ANNAPOLIS, Md., August 21, 2014 -- Are you an armchair inventor with a better way to keep boaters, sailors and anglers afloat? The BoatUS Foundation, along with the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), have teamed up to seek out the newest technologies and design ideas with the "Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition" which kicks off today. "We believe there are some creative folks out there that can help us rethink a 100-year-old design with fresh, out-of-the-box ideas," said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston. A $10,000 cash award goes to the winning designer and inventors have until April 15, 2015 to submit their idea to www.BoatUS.org/design.
"Waterway users are always looking for more comfortable life jackets," added Edmonston. "While current models of life jackets save lives every day, many are still bulky and uncomfortable, leaving boaters reluctant to wear them. This competition hopes to challenge that mindset."
Entries that embrace new technologies and non-traditional thinking are being encouraged from individuals or groups, such as high school science clubs, collegiate design programs or even boat and fishing clubs. There are no rules regarding types of materials to be used or whether the design meets any current US standards. Entries can be as simple as hand-drawn theoretical designs to working prototypes.
The entries will be judged based on four criteria: wearability, reliability, cost and innovation. "Wearability" relates to the level of comfort. "Reliability" will take into account the chances for potential failure, while "cost" will look at the affordability of the design. "Innovation" will take into account originality or the utilization of new technologies. Additionally, the BoatUS Foundation will post entries on their website and Facebook page for public voting. The winner will be announced at the September 2015 International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference in Louisville, Kentucky and additional cash prizes are offered for second and third place. For more information or to enter visit www.BoatUS.org/design.
About the BoatUS Foundation:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by the half-million members of BoatUS, it provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. To make a tax-deductible donation to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit, go to www.BoatUS.org.
About the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association:
The Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) is an affiliate of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the leading trade organization representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80% of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers in the United States. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product quality assurance and marketing communications. For more information about PFDMA, visit www.pfdma.org and visit www.nmma.org to learn more about NMMA.