For the second year running, MasterCraft Boat Company, the world's leading luxury performance inboard boat manufacturer, received the coveted NMMA Innovation Award, which this year was awarded to the company at the 2011 Miami International Boat Show for its pioneering technology found in its newest tower offering, the ZeroFlex Tower 5p (ZFT 5p), which raises up and down electrically with a flip of a switch. Only a total of 12 marine manufacturers were honored for innovative achievement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI).
The Innovation Awards recognize products that best meet the following criteria: innovative distinction from other products being made; benefit to the marine industry and/or the consumer; practicality; cost-effectiveness; and availability to the consumer within 60 days of receiving the award. "We had an outstanding group of entries this year and saw innovations that are sure to pave the way for boating industry advancement," said Zuzana Prochazka, Innovation Awards judge and president of the BWI board of directors. "The judges were impressed with the depth of products submitted this year, needing to select multiple winners in two categories, and are looking forward to what the future of the industry has in store for boaters."
The ZFT 5p was submitted for its innovative, yet pragmatic ability to raise or lower to three different positions with a simple flip of a switch, allowing the owner to adjust tower height to meet any of several needs, including going under low bridges, boat house / garage storage or lowering the optional tower bimini for optimal protection. Jack Horner, naval architect, certified marine surveyor, and contributor to BoatUS, SpinSheet, Offshore, Sailing, and Chesapeake Bay magazines, said, "This is a smartly designed, well built, tower of power that looks like mechanical muscle."
Without a doubt, MasterCraft is honored to receive this award for the second year in a row, says Jason Boertje, MasterCraft marketing director. "We know there are a lot of claims of innovation so an award like this affirms we truly are who we say we are...leaders of innovation."
MasterCraft was among an elite field of winners including Sea Doo, Chapparal, Beneteau and Navionics. The NMMA Innovation Award comes on the heels of another award recently granted to MasterCraft. In the annual Trailer Boats Readers Choice Awards, readers of Trailer Boats magazine awarded MasterCraft as their Favorite Wakeboard Boat Builder. In its release about this award, the editors stated, while we were not surprised by the choice, we were surprised by the margin by which MasterCraft took the top spot. We half- expected a three-way tie between Malibu, MasterCraft and Nautique. Yet MasterCraft seemed to dominate the voting.