“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.