By Boating Industry http://www.boatingindustry.com/top-stories/2015/05/01/boating-industry-2015-top-products/
May 1, 2015
Filed under Features, In This Issue, Top Stories
In our annual listing of the top products in the boating industry, you’ll find a wide variety of products from boats to accessories, from engines to apps.
These products were all introduced or significantly updated since the beginning of 2014. From hundreds of nominations, they were chosen based on many factors such as their impact on the industry, innovation and how they advanced their category.
The API4000 Scan Tool is an all-in-one complete diagnostic tool that works on Yamaha, Suzuki, Mercury/Mariner, Johnson/Evinrude, Volvo Penta, Mercruiser, OMC, Crusader, Indmar, PCM and Marine Power, with Honda and Tohatsu diagnostic capabilities in the next software release coming soon. The tool comes with a shock resistant waterproof carrying case that will float if dropped in the water and nine cables for the various applications.
ARI Mobile is designed to simplify major unit inventory management. ARI Mobile allows dealers to easily add new inventory to their websites, optimize inventory listings and syndicate content to third-party sales channels. Available for both iOS and Android, ARI Mobile is available to marine dealers on ARI’s Endeavor website platform.
All In One Fuel Treatment is formulated with advanced chemistry to maximize fuel efficiency while minimizing all fuel related problems. It neutralizes ethanol’s harmful effects in gasoline to solve related engine issues such as low fuel economy, reduced engine power and accelerated fuel system component deterioration. It also stabilizes gasoline for extended periods of storage and can be used either in portable fuel containers or directly in fuel tanks.
Blue Gas Marine enables existing engines to run on natural gas in addition to petroleum through the BGM fuel system kit. The system consists of four major components: fuel receiving panel, fuel tanks, pressure reduction module and high- and low-pressure fuel lines. The fuel system is independent of the gasoline system, allowing both systems to run separately. The system is currently available for Yamaha and Mercury engines and is being expanded to other common gasoline engine brands.
The Boatyard app provides boat owners with a platform for ordering boat services on-demand from qualified, vetted local providers with a few clicks on their smartphone. Boatyard curates the best providers in each area and solicits reviews upon completion of each order to make sure that its users always receive a high standard of service from a fully insured provider.
The new BOLT Electric Trim Tab system is designed to be a perfectly suitable, easy-to-install and affordable solution for many applications from the inventor of the Trim Tab System. The BOLT’s kit includes two 12-volt actuators with six feet of wire harnesses and waterproof connectors, stainless steel trim planes and mounting plates and 20-foot or custom-length harnesses with waterproof connectors. Controls are sold separately with a choice of either traditional rocker switch, or BOLT rocker control (with or without LED tab position indication).
The Brownell SD3 sterndrive jack eliminates the labor of removing or installing sterndrives for service. It tilts on three axes to always align the drive perfectly with the transom, regardless of the position of the boat relative to the ground. The SD-3 features pneumatic wheels and coated surfaces to prevent scratching.
The Bryant Surf Edition is the first sterndrive to deliver a legitimate wake while combining the safety of a V-drive with the performance of a sterndrive. The surf package includes speed control, surf tabs, 1,700 lbs of ballast and Bryant’s patented SportPorch. Bryant is targeting the large portion of the general boating population that likes to surf and board, but also want versatility in the boat.
Chaparral’s 223 & 243 Vortex jet boats are offered with the new patent pending Aerial Surf Platform. Chaparral engineered an innovative way to shape the surf wake with jet propulsion by building an add-on platform to complement the integrated platform. The benefit is twofold: it adds length to the current platform while shaping the surf wake with the sculpted underside. The Surf Packages are available on 4 Vortex Models – 223VR, 223VRX, 243VR and 243VRX.
The 390 Express Coupe is the newest product from Cruisers Yachts. Featuring the largest cockpit in its class, with 157 square feet of usable space for boaters on one level. The port and starboard L-shaped seating arrangements have aft-facing flip up lounge seating and plentiful storage underneath. The 390 EC features the largest sunroof in its class with a total opening of 42 square feet. The full beam, mid-ship master stateroom affords standing headroom and a step down Queen-size berth with portside settee. Storage includes a full length, cedar lined hanging locker.
