TWO SAIL AMERICA COMPANIES HONORED WITH INNOVATION AWARD
Two Sail America member companies were among the seven marine manufacturers who were honored on Feb. 15, 2007 for innovative achievement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) at the Miami International Boat Show.
The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by BWI, recognize those products that best meet the following criteria: innovative distinction from other products currently being manufactured; benefit to the marine industry and/or consumer; practicality; cost-effectiveness; and availability to the consumer within 60 days of award receipt.
"This year, a total of 50 products were entered in eight different categories," says Zuzana Prochazka, Innovation Awards co-chair and member of the BWI Board of Directors. "There were some exceptional entries this year, and it made the judging process a challenge."
In the Sailboats category, the SP Cruiser by Island Packet Yachts was honored for combining good sail keeping with all the comforts of a trawler. Two cockpits, push-button sail control with the StoWinch sheeting system and a dry interior helm connecting to the forward cockpit are just a few of the unique features of this design. "This boat raises the bar on convenience and comfort in order to keep new and seasoned boaters sailing longer," Prochazka says. Bob Johnson, President and CEO of Island Packet Yachts, was on hand to accept the award. (See photo at left.)
Sail America member Lewmar
was honored for the OneTouch Winch Handle
in the Consumer-Installed Non Electronic Hardware category. By simply squeezing the locking mechanism anywhere on the shaft, the user quickly engages or releases the winch handle. "To be able to improve on something so simple, and that's been around for decades, is quite a feat," said one judge. "Priced right and well designed, it's a clear winner."