Launch of the Refreshed BWI Website

Please visit the refreshed BWI website at BWI.org.

A few months ago, our old template finally breathed its last and we have put together refreshed content on a new platform. When visiting, please take time to verify and/or update your information on the online/self-completed directory. Our digital directory (PDF) was completed in August 2020 and will continue in its present form until August 2021. By updating the information on BWI.org, you can keep your information accurate in the meantime. 

If you have questions, please contact Zuzana Prochazka at newbwiinfo@gmail.com

2020 – 2021 Annual Members Directory Complete

The BWI Member Directory is now complete. It is available as a PDF to BWI members only.  

In addition to the listings of Active, Associate and Supporting members, plus a geographical listing of Actives, there is information on members who joined during the year, details of the 2019 Writing Contest, BWI’s Annual Gatherings summary, results of the Scholarship program, Supporting member ads and other Association information.

New Officers & Directors Elected

BWI members elected one new and two returning Directors, and its Board appointed a new Director to fill a vacancy and elected three Officers in early 2020. New to the Board are Kim Koditek and Ben Stein, appointed to fill a vacancy. New Officers are President Charlie Levine, Editor/Publisher of FishTrack.com; 1st Vice President Chris Woodward, Editor of Sport Fishing Magazine; and 2nd Vice President Brady Kay, executive editor of Pontoon & Deck Boat magazine and who oversees two additional Midwestern focused boating publications.

   Koditek is Senior Content Manager for the NMMA, leading content strategy and production for DiscoverBoating.com. She earlier was Content and Digital Editor for Boats Group. Stein is editor of Panbo.com covering the marine electronics industry. He also is electronics editor for Power & Motoryacht and Passagemaker magazines and is a regular contributor to Soundings.

   Re-elected as a Director was Lenny Rudow, a freelance writer, editor and Angler in Chief of FishTalk magazine. Those continuing on the Board are Immediate Past President Alan Jones, former Editor for Boating World Magazine; Jim Fullilove, currently chief editor of Marine Electronics Journal; Ron Ballanti, a freelance writer, photographer and operator of a marketing communications agency.

   Executive Director duties for BWI are being transitioned from Greg Proteau to Zuzana Prochazka. Proteau has served BWI for 18 years and intends to continue in volunteer roles. Prochazka has been a BWI Director since 2005 and served as President in 2010 – 11. In addition to managing BWI, she will continue as a freelance writer and photographer who contributes to a number of boating titles and operator of Zescapes, which arranges bareboat flotilla vacations at exotic destinations around the world. 

BWI Presidents on Working with Proteau

BWI Presidents who led the association during Greg Proteau’s service as Executive Director for 18 years from 2002 to 2020 offered memories of working with him as he turned over management of the group to Zuzana Prochazka at the Miami Boat Show in February. Compiled by Michael Sciulla (see more comments below), he offered an introductory phrase describing Proteau’s work as “Behind Every Leader is a Herd of Cats Yearning to be Led.” Remembrances by other BWI President’s included these:

John Wooldridge, 1985-87 (and 2012-13) – You never forget bonding with a friend. I met Greg at a Chrysler Marine press event at the Chateau Montebello resort in Canada in 1977, not long after Chris Caswell hired me to be the Inland Regional Editor of SEA Magazine. Standing on the back deck of the resort, overlooking the docks filled with Chrysler Marine boats and engines, Greg was generous to this young newbie from Chicago, where he also worked as an editor for a marine trades magazine. From that day forth, he has been mentor, confidante and lifelong friend. 

   When Greg and Bob Black approached me at the Chicago IMTEC show (Not sure of the year) about the plan to revive BWI, which had deteriorated from an active group of boating writers with a healthy newspaper outdoors writers component to a seldom-gathered coterie of drinking buddies, I said “Let’s do it.” We spread the word by phone and mail (thanks to Greg and his list) about a meeting at the winter (December or January) New York Boat Show at the old Coliseum, and had a good turnout of NY-based magazines and NE newspapers. We always had speakers from all walks of boating (APBA National Champ Betty Cook was one outstanding example) at the NYBS and MIBS events. It was a wonderful opportunity for freelancers and editors to gather over coffee and donuts/bagels, and to hear about boating sports many writers never explored. I owe both of these gentlemen more than I can say about putting me in front of a diverse group of colleagues when I was an aspiring regional boating magazine editor. I met some great writers, and some real characters. 

   I think we can all agree that our professional and personal lives have grown while he was on watch at the NMMA and at the helm of BWI. As for me, I owe him, and prize the times we have had, and will continue to have, going forward. 

Alex Zidock, 1992-93 – Eighteen years of Proteau! It seems like yesterday when I was president, and then I followed Bob Black as the ED. Joe Skorupa became president, and he and I seeded the writing contest that Greg so capably nurtured into one of the best excellence in craft yardsticks around. I recall even before he took over as the ED Greg was great to work with and was always involved. His industry insight, his gentlemanly manner, and his ability to get things done back then just smoothly transitioned into his role as BWI’s leader. Simply put, he has been right for the organization, and I enjoyed working with him. 

Jeanne Craig, 1997 I have been working in the marine industry in one capacity or another for three decades. In that time I have had the privilege to meet so many incredible people. Yet one of the most polished, professional and polite is Greg Proteau. He is one of those people who is as expert as he is generous with his time and talents. Greg, you will be missed.