Distinct displays are designed for displaying videos and other key information in the showroom or at a boat show. The touchscreen interface allows customers to view model information, along with tools such as interactive monthly payment calculators and options-lists. The displays are designed to allow any salesmen, even with little computer experience, to create presentations. Available in 21.5 and 23-inch models, with a 27-inch all-in-one model coming soon.
Dometic’s Smart Touch Integrated Intelligence Control (STIIC) allows owners to use a mobile device or computer to turn Dometic devices on or off remotely. A plug-n-play networkingsolution embedded in Dometic products, STIIC relies on innovative, user-friendly software to connect a boat’s Dometic systems such as air conditioning, watermakers, ice makers, refrigeration systems, engine ventilation systems and more to the STIIC network. Two-way interactive intelligence also lets users — or a Dometic service technician — monitor and control systems and troubleshoot problems via a mobile device.
Dominion’s new social media management tool solves two key problems in the marine industry — not having enough time to post each day and not knowing what to post. The Social DIY (do-it-yourself) tier offers curated content streams, as well as a local content stream for neighborhood news. Social Pro allows companies to outsource social media management and worry about other business priorities. Social Elite allows dealers to take advantage of promotional opportunities including articles, custom emails and more.
The EP Parallel Hybrid Electric System from Elco Motor Yachts offers boaters a propulsion system that combines the comfort and fuel-efficiency of an electric motor with the power and range of a diesel engine. The system consists of a diesel or gas engine that is connected to a propeller shaft through an Elco inboard electric motor and a clutching system, allowing the diesel engine to drive the propeller directly or, with a flip of a switch, for the electric motor to propel the vessel.
The G2 produces up to 75 percent fewer total regulated emissions, with 15 percent better fuel efficiency and 20 percent more torque than leading four-stroke engines, according to company data. Evinrude offers a 5-year engine warranty, 5-year corrosion warranty and 500 hours with no dealer-scheduled maintenance. The new E-TEC G2 engine offers a customizable look, allowing consumers to choose the top and front panels, as well as accent colors that match the boat.
Florida Marine Tanks has received two U.S. patents for its fuel tank with internal evaporative emission system its fuel tank with internal fuel shutoff system to help the products comply with EPA regulations on diurnal emissions. Other fuel systems have vents, valves and fittings outside the tank. Since Florida Marine Tanks’s system is all internal, no access points are needed and builders don’t have to change the design of the boat.
The Quadski XL is the newest addition to the Gibbs Sports Amphibians line, aiming to eliminate the need for two machines. Designed for two riders instead of one and powered by the BMW Motorrad K1300 engine, the Quadski XL is capable of attaining speeds of 45 mph on both land and water. The complete transition takes under five seconds at the push of a button. The proprietary Gibbs jet drive is lighter and more compact than traditional marine industry water jets and provides high levels of thrust and maneuverability on water.
The Greenline 48 Hybrid Solar is a spacious boat designed for serious offshore passages. The third generation hybrid system uses Volvo engines and includes three cabins and three heads/showers, a hydraulic swim platform option and a utility compartment under the salon. Solar panels on the roof charge lithium polymer batteries, which power two 14 kW electric motors/10 kW generators. Like other Greenline models, all 48 onboard systems operate without the need of a generator.
HydraSports Custom unveiled the 53 Sueños, the world’s largest center console, at the Miami International Boat Show. The boat features Advanced Combat Craft Construction developed by Structural Composites. Designed for minimal bow rise with an elevated helm station, the helm is also integrated with triple Garmin 8000 series electronics. The visibility dramatically increases safety and comfort while underway. HydraSports Custom Boats are sold factory direct with plans to make no more than 12 of the 53 Sueños model.
The IDS mobile app allows service writers, technicians, salespeople and the parts department to perform key daily tasks from anywhere in a marine dealership. The app helps speed work orders and eliminate paperwork by collecting the customer’s signature and emailing their work order. Pictures can be attached to work orders to eliminate confusion and improve communictions.
