NMEA awards, performance & reliability?
When I wrote about last year’s most innovative marine electronics a while back, I said I’d deal with the NMEA Awards separately. Well, here goes. But do understand that these awards are determined by mail-in votes from NMEA dealer and trade members and, while I don’t know for sure what the criteria are, I’d say that they’re more about performance and reliability than innovation. I’d guess there’s also a natural bias toward the sort of bigger gear that dealer/installers tend to work with, and probably also toward the brands that have particularly well developed dealer networks. “Best of Show” is a little different, however, as it’s voted on by everyone who attends the NMEA conference (mutts like me excepted).
Autopilot: Raymarine ST8002 Plus
Fish Finding: Furuno FCV 585
Radar: Furuno FR8002 Series
Communication: ICOM America M604
Entertainment: KVH Tracvision M3ST
Navigation: Furuno MAX SEA Navnet Explorer v12.5
Marine Specialty Awards (any category but the above):
First Place: FLIR Navigator Thermal Imaging Camera
Second Place: Navionics Platinum Charts
Manufacturer of the Year Support Award: Furuno USA
Best of Show: Raymarine Ray 218 VHF/Hailer (Ray Mic above).
Technician of the Year: Robert J. McClure, McClure Marine Electronics
Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Boucher, CEO/Chairman of Airmar Technology. (Not awarded since 2002, and very much deserved by Boucher, I think.)
Meanwhile, following up on my best new general tech entry, you might enjoy checking out the CES Innovation Awards. Among other neat gear of interest is the Sanyo Xacti waterproof video camera I spotted last summer; I got to try the HD but non-waterproof version of this baby last month, and liked it very much. Finally there’s David Pogue’s take on developments-in-waiting he spied out at CES. How about super thin, super high contrast, low power Sony OLED screens (stupid expensive now, but we know how that goes). Hell yes, we can something with those around a boat.
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