In NMMA Innovations Awards, part 1: Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Harris FloteBote, and SmartPlug, we covered four of the winners from the NMMA Innovations Award contest, which highlights the best and the brightest to hit the market at the Miami Boat Show. The products were judged by a panel of six boating writers, including yours truly. Here are the other four products from the 40-plus entries.
Raymarine – Electronics is always a tough category to judge, since technology moves so quickly with these types of product. And this year was no exception—there were 14 different Chartplotters, fishfinders, radios, and other marine electronics in the running. But Raymarine’s Dragonfly came out the winner. The Dragonfly is a fishfinder/chartplotter with a 5.7” screen, which sends out dual CHIRP transmissions to compose traditional and hi-resolution scans of what lies below. Amazingly, list price for this unit is just $649; a few short months ago, you had to spend thousands to CHIRP through the depths. You can find more info on this unit at Raymarine or learn more about this fish-finding technology in our New Wave Fishfinders article.
One of my personal favorite winners this year came in the Personal Gear category, which was won by Teak Isle Manufacturing with their Pickup Truck Rod Rack. Yes, I know this sounds silly, but up until now no one’s created a rodholder that secured the rods and locked them in place to prevent theft. This rack does, however, while securing to pre-existing hardware in the truck bed. Nifty! You can go to the Teak Isle web site to look for more info, but as of contest time, the pickup rodholder wasn’t on there just yet.
The propulsion category was electrified this year—literally. The winner was Torqeedo’s new 80-hp electric outboard system, which was designed from the ground-up from the prop to the battery system, and has over five times as much power as the engine that used to be their biggest, the 4.0R. This engine targets commercial mariners who need to travel at no-wake speeds for long periods of time and recreational boaters who use lakes which are limited to electric-only, though running at full throttle, the power only lasts for half an hour or so. Check out the “Deep Blue” 80 at Torqeedo’s web site, or watch our outboard expert Charles Plueddeman’s Short Take Video of the motor.
Yamaha – When it comes to jet boats Yamaha is an established industry leader, and the reasons why can be found in boats like their new SX 192 and AR 192. The 192’s have a new directional thrust control enhancer, which essentially consists of a modified bucket that allows for more control of the jet at low speed and in neutral. As a result, the usual sloppy steering we put up with in jets is no longer a problem. And with a 1.8L supercharged SHO engine providing the power, the 192 also has the juice to make an impression at high speeds, as well. Get the scoop at Yamaha.
There you have it: the big winners from the NMMA Innovations Awards, handed out at the Miami International Boat Show. Thanks, Boston Whaler, Harris Flotebote, Raymarine, Sea Ray Boats, Smartplug, Teak Isle, Torqeedo, and Yamaha – manufacturers like you give us something to look forward to each and every year.