Minneapolis show Innovation Award winners announced

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(From left) Innovation Awards judge chair Brady Kay with winners from Avalon and Tahoe, Yar-Craft and Crestliner.

(From left) Innovation Awards judge chair Brady Kay with winners from Avalon and Tahoe, Yar-Craft and Crestliner.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association and Boating Writers International named the winners of the Minneapolis Innovation Awards yesterday during the Progressive Minneapolis Boat Show’s preview night.

Crestliner, Yar-Craft, and Avalon and Tahoe were recognized among 14 entries in three categories: aluminum fishing boats, fiberglass fishing boats and pontoon boats. Bennington received an honorable mention in the pontoon category.

In the aluminum fishing boats category, Crestliner won for its Active Performance (AP-X) hull. “The Crestliner Active Performance hull blends their established hull manufacturing with the new, unique keel design to enhance low-speed handling and high-speed efficiency,” Brady Kay, the Innovation Awards’ judge and chair, said in a statement.

In the fiberglass fishing boats category, Yar-Craft won for its 219 TFX. “Yar-Craft has brought unique design improvements and quality manufacturing elements together in their 219 TFX. A monocoque, unibody-like built, multispecies boat delivers a strong, efficient hull combined with a full-featured deck to serve a variety of anglers needs,” judge Bill Gius said.

In the pontoon category, Avalon and Tahoe won for its Avalon Waketoon-Surf Series. “The Avalon Waketoon has presented the industry with an innovative design that could become a popular segment within the pontoon boat marketplace. Wake surfing has become one of the most popular tow sports, and this boat marries that with the most popular boating segment on the water,” judge Adam Quandt said.

“We’re proud to honor this year’s Innovation Award winners here in Minneapolis. Their new products showcase the strength and innovation of marine manufacturing in the upper Midwest,” show manager Darren Envall said in the statement. “We’re excited to highlight these products and the dozens of other innovations at the 2020 Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show.”

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