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IBEX names Innovation Judges


The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference has named eight judges for its 2018 Innovation Awards. The awards are managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and judged by Boating Writers International.

A statement from IBEX said the BWI judges have “demonstrated backgrounds” in technical boating products. The award categories include: Boat Care and Maintenance; Boatbuilding Methods & Materials; Boatyard and Marina Hardware and Software; Covering; Deck Equipment and Hardware; Electrical Systems; Entertainment; Furnishings and Interior Parts; Inboard Engines; Lighting; Mechanical Systems; OEM Electronics; Outboard Engines; Propulsion Parts, Propellers; Safety Equipment; Trailers, Parts and Trailer Accessories.

“With the many mergers and acquisitions in the marine industry this year, anticipation is high for never-before-seen products,” said Alan Wendt, chair of the judging committee in the statement. “We get to see the future in new marine technologies and an enthusiasm for evolving products.”

The panel of judges include Alan Wendt (Chair), past president of Boating Writers International and longtime boating writer; Zuzana Prochazka (Co-Chair), past president of Boating Writers International, writer and photographer; Capt. Sergio Atanes, a radio and TV journalist who holds a 100-ton USCG Master Captain’s license and has more than 45 years of experience fishing; Phil Gutowski, a marine journalist, onboard systems professional, and cruising sailor; Glenn Hayes, a second-generation journalist specializing in editorial content for marine, water sports, outdoor, RV and travel publications; Heather Maxwell, a diesel service writer, boat builders’ purchasing agent and tournament director; Craig Ritchie, full-time journalist with more than 30 years of experience in magazines, books, television, radio and digital media; Ben Stein, contributing editor for and an avid cruiser.

New Products submitted to the IBEX Innovation Awards will be displayed along Innovation Way, inside the exhibit hall at the Tampa Convention Center during the show. Innovation awardees are also considered for a special “Pitch the Press” session where new products and services noted by judges on the show floor are spotlighted to media and buyers.

The awards will be presented at the IBEX Industry Breakfast on October 2. 


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