Dean Travis Clarke, 1998-2000 – I worked closely with Greg throughout almost two full terms as President. I was fortunate that things ran pretty smoothly. Consequently, we were able to spend less time problem solving and more time developing an abiding friendship. One of the main things we shared was our children who rowed competitively. We even met up in Boston at the Head of the Charles Race one year. 

   Greg was the driving force of BWI. He steered our group through the day-to-day operations and the occasional rogue waves. And finally, he was also sometimes the brake that prevented us from traveling a path we shouldn’t have. Greg has been a great coxswain for BWI and I hope his future holds nothing but health and happiness for him and his family.  

Michael Verdon, 2001-02 – When Bob Black retired, I had the opportunity to become BWI Executive Director, but wanted to stay as BWI President to get my ethics rules through. Greg became ED and what good fortune for the organization that he did. Disciplined, patient and diligent, he has set a very high bar for Zuzana (which I have every confidence she’ll reach) and everyone else that follows. I feel fortunate to call Greg a friend. He’s insightful, smart, generous, unflappable and subtly sarcastic—all traits I wish I had in greater measure. He’s also served the boating writer community well during his time there and we owe him a debt of gratitude. 

Michael Sciulla, 2003-04I first met Greg sometime around 1980 when he was managing PR for NMMA and I was doing the same for BoatU.S. Relations were cool given that he represented the industry and I the consumer. That I grew up on the East coast and he the mid-West meant that we saw the world from two very different points of view. The outlook for the future was hazy at best.

   Along the way we somehow agreed to be agreeable. While I am not sure how it happened, I do know we both wanted to re-energize Boating Writers International even though it would be like herding cats. Now, some 40 years later, including about a dozen years bunking together at FLIBS and MIBS, it’s time to say au revoir mon capitan. We had a good run, did the best that we could and grew a friendship that will endure long after we set sail for our separate worlds.  

Roger Marshall, 2005-06 I think I first met Greg at the old IMTEC show in the 90s when most writers were on the staff of major magazines. At that time, the parties were raucous, the writers even more outspoken and BWI only just getting involved with the NMMA Innovation awards. Through the transition from huge press evenings (parties in other words)  Greg has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep BWI moving.

   In any organization good leadership is the glue that holds the operation together. As a former president of BWI the leadership role seemed easy until I realized that Greg Proteau was the power behind the scenes. Greg was the epoxy that enabled BWI to transition from staff editors to a gig economy. He was the tireless worker who quietly found space for meetings, helped set the agenda for those same meetings and coordinated the writing competition to the benefit of all of those of us that write about boats. His smooth, yet effacing manner enabled the real business of BWI to go on seamlessly over a long period.

Kim Kavin, 2007-09 – At times like this, when a person steps aside after years of working behind the scenes, those who worked with him often say, “So-and-so was the glue that held it all together.” Well, during my tenure as BWI president, Greg Proteau was the glue, the staples, the stitching, the screws, the bolts, the zippers, the buckles, the ties and then some.  
   Greg was a tireless manager of every last detail that needed to be handled for BWI members. His attention to those details left the elected leaders to work on big-picture items. During my tenure, the big-picture things included modernizing our newsletter, logo and website, and adapting our contest categories to the changing types of marine media. There is no way that I could have focused on getting those things done if Greg hadn’t been in the background, getting everything else done. 
   He’s also a heck of a nice guy. Those of us who have had the pleasure of working closely with Greg know that he’s always ready to pick up the phone and help, to offer advice or to just be a good friend. Greg is the kind of person we all should be blessed to be able to work with at least once in our careers. So, as he enters his next chapter, I wish Greg all the best—and I hope he knows how deeply he will be missed.

 Zuzana Prochazka, 2010-11 – “Seriously – you want the job back? I had no idea you did all this. I’ve got some big shoes to fill. Please don’t ghost me anytime soon.” 

Alan Wendt, 2014-15 – One of Greg’s largest contributions to BWI was guiding our rag-tag team of talents and bruised egos as the boating industry suffered from the Great Recession. We went from staff to freelance, watched our membership disappear as quickly as iconic boat brands. Yet he managed to fund BWI and find sponsorship for the writing contest year after year. It’s never easy being told no, yet his perseverance won the day.

   Those of us lucky enough to serve as President see how much Greg handled behind the scenes of BWI from writing, editing and publishing the monthly newsletter, to managing the membership, to coordinating the writing contest and more. Finding meeting space for board meetings, to dealing with non-payment issues for freelancers, to more serious breaches of conduct that never saw the public eye. Greg did all of this with his mild-mannered diplomatic style.  The BWI organization is stronger and better because of him and I’m confident Zuzana will lead us forward in this new decade.  

Lenny Rudow, 2016-17 – Here’s my two cents: Greg has been such a foundational part of BWI for so many year that there is much for us to be thankful for – and it’s hard to even know where to begin. But there’s one thing I have loved through the years, so let me just say this, Greg: No organizations or businesses that I have ever dealt with or ever will have provided such an intelligent, entertaining, and concise service as your yearly financial reports. Countless CEOs could learn a thing or two, from you! 

