The 2021 BWI Annual Contest Winners

The BWI Writing Awards, presented for 29 years, attracted 95 participants submitting 273 entries. In addition to cash awards, 30 Certificates of Merit were presented to other entrants who scored close to the third-place tallies in each category. All submissions to the contest were published in 2021. Each of the categories was judged by four active journalists in the first few weeks of the New Year. Complete results are posted on this website at

The 2020 BWI Annual Contest Winners

Boating Journalists Recognized for Best Writing & Imaging

Boating and fishing journalists, photographers and videographers were recognized on February 18, 2021 in an annual awards program conducted virtually by and for the membership of Boating Writers International (BWI).

In BWI’s 2020 Contest, presentations in 15 contest categories representing $15,000 in cash 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 boating through entertaining, educational and inspiring journalism.”

This year’s BWI Awards (presented now for 28 years) attracted 108 participants submitting 283 entries. In addition to cash awards, 29 Certificates of Merit were presented. All submissions to the contest were published in 2020. Each of the categories (noted below along with sponsors) was judged by four active journalists in the first few weeks of 2021.


Boating Lifestyles – sponsored by Discover Boating

1st, “Sailing for the Soul” by Wendy Mitman Clarke (Soundings)

2nd “Just an Old Chart” by Chris Caswell (Passagemaker)

3rd, “Canoe Kids” by Heather Francis (Cruising World)

Judge Ben Stein commented on the winner: “’Sailing for the Soul’ makes us feel a mother’s pain of losing a son and invites us to join her journey to salvation by learning to sail.”

Boating Photography – sponsored by Freedom Boat Club

1st, “Yellow Warbler” by Pim Van Hemmen (Soundings)

2nd, “Schooner Mary Rose” by Jan Hein (Antiqua Yacht Regatta)

3rd, “Finn the Fish Dog” by Lenny Rudow (FishTalk Magazine)

Judge David Schmidt said: “This yellow warbler made this judge smile on a rainy day. I hope the bird enjoyed its ride as much as the photographer enjoyed capturing its image.”

Boating Issues, News and Analysis – sponsored by Mercury Marine

1st, “Barf-o-Rama” by Lenny Rudow (FishTalk Magazine)

2nd, “The Chaos is Real” by Kim Kavin (Soundings)

3rd, “3D Printing and Boatbuilding” by Kim Kavin (Yachting)

Judge John Burnham said: “Marine journalists have written this story hundreds of times, but never with such originality and such an irrepressible voice, backed up by thorough research and solid structure leading to a remarkably fair evaluation of different seasickness remedies.” If people can hire yacht services, yacht rentals need to c=be checked out!

Merit Awards: “Outlook for Cruising 2021” by Behan Gifford (Cruising World), “Goodbye to an Old Friend” by Craig Ritchie (, “Outboard of Tomorrow” by Bill Pike (Outboard Magazine).

Environmental Awareness & Education – sponsored by Torqeedo

1st, “Blue Bloods and Red Knots” by Wendy Mitman Clarke (Chesapeake Bay Magazine)

2nd, “Technology Allows Boaters to Follow the Whales” by Fiona McGlynn (BoatUS Magazine)

3rd, “Green is the New Black” by Lydia Mullan (SAIL Magazine)

Judge John Page Williams noted: “This is a fascinating but necessarily brief look into the lives of multiple whale species, leaving the reader wanting much more. There’s at least one book here.”

Merit Awards: “Plastic Surgery: Could Microplastics Change the Face of Fishing” by Joe Sills (Bassmaster Magazine), “When Good Boats Go Bad” by Fiona McGlynn (BoatUS Magazine), “A Few Good Women” by Ann Eichenmuller (Chesapeake Bay Magazine).

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

1st, “Sunk by a Whale” by Peter Nielsen (Yachting World)

2nd, “Riddles in the Dark” by Michael Robertson (Good Old Boat)           

3rd, “The Conception Tragedy” by Chris Caswell (Boating)

Jim Rhodes commented: “An unusual first person story well told — with an important takeaway safety for readers.”

Merit Awards: “Fat Advice for Heavy Weather” by Fatty Goodlander (Cruising World), “Old Salts” by D.B. Davies (Good Old Boat), “End of His Rope” by John Vigor (Good Old Boat).

Boat Tests & Reviews – sponsored by Volvo Penta

1st, “The Great Avocette” by Kevin Koenig (Boat International)

2nd, “Marquis 42” by Chris Caswell (Boating)

3rd, “Building Buffet’s Boat” by Charlie Levine (Outboard Magazine)

Judge Mark Corke commented: “A mix of history twinned with a review of an interesting project makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read, which is a step up from many boat tests.”

Merit Awards:  “Outback Bahamas” by Chris Caswell (Power & Motoryacht), “Aluminum Express” by Alex Kwanten (Northwest Yachting), “Azimut’s New $1.8 Day Boat” by Michael Verdon (Robb Report).

Fishing – sponsored by Suzuki Motor Corporation

1st, “Halibut Hunter” by David Zoby (Anglers Journal)

2nd, “Big Time” by Simon Murray (Anglers Journal)

3rd, “Unbelievable True Story of How Memphis Pyramid became Bass Pro Shop” by Joe Sills (Forbes)

Judge Deborah Hanson noted: “This story stirs the emotions and concludes with a powerful message about finding common ground amidst differences. An outstanding piece.”

Merit Award: “The Hunt for Goliath” by Doug Stamm (BoatUS Magazine).

