METS 2014: The winners of the 24th Design Award METS competition

The winners of the 24th Design Award METS competition were announced this morning during the Breakfast Briefing before the first opening day of the show. There were a total of 116 entries from 23 countries around the world for the 2014 Awards, with 45 products making into the final judging rounds.

The DAME Jury carefully assessed entries for overall design, build quality, functionality, and use of materials. Other factors taken into account are originality, ergonomics and price/quality ratio. Unusually, the entries to the category of Clothing and Crew Accessories was particularly low, leaving the jury to decide to not award a winner this year.

The winning products are divided into the following categories;

• Marine Electronics and Marine Related Software:

Glomex weBBoat 4G, an integrated 3G/4G/Wi-Fi coastal internet antenna system that offers high speed internet throughout a yacht with minimal cabling. The jury reportedly were impressed with the simple, compact design and all-in-one approach to an area of rapidly growing interest in the marine industry.

• Interior Equipment, Furnishings, Materials, and Electrical Fittings used in cabins:

Kenyon International SiLKEN2 Induction Cooktop is a touch control induction cooktop, featuring intelligent power and heat management. The feature in which jury members were particularly interested in the high temperature cooking grade silicone mat providing a high grip surface for pans, prevents the cooktop from getting scratched and allows ease of cleaning.

• Marina Equipment, Boatyard Equipment, and Boat Construction Tools and Materials:

Seabung is designed to enable a seacock to be replaced with a boat still in the water. The device uses a flexible dome mounted on a post with integrated safety lanyard eyelet, enabling the boat owner to push the Seabung through a skin fitting to seal the dome against its outside flange.

• Lifesaving and Safety Equipment:

Exposure Marine MOB Search Light is a pocket-sized, powerful LED torch with several useful functions. The MOB Search Light has a variable output when used in hand. It floats and automatically enters a very bright strobe mode if dropped into water. The jury particularly appreciated the ability of the product to be charged via a USB lead.

• Machinery, Propulsion, Mechanical and Electrical Systems and Fittings:

Mastervolt / Marinco Pro-Installer EZ-Mount Battery Switches works by installing the base, connecting the cables and then attaching the actuator and cover. The switches also integrate well with the rest of the range, and the jury were impressed with the simplicity and ease of installation.

• The DAME Award overall winner:

The DAME Award overall winner this year was the Jefa Steering ApS Steering Traveller, which also won in the category of Deck Equipment, Sails and Rigging. The Jefa Steering Traveller is a product that removed the need for bulky steering quadrants and improves rudder feedback at the helm for twin rudder, twin wheel sailing yachts. Special attention has been paid to save installation space and weight, as well as to eliminate backlash, therefore improving yacht handling.

In addition to the overall category winners there were also 12 Special Mentions. These include; Furono 1st Watch Wireless Radar, which broadcasts its data to iOS devices over WiFi; LCJ Capteurs BaroPlug, a compact barometric sensor that connects anywhere in a NMEA 2000 network to provide air pressure information for instrumentation; DrSails, a two component emergency adhesive that has been developed to repair and mount various applications on any boat when wet or underwater; Prodex Elastomers Fenderlight, a pontoon fender with an integrated LED strip to make it glow at night.

In other categories, Special Mentions include Colligo Marine Stackers, neatly designed lightweight static blocks with an integrated becket that can be stacked together to provide a purchase system from 2:1 up to a 5:1; Exit Engineering S.r.l. Giotto Carbon Fibre Ladder with Tall Folding Grips, a 1.8 metre boarding ladder with four broad treads weighing just 6.7kg; Allen Brother Keyball Trapeze System which has been developed to reduce the risk of entrapment for trapeze sailors by the removal of the hook from the traditional harness, instead utilising a ball and socket arrangement with no moving parts; Fender-Design AnchorRoll, a buoy that marks the position of a boats anchor and self-adjusts for water depth of up to 12 metres.

Four Special Mentions were awarded in the Machinery, Propulsion, Mechanical and Electrical Systems and Fittings category. These were awarded to the AntiRoll B.V. AntiRoll, with retractable dual-axis curved low drag fins which provide stabilisation underway and at zero speed; Fischer Panda GmbH Panda 150i PMS, a compact 150kVA generator featuring a competitive power-to-weight ratio, reduced fuel consumption and integration with other models in the range; LEHR Inc Propane Powered 15HP Outbaord Engine, the largest yet in Leh’s range of propane powered outboards; and finally, the Makefast Ltd Eaton sunroof system, a cost effective sunroof solution for volume boat manufacturers with well-engineered components.

The Chairman of the DAME Awards Jury, Bill Dixon, commented, “Developing new, well designed and innovative products is very difficult for relatively low manufacturing volumes. Nevertheless many of the companies that we recognised in this year’s nominations have looked at a problem, found a new and interesting way to solve it and come up with a confident solution. Others have discovered ways of making the boat builder’s life easier through better integration and ease of installation.

He continues, “Simple, elegant design with cohesive integration is the future and this is the challenge that the DAME Awards will continue to address by highlighting the achievements of the best entries.”

By Gemma Fottles



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