The International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced this week the winners of the 2012 IBEX Innovation Awards. The winning products were selected by a panel of experienced technical boating journalists and editors from Boating Writers International (BWI), and were presented at the All-Industry Breakfast. IBEX, the premier boating industry technical trade show and networking event, is taking place this week at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
"IBEX is where the future of boating begins," said show director Anne Dunbar. "It's where companies introduce their new products and technologies that will improve boatbuilding and enhance the boating experience for consumers in the years to come."
Alan Wendt, chairman of the BWI judging panel, said, "From a five-dollar part to highly engineered superyacht technology, the judges found innovation for all classes of boating. These are the products that make boating not only more affordable but also easier for the consumer."
The 2012 IBEX Innovation Award winners are:
Boat Care Maintenance: Dolphinite GelMatch Gelcoat Color Matching System
"Being able to access a database of thousands of Gelcoat colors from dozens of manufacturers is impressive, but the innovation may well be in the method of injecting catalyst into an aerosol can for easy spray-on Gelcoat repair for the DIY at a low cost," stated Judge Roger McAfee.
Electrical Systems: Indel Webasto Marine Isotherm Smart Energy Controller Kit
"The smart energy controller is a simple-to-install kit that can be retro-fitted to any brand of DC refrigerator reducing refrigerator battery consumption up to 50 percent," said Judge Captain Lou Gainor.
Engines: Volvo V8-380 Engine Sterndrive
Judge Alan Jones stated, "The V8-380 brings new-generation engine technology to the sterndrive market. Its performance, fuel economy and carb 4-star rating raise the bar for sterndrive engines.
Honorable Mention: Suzuki DF20A/DF15A
Furnishings and Interior Parts: Syntec Industries - CoolTouch Vinyl Technology - Don't burn your buns. "Syntec's proprietary cooling feature removes prior interior design restrictions allowing boatbuilders to introduce dark colors to vinyl seating," commented Judge Zuzana Procheska.
Honorable Mention: Caframo Limited Taku Hatch Fan
Mechanical Systems: Teleflex Marine Xtreme Mechanical System
"Teleflex bridges the gap between hydraulic and conventional cable steering with an affordable, easy-to-install steering system that makes driving mid-sized boats a pleasure," said Judge Milt Rosko.
Honorable Mention: Dometic Marine
OEM Electronics: Teleflex Marine Optimus EPS/360 Joystick Docking System
Judge Alan Wendt stated, "Easily the most anticipated and exciting product category at this year's show, joystick docking for outboards will do for outboards what pod drives have done for inboards."
Propulsion Parts, Propellers: PowerTech Propellers and the PowerTech! Safety Prop
Judge Captain Fred Davis said, "While acknowledging that this prop is not for the tournament or performance market, PowerTech has a rather convincing presentation that the word safer blade edge design and props can be mentioned in the same sentence."
Owned and produced by Professional BoatBuilder magazine and the National Marine Marketers Association (NMMA), IBEX is the marine industry's largest technical trade event. For boatbuilders, marine industry dealers, aftermarket suppliers and buyers, designers, repairers, surveyors, and boatyard/marine operators, IBEX is where the business of boating gets done. For the latest information, visit www.ibexshow.com.