IBEX 2010: NEW MAATS GETS GOOD REVIEWS
For the first time, this year the International BoatBuilders Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) and the Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS) were rolled into one stunning event in the heartland. it took place Sept 28-30 in Louisville at the Kentucky Exposition Center. IBEX is a show for the boating industry only. The pavilion, with 72 exhibitors, was added to IBEX after the demise last year of MAATS as a stand-alone show. Traditionally, MAATS took place in Las Vegas, although it moved last year to south Florida.
"One trade event for OEM and aftermarket parts and accessories will create a more productive environment, reduce exhibitor costs and time and attract a broader base of attendees," said show co-director Carl Cramer before the show opened.
Twelve companies received Innovation Awards, and one received an Environmental Award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI).
The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by BWI, recognize products that best meet the following criteria:
· Innovative distinction from other products
· Benefit to the marine industry or consumer
· Availability to the consumer within 60 days of award receipt.
A total of 67 new products were entered in this year's IBEX Innovation Awards program, which comprised 44 percent more product entries than in 2009. Six of the winners are especially interesting to us, and here's a sneak preview of them:
In the Mechanical Systems category, Whale Water Systems won for its Whale Water Systems Gulley IC. Judge Frank Lanier said, "With no impeller to jam, this compact pump eliminates the hairy, sticky sumps for showers on board."
For Outboard Engines, Yamaha took home the trophy for its new VF250 outboard engine. According to judge Alan Jones, "The V6 is as light or lighter than two strokes, yet with distinct benefits of clean emissions, fuel economy and quietness of a four-stroke."
Kasco Marine won in the Boatyard Hardware category with its Robust-Aire Marine Diffuser. "This is the Don Ho of tiny bubbles," quipped judge Chris Caswell.
With regulators requiring stricter water quality discharge standards in marinas, this version improves water flow 10 to 40 percent and solves several design challenges other manufacturers face trying to improve aquatic conditions.
Quality Mark Lever Jack
Garmin GPS Map 7215
Kasco Base Mount Cabinet & Diffuser Photos courtesy of IBEX
In the OEM Electronics category, Garmin is the winner for its GPS Map 7215. "This big and bright 15-inch touch screen chart plotter delivers smooth map panning and zooming thanks to a built-in second processor with double the graphics power of traditional systems," Tom Tripp said.
Quality Mark took the award in Trailers, Parts and Trailer Accessories, for its ingenious Lever Jack. "Using leverage gained from a handle, you can pivot a loaded trailer in any direction to lift it onto the ball with ease," observed judge Zuzana Prochaska.
It's the same company that makes Rope-A-Boat, the device Gary Kramer has written about in HLB.
And finally, PlasDeck, a favorite of contributor Cliff Steele, won in the Innovation Award for Safety with its new synthetic teak decking that blends phosphorescent technology in the caulk line. After it is charged by normal daylight, it glows a soft azure blue at night. "For an entire deck or just steps from the bridge, this helps you see the boundaries of safe passage," Lanier noted.
Keep reading HeartLand Boating to find out more about these innovative products.