Mercury Axius claims IBEX Innovation Award
Mercury and Mercury MerCruiser officials accepted the award this morning at
the 17th annual International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX)
at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The show, which concludes today, is
crucial to boat, engine and parts suppliers because it typically presents the
industry's newest products and innovations.
"This is a wonderful honor," said Patrick C. Mackey, president of Mercury
Marine. "We have great respect for this event and its judges, so it's
especially rewarding to see Axius and its amazing benefits recognized."
"Axius will truly change boating forever, and we're excited to bring this
concept to the industry."
Axius is a sterndrive package that uses twin, independently articulating
MerCruiser Bravo Three sterndrives to provide joystock docking.
Additionally, its Digital Throttle and Shift and Electronic/Hydraulic steering
system make piloting a larger boat simple and intuitive. Axius-powered boats
can move laterally, at an angle, forward, backward and even turn in a circle
on its axis-all with a simple touch of a joystick.
Assisting in the development of Axius was MotoTron. Mercury and MotoTron
are units of Brunswick Corporation.
"This product overcomes the greatest challenge for every boater-close-
quarter maneuvering," said innovations judge Jan Munday, editor of DIY Boat
Owner. "Until now, we've never seen two sterndrives that move
autonomously. Axius is truly a unique innovation in the industry."
In addition to Axius, Mercury's nominations for innovation awards included its
Big Tiller-power steering in a tiller arm designed to operate 75-250hp
Mercury outboard engines-and Vazer, the world's first self-draining stern
drive system. Vazer's unique canted design provides more room within the
boat, allowing boat builders improved design opportunities.
In presenting the award, BWI judges joked they were going to "just toss the
award into the Mercury booth and let them fight over it" because of
Mercury's strong entries.
"A lot of work and thought are poured into the creation and production of
such sophisticated products," said Kevin Grodzki, president of Mercury
MerCruiser, "and it's extremely gratifying that the industry and the writers
who cover it so well have recognized these efforts."
Axius utilizes traditional sterndrives that, because of their ability to move
independently, deliver performance well beyond that of traditional sterndrive-
powered boats. Sterndrives are well known for their performance benefits
compared to traditional inboards or pod drive systems and Axius increases
that advantage. Axius is especially attractive to boat builders because it
doesn't require modifications to boat hulls, and the only visible modification is
the addition of the joystick and a small control pad at the helm.
Axius is available with engine models ranging from 260 to 425 horsepower, all
coupled to time-proven Bravo Three sterndrives. It's also available with
MerCruiser's revolutionary SeaCore system, which provides unprecedented
protection from corrosion in saltwater or freshwater.
The Innovation Awards program, organized by the National Marine
Manufacturers Association and judged by Boating Writers International, is the
recreational boating industry's highest honor for product excellence. The
Innovation Awards recognize products that demonstrate innovative
distinction from other products currently being manufactured, the benefit to
the marine industry and/or consumer practicality and cost-effectiveness.