The ROUSHCharged Raptor 575 is the first emissions certified catalyzed inboard to bring ROUSH Performance supercharging technology to the marine industry and produces the most torque ever offered in a towboat. Featuring a five-year factory warranty the engine is built off a marinized Ford’s F-Series Super Duty 6.2L. Indmar collaborated with wake and ski experts to design innovative towsport specific components to optimize, protect and adapt the engine to the rugged demands of watersports.
Island Boats is the world’s first retractable and expandable pontoon boat, going from a 10-foot beam down to a 7-foot, 6-inch beam with its patented R&E Slide. This allows the 18/22 Model to fit in a standard garage when in its retracted position. Both the 18/22 and 26/22 models can be shipped overseas in containers without dismantling the boat. The towing width is also more aerodynamic keeping it tucked in behind a regular pickup or SUV making it safer to tow and more fuel efficient.
The Liberator is a remote-controlled, automatic powered combination cover system for pontoon boats. With the Liberator and the push of the power button on the remote, the boat top is ready to move to one of three functional operating positions: Bimini to enjoy half shade, the Double Bimini, or the Bridge position to lower the top to cruise under an overhead obstruction. Constructed with stainless steel and aluminum components and covered with durable WeatherMax 80 fabric.
These patent pending new battery switches from Marinco by BEP allow users to wire from the front, making installation easy and accessible. Simply fit the base, add wiring and clip on the actuator and cover. The EZ-Mount switches have an industry standard, compact footprint (3.85” x 3.85”). Models include single and double pole on/off, selector and the unique dual bank control switch, which offers the functionality of three switches in one.
The Marker One Platform Series was designed to be unlike an ordinary pontoon. The Marker One Platform Series starts with the three hulls all working in harmony with the lifting strakes, chines and a keel. Bolted to the fiberglass deck through a stringer system, the wood-free base separates itself from the foundation construction on other pontoons. Marker One’s patent pending power wedge means that the deck maintains a level feel even with the maximum horsepower engine astern. Marker One utilizes a fiberglass design providing significant sound and vibration dampening.
Mercury Marine has introduced the 4.5L 200hp sterndrive, based on the 4.5L 250hp sterndrive introduced by Mercury in 2014. It features newly designed rear facing throttle body, anti-whistle throttle plate, engine cover and mounts, lightweight flywheel, fuel supply module and structural oil pan. The 4.5L V-6 also offers Adaptive Speed Control, which automatically maintains the set RPM point regardless of load or condition changes, such as tight turns, tow sports and lower speeds on plane.
Mussel Mast’R Aquatic Invasive Species Filter
The Mussel Mast’R by WakeWorX is a simple and cost effective in-line filter that stops the microscopic larvae of Quagga and Zebra mussels from entering water sports boat ballast tanks and thus prevents the spread of them between lakes. The product is now accepted in place of ballast tank decontamination in 18 western states and available in 2015 boats from Centurion and Nautique. Mussel Mast’R can also be retrofitted on existing boats.
MyTaskit Pro is a service coordination tool that connects businesses with their customers, while also providing integrated automation to simplify back-office administrative activities. Boat owners use MyTaskit, the customer version of MyTaskit Pro, to order service online by assigning tasks to their local service providers, via a mobile device or computer. Using MyTaskit Pro, boat businesses receive the requests online and use the two-way tool to manage those tasks, coordinate service, respond to inquiries, secure approvals, offer work updates and generate reminders when service is due.
The new Sea Devil underwater lights serve a wide variety of uses, from recreational yacht ambiance to aides for fishing boats. The product eliminates drilling holes through the hull and instead allows boat builders and owners to affix it with adhesives. The transmitting puck lies behind the finished surface attached to wiring that connects to the electrical switch panel and the LED waterproof light is glued in place and power is transferred through the mounting surface without holes.
The Infinity PRV350 incorporates a 3.5-inch color TFT (variant of LCD) style screen. Additional features include AM/FM, Sirius/XM ready, three pairs of pre-outs including subwoofer out, auxiliary input, USB input for USB drives, wired/wireless remote ready and Bluetooth audio streaming with ID tagging. The INFPRV350 will fit the same cutout as the Infinity PRV250, providing an upgrade without having to modify the dash. From an installation standpoint, the unit is mounted to the substrate by cinching via a U bracket. For added versatility, the receiver can be flush mounted or back mounted.