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

1st, “One Wing Flapping” by John Vigor (Good Old Boat)

2nd, “Electric Dreams” by Fiona McGlynn (BoatUS Magazine)

3rd, “No Visible Means of Support” by Robert Mazza (Good Old Boat)

Judge Steve Davis said of the winner: “The product’s technical characteristics are woven within a humorous telling of its history through real-life experiences and a personal perspective that made for an enjoyable read.”

Merit Awards:  “Non-Lethal Self-Defense” by Ann Hoffner (Ocean Voyager),  “Taking Charge” by Drew Frye (Good Old Boat),  “Waterproof Epoxy” by Drew Frye (Good Old Boat).

Boat Projects, Renovations & Retrofits – sponsored by Boats Group

1st, “Faux Future” by Vincent Daniello (Marlin Magazine)

2nd, “Repower Assisted” by Andy Cross (Good Old Boat)

3rd, “Staying Power” by Edward Zacko (Good Old Boat)

Of the winner, judge Bill Sisson said: “This piece is well written and well sourced and anyone considering the question of real or faux wood will come away better informed.”

Merit Awards: “Sail Smarts for Cruisers” by Jamie Gifford (Cruising World), “Ahead of the Game” by Jerry Thompson (Good Old Boat), “Billy Pilgrim’s Progress” by Leslie Davidson (Cruising World).

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

1st, “Deep Impact: BUI Touches Law Enforcement” by Randy Vance (Boating Magazine)

2nd “Sea-Doo Lifestyle” by Jeff Hemmel (Boating Magazine)

3rd, “PWC Safety” by Jeff Hemmel (Boating Magazine)

Judge Chris Woodward had this to say about the winner: ” This important message about Boating Under the Influence was well crafted. It left out the preaching and humanized law-enforcement’s handling of an issue that can seem very predictable and cliche.”

Merit Award: “Blackfin Boats Factory Tour” by Randy Vance (Boating Magazine).

The Business of Boating – sponsored by BRP

1st, “Pandemic Boat Buying” by Kim Kavin (Passagemaker)

2nd, “Return to Lake X” by Craig Ritchie (Boating New Zealand)

3rd“Tech Support” by Lenny Rudow (Marine Electronics Journal)

Judge Alan Wendt noted: “Every aspect of our life is entangled with this Pandemic. The writer had solid quotes and a wide example of solutions the industry is harnessing to survive this once in a century calamity.”

Merit Award: “Autonomous Vessels” by Zuzana Prochazka (Marine Electronics Journal).

Boating Columns – sponsored by KVH Industries, Inc.

1st, “A Dash of Salt” by Chris Caswell (Passagemaker)

2nd, “Between Fish” by Bill Sisson (Anglers Journal)

3rd, “Off Watch” by Herb McCormick (Cruising World)

Judge Charlie Levine said “The author’s voice is crisp and vivid throughout the columns. They are fun to read, and hard to put down.”

Merit Awards: “Waterlines” by Charlie Doane (SAIL Magazine), “Three Separate Columns” by Bill Pike (Power & Motoryacht).

Boating Travel or Destinations – sponsored by Kicker Marine Audio

1st, “A Tough Little Loop” by Stephen Blakely (Cruising World)

2nd, “How to Die Happy” by Kevin Koenig (Yachting)

3rd, “The River that Flows Both Ways” by Pim Van Hemmen (Soundings)

Judge Alan Jones said:  “The author puts the reader right into the rain and spray-drenched cockpit of their 26-foot sailboat on a tough but memorable 400-mile slog.” 

Merit Award: “Pristine Glacier Bay” by Andy Cross (48° North Magazine).

Boating Profiles – sponsored by ZF Marine

1st, “Threading the Needle” by Pim Van Hemmen (Soundings)

2nd, “Able Artisan” by Dieter Loibner (Soundings)

3rd, “Stand Up Draftsman” by Fiona McGlynn (Good Old Boat Magazine)

Judge Lenny Rudow said: “Many profile pieces wouldn’t be described as ‘gripping,’ but this one certainly was. The author kept up a great tempo and turned a very interesting subject into a topnotch article.”

Merit Awards: “The Maestro” by Fionna McGlynn (Good Old Boat Magazine), “Legend of Al Grover” by Daniel Harding (Outboard Magazine).

Boating Adventures – sponsored by Yamaha Marine Group

1st, “One Tack and Two Gibes” by Andy Cross (48° North Magazine)

2nd, “Sailing to the Center of the Earth” by Stephen Blakely (Cruising World)

3rd, “Slow Race to Alaska” by Jan Hein (Classic Boat Magazine)

Judge Richard Armstrong commented: “There’s great spirit throughout this inspiring account. The overall effect is thrilling and attractive to adventurous boaters.”

Merit Awards: “True North” by Benoit Fleury (Good Old Boat), “Shock & Awe” by Herb McCormick (Cruising World), “School Daze” by Jon Whittle (Cruising World).

About BWI

BWI is a non-profit professional organization consisting of writers, editors, broadcasters, publishers, photographers, public relations specialists and others in the communications profession associated with the boating industry. Members include active marine journalists across the U.S., Canada and around the world. For more information, visit

Launch of the Refreshed BWI Website

Please visit the refreshed BWI website at

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, you can keep your information accurate in the meantime. 

If you have questions, please contact Zuzana Prochazka at

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; 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 She earlier was Content and Digital Editor for Boats Group. Stein is editor of 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 The electronic entry form ( 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 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