The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference kicked off virtually Tuesday with an awards presentation hosted by several speakers, including National Marine Manufacturers Association president Frank Hugelmeyer, who addressed the state of recreational boating and the effects of the pandemic.
Innovation Award recipients were also announced in seven categories during the opening session. Yamaha Motor Corp. won in two categories — outboards, for its Helm Master EX joystick for single engine applications, and in electrical systems, for the Phase Angle Control Charging System.
Innovation Award judge Ed Sherman called Yamaha’s charging system a “real breakthrough that will create more power for increasingly electrically hungry outboard boats.”
Sea-Dog Line won in the boat care and maintenance category for its Hose Klip, and Rupp Marine won for deck equipment and hardware for its boltless rod holder.
Attwood won in the mechanical systems category for its Sahara Mk2 automatic bilge pump, and Veratron won in the OEM electronics category for LinkUp, a product that solves the challenge of configuring NMEA 2000 sensors when they are not yet installed, according to award judge Ben Stein.
Dometic won in the propulsion parts and propellers category for its Cable Power Assist.
“We are very pleased with the results from our first-ever virtual Innovation Awards,” show director Anne Dunbar said in a statement. “Every company that entered participated in a virtual demo of their product, where the judges were allowed to ask questions to truly understand the product as if they were at the show.
“Each year, entrants continue to push the boundaries of technology and creativity, not only making deliberation for the judges difficult, but in doing so, propelling the future of boating to the next level,” she added.
Frank Peterson, president and CEO of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, shared the Take Me Fishing and Discover Boating Get On Board campaign. Kris Carroll, president of Grady-White Boats, became the first female inducted into the NMMA Hall of Fame.