Six category winners in the National Boating Industry Safety Awards given by Sea Tow Foundation’s Boating Safety Advisory Council were announced yesterday at the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ Dealer Week.
The annual awards recognize the best boating-safety efforts in the for-profit sector of the recreational boating industry and were sponsored for the second year by Kicker Marine Audio.
For the third consecutive year, Sea Ray Boats took the Top Marine Manufacturer Award.
“Winning this top category for three straight years is a tremendous reflection of Sea Ray’s long-term commitment to boating safety and its concern for the overall well-being of boaters,” Sea Tow Foundation executive director Gail R. Kulp said in a statement.
Kulp mentioned Sea Ray’s emphasis on video messaging with celebrity endorsements on a range of safety topics as one of the winning elements.
MarineMax was another third-year winner in the Top Marine Retailer Award with More Than Three Locations category. “Everything was well-produced, professional and easy to digest. [MarineMax] also heavily promoted National Safe Boating Week and focused messaging on the importance of life jacket wear and designating a sober skipper,” said Kulp.
Emerald Coast Marine Group of Niceville, Fla., and Orange Beach, Ala., scored highest overall in this year’s competition, taking first place in the Top Marine Retailer with One to Three Locations category.
Other category winners included:
• Top Marine Media Award — Lafferty Media Partners, which produced contracted work for the U.S. Power Squadrons, now known as America’s Boating Club
• Top Marine Marketing and Boating Safety Outreach Award — Kenton Smith Marketing, which launched a public relations campaign for the Water Sports Foundation
• Top Gear & Equipment Award — Garmin International.
“This year’s competition reflects a strong and growing commitment among the for-profit segment of the marine industry to actively promote and advocate for boating safety,” Kulp added. “Our judges were overwhelmed by the quality of the submissions and the excellent contributions of many companies who are committed to making the waterways safer for everyone.”