10 products earn innovation awards

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Mercury Axius drive system, Yamaha F350 V8 4-stroke outboard are among the winners

Mercury Axius drive system, Yamaha F350 V8 4-stroke outboard are among the winners

Out of a near-record 79 products that were submitted for review during the 17th annual IBEX Innovation Awards, 10 of them earned honorable distinctions.

The contest was held at the International Boatbuilder’s Exhibition and Conference in Miami, Oct. 10-12, 2007. The National Marine Manufacturers Association organizes the awards and Boating Writers International members judge the entries based on several criteria: the innovative distinction from other products on the market, benefit to the marine industry and boaters, practicality, cost-effectiveness and availability of the product within 60 days of award presentation.

Mercury Maine’s Axius sterndrive took one of the top spots, for Innovative Achievement. What set Axius apart was the independently articulating twin MerCruiser Bravo Three sterndrives that can move the boat laterally, at an angle, forward, backward and even turn in a circle on its axis — all controlled by a joystick at the helm. This will be the third IBEX award given to Mercury in the past four years, according to the company.

Leading the way in technical savvy was the Yamaha F350 V8 4-stroke outboard, which features “plug and play” wiring and laptop computer-based testing with no engine installation required. Yamaha has delivered more than 1,000 F350s to boaters.

G/flex Epoxies from WEST SYSTEM took home the top spot in the boatbuilding methods and materials category for their array of high-strength epoxies that resist thermal movement between difficult-to-bond materials without compromising their properties.

The coveted Innovation Award went to EvrSafe Marine Technologies for its EvrSafe ISS 1040, which can detect a number of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, butane and nitrogen dioxide with a single sensor.

The Turbo Air Conditioning System from Dometic Environmental Corp. that took home the award in the mechanical systems category features a decreased amperage draw of up to 27 percent. It also happens to be 17 percent smaller, which the company says cuts back on installation time by 10 to 20 minutes.

Ocean Equipment took home the IBEX Environmental Award for the Offshore System Deck Filler Gauge, which allows boaters to see a digital indication of tank levels while filling up, which helps to prevent fuel overfill spills.

The hardware fittings category had a tie between the Airlock Wakeboard Rack from Skylon and Tallon Marine’s Tallon System. The winner in the electrical systems category went to the ProSafe FS Series from ProMariner.

Lastly, i2System’s Tri-Light LED light, a circular fixture with three colors (red, white and blue) that helps prevent night blindness, won in the furnishings and finishes category.

Winners were presented with a trophy and a logo they can use for marketing their product.

Established in 1979, NMMA represents 1,400 companies that produce an array of products for recreational boaters. For more information about the 2008 IBEX show, visit www.ibexshow.com .