis Freeride EVO
An ultra-bendy ski makes for smooth effortless turns that give the feel that the edge is actually gripping the water. This is due to the combination of flex and rocker that allows the EVO to continually conform to the water surface. Regardless of the speed and angle of the water or where the skier is standing on the tip or tail, the EVO is able to compress and give the needed stability and control the skier needs.
The Honda BF6 is a lightweight, 6-hp outboard motor designed to power small skiffs, tenders, inflatables and sailboats. New innovative rubber engine mounts reduce vibration and noise, while producing a smoother ride and more comfortable operation at the tiller handle. The largest internal fuel tank (1.5-liters) in the class delivers more than 40 minutes of run time at wide-open throttle. Its weight and new ergonomic handle design also make the BF6 easy to carry to and from a boat.
HydroHoist HydroPort Extreme
The HydroHoist HydroPort Extreme reinvents the PWC docking platform with design and process innovations, including a conveyer-style roller system, multiple port and starboard positions and heavy-duty stainless steel axles. The PWC never touches the port, preventing incidental damage to the PWC from port to body contact. The exclusive “Air-Pillow” bow stop allows safer, easier entry against the bow of the port, while the molding process allows for a gripping effect to reduce sliding off.
Ilmor MV8 7.4L OPS sterndrive engine
Ilmor Marine’s new MV8 7.4L OPS recreational sterndrive engine is paired with the company’s “One Drive” sterndrive system to create a 480+ HP powertrain solution for the recreational bowrider and cruiser markets, available in single- and twin-drive configurations. The engine is based off Ilmor’s 7.4L powerplant, which has been offered in the company’s inboard portfolio since 2011. The central differentiator of the “One Drive” propulsion system is the electro-magnetically actuated hydraulic clutch transmission, the source of Ilmor’s “smooth shift” experience.
Indmar Raptor 460
Indmar’s Raptor 460 is a smaller displacement engine that is designed to be lighter in weight, offer better fuel economy and deliver the performance consumers are seeking. A high-torque intake manifold and high horsepower throttle body, borrowed from Ford’s GT-350, has this model delivering the torque users would expect from a diesel. Low backpressure and an LED lighted cover are just a few of the additional features that are unique to the Wake and Jet Series Raptor 460.
Infinity Woven Products Patterns Series
Created with new, advanced weaving technologies, the Patterns Series is Infinity’s newest family of styles. Infinity is the only manufacturer to introduce weaves where each yarn can be individually manipulated. With this new technology, Infinity can produce styles of woven vinyl fabric more intricate than ever before – providing boat manufacturers the ability to set their flooring apart from competition.
Lexington Seating Aluminum Evolution Seating System
Lexington’s new seating system is manufactured from non-corroding, specifically designed aluminum extrusion. It offers corrosion resistance advantages particularly in long-term saltwater applications, while saving up to 30 percent of weight. The system is designed with a heavy duty, thermo-formed seat pan with Dymetrol Suspension that eliminates rusty, squeaky springs. Seat design and Dymetrol suspension encourages water flow through the rear of the seat and airflow through the seat bottom for quick drying in harsh conditions.
Mar-Kee Group’s 30 Day Bootcamp Sales Training
Boat-specific sales training, from a reputable source, is difficult to find. Getting managers to hold salespeople accountable to do the training is even more difficult. Mar-Kee’s 30 Day Boot Camp solves both problems. Every weekday, a six- to 10-minute training video is emailed directly to the student. After watching, the student takes an online exam to test for comprehension. Printed course material is also provided and managers are emailed weekly the results of that week’s progress. Mar-Kee provides the training, monitors the progress, but always keeps managers in the loop.
Marinco 70A trolling motor plug and receptacle
Today’s trolling motors are becoming increasingly powerful and complex. Many have a continuous amp draw of over 50A, while most trolling motor plugs on the market are only rated for 40A. If the amp draw of the motor exceeds the capacity of the plug, the result can be burnt wires, damaged circuits and potential safety issues. For this reason, Marinco has developed a new 70A trolling motor plug and receptacle. Its capacity exceeds the highest amp draw trolling motors, protecting against overheating, and burnt electronics.
