World leader in marine antenna design, Shakespeare® Marine, has been announced as winner of Product of the Year at the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show 2019 for its GALAXY-INFL8, the world’s first inflatable emergency VHF antenna.
The GALAXY-INFL8 has taken the industry by storm since its launch at METSTRADE 2018, with this award adding to previous recognition from the highly prestigious DAME Design Awards and the Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards. It can be rapidly deployed via an embedded canister or manual tube and inflates to 1.6 meters (5 feet) to offer a full 3dB functioning unit and a range of up to three times greater than any existing helical emergency antenna. The GALAXY-INFL8 is also supplied with a unique splice connector, enabling fast and efficient connection to existing radio cables, which further improves the radio transmission range – another industry first.
The independent jury, chaired by Guido Beekmann, was full of praise, explaining, "With the GALAXY-INFL8 we see many applications of this inflatable antenna for a broad target group: from canoeist to applicability in liferafts. It is a safety device which is multi-applicable and can also be applied to handheld equipment by the supplied connectors."
European Sales Manager at Shakespeare® Marine, Dave Manasseh, comments, “It is an honor to have received the award for Product of the Year at the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show this year. The GALAXY-INFL8 is the culmination of years of hard work from our engineering and design specialists, and the reception it has had has been overwhelming. We’d like to thank the jury for their recognition and our distributors for their support.”
Fifteen distributors across fourteen countries worldwide are now stocking the multiple award winning GALAXY-INFL8. A game-changer for emergency communications, it has been designed with multiple features to enhance users’ safety at sea, including contrasting colors to allow it to be seen mounted on the vessel day and night and built-in reflective strips for extra visibility. The antenna is mounted with included hook and loop straps allowing for quick and easy installation in any weather, as well as grommets top and bottom to facilitate securing to masts, stanchions, outriggers or other vertical structures on board. Thanks to its inflatable design and manual valve it is reusable, so it can be deflated and stowed away safely until it is needed.
In addition to being an emergency replacement for the primary vessel antenna, the packable and storable GALAXY-INFL8 can also be adapted to improve the range of handheld VHFs, making it an ideal addition to ditch bag and even non-emergency applications where extending the range of portable VHFs is desirable.