This year’s winners at the annual DAME Design Awards, announced this week at the METS marine trade show in Amsterdam, include multiple new products for sailors to take note of, from winches to seaboots to navigation tools. The unanimously chosen overall winner, the Oceanvolt HighPower ServoProp 25, is a 25kW electric saildrive that “tangibly moves the goalposts for 45- to 70-foot sailboats in terms of providing a reliable and extremely quiet option for electrification,” the judges said.
The Oceanvolt system was among the most electric propulsion products ever submitted for judging in the awards’ 32 years, the judges noted, “a strong indicator of the marine industry’s shift towards meeting its sustainability objectives…Improving the lifecycle impacts of marine equipment is an imperative for any design process. The environmental statements we request for each entry give reason to believe the industry is moving in that direction while also highlighting there is much more to do.”
This year’s environmental design award winner (the second year DAME has awarded this category) goes to an intriguing floating structure called the Marservis Ecocube. Solar powered and built of bio epoxy resin and natural fibers, the Ecocube is basically a service station that accepts wastewater and trash from recreational boats and also provides freshwater top-ups. Broadcasting with an AIS signal, the Ecocube has the “potential to be placed in highly visible locations as a reminder for boat owners to treat all waste products with sensitivity and not have any excuses for bad practices,” the judges said.
The DAME jury reviewed 100 entries from 19 countries, narrowing the products to 53 finalists and ultimately choosing nine winners in eight categories, as well as 14 special mentions. Among the products of particular note to sailors, by category, are:
Personal Equipment: The Zhik Seaboot 700 (presented by Plastimo). “Zhik collaborated with Michelin on the design of the sole and formulation of the rubber, but this Australian company also demonstrates its own clear understanding of the needs of sailors with lots of design detail in key areas. The result is desirable and a clear step forward for waterproof and breathable footwear that may be used for many hours or even days at a time.”
Special Mention: Mustang Survival Atlas 190 Pro Sensor Life Jacket; WesCom Group — sMRT ALERT DSC AIS MOB
Navigation and Communication: Raymarine Alpha Performance Display System.
This entry “stood out right from the start in this category thanks to the quality of its 7-inch and 9-inch display,” the judges said, noting that they are well designed, easy to read at distance, and can be controlled via touch screen or remotely with a compatible MFD. “The jury was particularly impressed with the Alpha Performance Display System’s performance given its lower-than-expected price point, making hi-res big screen sailing data accessible to a wider base of users.”
Special Mention: Garmin GPSMAP 9000 Series
Deck Equipment: Ronstan Orbit Winch and Harken Push/Pull Captive Reel Winch.
The judges said that both of these products represented a “significant design development” for their respective applications, hence the decision to make them joint winners of this category. With its Orbit Winch, Ronstan enables sailors to ease sheets without removing them from a self-tailer by simply holding the spring cap counter-clockwise. “The jury welcomed this excellent development for mainstream yachting and noted a number of other features including line wear-reducing vertical ‘Power Ribs’ on the winch drum, the ability to disassemble the winch without tools, and the fact it is lubricated with food grade solvent-free grease.” With its Push/Pull Captive Reel Winch, Harken has introduced a product that “moves horizontal and vertical underwater foils, sail controls, or retractable superyacht recreation spaces such as extendable stern platforms in two directions (in and out, side-to-side, up or down). Its design replaces the need for two winches and their accompanying space and power requirement.”
Special Mention: Rigging Projects X Car; Goiot Systems Magic deck hatches; Cyclops Marine smartbatten system
Propulsion & Dynamics: Oceanvolt HighPower ServoProp 25.
“Oceanvolt’s use of its controllable pitch propeller technology ensures maximum efficiency for propulsion and hydrogeneration, with the system able to return up 5kW of power when the yacht is sailing at 10 knots. Thought has been given to minimizing installation and maintenance time, and the ServoProp 25 operates from a 48V battery pack, keeping it within the safe voltage threshold. An exemplar product that pushes the electrification agenda toward more far-reaching horizons.”
Special Mention: TEMO 1000
Safety & Security Aboard: Hall Spars LiMit Collar.
Noting the increase of composite rigging and lightning strikes, the judges praised this product that has been years in development. It “provides high-conductivity seamless fuse structures at critical areas where current arcs between composite and metallic rigging parts and absorbs current at each conical end fitting.” The jury noted “excellent evidence of careful design effort including the ability for crews to conduct post-strike inspection and replacement. A welcome new safety feature for composite rigged yachts.”
Special Mention: Digital Yacht CO Alert advanced carbon monoxide detector
For more information about the DAME Design Awards and the winners: damedesignawards.com