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EZ Dock, a sponsor of American Trails, was recognized for its EZ Launch water trail system for kayaks and canoes. The product provides ease of entry and exit, as well as allowing quick launch and recovery, and opens up paddle sports to a wider range of people.

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Products honored for innovation at Miami Boat Show

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EZ Dock products have applicability in nature trails and boat launches


Ten marine manufacturers were honored for innovative achievement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) at the 69th annual Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail Miami. Winning companies received their 2010 Innovation Awards during NMMA’s Industry Update and Innovation Awards Presentation, held at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Among the winners is EZ Dock, an American Trails sponsor, for its EZ Launch Accessible Transfer System. The EZ Launch system is the first port system built specifically for paddlers, making it simple and safe to board, launch and recover kayaks and canoes from waterfront properties. Using a roller and guide rail system, EZ Launch allows users of all ability levels to glide on and off, while providing ample foot space on both sides for optimum access and stability.

According to EZ Dock, "With the addition of the EZ Launch Accessible Transfer System, EZ Dock has taken accessibility to another level, providing individuals with disabilities universal accessibility that exceeds the minimum requirements of the ADA. A first in the industry, this feature offers a Transfer Bench offering choices of variable heights for transfer from different wheelchairs and two Transfer Slide Boards to accommodate different watercraft heights. The Transfer Slide Board lands securely on a railing system that stabilizes it and provides grab bar transfer assistance for easy slide movement."

For More Information Contact:
Curtis Downs , Global Sales Manager, 13620 E. Reese Blvd., Suite 300 , Huntersville, NC 28078
(704) 949-1614 -

The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by BWI, recognize 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.

“We had an outstanding group of entries this year with a total of 50 products entered in 10 categories – a 20 percent increase over last year’s entrants,” says Zuzana Prochazka, Miami Innovation Awards chair, member of the BWI Board of Directors and technical editor for Latitudes & Attitudes magazine. “The judges were impressed with the products submitted and were able to recognize winners in most categories, including an Environmental Award and two Honorable Mentions.”

In addition to Prochazka, BWI members rounding out the judging panel included: Mark Corke, owner of ‘On Board with Mark Corke’ blog, contributing editor to Soundings and Blue Water Sailing magazines; Alan Jones, executive editor of Boating World magazine, contributing editor of Sea magazine; Frank Lanier, freelance marine journalist, regular contributor to Practical Sailor, Southern Boating, Australian Yachting, Seafaring, Lakeland Boating, Chesapeake Bay, Northeast Boating, and Good Old Boat magazines; Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor magazine; Lenny Rudow, author, freelance writer for Marlin, Boating World, Sea, BoaterMouth, Texas and Fish & Game magazines, as well as; and, Peter Swanson, freelance writer, regular contributor to PassageMaker, Soundings and Yachting magazines.

Innovation Awards were presented today to the following companies in these categories:


Consumer Installed Docking and Fendering Equipment
Company: EZ Dock / Product: EZ Launch
EZ Launch provides ease of entry and exit, as well as allowing quick launch and recovery for kayaks and canoes. Swanson noted, “The EZ Launch opens up paddle sports to a wider range of people including older and mobility-limited boaters.”

Consumer Electronics & Software
Company: Standard Horizon / Product: MATRIX AIS
This compact, affordable combination of Class D VHF and AIS brings two important safety and communication features into the hands of the average boater. Judge Pete Swanson said, “This is one compact unit that anyone can afford.”

Honorable Mention - Company: Simrad / Product: NSE12 Multifunction Marine Display

Consumer Installed Non-Electronic Hardware
Company: Hunt / Product: Adjustable Table
The hardware of the Hunt Adjustable Table allows you to change the shape and location of the table, while adding versatility to the furniture and the space. Judge Mark Corke added, “This is a deceptively simple solution to the age old problem of making onboard furniture smaller, moveable and adaptable.”

Consumer Personal Gear
Company: Sailology / Product: WinchRite
This cordless electric winch handle was designed to allow for easily cranking sailboat winches at an affordable price. Judge Darrell Nicholson noted, “This affordable device makes every winch a power winch and will extend boaters’ sailing careers.”

Cruisers (25’ to 140’ including fishing craft)
Company: Boston Whaler / Product: 370 Outrage
The 370 is an amalgamation of features including the elimination of the motor well, forward sun pad with underneath storage, retractable shade top and molded in bow thruster. Judge Alan Jones said, “Boston Whaler took a hardcore fishing boat and made it family-friendly and versatile enough to spend a week plus on the water.”

Honorable Mention – Company: Rinker / Product: 310 Express Cruiser

PWC, Jet Boats & Pontoon Boats
Company: Sea-Doo / Product: RXT-X 260 Watercraft
The RXT-X’s digitally controlled fly-by-wire system adds functionality and adjustability to give you complete control of this 260 horsepower water bike. Judge Lenny Rudow, after riding it, commented, “Even at 60 miles per hour, the control is so good that the RXT-X feels like a part of your body.”

Runabouts & Fishing Craft to 24’
Company: MasterCraft / Product: X-25
The digitally adjustable wake system, tracking camera and variable seating configuration of the X-25 combine to make this a unique 22-foot platform. Jones noted, “This boat addresses the wake surfing market, which is one of the fastest growing segments of the industry and does it in a fun, innovative way.”

Safety Equipment
Company: FLIR Systems Inc. / Product: FLIR First Mate
This portable and affordable thermal imaging handheld device heightens safety and security when boating at night. Judge Frank Lanier said, “This is a powerful navigation tool that significantly reduces the hazards of nighttime travel. There’s no longer a reason to be afraid of the dark.”

Water Sports and Equipment
Company: BRP / Product: BRP Advanced TEC iCATCH PWC Trailer

This PWC trailer allows the rider to launch while seated on the PWC and walk around the trailer without getting in the water. Lanier said, “This trailer makes launching and retrieving faster, easier and safer.”

Environmental Award
Company: Torqeedo / Product: Travel 503/1003

The display integrated into the tiller GPS receiver provides information without the remaining range at current speed, power consumption and state of charge. Prochazka added, “Torqeedo continues to show its commitment to providing alternative propulsion solutions and we felt this was an admirable step in the right direction toward environmental causes.”

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry in North America. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. For more information, visit

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