Tampa, Fla. – The 2019 IBEX Innovation Awards, managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), were presented at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) during the annual Industry Breakfast on Tuesday, October 1. Eight BWI judges with various technical backgrounds in boating selected the new product winners from over 100 entries submitted by marine trade companies – the largest program to date.
The winners in each of the 15 categories of the 2019 IBEX Innovation Awards are:
Boat Care and Maintenance: AWLGRIP North America, HDT: “With high gloss, repairable, scratch resistant, extended in-service life, the difference is clear, literally,” said Zuzana Prochazka.
Boatbuilding Methods & Materials: Teakdecking Systems, LIGNIA Yacht Teak Alternative: “In an age of synthetic decks, a real wood solution takes the prize,” said Phil Gutowski.
Boatyard and Marina Hardware and Software: Cojali USA Inc, Jaltest Marine: “A relief for marine mechanics. Proprietary engine diagnostic tools may soon be replaced by this manufacturer agnostic testing gear,” said Phil Gutowski.
Covering: STREX Fasteners LLC, STREX Fasteners: “Save your fingers and your boat with Strex Fasteners that works on existing covers and makes it no longer a pain to cover your boat,” said Brady Kay.
Deck Equipment and Hardware: LilliPad Marine, Revo Boarding Ladder: “The Revo Boarding Ladder is like a stairway to heaven making access to the boat from the water easy for everyone,” said Capt. Barb Carey.
Electrical Systems: Triskel Marine Ltd, Integrel Advanced Generator Replacement Technology: “A serious game changer in the industry, the Integral system is a serious leap in power generation. Nigel Calder can finally retire,” said Zuzana Prochazka.
Entertainment: Roswell Marine, R1 Pro Tower Speakers: “With the industry’s first light permeable speaker housing, Roswell Marine Pro-Tower Speakers will transform your evenings on the water into an experience for the senses,” said Capt. Debbie Hanson.
Furnishings and Interior Parts: Teak Isle Mfg., Pontoon Folding Table with Tray: “We applaud the inventive use of what is normally wasted space for entertaining onboard pontoons,” said Andy Adams.
Inboard Engines: Volvo Penta, Next-Generation D4/D6 Marine Propulsion Systems: “The ability to re-engineer both the D4 and D6 propulsion systems brought out about higher horsepower, better fuel efficiency, significantly lower maintenance cost, extended service intervals and stationary positioning for stern drives,” said Alan Wendt.
Lighting: Quality Mark Inc., H2O Light Saver: “Made to bend and not break. The H2O Light Saver from Quality Mark eliminates the need to lower or remove your sternlight when an obstacle may arise,” said Brady Kay.
Mechanical Systems: Dual Winners, Dometic Corporation, Turbo Global Air-Conditioning Unit: “The air conditioner to replace them all. Dometic goes global with support for any voltage around the world,” said Phil Gutowski.
Mate USA, UP8-RE Reversible Electronic Pump: “A simple gear pump integrates flow rate control and reversibility without external components,” said Phil Gutowski.
OEM Electronics: Dometic Corporation, E-Actuator: “Ditch the hoses, ditch the hydraulic fluid, ditch the pumps, people – the Optimus E-Actuator eliminates them all,” said Lenny Rudow.
Outboard Engines: Evinrude, E-TEC: “Finally, a 115-horse two-stroke outboard that can compete head to head against any four-stroke on the market and in some ways, maybe even beat it,” said Lenny Rudow.
Propulsion Parts, Propellers: Propellers, PowerTech! Propellers, Propeller Scanalyzer: “I want on for Christmas! With so many twin, triple and quad engine boats, there has to be a great market for prop repair and tuning,” said Andy Adams.
Safety Equipment: Vesper Marine, Cortex: “Cortex – it’s not a VHF radio…but it is. It’s not an AIS…but it is. It’s not a MOB system…but it is, and it’s a whole lot more,” said Lenny Rudow.
Honorable Mention: Telesafe LLC, Engine Inhibitor Unit.
All product entries can be viewed along Innovation Way on the 2nd floor Rotunda.
“IBEX has been rewarding ingenuity and honoring excellence with the Innovation Awards since 2003,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “The program has evolved into one of the marine industry’s most prestigious honors. The gorgeous crystal awards are displayed proudly by hundreds of marine manufacturers that we have recognized over the years for bringing new, innovative products to market. We could not have elevated these awards to this level without our partnership with Boating Writers International and the technical expertise they bring to the judging process.”
Kicking off the Breakfast and his first day as NMMA president, Frank Hugelmeyer gave his first address as president to the more than 700 marine professionals in attendance, sharing his boating background that brought him to NMMA and outlining areas of focus for the recreational boating industry.
Attendees of the Industry Breakfast were then treated to a presentation from keynote speaker Dr. Sam Potolicchio, educator and motivational speaker, who delivered an interesting and informative talk about the key geopolitical trends likely to impact businesses with global exposure, specifically those relying on trade dynamics and the free movement of talent.
Tuesday’s events include the opening of all three exhibitor floors; outdoor exhibits and demos; free Tech Talk workshops at the top of every hour beginning at 11 a.m.; an IBEX Special Session: Return to Thunderboat Row from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; the Seminar Series from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and the Emerging Marine Leaders: On-the-Water Networking Event from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Capping off the day is the Opening Night Party at The Sail Pavilion beginning at 6 p.m. Located just outside the convention center, attendees can spend the evening enjoying drink specials and live entertainment.