Nine Products honored at 2008 Miami Boat Show.

Press Release Summary:

At 67th Annual Miami International Boat Show, 9 marine manufacturers were honored for innovative achievement. Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by Boating Writers International, recognize products that best meet following criteria: Innovative distinction from other products being manufactured; benefit to marine industry and/or consumer; practicality; cost-effectiveness; and availability to consumers within 60 days of award receipt.

Original Press Release:

Nine Products Honored For Innovation at 2008 Miami Boat Show

Companies receive Innovation Awards during annual Miami Media Breakfast

Chicago, IL -
February 14, 2008 - - Nine marine manufacturers were honored this morning for innovative achievement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) at the 67th Annual Miami International Boat Show. Winning companies received their 2008 Miami Innovation Awards during the Miami Media Breakfast, held Thursday, February 14 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by BWI, recognize 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.

"This year, a total of 50 products were entered in eight different categories," says Zuzana Prochazka, Miami Innovation Awards chair and member of the BWI Board of Directors. "There were some exceptional entries this year, and it made the judging process a challenge. We not only had winners in every category for which we received entries, but determined several additional products worth 'Honorable Mentions.' We also gave out an Environmental Award for a grand total of nine awards."

In addition to Prochazka, BWI members rounding out the judging panel include: Jim Barron, technical editor and writer, Trailer Boats magazine; Ben Ellison, electronics editor of Power & Motoryacht and SAIL magazines and author of the electronics blog; Jan Mundy, co-founder and editor of DIY Boat Owner magazine; Lenny Rudow, freelance writer, author and boating editor of Texas Fish & Game magazine; Matt Trulio, editor-at-large of Powerboat magazine and powerboat editor for; and John Wooldridge, executive editor of PassageMaker magazine.

In the Consumer Electronics & Software category, the judges selected the NavNET 3D by Furuno USA Inc. NavNET is a multifunction navigation suite available in both stand alone and black box units. "The deeper you look, the more you will find with this remarkable and comprehensive, onboard navigation system," says judge Wooldridge. "This is a truly game-changing product that sets the standard for the industry."

Two Honorable Mentions were also awarded in this category, which the judges say was crowded with excellent entries. The first went to the HX850S floating handheld, GPS enabled VHF from Standard Horizon, and the second was presented to the Satellite Personal Messenger Device, also known as SPOT.

The AirBattens from UK-Halsey Miami was the winner in the Consumer Installed Non-Electronic Hardware category, according to the judges. AirBattens increase in-mast furling mainsail performance by 15 percent by significantly improving sail shape. Battens are inflated or deflated by a 12-volt powered control panel or manual pump. "What a great way to improve horsepower," Ellison stated.

An Honorable Mention in this category was given to the design of the Adaptive Seating & Steering System developed by Shake-A-Leg Miami.

In the Consumer Personal Gear category, the Innovation Award was presented to the Coastal Compact Life Raft from Revere Survival Products. Compact, easily stored, lightweight, well-made and affordable are just a few of the adjectives used by judges to describe the life raft. Roughly the size of a laptop case, this product opens up a whole new level of safety for near-shore boating. "At just under $1,000, no boat on inland waters can afford to be without one," commented judge Mundy.

The H2 LED Dock, Marina and Pier Lights by TouchStone Accent Lighting took home the Innovation Award in the Consumer Installed Docking & Fendering Equipment category. The H2 LED cleat light is a simple, well-engineered and sleek light available in 12-volt or solar versions that mount under a standard 10-inch cleat. "This light is so well made that it made me want a dock of my own ton put it on," Wooldridge said.

The True North 34 from Pearson Yachts/True North Yachts was the winner in the Inboard & Outboard Cruisers category. The 34-foot True North combines an innovative hideaway tailgate/transom and moveable cockpit seating for a truly unique design. "This is a versatile cockpit that offers great livability and fishability," says judge Rudow.

Walker Bay Boats' Airis High-Pressure Inflatable Kayak was deemed the winner in the Inflatables, Small Boats Up to 15' and Tenders category. Constructed using patent-pending AirWeb technology, this one-of-a-kind performance hull design can be inflated to more than six psi, resulting in a rigid and stable platform that is lightweight and compact enough to be carried as a backpack. Judge Trulio commented that, "This construction method has produced the most portable kayak I've ever seen."

An Honorable Mention was also presented in this category to the Hobie Mirage il2S Inflatable Pedal-Powered Kayak.

Yamaha Motor Corp. took home the Innovation Award in the PWC, Jet Boats & Pontoon Boats category for its Wave Runner SHO. Yamaha's SHO features several PWC-industry 'firsts,' including: A Nano-engineered hull that decreases the craft's weight by 25 percent; a No-Wake mode that automatically sets engine RPM at optimal no-wake speed; and cruise control. Judge Barron calls the Yamaha Wave Runner SHO, "a great blend of state-of-the-art manufacturing and styling."

The RPT (Revolutionary Planning Technology) pontoon tube design by Sylvan Marine received an Honorable Mention from the judges in this category.

In the Runabouts & Fishing Craft category, judges presented the Innovation Award to Boston Whaler for its 230 Dauntless. The revolutionary approach to seating in the Dauntless 230 sets it apart in its class. Great engineering, flawless execution and clever ideas combine to create a new level of comfort and maximum use of space. "Functional seating in a space that was previously overlooked is an innovation that will lead the industry," Rudow notes.

Finally, this year's Environmental Award went to the Eco-Star 200 electric boat by Starcraft Marine. The Eco-Star 200 combines excellent access to electrical motors with exceptional maneuverability of twin propellers, all on the popular deck boat platform. The judges considered this design to be a positive step for both the boating industry and use of alternative energy propulsion systems.

For more information on the Miami Innovation Awards program, contact NMMA Melissa Skomedal at (312) 946-6281;

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters in the United States. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product quality assurance and marketing communications.

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