Alan Jones, 2018-19 – As executive director of BWI for nearly 20 years, Greg made the job look easy but those of us who were lucky enough to work closely with him know it was like the proverbial duck gliding gracefully on the surface while the unseen feet were furiously paddling. His political acumen and common sense approach helped navigate many complicated situations and firmly established BWI as a highly respected organization that makes us all look good by association. While I know Zuzana will do a great job in his stead, he will be a tough act to follow.

Best Boat Writing Recognized

Boating and fishing journalists, photographers and videographers were recognized at the start of the 2020 Miami International Boat Show in an annual awards program conducted by the membership of Boating Writers International (BWI). Presentations in 15 contest categories representing $15,000 in awards were made to first ($500), second ($300) and third ($200) place scorers. Cash award recipients also received a recognition plaque noting their “Excellence in creating compelling stories about the boating lifestyle through entertaining, educational and inspiring journalism.”

The BWI Writing Awards, presented for 27 years, attracted 112 participants submitting 299 entries. In addition to cash awards, 45 Certificates of Merit were presented to other entrants who scored closely to the third-place tallies in each category. All submissions to the contest were published in 2019. Each of the categories (noted below along with sponsors) was judged by four active journalists in the first few weeks of the New Year. Links to the top three entries are provided below. Results:

Seamanship, Rescue & Safety – sponsored by Sea Tow Services International

1st place, “Touching the Water” by John Rousmaniere (Cruising World); 2nd place, “Arctic Blast” by Pim Van Hemmen (Soundings); 3rd place, 3rd, “Rethinking Inflatable the MOB Recovery” by Ralph Naranjo (Practical Sailor). Jim Rhodes said, “Rousmaniere grabs the attention of the reader at the outset with a compelling and moving lead, and then delivers on the promise with a well written story based on personal experience. A thoroughly good read.” Certificates of Merit to: “Marina Upgrades Improve Safety” by David Turley (Boat US Magazine); “A Drogue by Another Name is a Rudder” by Drew Frye (Good Old Boat); “To Moor or Anchor” by Tom Zydler (Cruising World).

The Business of Boating – sponsored by Evinrude

1st, “Traditional Dealers & Independents” by Zuzana Prochazka (Marine Electronics Journal); 2nd, “Bigger, Bolder and Faster” by Eric Colby (Soundings Trade Only); 3rd, “Lifeline of the Islands” by Michael Verdon (Soundings Trade). Judge Adam Cort said of Prochazka’s article, “I quickly found myself being pulled in by this well-written, informative article. A great analysis of a vital aspect of the marine electronics industry that rarely gets the attention it deserves.” Merit Awards to “The Case for Buying a Charter Cat” by Tim Murphy (Cruising World); “The Do-It-All Machine” by Adam Quandt (Boating Industry); “Digital Threads” by Reagan Haynes (Soundings Trade); and “Electric Propulsion” by Zuzana Prochazka (Marine Electronics Journal).

Boating Photography – sponsored by Freedom Boat Club

1st, “Everyone Needs a Helping Hand” by Jan Hein (Classic Boat Magazine); 2nd, “Morning Light on Peggy’s Cove” by Dori Arrington (Passagemaker); 3rd, “Dispatches from Cuba” by Jay Fleming (Anglers Journal). Judge Steve Davis said Hein’s photograph “Captured a dynamic, high impact moment and because the camera was set at the right speed with the right aperture, its effect tells a story that draws the observer right into the action.” Merit Awards: “Memories in the Maritimes” by Dori Arrington (MarinaLife Magazine); “Rio Dulce Girl” by Craig Ligibel (Afloat Magazine); “Cruising Helmsman Cover” by Heather Francis; “Into the Mist” by Peter Nielsen (SAIL).

Boating Adventures – sponsored by Yamaha Marine Group

1st, “The Art of Cruising” by Tom Zydler (Cruising World); 2nd, “Swift Currents High Seas Adventure” by Norris Comer (Northwest Yachting); 3rd, “Chasing a Pacific High” by Ronnie Simpson (Cruising World). Judge Richard Armstrong commented, “The slow-motion adventure of a skipper/author and his artist wife as they explore the Canadian Maritimes and Greenland takes the reader on a journey past ice floes, calving icebergs, rugged terrain, and wildlife in a world most boaters will never experience.” Merit Awards: “Alone at Sea” by Erin Schanen (Sailing Magazine); “Special Delivery” by Jeff Moser (Power & Motoryacht).

Boating Videos – sponsored by Boat Owners Association of the U.S.

1st, “Palm Beach 70 Commuter Contest” by John Turner (Power & Motoryacht); 2nd, “Yamaha EXR WaveRunner” by Alan Jones (Boating World); 3rd, “Solace 345 at Newport” by John Turner (Power & Motoryacht). Judge Ben Stein noted, “I really enjoyed this video. I thought it told a story in a creative fashion while also showcasing the Palm Beach 70. The video did a really nice job romantically evoking a different time and lifestyle.”