MasterCraft’s DockStar Handling System makes tight spots like docks and marinas easier to navigate. The patent-pending DockStar Handling System uses a triple-rudder setup to deflect prop wash in both forward and reverse. The system uses a traditional main rudder aft of the propeller and two twin rudders forward of the prop. The mechanically linked forward rudders use prop wash to push the boat to port, starboard or straight back while in reverse, countering prop torque. The twin rudders also help deliver precision handling in forward by increasing the surface area catching and redirecting water.
Minn Kota’s new Ultrex trolling motor is a hybrid that merges the body of a Fortrex with the brains of i-Pilot, complete with Spot-Lock electronic GPS anchoring and more. Ultrex features power steering to reduce steering effort and foot fatigue, coated stainless steel stow/deploy adjustable cable, composite shaft and weedless Wedge 2 prop. The Ultrex product line-up will consist of several combos, including 24-volt 80 lbs. thrust and 36-volt 112 lbs. thrust versions in 45, 52 and 60 shaft lengths.
Nautique Boats Super Air Nautique GS20
Nautique has introduced its first-ever Super Air Nautique GS20, which blends the company’s G-series and Ski Nautique 200, with a hull designed to optimize the wake and wave under running conditions for wakeboarding, wakesurfing and waterskiing. New technology in the Nautique Configurable Running Surface has been developed to create a wakeboard wake and surf wave utilizing 1,850 pounds of sub-floor internal ballast and the Nautique Surf System. The GS20 features the all-new 12.4” LINC PANORAY touchscreen, Nautique Awareness camera and premium sound from JL Audio.
NavPod PedestalPods give the convenience of easily reaching and controlling the fishfinder/chartplotter, while also providing protection from harsh, wet boating conditions and theft. PedestalPods are crafted with a thick gauge, UV-stable acrylic capped ABS material and are built with structural rigidity in mind. PedestalPods are also manufactured with a double gasket system that provides a watertight seal to keep spray off electrical connections.
PonTow Pontoon Trailer
PonTow is the world’s only Hydraulic bunk pontoon trailer that can load and unload a triple tube pontoon boat. With its hydraulic roller assembly users can raise the rollers to load and unload any pontoon right off the ground and put back on the ground for storage, or deliver to the lake. The keels are always fully supported on the rollers and when lowered for trailering they sit on 2 x 8 boards for full support while transporting.
PTM Edge UCX-17 Pro
The UCX-17 PRO universal-mount mirror system can be installed almost anywhere on the helm. All that is needed is 2.5” of flat space to attach the mirror – even if it’s on an angle – and the process takes less than 30 minutes. The HD, prescription-grade mirror gives the driver a viewing angle of 100 degrees to help spot any problems. The arm and mount of the mirror are made from aerospace-grade billet aluminum and have been electropolished and anodized to protect the finish.
Coming in at 31 feet, the R317 is the largest boat in the company’s lineup. The R317 is a multi-purpose dual console boat with features for both the angler and the family. Unique to the R317 is the Vista-View powered aft lounge seat and full walk around swim platform. Dual back-to-back headrests electrically activate in either direction to created seating/lounging options. The open concept seating gives way to dual double-wide helm seats. Forward of that there is a large L-shaped bow area that conceals the entry to the head compartment. The R317 also features a sleeping cabin port. port side entry door, live well, fish boxes and abundant storage throughout the entire boat.
Scout Articulating Rocket Launcher
Scout’s new articulating rocket launcher (that can also work in conjunction with its Sure Shade retractable awning feature) is available on several vessels, including the new 380 LXF. With the touch of a button, a customer can electronically raise or lower the hardtop mounted rocket launchers. When the Sure Shade retractable awning is engaged, the rocket launchers will also engage electronically and lower in case the customer forgets to lower them on his/her own.
