You may have already read the headline, but due to a few little technical issues (apparently my iPod Touch and I weren’t seeing eye to eye), the details never followed. So if at first you don’t succeed…post, post again.
Over 51 products made the cut for the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association Innovation Awards this year, but in the end the big winners included one PWC manufacturer — Sea-Doo — and one towsports boat — MasterCraft’s X-25.
Sea-Doo (or should I say Sea-Doo and BRP) captured two of the final total, with the Sea-Doo RXT-X 260 taking the PWC, Jet Boat, and Pontoon category while the iCatch trailer captured the title in the Watersports and Equipment category. MasterCraft’s X-25 beat out all other contenders in the Runabouts and Fishing Craft to 25′ category.
The RXT-X took top honors based in large part on its digitally controlled fly-by-wire throttle control. “Even at 60 miles per hour, the control is so good that the RXT-X feels like a part of your body,” noted one of the judging panel. The iCatch, meanwhile, was highlighted for its innovative catch-and-release system that allows a driver to secure the boat by simply driving it onto the trailer, and release by pulling a nearby lever to allow the craft to roll off and into the water.
The MasterCraft X-25 was singled out for its digitally adjustable wake system, tracking camera and variable seating configuration, but what I found most unique was that the boat is essentially a celebration of the brand’s greatest hits, with a hull pulled from the CSX 220, bow area modeled after the X-35 and X-55, and cockpit patterend after the X-14V ski boat. The X-25 also features unique trim tabs to roll the boat over for ideal wake surfing.
“This boat addresses the wake surfing market, which is one of the fastest growing segments of the industry,” noted one judge, “and does it in a fun, innovative way.”
I’ve got exclusive video interviews coming soon…