Boat Projects, Renovations & Retrofits – sponsored by Boats Group

1st, “The Long Haul” by Pim Van Hemmen (Soundings); 2nd, “The Full Quiver” by Ronnie Simpson (Cruising World); 3rd, “Sweat, Tears and Fiberglass” by Jordan Wicht (Cruising World). Of the winner, judge Bill Sisson said, “The Long Haul had a lot of elements going for it. It was well written and captured both the history behind the 70-foot 1941 sardine carrier as well as the long effort to rebuild her as a cruising yacht.” Merit Awards: “Penbo Reborn” by Pim Van Hemmen (Soundings); “Natty Nobby” by Dieter Loibner (Soundings).

Fishing – sponsored by Suzuki Motor Corporation

1st, “Grace of the Food Chain” by Zach Harvey (Anglers Journal); 2nd, “Rooted” by Gary Reich (Anglers Journal); 3rd, “Touchdown Strategies for Sailfish” by Vincent Daniello (Sport Fishing). Says judge Brady Kay, “Grace of the Food Chain takes an exceptionally entertaining, educational, and fresh approach to a somewhat humble topic; turning it into an informative and inspirational look at the underrated experience of angling for black sea bass.”

Boating Travel or Destinations – sponsored by Kicker Marine Audio

1st, “Patience of Solomons” by Heather Francis (Cruising Helmsman); 2nd, “The Allure of the ‘Mini Loop’” by Rich Armstrong (BoatUS Magazine); 3rd, “Kenai Kingdom” by Norris Comer (Northwest Yachting). Judge Carol Pierini said, “Patience of Solomons presents a well-documented overview of the Soloman Islands, complete with extensive details for each port. From introduction to the conclusion, this story leaves little untold and is so valuable for others planning a cruise to these islands.” Merit Awards: “Still Waters Run Deep” by Simon Murray (Power & Motoryacht); “Guatemala’s Sweet River” by Craig Ligibel (Afloat Magazine); “Bareboating Florida’s Forgotten Coast” by Chris Caswell (Charter Savvy); “Riding the Rideau” by Mark Pillsbury (Cruising World); “For Love & Adventure” by Bob Arrington (Power & Motoryacht).

Boating Profiles – sponsored by ZF Marine

1st, “Perfect Patterns” by Gary Reich (Anglers Journal); 2nd “Against the Grain” by Henry Hughes (Anglers Journal); 3rd, “Bait Lady” by Bill Pike, (Anglers Journal). Of the first place piece judge Kevin Falvey said, “The author’s command of language was exercised in a reserved manner that resonated with power.” Merit Awards: “Miracle Workers” by Michael Verdon (Soundings Trade Only); “Every Boater, a Builder” by Krista Karlson (Outboard Magazine); “Hard Aground, Caught Aback” by Gary Goodlander (Cruising World); “Hardwired” by John Page Williams (Anglers Journal); “Fate and Faith” by Kim Kavin (Passagemaker). “The Oldest Tugboat Man in Baltimore” by Rafael Alvarez (Chesapeake Bay Magazine).

Boating Issues, News and Analysis – sponsored by Mercury Marine

1st, “Stone Silent” by Wendy Mitman Clarke (Soundings); 2nd, “Disappearing Act” by Lenny Rudow (Marine Electronics Journal); 3rd, “Living With Ethanol” by Drew Frye (Good Old Boat). Says judge Jim Fullilove, “Stone Silent’s intriguing lead draws us in to an account of a small-boat commercial stone crabber who may soon be put out of business by environmental factors far beyond his control. Lively, descriptive writing puts us in the middle of the action while external research lends credibility to the real-life tale.” Merit Awards: “Vancouver Liveaboards Fight for Way of Life” by Diane Selkirk (Broadview); “Wind Farms vs. Fishermen” by Kim Kavin (Soundings); “The Trickle-Up Theory” by Reagan Haynes (Soundings Trade Only); “Defending Wakesports Boats” by Eric Colby (Soundings Trade Only); “On Pings and Panic” by Kim Kavin (Soundings).

Environmental Awareness & Education – sponsored by Torqeedo, Inc.

1st, “Fish Pimping” by Callan Wink (Anglers Journal); 2nd, “Plight of Whales” by Wendy Mitman Clarke (Chesapeake Bay Magazine); 3rd, “Cold, Wet and Hell Bent” by Jeff Moser (Outboard Magazine). Judge Gary Reich said of the winner, “An intriguing and thought-provoking essay on the conflicts one fishing guide experiences when guiding clients with opposing world views and the inner struggle he wrestles with when turning the looking glass on his own profession.” Merit Awards: “Return of the Bay Scallop” by Marty LeGrand (Chesapeake Bay Magazine); “The Flammable Fix” by Kim Kavin (Soundings); “What Goes Up …” by Wendy Mitman Clarke (Chesapeake Bay Magazine).

Boat Tests & Reviews – sponsored by Volvo Penta

1st, “The Palm Beach 70” by Dan Harding (Power & Motoryacht); 2nd, “The Ice Palace” by Marilyn Mower (Boat International US); 3rd, “Vision 68 Horizon” by Norris Comer (Northwest Yachting). Said judge John Wooldridge, “Experiencing a boat doesn’t get any better than this. Well written and researched, I found the Palm Beach narrative playful, fun and entertaining. A good read.” Merit Awards: “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Chris Caswell (Boat International); “Front Row Seat” by Pim Van Hemmen (Soundings); “VIDA” by Marilyn Mower (Boat International US).

Boating Columns – sponsored by KVH Industries, Inc.

