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Six new marine products impress judges

Innovation Awards go to PFD, rust remover, key flotation device, pump, generator and trailer bunk cover

Innovation Awards go to PFD, rust remover, key flotation device, pump, generator and trailer bunk cover

A rust-removing spray, a live well-bait well pump and an environmentally friendly electric generator were among six new products honored at July’s annual Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show in Las Vegas.

“The Innovation Awards at this year’s MAATS turned up a surprising number of products,” says Roger Marshall, Innovation Awards chairman, in a release. “[Judges] whittled 65 entrants down to a manageable number in two days and came up with a few outstanding winners.” Marshall is president of Boating Writers International, which supplies judges for the competition. The Innovation Awards are sponsored by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which produces MAATS.

ITT/Rule’s Tournament Series live well-bait well pump captured the award in the Interior Parts category. With dual port fittings, the pump has a capacity of up to 1,100 gallons per hour. Judges say they were impressed by the pump’s rotating barb and base, which allows it to be installed at any angle. (The discharge nozzle and pump housing can be rotated 360 degrees.) “This pump was not designed by engineers sitting in a lab, but rather by listening to the needs of users, mechanics and technicians,” Marshall says. “The ideas incorporated into this pump set new standards in pump design for the industry.”

In the Personal Gear/Soft Goods category, Davis Instruments’ Key Buoy was honored. The Key Buoy is a key ring that when dropped in water opens to release a self-inflating 14-inch-long air tube. Once the tube is inflated, the company says, the ring will resurface within 30 seconds and maintain buoyancy for 40 minutes. Davis says the Key Buoy will float items weighing up to 4.2 ounces, such as keys and small tools.

CRC Industries’ Freeze-Off spray won in the Boat Care/Coating/Chemicals/ Maintenance Tools category. Packaged in a 20-ounce aerosol can, Freeze-Off drops the temperature of the area in direct contact with the spray and cracks the rusted surface, the company says. Freeze-Off can be used on boats, automobiles, plumping fixtures and other equipment, and judges say it is especially useful when removing rusted nuts and bolts.

The winner in the Safety Products category was the Auto Hydrostatic inflatable life jacket from Mustang Survival. When submerged in 4 or more inches of water, the PFD automatically fills with air, using an inflator originally designed for the aviation industry. “[It’s] lightweight, smart and uses a unique hydrostatic technology that we haven’t seen before,” says judge and Marine CEO editor Alan Wendt in the release. The PFD also features Mustang’s Secure Zip closure system and includes a sailing harness, strobe light holder and safety whistle.

The SnapTraxx custom trailer bunk cover system from Ocean X Technologies Group took the award in the Trailer Parts and Accessories category. SnapTraxx’s 18-inch thermoplastic polymer units snap together to encase 2-by-6-inch trailer bunk lumber. The surface design allows for air circulation and water drainage under the hull, the company says, and the plastic is ultraviolet, mold and mildew resistant. “Trailer boats have used the same bed technology for nearly 40 years, and while there have been some attempts at upgrading it, the SnapTraxx is a modular, low-friction device with the potential to revolutionize the industry,” says judge and Ehlert Boating Media associate publisher Jim Hendricks.

This year’s MAATS Environmental Award was presented to Aquanami for its electric generator, which transforms kinetic energy into electricity. The generator moves as waves pass beneath it, judges say, and generates power from even the slightest movement of the ocean surface. Aquanami’s electric generator helps provide electric power to a boat when other power generators, such as solar panels, might not be effective. Judge Wendt was particularly impressed by this product. “It’s easy to get excited about the future of environmentally friendly power generation when you see products like the Aquanami,” he says.