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MIAMI: Innovation awards handed out

MIAMI - Fifteen marine products were honored today for innovative achievement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Boating Writers International at the 71st annual Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail.

Thirteen companies took home 2012 Innovation Award honors and two others received honorable mention during the NMMA’s State of the Recreational Boating Industry Breakfast this morning at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by BWI, recognize products that best meet the following criteria: innovative distinction from other products currently being manufactured; benefit to the marine industry and/or consumer; practicality; cost-effectiveness; and availability to the consumer within 60 days of award receipt.

“The number of entries this year exceeded our expectations, and all of the products we reviewed paint a bright future for boating industry evolution,” noted Zuzana Prochazka, Innovation Awards judge chair, editor of TalkoftheDock.com, technical editor of Latitudes & Attitudes and president of the BWI board of directors. “The winners recognized at the boat show today are a testament to the ongoing commitment to boating ingenuity necessary to the future of our industry and we’re excited to see how these products adapt in the marketplace.”

Additionally, the NMMA recognized Ralph Lambrecht, whose distinguished career spans 60 years in the boating industry, as the recipient of this year’s Charles F. Chapman Award. Lambrecht received the award today at the Industry Breakfast.

First established in 1977, the Chapman Award recognizes individuals or groups that have provided consistent promotion and protection of the sport of boating and its benefits to both the recreational boating industry and the public. The award, presented each year during the Miami show, includes a $1,000 donation to a marine-oriented organization of the recipient’s choice.

An industry veteran of 62 years, Lambrecht is an author, historian and renowned expert on boats, marine engines and safety standards. He spent 36 years with Outboard Marine Corp., where he developed numerous patents on boats and marine engines, as well as building two world-record speedboats. Actively involved with the American Boat & Yacht Council throughout his career, one of his greatest achievements was the restructuring of ABYC’s technical committees in the mid-1970s, a system that remains in place today.

The NMMA also honored Ed McKiernan, former president of Dometic Corp.’s Sanitation Division, with the 2012 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award at the Industry Breakfast.

The NMMA’s Accessory Manufacturers Division introduced the Freedman Award in 1984 to recognize people who, throughout the course of their careers, have made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity and personal motivation.

Prior to his retirement from Dometic in 2011, McKiernan spent more than 40 years in the marine industry, including at the helm of SeaLand Technology and most recently Dometic Corp.’s Sanitation Division. Throughout his career he has been a champion for responsible waste management in recreational boating and led working groups, written guidance papers, spoken at international conferences and utilized every opportunity to build support for the value of clean water to the boating industry.

Thirteen Innovation Awards and two Honorable Mentions were presented today in 13 categories:

Applications and Mobile Software: Beneteau Toucan Dealer App by Jester Communications

Runabout and Fishing Craft to 24 feet: Pro Skiff Series by Mako

Cruisers (25' to 60' including fishing craft): SLX 250 by Sea Ray

PWC & Jet Boats: Sea Doo RXP-X 260 by Bombardier

Sailboats: Oceanis Series 48 by Beneteau

Docking and Fendering Equipment: V-Lift by Sunstream Boat Lifts

Honorable Mention: Eel Shore Power Cord by Marinco

Consumer Electronics and Software: InReach by Delorme

Honorable Mention: MS-AV700 Audio and Video Entertainment Package by Fusion Electronics

Consumer Installed Non-Electronic Hardware: Scuba Donning Assistance System by Dive Mate

Water Sports & Equipment: Battle Saddle by Release Marine

Outboard Engines: DF300 AP by Suzuki Marine:

Consumer Safety Equipment: AIS Watchmate Vision by Vesper

Pontoon & Deckboats: Ambassador by Avalon

Environmental Award: Propane Outboard by Lehr

Click here for complete results.

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