1st, “Between Fish” by Bill Sisson (Anglers Journal); 2nd, “Off Watch” by Herb McCormick (Cruising World); 3rd, “Seamanship” by Bob Arrington (Power & Motoryacht). Judge Charlie Levine said “Sisson uses a reflective tone to portray a deep love and passion for the ocean and the marine life that lives beneath its waves that inspires the reader to carve out some watery memories of his own.” Merit Awards: “Dispatches” by Gary Reich (Soundings); “Boating With Missy” by Melissa Gervais (Northwest Yachting).

Gear, Electronics & Product Tests – sponsored by Xantrex/Mission Critical Electronics

1st, “Fire and Metal” by Gary Reich (Outboard Magazine); 2nd, “Toy Story” by Jeff Hemmel (Boating); 3rd, “Sterndrive vs. Outboard” by Chris Caswell (Boating). Judge Kim Kavin says: “This was an incredibly close call in the Gear category, with only a half-point separating the winning and second-place entries. Fire and Metal edged out the competition thanks to the kind of descriptive writing we don’t often see applied to gear topics. It was a feature-style approach to covering something that often gets only technical reviews.” Merit Awards to: “Choosing and Using Jackstands” by Drew Frye (Practical Sailor); “Getting in Gear” by Kevin Falvey (Boating); “Electronic Distress Signals” by Ben Ellison (Panbo).

Boating Lifestyles – sponsored by Discover Boating

1st, “Back to the Abacos” by Tim Murphy (Cruising World); 2nd, “Sisters from Other Mothers” by Barbara Marrett (Cruising World); 3rd, “Smoke on the Water” by Simon Murray (Power & Motoryacht). Judge Betsy Haggerty noted, “In Back to the Abacos, long-ago journal entries and vivid descriptions of new experiences combine to bring readers along on a three-generation catamaran cruise that highlights the closeness of the family and the beauty of sailing in the Abacos.” Merit Awards: “Drifting” by Craig Moodie (Good Old Boat); “Chez New” by Tom Neale (BoatUS Magazine); “Kids at Heart” by Bill Pike (Outboard Magazine); “When Time Stands Still” by Krista Karlson (Power & Motoryacht).

’19 Writing Contest Launches

BWI’s Annual Writing Contest marks its 27th year to recognize exceptional creativity in boating journalism, photography and videography. Entries are being accepted in 15 categories which translates to $15,000 available in prize awards. All of the details are included in a brochure posted at https://www.bwi.org/downloads/BWI-Contest-19.pdf. The electronic entry form (https://www.bwi.org/bwicontest) provides the process for uploading entries, “doing the paperwork,” and paying dues by check or PayPal or through a publisher. BWI members get two free entries; non-members can enter at $50 apiece (or join for $100 and get the two free entries).

   This year’s categories include those recently added or revised: “Boating Lifestyles,” “Boat Projects, Renovations & Retrofits,” “Boating Videos,” and “Boating Photography.” Entries in all categories are welcome from digital-only — including blogs and on-line videos — or traditional print sources. Category definitions are included in the contest brochure.

   The contest recognizes the best marine writing and imaging in the world and presents cash awards to first- ($500), second- ($300) and third-place ($200) scorers in each category. Presentation of awards will be made at the Miami International Boat Show during the BWI Annual Meeting in February 2020.

   Deadline for entries is December 31, 2019.

Scholarship Apps, Donations

In its second year, BWI’s Scholarship effort is looking for donations to fund and applications for giving the money to an undergraduate college student showing promise for boating journalism. Donations from all BWI members are welcome and can qualify as tax deductible as the fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. Members can also encourage students to apply by directing them to the application posted at www.bwi.org/downloads/scholarship/BWI-Scholarship-App-20.pdf. Donations can be made out to BWI Scholarship Fund and sent to Robert Beringer, 4599 Deep River Pl., Jacksonville, FL 32224. For questions, contact Beringer at robertberinger@yahoo.com.

New Director Joins BWI Board

BWI members re-elected two Directors, welcomed a new Director and its Board elected three Officers in early 2019. Newly elected to the Board is Ron Ballanti while returning Officers are President Alan Jones, Editor for Boating World Magazine; 1st Vice President Charlie Levine, Editor/Publisher of FishTrack.com; and 2nd Vice President Chris Woodward, Editor of Sport Fishing Magazine.

Ballanti is a freelance writer and photographer and president of Strike Zone Communications, a marketing communications agency based in Chatsworth, CA specializing in the boating, marine electronics, fishing and outdoor markets for the past 15 years. He has been a regular editiorial contributor to marine publications for more than 25 years, including Boating, Boat/US, Salt Water Sportsman, Sport Fishing, Anglers Journal, Soundings, Western Outdoor News, Pacific Coast Sportfishing and others. Ballanti has routinely chaired and judged BWI Writing Contest categories and has earned nine Writing Awards. He is currently serving on the BWI Scholarship Committee.

Continuing as Directors are: Immediate Past President Lenny Rudow, a freelance writer, editor and Angler in Chief of FishTalk magazine; Zuzana Prochazka, a freelance writer and photographer who contributes to a number of boating titles; Jim Fullilove, currently chief editor of Marine Electronics Journal; Brady Kay, executive editor of Pontoon & Deck Boat magazine and who oversees two additional Midwestern focused boating publications; and Gary Reich, senior editor at Soundings and senior writer at Anglers Journal.

