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IBEX 2015: Innovation Awards and Hall of Fame honors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference was off to the races this morning with the presentation of several awards.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference was off to the races this morning with the presentation of several awards to industry luminaries and innovative individuals at the state-of-the-industry-breakfast.

Bob Long, CEO and owner of JRL Ventures Inc. and Marine Concepts, and Dusty McCoy, chairman and CEO of Brunswick Corp., were inducted into the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Hall of Fame.

NMMA president Thom Dammrich presented McCoy for induction and Matt Chambers, president of JRL Ventures and Marine Concepts, did the same for Long. Both men were recognized for extensive contributions to the industry and leadership at their companies.

Rob Gueterman, incoming president of the National Marine Representatives Association, presented Turning Point Propellers’ Ron Bailey with the Mel Barr Award. The award recognizes a person who has contributed to the improvement of the industry and is named in the memory of marine rep Mel Barr, one of the founders of the NMRA and its first president.

Boating Writers International President Alan Wendt announced the winners of this year’s highly competitive Innovation Awards.

“We had a record number of entries in this year’s competition — 89 entries — and we saw several trends emerge from this outstanding field,” Wendt said.

Wendt said one of the most noticeable trends he saw was companies with a smaller market share that were willing to take on industry behemoths in the competition.

“Dometic holds 95 percent of the market share in the [air-conditioning] field, and yet there were three Innovation Award entries that challenged Dometic.”

Wendt said the influence of the global industry was felt this year in the products that competed and he saw innovative sound products coming onto the market.

Aging boaters have figured into product design and the creation of new products that address decreasing mobility, he said.

Wendt said more and more companies are choosing to compete for the Innovation Awards as the benefits of widespread exposure — whether they win or not — becomes clear to them.

“This year we received an overwhelming amount of IBEX Innovation Award submissions, a signal that our industry remains focused on new-product development and recognizes the importance of innovation in driving new sales,” Dammrich said.

This year’s winners are:

Boatbuilding Methods & Materials: Xtreme Tower Products/Marine Accessories Corp., Mixed Media Parallel Hinge Tower

Deck Equipment & Hardware: Dowco, Easy-Lift

Furnishings & Interior Parts: Syntec Industries LLC, Elage

Mechanical Systems: Termodinamica SRL's, Termodinamica VRV10

Electrical Systems: Bocatech Inc.; BT1 5LEDSW-B

Outboard Engines: Attwood Corp.; MotorGuide X5 with VRS

Propulsion Parts, Propellers: Mercury Marine; Flo Torq SSR-HD

Boat Care & Maintenance: Reverso Pumps Inc.; Automatic Outboard Flushing System

OEM Electronics: Simrad-Navico; Halo Pulse Compression Radar

Honorable Mention: OEM Electronics: Medallion Instrumentation Systems LLC; Malibu Surf Band

Environmental Award: Blue Gas Marine Inc.; Natural Gas Hybrid-Fuel System

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