The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference announced the panel of marine experts from Boating Writers International who will judge the Innovation Awards.
The awards will be presented Oct. 4 during the annual Industry Breakfast at the Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel in Florida.
The Innovation Awards honor product development in 13 areas of the marine industry: boatbuilding methods and materials; deck equipment and hardware; furnishings and interior parts; mechanical systems; electrical systems; inboard engines; outboard engines; boatyard and dealer hardware and software; propulsion parts, propellers; boat care and maintenance; OEM electronics; trailers, parts and trailer accessories; and safety equipment.
"The IBEX Innovation Awards is one of the marine industry's most prestigious honors, recognizing manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products to market, and we look forward to honoring the winners at the Industry Breakfast and seeing these products come to market," IBEX show director Anne Dunbar said in a statement.
“IBEX is the platform for announcing new technologies in the marine industry, and with 85 new products to consider, the panel of judges will certainly have their work cut out for them. Attendees will have the chance to see all of the entries on the show floor along Innovation Way."
The panel of judges for the 2016 IBEX Innovation Awards includes: chairman Alan Wendt, past president of BWI and contributing writer for Lakeland Boating and Southern Boating; co-chairwoman Zuzana Prochaska, 100-ton Coast Guard master, Sail Magazine charter editor, freelance writer and photographer for 15 marine and travel titles; and Gary Reich, editor-at-large for Chesapeake Bay Magazine, contributing writer to Anglers Journal, PassageMaker Magazine, Soundings and Lakeland Boating Magazine.
Also on the panel are Frank Lanier, marine surveyor and contributor to Practical Sailor and Southern Boating; Craig Ritchie, contributing writer to Boatguide and Boating Business magazines, which serve the Canadian market, as well as several other titles; Peter Robson, former editor and current contributor to Pacific Yachting, contributor to Canadian Boating Guidebooks; John Wooldridge, a writer, editor and photographer in recreational marine journalism since 1977; and Capt. Lou Gainor, Northeast radio host at Nautical Talk.
"We are thrilled to once again work with IBEX and the NMMA on judging the Innovation Awards,” Wendt said. “We have put together an exceptional panel of technical marine experts, and the judges are excited to review the new products and unique solutions that always rise to the surface at IBEX, paving the way for the future of recreational boating.”