BWI Executive Director Greg Proteau serves as secretary/treasurer of the board. All Directors are profiled on the BWI website at https://www.bwi.org/about-us/.

BWI Awards First Scholarship

A key highlight of the Annual BWI Annual meeting at the 2019 Miami Boat Show was the presentation of BWI’s Inaugural Scholarship award. A check for $2,000 was awarded to Carly Sisson, currently studying at the University of Vermont. Accepting her award was Daniel Harding, Editor-in-Chief of Power & Motoryacht Magazine and Outboard Magazine. Even though she is still in college, Sisson has already had several feature articles published in the pages of these titles, proving both her journalistic talent and her passion for boating.

Perhaps neither of these qualities should come as a surprise, given that her father is Bill Sisson, Editor-in-Chief of Anglers Journal Magazine and a longtime member of the boating press corps.

Getting to this point for BWI took a lot of hard work, the bulk of which was done by member Robert Beringer, who jumped in and took on all the filings and paperwork required to establish a separate 501(c)3 organization, bank account, and the like. As a result, the BWI Scholarship Fund is ready to continue and grow in the future – and work is already underway to make it even bigger and better next year.

This year’s award was made possible through the generosity and support of two BWI Supporting Member companies. Suzuki Marine, who has been a sponsor the BWI Writing Awards every year since the beginning, and relatively new BWI Supporting Member Chevron Lubricants, each contributed $1,000 to the scholarship fund. Dean Corbisier of Suzuki Marine and Joe DeFina of Chevron Lubricants were both present at the breakfast and helped present Carly Sisson’s check.

Additional details about the Scholarship effort can be found at https://www.bwi.org/scholarship-fund/.

Best Boating Journalism Gains Annual Awards

Boating and fishing journalists, photographers and videographers were recognized at the start of the 2019 Miami International Boat Show in an annual awards program conducted by the membership of Boating Writers International (BWI). Presentations in 16 contest categories representing $16,000 in awards were made to first ($500), second ($300) and third ($200) place scorers. Cash award recipients also received a recognition plaque noting their “Excellence in creating compelling stories about the boating lifestyle through entertaining, educational and inspiring journalism.”

The BWI Writing Awards, presented for 26 years, attracted 119 participants submitting 343 entries. In addition to cash awards, 47 Certificates of Merit were presented to other entrants who scored within 95 percent of third-place tallies in each category. All submissions to the contest were published in 2018. Each of the categories (noted below along with sponsors) was judged by four active journalists in the first few weeks of the New Year. Links to the top three entries in each category are provided. Results:

The Business of Boating – sponsored by Evinrude

First, “Wanted: New Boaters” by Reagan Haynes (Soundings Trade Only, April); Second, “What Women Want in Boating” by Fiona McGlynn (BoatU.S. Magazine, Oct.); Third, “True Original” by Bill Pike (Outboard, Oct.). Haynes’ article, “Did more than merely report business news but delved into different aspects of the issues facing our industry, included numerous expert viewpoints, considered possible solutions, and managed to remain entertaining and interesting all at the same time,” said judge Lenny Rudow. Certificate of Merit: “Boating’s New Gold Rush” by Michael Verdon (Soundings Trade Only, Oct.).

Boating Photography – sponsored by Freedom Boat Club

1st, “A Last, Best Place” by Jessica Haydahl Richardson (Anglers Journal, Jan.); 2nd, “Cuba Lighthouse” by Zuzana Prochazka (Sail, Oct.); 3rd, “Running Downwind” by Craig Ligibel (Afloat Magazine, Jan.). Judge Reagan Haynes said the top award offered “The contrast and composition of beautiful scenery, human faces, fish, fishing, and food. These kinds of spreads take a lot of thought, planning, and work to create the right composition, lighting, and visual interest.” Merit Award to “From Parts to Pontooning” by Brady Kay (Pontoon & Deck Boat Magazine, March).

Boating Adventures – sponsored by Yamaha Marine Group

1st, “The Last Wave” by Herb McCormick (Cruising World, Sept.); 2nd, “Searching for Guo” by Ronnie Simpson (Cruising World, Feb.); 3rd, “Fast to the Finish” by Simon Murray (Outboard, Sept.). Judge Bob Arrington described the first choice as, “A pulse-pounding story of survival that reminds us that adventures, even for seasoned bluewater sailors, always come with life-threatening risk. The writer successfully draws the reader onboard during a harrowing experience with a brave globe-trotting couple.” Merit Awards to “The Rata of Seville” by Ed Zacko (Good Old Boat, Sept.); “An Ida May Day” by Wendy Mitman Clarke (Chesapeake Bay, May); “The 700-Mile Corner” by Webb Chiles (Cruising World, Sept.); “Aleutian Summer” by Kate Laird (Sail, May).

Boating Videos – sponsored by Boat Owners Association of the U.S.