The new Rinker 170 OB is the first in a new series of outboard offerings built for the entry-level family boater who wants the comfort and watersports performance of a Rinker bowrider. A completely new running surface allows the Rinker 170 OB to perform efficiently and effectively with either a 70- or 90-horsepower package. It is available in either a full windshield version or a dual console windscreen configuration.
The remote-controlled Robo Trailer Parking Robot allows users to move boat trailers from one area to another without strain on the body. The Robo is available in either 3,700 or 5,500 pound capacity depending on the size and weight of the load.
Roswell Cybox is a Bluetooth receiver that allows boaters to listen to music on the boat from any Bluetooth enabled wireless device up to 20 feet away. Cybox supports aptX , A2DP, and AVRCP profiles allowing the device to retain full integrity of the original digital audio files and is optimized for instant real-time audio streaming.
Scout’s 420 LXF is the sixth model in the LXF Collection, comprised of luxury sportfish models that blend high-performance fish boats with high-end cruisers. The 420 is the sixth model in this category to date, headlining the 255, 275, 300, 320 and 350 LXF models. The epoxy-infused hull provides more stability while reducing the overall weight in the boat and the 420 LXF is outfitted with quad engine configurations, including Yamaha F350s or Mercury’s new 350 Verados.
MARIAH, the “Marina And Recreational Internet Applications Home” is a cloud platform that connects marina operations with their boat owner customers. The MARIAH platform is an extension of Scribble’s marina management solution, MarinaOffice. The platform currently consists of a growing list of available apps that include one-step paperless billing, online bill pay, MeterWalk mobile app for utility reading and rental space inventory verification and MyBoatStatus online vessel monitoring.
Sea Hawk’s Aluma Hawk is an easy-to-apply, high-solids coating that requires no primer when applied to bare aluminum. The Aluma Hawk technology supports environmental stewardship via its chromate-free formula that contains less than 414 grams/liter of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Good for use above and below the waterline Aluma Hawk paint is equally effective for saltwater and freshwater boating and applies with brush, roller or sprayer for a quick-drying rust and lacquer-resistant coating.
Originally available for boats with twin or triple outboard application, SeaStar Optimus Electronic Power Steering is now available for boats with single and quad outboards. Both adjustable and programmable, Optimus EPS allows users to tailor how the boat handles to their personal preference, in addition to making steering a boat an easier job. The system can be set to auto-adjust steering resistance in relation to boat speed and the handling characteristics of the vessel, as well as to match operator preference.
Silver Wave designed the Swim-Up Bar to tackle the issue of getting to drinks and sandwiches without having to track sand throughout the boat. The bar features a tabletop bar on the inside that lifts up to allow access to an ice chest and storage. The outer fence panel lifts up with hydraulic cylinders to expose the ice chest, storage cubby and a synthetic granite counter and slide-out tray.
Simrad’s ForwardScan is a forward-looking echosounder transducer. Unlike traditional sonar that will only show boaters where they have been, the new technology provides a clear image on a Simrad multifunction display of the water column and ocean floor in front of the boat. ForwardScan alerts boaters to potential dangers — offering complete navigation confidence and added peace of mind in unfamiliar waters. The advanced sounder technology is compatible with the SonarHub sounder module, and Simrad NSS evo2 and NSO evo2 series navigation systems.
HMX performance strakes are available on every Starcraft Pontoon, designed to offer better lift, less surface drag, increased speed, faster planing and a tighter turning radius. HMX offers performance strakes on the inside of the outside tubes and on both sides of the center tube. The PR25 and PR20 center tube options provide for an integrated ski pylon and 25- and 20-inch transom heights for choice of engine shaft.
This year’s introduction of the DF200AP offers several new technologies and innovations for 200 HP outboards, updating last year’s DF200A, a 2014 Top Product. New features include the Suzuki Keyless Start System that allows push button starting as long as the Suzuki key fob is in range, Suzuki Precision Control drive-by-wire electronic throttle and shift control and Suzuki Selective Rotation for standard or counter rotation from any unit.
