SAIL Magazine Announces the 2014 Pittman Innovation Awards

Published on January 17th, 2014

SAIL’s annual Pittman Innovation Awards recognize outstanding new and innovative products in the sailboat market. SAIL’s team of judges – executive editor Adam Cort, cruising editor Charles J. Doane, technical editor Jay Paris, electronics editor Ben Ellison and editor-at-large David Schmidt – selected 15 top new products after poring over hundreds at this past fall’s boat shows. “The field was packed with more innovative products than we’d seen in the marine industry for a while” said executive editor Adam Cort.

The winners for 2014 include: Jurgan Tool-Free Clevis Pin from Crealock Development & Manufacturing; Raymarine Evolution Autopilot; Pontos Automatic Four-Speed Trimmer Winch; PROtect tapes LOOPX; Karver KJ Jammer; Southern Spars EC Torque furling headsail stay; Doyle Sailmaker’s Stratis ICE Sails; B&G’s SailSteer and SailTime software; DeLorme inReach SE; Garmin Quatix watch; Balmar Smartguage battery monitor from Ballard Commercial Industries Inc.; Orbit 7100 Toilet from Dometic; Inno Tank UV-cure flexible waste/water tank; TeamO Back Tow harness; and Vesper Marine’s WatchMate Vision AIS.

This year’s Overall Winner, B&G’s Sailsteer and Sailtime software, was selected by a panel of judges that included Nigel Calder (systems expert and author), Tom Burden (author of West Marine “advisor series” articles) and Peter Nielsen (editor-in-chief, SAIL).

Coverage of the 2014 Pittman Innovation Awards appears on page 32 of the February issue of SAIL. Pittman winners are also featured on the magazine website.

In the Cruising category: The Jurgan Tool-Free Clevis Pin allows sailors to put aside pliers and screwdrivers when installing or removing, since it does away with cotter pins. As an added benefit, it also elimates a major source of snags for sails and lines. The Pontos Automatic Four-Speed Winch features an automatic clutch that pops in two extra gears when loads hit a pre-set threshold. Two versions are available: a “Trimmer” version with extra-low gearing that reduces the amount of effort needed to handle a given load, and a “Grinder” version with extra-high gearing for bringing in sheets at top speeds. Raymarine’s Evolution Autopilot is simple to operate and equipped with advanced aerospace guidance technology that allows it to learn and adapt to a boat’s characteristics while steering.

In the Racing category: PROtect Tapes LOOPX combines pressure-sensitive tapes with embedded high- strength fibers that can support mammoth weights – up to 2,270 lbs. depending on the film width and fiber size involved. Karver Systems has introduced a new line of revolutionary high-load rope clutches called KJ Jammers (distributed by Euro Marine Trading in the U.S.) that can be bolted to a deck or cabintrunk, serve as a halyard lock, or secure an A-sail tack line on the foredeck. Southern Spars EC Torque furling headsail stay is a lightweight, composite alternative to expensive headsail foils. Doyle Stratis Ice Sails have been put to the test in the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race and offer the same strength, weight and shape characteristics as a 100-percent carbon-fiber laminate sail, but without the durability issues.

In the Electronics category: Overall Winner B&G’s SailSteer and SailTime software combines a cutting-edge, sail-specific color instrument display along with advanced calculations provided by the SailTime program to enhance its Zeus Touch multifunction displays with a wealth of information to make sailing easier than ever. The Delorme inReach SE is a handheld GPS tracker and global two-way Iridium satellite messanger with a wide range of capabilities, including the ability to connect via Bluetooth to your Apple or Android mobile device, where DeLorme’s Earthmate app can log your messages and track and display them on worldwide maps and U.S. charts. The Garmin Quatix Watch is a high-sensitivity GPS marine watch that not only provides a wealth of sailing data on its own, but communicates wirelessly with the other electronics on your boat.

In the Systems category: The Balmar Smartgauge allows sailors to keep close tabs on their battery charge. The Orbit 7100 Toilet from Dometic has a unique base that rotates 360 degrees, making it easier to fit into tight spaces when upgrading from a manual to an electric toilet. Similarly, the inflatable, UV-cured Inno Tank is another product designed to fit into confined spaces.

In the Safety category: TeamO’s Back Tow harness has “back pull” technology, which when deployed, ensures that an MOB is pulled through the water back-first, making it easier for them to breathe. (This product is currently awaiting official ISO approval before it can go into production.) Watchmate Vision by Vesper Marine is an AIS system that makes it easier to figure out where you are. With a chartplotter-like full-color display, it also features cutting-edge Wifi connectivity to smart phones or tablets running a compatible app.

SAIL Magazine, Multihull Sailor, New Boat & Gear Review and their digital properties ( and are owned by Active Interest Media, a media company focusing on enthusiast magazines and related consumer shows, internet sites and books.

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