1st, “Tige ZX1: Boat Review” by Kim Koditek (Boats.com, Nov. 30); 2nd, “Drones Measure Health of Magothy River” by Cheryl Costello (Chesapeake Bay Video, Nov. 27); 3rd, “Crab Cup Highlights Accessible Sailing on the Bay” by Cheryl Costello (Chesapeake Bay Video, Aug. 21). Judge Tony Esposito said the Tige review, “Combined a good visual depiction of the boat with some dynamic demonstrations of how the boat is actually used. Good information presented in an engaging fashion with high production values.” Merit Certificates to: “Dock Your Twin Outboard” by Paul Cronin (BoatUS Video, April 13); “Cape Horn 27 Review” by Lenny Rudow (FishTalk Video, March 11).

Technical Writing – sponsored by Dometic Marine

1st, “Fit and Fueled” by Alvah Simon (Cruising World, April); 2nd, “Back in the Saddle” by Jeff Hemmel (Boating, March); 3rd, “Love Me Tender” by Norris Comer (Northwest Yachting, March). “Fit and Fueled is well written and impeccably researched. This article is a must-read for all boaters who rely on their trusty diesel engines,” offered judge Peter Nielsen.

Fishing – sponsored by Suzuki Motor Corporation

1st, “Alaska Unfiltered” by Greg Thomas (Anglers Journal, Jan.); 2nd, “Last of Its Kind” by Lenny Rudow (Anglers Journal, Oct.); 3rd, “Calculus of Fluke” by Zach Harvey (Anglers Journal, July). Says judge Pete McDonald, “The memoir of a youth spent in Alaska deftly weaves the experiences of fishing for one’s livelihood and for fun in every angler’s dream destination. It brings to mind the enthusiasm of youth, and how going from being employed to unemployed and back again should never crush your passion for adventure.” Merit Awards: “Weed Science” by Jim Hendricks (Sport Fishing, Jan.); “You Can Go Back Again” by Alan Jones (Boating World, Sept.); “Casting for Recovery” by Marty LeGrand (Chesapeake Bay, May); and “Supershark” by Vincent Daniello (Sport Fishing, April).

Boating Travel or Destinations – sponsored by The Moorings

1st, “A Fever for South Georgia” by Thies Matzen (Cruising World, Dec.); 2nd, “You’ll Want to See This” by Jody Argo Schroath (Chesapeake Bay, Jan.); 3rd, “Northern Exposure” by Herb McCormick (Cruising World, May). Of the first award judge Alan Jones said, “This enthralling tale of two winters and three summers spent exploring Antarctic waters is poetry disguised as prose.” Merit Awards: “A Different Kind of Cruising” by Nigel Calder (Sail, June); “That Cuban Mystique” by Jennifer Brett (Cruising World, July); “Palau: An Unexpected Paradise” by Heather Francis (Cruising World, Oct.); “Favorite Harbors of the Great Lakes” by Niels Jensen (BoatU.S. Magazine, Aug.); “Going With the Flow of Time” by Bernadette Bernon (BoatU.S. Magazine, Dec.).

Boating Profiles – sponsored by ZF Marine

1st, “Lefty” by Gary Reich (Anglers Journal, Jan.); 2nd, “Cat Man” by Sam Fortescue (Multihull Sailor, Oct.); 3rd, “Roscioli Paints Career Path of Innovation, Inspiration” by Dorie Cox (The Triton, Sept.). “Now that’s a profile, and I don’t even fish! Sounds like a great guy!” exclaimed judge Adam Cort about “Lefty.” Merit Awards: “An Artist’s Eye” by Rich Armstrong (BoatU.S. Magazine, Feb.); “The Maker” by Wendy Mitman Clarke (Chesapeake Bay, Jan.); “Risen from the Ashes” by Dieter Loibner (Sail, April); “It’s Showtime” by Jeff Hemmel (Boating, Nov.); “The Maine Difference” by Daniel Harding (Power & Motoryacht, June); “Postgame” by Frank Saccente (Anglers Journal, April); “Deep Water Man” by Stephen Blakely (Fine Books & Collections, Autumn).

Boating Issues, News and Analysis – sponsored by Mercury Marine

1st, “ACLU Joins Boater’s Case Against Suspicion-less On-Water Searches” by Kim Kavin (Soundings, July); 2nd, “Future Shock” by Bill Pike (Power & Motoryacht, Oct.); 3rd, “Why I Hate Sea Lions” by Jim Hendricks (Boating, Jan.). Says judge Kelly Flory, “Kavin draws you in with an intriguing lead, then skillfully guides you through the complex legal battle one boater has faced in defending personal liberty … it was humanized by the framing and strategic use of quotes.” Merit Awards to “Living in Violation” by Diane Selkirk (Pacific Yachting, Oct.); “Hidden, Deadly Dangers in Marina Waters” by Eric Colby (Soundings Trade Only, May); “The Ethanol Alternative” by Charles Fort (BoatU.S. Magazine, Aug.); and “Driven by Design” by Chris Caswell (Power & Motoryacht, Aug.).

Environmental Awareness & Education – sponsored by Torqeedo, Inc.

