Twenty-one new products from boat-maintenance tools to engine innovations and boats claimed top awards for innovation from the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Boating Writers International during the 2017 Miami International Boat Show that ended Feb. 20.
This year’s judges — a committee of eight BWI members — reviewed 63 products across 23 categories in the days leading up to the show. Here are photos of a few of the winners whose products impact the saltwater-fishing market, followed by a full list from all categories.
Boston Whaler 230 Outrage
Boston Whaler says the 230 is the sixth Whaler in 10 years to win an NMMA Innovation Award. “The 230 Outrage is remarkably spacious for its size, thanks largely to a feat of design: The coaming around the bow was pushed out as far as possible to allow for maximized seat width, legroom, lounge seating and storage, with an overall sense of increased security for bow passengers,” Whaler stated in its acknowledgement of the award.
Another feature that stands out aboard is the convertible leaning post. In one configuration, it appears to be a standard helm bench seat, but flip down the back of the seat and anglers will find a work station to prep and rig tackle and lines. In its up position, the leaning post allows for an aft-facing stance to watch lines. For additional seating, the backrest rotates down 90 degrees to form the back of an aft-facing seat, while providing space for a 54-quart cooler.
LOA: 23′ | Beam: 8’6″ | Fuel Capacity: 110 gal. | Dry Weight: 3,800 lb. plus power | Max Horsepower: 350 | Seating/Weight Capacity: 10/3,100 lb. | Certifications: NMMA
Scout Boats’ Articulating Rocket Launcher
Scout Boats won an NMMA Innovation Award in the Deck Equipment and Hardware category for its patented articulating rocket launcher, which also works in conjunction with its SureShade retractable awning feature.
With the touch of a button, a captain or crew member can electronically raise or lower the hardtop-mounted rocket launcher. When the SureShade retractable awning is engaged, the rocket launcher automatically engages and lowers, in case the captain forgets to lower it. Having the rocket launcher articulate helps anglers load and unload rods.
Raymarine Axiom Multifunction Displays
Raymarine‘s new lineup of Axiom multifunction displays won an innovation award in the category for Consumer Electronics, Mobile Applications and Software. The 2017 win follows Raymarine/FLIR Maritime’s success in 2016, when the company won an innovation award for its FLIR AX8 Marine Thermal Monitoring System.
Axioms come equipped with Raymarine’s just-announced RealVision 3D sonar viewing, for an all-around look at underwater fish and structure from a single transducer, no black box required. The all-glass touch screens come in 7-, 9-, and 12-inch sizes with the company’s new LightHouse 3 operating system. Combined with Axiom’s quad-core processor, LightHouse 3 delivers an intuitive user experience through a redesigned, tablet-like interface.
Standard Horizon GX6500 VHF with AIS
Standard Horizon joined Raymarine on the winners’ podium in the category for Consumer Electronics, Mobile Applications and Software, with its GX6500 fixed-mount VHF radio with Class B AIS transponder. The new unit comes with a 66-channel WAASP GPS antenna and is NMEA 2000 and 0183 compatible. It also features collision-avoidance alarms, GPS compass, waypoint and GPS status pages, a dual-zone PA/loud hailer, and is capable of connecting optional additional wired and wireless microphones.
Fusion‘s waterproof StereoActive portable stereo took home an innovation award in the Watersports Equipment category. While that category represents a broader universe than the saltwater-fishing world, the unit has gained favor with kayak and small-boat anglers.
StereoActive comes with Bluetooth for audio streaming, AM/FM radio and USB audio playback. The Puck-It mount allows anglers to attach the sound system to a boat, kayak or paddleboard. Mount StereoActive on top of an ActiveSafe ($99.99) accessory, and you have a waterproof cubby for stashing a smartphone, keys or other valuables. Both pieces float if they’re dropped overboard.
StereoActive’s long-life battery allows up to 20 hours of operation; a type-A USB port allows phone charging. Available in blue, red or white, StereoActive costs $299.99.
Sea Lime Lures
Sea Lime Lures‘ new trolling lure won an innovation award in the Fishing Equipment, Gear & Tackle category at MIBS 2017. The lures feature pliable Mylar bodies that are interchangeable. Anglers purchase a lure head, which comes with three Mylar bodies and either an 80-pound mono or 60-pound steel leader with a 7/0 J hook.
The lures come in two series that comprise six color combinations. Extra bodies may be purchased separately.
“The Sea Lime Lure is the first truly new take on how to design a fishing lure that I’ve seen in years. Innovative? You betcha – and it has quite an alluring swimming action, too,” says innovation judge Lenny Rudow, president of Boating Writers International.
Grundéns Deck-Boss Boot
Grundéns‘ new Deck-Boss Boots won the innovation category for Personal Gear, Soft Goods. “For years, people have been asking Grundéns to make boots,” says Mike Jackson, Grundéns president. “We think that we’ve built the best boot possible, through our years of experience listening to what fishermen need and extensive field testing.”
The 15-inch boot features a rigid toe cap and an injection-molded upper. The patented Herkules Grip rubber technology creates traction on wet surfaces. The insole comprises two separate levels: The softer upper level is perforated; the lower level features scuppers around the perimeter for drainage.
Here is an all-category list of winners for the 2017 NMMA Innovation Awards at the Miami Boat Show (alphabetical by category):
- Boat Care and Maintenance: Snap Tool Multi-Key, Davis Instruments
- Center Console/ Walkaround Fishing Boats: 230 Outrage, Boston Whaler
- Consumer Electronics, Mobile Applications and Software (Dual Winners): GX6500 Fixed Mount VHF, Standard Horizon; Axiom MFDs, Raymarine
- Consumer Safety Equipment (Dual Winners): 100 N Junior Harness Lifejacket, Spinlock USA; SeaAngel SA15 ASI Flare SART/MOB, FT-Tec USA
- Cuddy Cabin and Bowrider Boats: SLX 400, Sea Ray Boats
- Deck Equipment and Hardware: Scout Articulating Rocket Launcher, Scout Boats — Honorable Mention: CLite2 LED Searchlight with FLIR Camera, IMTRA Corporation
- Docking and Fendering Equipment: EZ Kayak Launch, EZ Dock
- Electric Motor/ Battery Powered Propulsion: Cruise Fixed Pod System, Torpedo
- Fishing Equipment, Gear & Tackle: Sea Lime Fishing Lures, Sea Lime
- Furnishings & Interior Parts: Anti-Spill Wine Glasses, Royal Stabilis
- Inboard Engines: GDI Engine Series, Ilmor Marine
- Personal Gear, Soft Goods: Deck-Boss Boot, Grundens USA
- Personal Watercraft: Sea-Doo SPARK TRIXX, BRP U.S.
- Propulsion Equipment & Parts: Volvo Penta Inboard Joystick, Volvo Penta
- Tow Boats: Dock Star, MasterCraft Boat Company — Honorable Mention: Super Air Nautique GS-Series, Nautique Boat Company
- Watersport Equipment (Dual Winners): StereoActive, Fusion Electronics; Mirage Eclipse, Hobie Cat Company