Oct 6, 2020

IBEX 2020Tuesday’s Opening Session and Awards Presentation Kicks-Off First Virtual Event
The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), being held virtually September 29 – October 2, 2020 announces the 2020 IBEX Innovation Awards winners. Managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), the awards were presented at the Opening Session and Awards Presentation on Tuesday, September 29th. Five BWI judges with various technical backgrounds in boating selected the new product winners submitted by marine trade companies.
The seven category winners are:
Boat Care and Maintenance: Sea-Dog Line, Hose Klip: “A clever, inexpensive fix to an annoying problem,” said Ben Stein.
Deck Equipment and Hardware: Rupp Marine, Boltless Rod Holder: “SKU Flattening, easy to install, and now the consumer doesn't have to choose fixed or rotating, they get both," said Greg Thornton.
Electrical Systems: Yamaha Motor Corporation, Yamaha Marine Phase Angle Control Charging System: "A real breakthrough that will create more power for increasingly electrically hungry outboard boats," said Ed Sherman.
Honorable Mention: Mechanical Products, Series 53 Battery Disconnect Circuit Breaker
Mechanical Systems: Attwood, Sahara Mk2 Automatic Bilge Pump Range: "A brilliant application of simple physics to solve a major bilge pump problem," said Ed Sherman.
OEM Electronics: Veratron, LinkUp: "Veratron's LinkUp solves the challenge of configuring NMEA 2000 sensors, even when they are not yet installed," said Ben Stein.
Outboard Engines: Yamaha Motor Corporation, Helm Master EX Joystick for Single Engine Applications: "Finally precise joystick steering is offered for single outboard applications," said Greg Thornton. 
Propulsion Parts, Propellers: Dometic, Cable Power Assist: "A simple, self-contained solution for those looking for affordable electric steering in the 90 to 200 horsepower outboard range," said Brady Kay.
"We are very pleased with the results from our first-ever virtual Innovation Awards," said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “Every company who entered, participated in a virtual demo of their product, where the judges were allowed to ask questions to truly understand the product as if they were at the show. Each year, entrants continue to push the boundaries of technology and creativity, not only making deliberation for the judges difficult, but in doing so, propelling the future of boating to the next level.”
"We had 32 entries this year, which was better than expected in a year with so many challenges,” said Zuzana Prochazka, Innovation Awards Chair. “The winners represent the dedication to innovation that this industry adheres to year-in and year-out." 
Kicking off the Opening Session, Anne Dunbar welcomed visitors to the first IBEX Online. Additional presenters included an address from local agencies such as the Mayor of Tampa, Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Convention Center. Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the NMMA, gave his State of the Industry Address. Frank Peterson, president and CEO of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) shared the Take Me Fishing and Discover Boating Get On Board campaign. Kris Carroll, president of Grady-White Boats became the first female inductee into the 2020 NMMA Hall of Fame. George Bellwoar, vice president of sales and marketing, Perko Inc. was presented with the 2020 Mel Barr Award. 
Within the IBEX Online interface visitors can simply search for "Innovation Award Entrant" or "Innovation Award Winner" to view the products. The Opening Session and Awards Presentation was sponsored by Interlux Yacht Finishes, AWLGRIP North America and the RBFF. Access to the presentation is available by registering for IBEX Online and selecting the Opening Session and Awards Presentation within the Event Agenda.