IBEX Announces Innovation Award Winners


Manufacturers of Creative and Cutting-Edge Products Honored at Industry Breakfast

LOUISVILLE, KY—September 17, 2013—The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) today announced the winners of the 2013 IBEX Innovation Awards. A panel of experienced technical boating journalists and editors from Boating Writers International (BWI) judged all entries and presented awards to the winners at the All-Industry Breakfast, which took place this morning.

IBEX organizers created the Innovation Awards to recognize significant contributions to marine product technology. IBEX, the premier boating industry technical trade show and networking event, is taking place this week at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY.

“We are extremely pleased with the caliber of all entries this year,” said Alan Wendt, chairman of the BWI judging panel. “Marine technology is developing and expanding at a rapid rate, and the range of products entered this year reflect an exciting, changing landscape. The winners represent not only technological mastery, but truly the creativity that is propelling this industry forward.”

The 2013 IBEX Innovation Award winners are:

Boat Care & Maintenance: Pettit Paint Hydrocoat Eco
“This product is actually two good bottom paint technologies made to work together,” said judge Beth Leonard.

Boatbuilding Methods & Materials: Safety Components Fabric Technologies Breakwater X
“A marine exterior fabric with a ten year warranty, made from an advanced polymer alloy, and built to withstand the harshest environment is unheard of,” according to judge Nigel Calder.

Boatyard and Dealer Hardware and Software: Navico System Builder
Judge Ben Ellison commented, “This is a product that simplifies the sales and order process and also begins the proper documentation and diagram of the electronics on a boat.”

Deck Equipment & Hardware: Syntec Industries Smart Wheel
“This product from Syntec Industries is an invitation to boat builders everywhere to trick out their boat steering wheels with wireless or Bluetooth communication,” explained judge Frank Lanier.

Honorable Mention: Marine Accessories Corporation Xtreme Bimini
Furnishing & Interior Parts: Spradling International Marine Fastmount Very Low Profile Clip
“The Fastmount Very Low Profile Clip vastly improves panel mounting with no special tools,” said judge Pete Robson.

Honorable Mention: Kenyon International Silken 2
Mechanical Systems: Dometic Marine SeaLand Orbit 7100 Series Toilet
“Dometic has come up with a smart solution to fitting marine toilet into today’s multl-angled small space heads,” explained judge Pete Robson.

Environmental Award: Clean Marine Systems Environmental Valve Vent
“The Environmental Valve Vent is a perfect example of using the power of IBEX to solicit input from design engineers from the major OEMs,” commented lead judge Alan Wendt. “This yielded an improved product that solves forthcoming EPA regulations.”

OEM Electronics: Co-Awards to Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit System, Raymarine Evolution Autopilot
Judge Ben Ellison said, “The Glass Cockpit System sets a new industry standard for the integration of engine and navigation data.”
“Simplified installation and no calibration make Raymarine’s Autopilot a game changer,” added judge Zuzana Prochazka.

Honorable Mention: Fusion Electronics Marine Stereo with Universal Media Device Dock and Bluetooth Streaming

Outboard Engine: Yamaha Marine Group 2.8L inline Four Marine Power Platform
“This highly versatile four stroke power platform featuring a narrow footprint and ability to retro fit has a very broad appeal for both the end user and the marine industry,” said judge Beth Leonard.

Propulsion Parts, Propellers: Seastar Solutions Lower Unit Fill/Drain Kit
Judge Frank Lanier stated, “The Lower Unit Fill/Drain Kit will encourage owners to take better care of their lower units by being environmentally responsible.”

Safety Equipment: American Boat & Yacht Council Safety Equipment App
“This app is personalized to your size boat and a necessary good start for the large percentage of boaters who do not buy through a retail dealer who would otherwise provide new boater instruction,” said Beth Leonard.

The BWI members serving on the judging panel were:

Zuzana Prochazka, freelance writer and photographer for publications such as BoatU.S. Magazine, Sail, Sea,, and others. Prochazka holds a USCG 100 Ton Masters license, is immediate past president of BWI, and editor of her gear and boat review website,

Pete Robson, freelance writer and former editor of Pacific Yachting magazine. Robson has been active in the recreational and commercial boating industry for over 40 years, including board service for the British Columbia Marine Trades Association.

Alan Wendt, First Vice President of BWI, former editor of Marine CEO, and publisher of two boating lifestyle magazines, Adventure Getaways!. Wendt has judged the Innovation Awards entries for the past 12 consecutive years.

Beth Leonard, Director of Technical Services for BoatU.S. and Technical Editor for all BoatU.S. Publications including BoatU.S. Magazine. Leonard also is the editor of Seaworthy, a publication dedicated to vessel seaworthiness, and is the author of three books including the best-seller The Voyager’s Handbook.

Frank Lanier, an accredited marine surveyor with 35 years of experience in the industry. Lanier holds a USCG 100 Ton Masters license and is an FCC licensed electronics technician. In addition, he is a marine journalist whose work is regularly featured in Practical Sailor, Southern Boating, Sea, Lakeland Boating and Boating World.

Nigel Calder, author of Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual and Marine Diesel Engines. Calder has written hundreds of magazine articles and in recent years has become the technical coordinator of a European Union marine hybrid propulsion project.

Ben Ellison, journalist focusing on marine electronics. Ellison is the editor of, a marine electronics website, and his work appears in Power & MotorYacht, Sail, Soundings, Passagemaker and Yachts International.

About IBEX
Owned and produced by Professional BoatBuilder magazine and the National Marine Manufacturers 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

About Professional BoatBuilder magazine
Professional BoatBuilder, a boatbuilding‐industry trade magazine, was first published in 1989 in response to a growing need for a dedicated forum for boatbuilding‐related professionals. The magazine’s worldwide readership exceeds 24,000. Professional BoatBuilder is online at

About NMMA
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters in North America. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. Learn more at

About American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA)

Founded in 1943, ABBRA is a national marine trade organization that represents, is dedicated to, and seeks to strengthen and encourage professionalism in the boat building, marine service, and boat repair industry.