These waterproof lights meet Coast Guard regulations for two nautical miles, offer 120 degree unobstructed visibility and are mounted in a highly polished Stainless Steel Type 316 cover plate with USCG approval engraving. The lights are designed with a very thin profile to fit nicely onto the rub rail and not be a detriment to lines or other contact items. Drawing less than 0.25 Amperes, the 3-watt LED lights have a 50,000 hour life span that includes anodized aluminum heat sink for maximum heat dissipation.
The extra-low-profile Nano is designed for tight spaces and maintenance-free operation. The unit is completely self-contained with a clog-resistant turbine; during installation, there is no need to accommodate a vacuum pump or replace gaskets or seals. Its low power consumption and user-controlled water flow of only 0.1–0.7 gallons per flush help conserve resources. Less than 39 pounds, the Nano is only 18.2” L x 14.8” W x 11.8” H and easily installed on a step base.
The Tigé AVX Surf System allows every surfer to create a unique wave that complements their style of riding. With the click of a button on the Surf Link remote, users can adjust the angle of the AdaptiVX, giving full control of the shape, style, length and height of the surf wave, right from the pocket. The AVX Surf System is a collaboration of seven components: the Surf Link Remote, AdaptiVX, Tigé Touch2, Surf XL Ballast, TAPS2, patented Convex hull design and the new Raptor Series Engines by Indmar.
VDO Allentare gauges are designed as an easy fit in any type of watercraft, from a basic, recreational pontoon boat to high-powered bass boats and pocket cruisers. The gauges can be used with most commonly available marine senders and wiring harnesses and the installation and wiring is engineered to keep simple and straightforward for either an OEM or re-rigging installation.The Allentare line features five standard dial face designs and colors, including grey, teak, yellow/blue, white, white/grey and black. The dial faces can also be customized with the manufacturers brand logo.
Designed with water sports in mind, the Volvo Penta FWD begins with forward-facing dual counter-rotating props with an adjustable-trim drive. This patented design pulls the boat through the water rather than pushing, with an undisturbed water flow to the propellers. Drivers will also be able to customize the wake for different ability levels and the forward-facing DuoProp, with counter-rotating propellers, offers an industry-first symmetrical wakeboarding wake and equally shaped wakesurfing wave.
The Airis HollowDeck is a new category of inflatable stand up paddleboards, combining the RigiDeck, which is a fiberglass step where the paddler stands, with Walker Bay’s patented AirWeb construction. The HollowDeck comes in two sizes, 11 and 12.6 feet, and rolls up to fit in a backpack that comes with a high-pressure pump. The HollowDeck also has a secure dry storage area in the front of the board to stow gear.
The S360EW is an electric-only 12 V water heater brand new to the marine industry. The water heater connects to 12 V power supply meaning there is no need for a generator, inverter or shore power. It can fit in compact spaces and installation is no longer tied to the engine room. The water heater has a rapid heat up time with hot water in less than an hour and is highly efficient with heat retention of up to 10 hours.
The Sportjet 520 from Williams Performance Tenders made its U.S. debut at the Miami International Boat Show in February. The Sportjet 520 offers a brand new concept for the sport RIB, the company says, combining the safety and fun of a jet drive with the high performance of the BRP Rotax 4-TEC 150 engine. The Sportjet is available in four different color schemes: Neptune Grey, Basalt Black, Electro Blue or Lava Red.
Yamaha WaterCraft Group has introduced the jet-powered, 19-foot 190 FSH boat series, the first family fishing boat of its kind and the first center console model offered by Yamaha. For 2015, the 190 FSH is available in three variations that include the base model 190 FSH, an upgraded 190 FSH Deluxe, and the flagship 190 FSH Sport that offers many of the features of the Deluxe with the addition of a custom T-top. Deluxe model upgrades include wiring for dual batteries, stainless steel rub-rail, head compartment curtain, upgraded seating/cushions and bow pedestal seat. All three models come with Yamaha’s 1.8L High Output marine engine.