Sea Ray SLX-W 230
Sea Ray’s SLX-W 230 was designed to combine wake-shaping capabilities with amenities for all-day coving and comfortable cruising, powered by a Mercury Marine V-Drive propulsion system. The new SLX-W 230 features a deep-V wake-hull design, which Sea Ray says was honed during hundreds of hours of development and testing, and comes standard with Dynamic Running Surface for a smooth ride and predictable handling. At the helm, technology includes Dynamic Display, which is designed to provide easy viewing for the captain and intuitive command of wake sports functions. The ballast system is entirely contained within the hull, a solution that aims to reduce consumption of storage space.
The Shakespeare WebWatch provides Internet access for up to 32 users from nearby Wi-Fi or, with a data-only AT&T SIM card, a cellular network, with speeds up to 4G. It also supports T-Mobile and Cricket networks up to 3G speeds. The system shares the signal wirelessly throughout the boat or via an Ethernet cable. With the built-in HDTV antenna, users can receive over-the-air digital signals, allowing televisions to play even during storms, when satellite connections may fail. A version of WebWatch without HDTV is also available.
Shore Station Shore Screen
The Shore Station Shore Screen is a canopy system designed to give boaters the best coverage and easy accessibility to their boats, with pontoon and wakeboarding boats in mind. Features include maximum protection from damaging UV light, debris and rain, wireless remote and easy accessibility to the boat. The breathable mesh material is both a UV blocker and easy cleaning and can be left up year round. Retrofittable to existing Shore Station-branded lifts.
Sideshift Inc. has introduced the PT230, the world’s first fully retractable thruster for modern pontoon boats. With the patent-pending PT230 problems with docking and close-quarters maneuvers are completely eliminated. The powerful single-prop motor sits at home under the deck in its rugged, marine-grade anodized aluminum housing, ready for use when it’s needed. Precision guidance is at the operators fingertips with the simple wireless joystick control, to guide the boat in any direction regardless of wind or current.
Skiers Choice AutoWake Technology
The AutoWake technology monitors the running attitude of the boat and adjusts ballast levels automatically to maintain optimal hull position for either surfing or wakeboarding. Combined with surf systems and a second-generation smart plate, AutoWake delivers precise wakes or surf waves that are easy to set up, repeat and customize for riders of any skill level. The technology is standard on all 2017 Supra Models and an optional feature on all 2017 Moomba models.
Smoker Craft 182 Pro Mag
The Smoker Craft 182 Pro Mag features new state-of-the-art fiberglass consoles that are prepped for 9” electronic flush mount screen displays, the brand new Yarblow Ventilation System, interior LED Lighting, full vinyl cockpits and casting decks, and the Integrated Track System. The all-new Yarblow Ventilation System better protects expensive fishing gear and tackle by preventing rust and corrosion, using pressurized air to eliminate mold and mildew in the bilge and dry storage areas resulting from humidity and normal precipitation.
Spradling International Fastmount TC-06
Spradling International Marine’s new patent-pending TC-06 Textile Range Clip from Fastmount is designed for the rapid replacement and removal of exterior cushions. The clip set easily locks seat backs, bases, sunbeds and other soft-backed upholstery into place. An extension of the male/female clip system, the Textile Range female clip is simply stitched to the upholstery while the male is screwed onto the fiberglass, wood or metal deck molding. The two parts lock together with a push and a click.
Sunstream SwiftShield Universal Automatic Boat Cover
The Sunstream SwiftShield Universal Automatic Boat Cover enhances the boating experience by automatically removing and installing a full mooring cover on a boat on a boat lift. The shape of the cover provides complete protection of not only the top of the boat, but the sides as well. The mechanism mounts to the guides of a boat lift, which enables the design to be used on most any boat lift. The articulating arm reduces the height while operating the cover, which enables use under many covered moorage areas, and increases wind resistance.
