NMMA Canada said today that it inducted Harold Copping, former president of SeaStar Solutions (formerly Teleflex Canada Ltd.) into the NMMA Hall of Fame.
Copping’s career achievements and contributions to the industry were recognized today during NMMA Canada’s Recreational Boating Industry Breakfast at the Toronto International Boat Show at the Beanfield Centre.
“Harold has provided great contributions to the development of modern marine industry steering systems and more, helping to drive our industry forward through his forward thinking,” Sara Anghel, NMMA Canada president, said in a statement. “We honor him with the Hall of Fame award in recognition of his constant focus on innovation, leadership and dedication to the industry.”
Copping began his career with Teleflex in 1974. The NMMA said he surmised quickly that as boat engines got larger and more powerful, mechanical steering systems would become less efficient and not provide the necessary comfort and safety required for powerboats. Copping’s vision was to make boats steer as well as cars, the NMMA said.
Teleflex Canada’s hydraulic steering systems (SeaStar, SeaStar Pro and BayStar) were designed to enable more comfortable control of pleasure powerboats.
By 2004, under Copping’s leadership, the company had a strong market share in North America, as well as internationally, the NMMA said. Copping created a segment that allowed sterndrive engine companies to purchase a private-label steering system, as well as trim and tilt and integrate it with their engine to provide a complete steering and controls package for boatbuilders.
In 2012, the Optimus and Optimus 360 (NMMA Innovation Award winner) joystick steering system for outboard boats were launched as a result of Copping’s vision, the NMMA said.