The Scanstrut Venture Connect conversion kit retrospectively adapts an RS Venture, a dinghy designed for able-bodied sailors that is already in common use in many training and sailing centres. The plug and play kit includes a combined battery and control pack, a powered mainsheet winch, joystick control and sip-puff headset option.
It enables a sailing instructor to convert the boat to one suitable for use by those with a wide range of disabilities, including paraplegia, in 30 minutes.
The award was presented to Scanstrut head Tom Reed by jury chair Birgit Schnaase at the annual METSTRADE breakfast briefing.
“I think our product really enables more people to get on the water which is why we designed it,” said Mr Reed.
A further six products were named as category winners and 16 received special mentions.
“I work a lot in the superyacht sector and saw good entries that apply there, but I was also pleased to see products with personal applications that you can touch, see, feel and understand,” explained Ms Schnaase. “Our overall winner is a very good example of that.”
She added: “The marine sector’s end users are changing – the younger generations often do not have their own boat and need highly accessible products; the industry’s wealthier customers have individual and often very different ideas of what they demand of a boat and its equipment.
“We also need to be much more aware of the need to address diversity. We saw welcome evidence that products are being developed to address these market changes.”
This year’s category winners were:
Marine electronics and marine related software: SIMARINE NEREIDE Smart Marine Power Panel
Interior equipment, furnishings, materials and electrical fittings used in cabins: Besenzoni P400 Matrix
Marina equipment, boatyard equipment and boat construction tools and materials:
Deck equipment, sails and rigging: Scanstrut RS Venture Connect Conversion Kit
Clothing and crew accessories: Zhik Isotak X Extreme Ocean Sailing Apparel
Lifesaving and safety equipment: CrewWatcher submitted by Weems & Plath