The 2017 S238 is a 23’ 8” wakesurfing towboat with a Deep-V hull that can house up to 16 passengers. Other features include QuickFill Ballast, Plug and Play Ballast and the available QuickSurf System. Powered by GM Marine Crusader Engines from PCM. The Octo Tower by Skylon towers, an octagon-shaped tube, comes standard.
Suzuki DF150AP and DF175AP
Suzuki Marine has introduced its new DF150AP and DF175AP, two new inline four-cylinder outboards that feature Suzuki Precision Control drive-by-wire throttle and shift, as well as Suzuki’s Selective Rotation gear case. The new DF150AP and DF175AP boast the largest displacement in their respective horsepower class. Engine performance is enhanced by a 10.2:1 compression ratio and a newly developed Semi-Direct Air Intake System further boosts power by providing cooler airflow to each cylinder.
T-H Marine Snap Flex LED Stern Light
The T-H Marine Snap Flex LED Stern Light uses a patented spring-loaded RCA CAM quick release, locking base. This allows the light to be quickly and securely installed. In addition, the Snap Flex LED Stern Light features a flexible fiberglass shaft that prevents damage to both the light and the boat in the event of any impact to the light. The LED light is two-mile USCG approved.
The Tigé RZX2 features the Tigé CLEAR User Experience, the Alpha E2 Electric Power Tower, first-of-its-kind storage solutions, intelligent steering wheel controls and more. The 10.6-inch Tigé CLEAR boasts surface area and a contrast ratio specifically designed to outshine the midday sun. Fully functional steering wheel controls enhance the usability and function of the Tigé CLEAR touch control center. The Alpha E2 Tower lowers by electronic actuator to windshield height, making it effortless to stow, tow or go. Other notable standard features include dedicated surfboard storage, Indmar Raptor Series, transform seating, 3,000 pounds of subfloor ballast and RearView Camera.
Torqeedo Cruise Fixed Pod
The first Cruise Fixed Pod motors offer sailors and powerboat enthusiasts pod drives that deliver the performance equivalent of a 5, 8 or 20 hp combustion engine. The pod drives save space with an optional folding propeller and mount below water. The motors feature direct cooling in the water and an intelligent on-board computer with an interface for TorqTrac, the smartphone app for Torqeedo drives. Like all Cruise motors, the pod versions are saltwater-compatible and corrosion-protected.
Ultrafabrics Ultraleather Indoor/Outdoor Collection features EPA-registered anti-mildew defense that provides protection against foreign substances, colorfastness to sunlight and other elements preventing fading and discoloration. Climate control technology resists temperature changes, ensuring material will not crack or decompose. Thermal comfort dissipates heat and moisture away from the body, promoting a pleasant seating experience indoors or out. The Ultraleather Indoor/Outdoor Collection is made up of five collections: Cora, Distressed, Pebble, Promessa and Pumice.
Volvo Penta Easy Drain
Volvo Penta’s Easy Drain is the first gasoline sterndrive raw water engine-draining system that can be activated with a single knob, whether the boat is in or out of the water. The system is designed with an anti-siphon vent that allows the engine to drain while in the water. The anti-siphon vent is actuated automatically with the push of a single knob, without disconnecting any water hoses. Previously, it was necessary to disconnect three different hoses. A locking pin ensures no accidental opening of the system.
Yamaha’s next-generation F90 four-stroke outboard is lighter and quicker than its predecessor, and leads its class in torque and acceleration, the company says. Weighing in at 353 pounds, the F90 is 13 lbs. lighter than its predecessor and displaces 1.8 liters versus 1.6 liters. The outboards can be paired with several Yamaha propellers with the exclusive Shift Dampener System, including Talon (GP and Pontoon), for greater quiet and comfort. It is compatible with Yamaha’s Variable Trolling RPM Switch and can be rigged for use with Yamaha’s multifunction tiller handle.