1st, “The Count” by Marty LeGrand (Chesapeake Bay, June); 2nd, “Slowing Atlantic ‘Conveyor Belt’ Will Bring Rising Sea Levels” by Kim Kavin (Soundings, Aug.); 3rd, “All Washed Up” by Craig Ritchie (Boating New Zealand, Oct.). “LeGrand puts us on the water and right in the middle of one of the most fascinating and complicated U.S. fisheries management issues. This review of the plight of the Chesapeake Bay blue crab offers a fair and in-depth look at the day-to-day challenges faced by fisheries programs around the country,” offers judge Darrell Nicholson. Merit Certificates: “Wayne Gilchrest Then and Now” by Nancy Taylor Robson (Chesapeake Bay, Jan.); and “Volvo Ocean Racers Test the Waters” by Cynthia Houston (Spin Sheet Magazine, July).

Boat Tests & Reviews – sponsored by Volvo Penta

1st, “Bigger Faster Stronger” by Pim Van Hemmen (Soundings, Oct.); 2nd, “Whaler Montauk 170” by John Page Williams (Chesapeake Bay, Jan.); 3rd, “Buddy Davis 42CC” by Pete McDonald (Sport Fishing, Jan.).  Said judge John Wooldridge, “Identifying and explaining an emerging class of boats can be challenging, but Van Hemmen draws on multiple sources of information and hands-on experience, blended with well-honed writing skills, to craft a balanced, informative, entertaining feature.” Merit Awards to: “65 Feet and an Army of Horses” by Dan Harding (Outboard Magazine, Nov.); and “MJM Yachts 35Z” by Kevin Falvey (Boating, Oct.).

Boating Columns – sponsored by KVH Industries, Inc.

1st, “Between Fish” by Bill Sisson (Anglers Journal); 2nd, “On the Wind” by Chris Caswell (Sailing); 3rd, “Uncharted Waters” by Bill Pike (Power & Motoryacht). Judge Charlie Levine said the first-place entry “Uses vivid language and a reminiscent tone of voice that captures the magic and joy of time spent on the water pursing a love of fish. These columns combine a nostalgic look back at how these pursuits have shaped the author as a person.” Merit Certificate to “Editor’s Letter” by Alan Jones (Boating World).

Seamanship, Rescue & Safety – sponsored by Sea Tow Services International

1st, “Back to School” by Simon Murray (Power & Motoryacht, May); 2nd, “Crossing the Big Blue” by Alvah Simon (Cruising World, Sept.); 3rd, “Confronting Calamity” by David Schmidt (Yachting, March). “From the lead sentence, Murray captured the reader’s attention, and held it throughout this well-written article. He writes with a seemingly effortless style for easy reading with personal anecdotes that helped drive home the message,” offered judge Jim Rhodes. Merit Awards: “Rudder Failure” by Robin Urquhart (Sail, March); “Sea Tow Rescue Heroes” by Pete McDonald (Boating, May); “Rushing to the Rescue” by Chris Caswell (Dockwalk, May).

Gear, Electronics & Product Tests – sponsored by Xantrex/Schneider Electric

1st, “Snap Hooks Under the Scope” by Drew Frye (Practical Sailor, March); 2nd, “Tackle Myths, Debunked” by Lenny Rudow (FishTalk Magazine, Nov.); 3rd, “Scream Machines” by Jeff Hemmel (Boating, June). Judge Tom Serio says of the winning entry, “A tremendous amount of research must have gone into this story, as it is chock-full of information for anyone who uses snap hooks. The author started with a situation, explained what happened, introduced and compared products, and offered a recommendation. Nice work!” Merit Awards to: “Drag Queens” by Adam Cort (Sail, May); “Crew Overboard” by Jennifer Brett (Cruising World, Dec.); “Expertly Equipped” by David Schmidt (Yachting, March).

Boating Lifestyles – sponsored by Discover Boating

1st, “Floating Time” by Craig Moodie (Good Old Boat, Aug.); 2nd, “Flotilla Freedom” by Norris Comer (Northwest Yachting, Sept.); 3rd, “Cocktail Class Family Racing” by Ann Eichenmuller (Chesapeake Bay, June). Says judge Betsy Haggerty of the first place piece, “In this beautifully written short essay, the author’s vivid poetic description captures the quiet magic of spending an afternoon floating on a calm sea in a small boat that never leaves its mooring.” Certificates of Merit: “The Special, Please” by Jan Hein (All at Sea, June); “An Ode to the Shallows” by Jim Papa (BoatU.S. Magazine, Aug.); “A Matter of Time” by Jeanne Craig (Outboard Magazine, Nov.); “When Mar-a-Lago Went to Sea” by Janet Groene (Explore Magazine/Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, June); “Sailing a Piece of History” by Craig Ligibel (Sailing, May).

Boat Projects, Renovations & Retrofits – sponsored by Evinrude

1st, “Tempest Temptations” by Gary Goodlander (Cruising World, Jan.); 2nd, “The ABCs of OCP” by Nigel Calder (Professional BoatBuilder, Oct.); 3rd, “Trailer Lovin’ Care” by Chris Caswell (Boating World, Nov.). Of Temptations, judge Dieter Loibner said, “Delightful, gratifying and educational. This piece entertains and informs while presenting a strong case for reusing what others discarded – all with a good dose of humor and caution.” Merit Awards: “Battling with Ball Valves” by Ed Zacko (Good Old Boat, Jan.); “Restoring a Beacon of Hope” by Kim Kavin (Soundings, Jan.); “A Slight Inconvenience” by Cliff Steele (BoatU.S. Magazine, Dec.).