Sail magazine announced the winners of its 2020 Pittman Innovation Awards. Named after Freeman K. Pittman, Sail’s longtime technical editor, who passed away from Lou Gehrig's disease in 1996, the annual awards recognize exceptional products developed by the sailing industry.
In addition to industry experts, judges include a combination of Sail editors, including executive editor Adam Cort, cruising editor Charles J. Doane, technical editor Jay Paris and electronics editor Ben Ellison. The editors looked at products at boat shows in the United States and Europe to choose winners.
“Every year a diversity of products rises to the top, but in 2020 the industry has really set a new standard,” Cort said in a statement. “They include everything from better satellite and wireless communications to a better way of packing a spinnaker and a new kind of rope that promises to remove countless plastic bottles from the waste stream.”
The overall winner is Vesper Marine for its Cortex combination VHF/AIS system. It was selected by judges Matt Wise (senior manager of services at West Marine), Nigel Calder (systems expert and author) and Gerry Douglas (chief designer and vice president of Catalina Yachts).
The other winners:
- Cruising category: Seldén’s E40i electric winch and synchronized main furling, Dacoblue portable fuel/water bladder, and Maretron N2KView anchoring module.
- Systems and Materials: Kold-Ban International’s KAPower starting module, Forj thermoplastic repair tape by Yale Cordage, and Jefco’s carbon fiber hinges.
- Electronics: Vesper Marine’s Cortex AIS/VHF monitoring system (overall winner), Victron Energy's Cerbo GX power monitoring and Garmin's GPSMAP 86sci.
- Racing: Rooster Sailing Joey bottle holder, Spinlock's XTX Soft grip clutch, and PROtect Tapes spinnaker yarn fittings.
Also, Galileo's Return Link Service and Marlow Ropes’ Blue Ocean recycled dock line received Safety and Green awards.
The awards will be covered in the February issue of Sail.