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Protomet Product Innovation: Ibex Award Winner

Discussion in 'YachtForums Yacht Club' started by JWY, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Protomet G4 Tower for Malibu

    This was the Innovative Award Winner for the Boatbuilding Methods and Materials category. The nondescript name didn’t induce me to be particularly interested anymore than the pictures and promo material I had seen. In spite of my zero interest in this add-on piece of equipment, I was blown away by the product and company once I saw it in person and got educated on the company behind it. Malibu Boats provided a tower design for their watersport boats and Protomet was hired to build it. Protomet engineers invested over 5,000 hours in design, analysis, and engineering. The styling is sleek and elegant and the engineering is brilliant. The parameters were for the tower (looks like a backwards radar arch and serves as a platform for housing skis, boards, and accessories) to fold under the windshield, be a one person operation, have zero pinch points, concealed shocks, unexposed wiring, integrated docking and cabin lights, swivel racks for quadboard storage, automatic lock in up position, and to house theaters size speakers that aren’t head-clunkers. The result was a space age contiguous work of art that offered the first ski/wake tower to incorporate an aircraft underbody superstructure honeycomb design. It was constructed of 100% billet aluminum without tube or cast components and had zero welds. Mission accomplished. But like that wasn’t enough, the build process was innovative. Protomet has “Lean Advisors” to streamline and economize their manufacturing process. They produce 50 unique components a day. This provides an incredible system of automative efficiency with the ability to customize and deliver specific towers in a 24 hour window to meet production requirements.

    Protomet Product Innovation is just what their name says. If I needed cutting edge manufacturing or design, Protomet would be the go to company.

    Judy Waldman

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
  2. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    Judy,
    Thank you...for the first(hopefully) of many reviews! I'm just going to chalk up no photo's to having to use the new format? I've seen these arches on the upscale triple pontoon boats, I'm not sure that Protomet manufactured them...buy they are very innovative, and it also adds a unique line to the boat. When you said that they were billet aluminum without tubes or cast components without welding...that would be something I'd like to see! I'm going to go do a google search...see what I can find.
  3. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Thanks, Neo! Forget Protomet, I posted my photo after not having one on YF for 10 years! Seriously, I will post pictures soon! Am still playing catchup.
  4. Look something like this?

    http://www.malibuboats.com/video/22vlx.html


    This is perhaps a much better vid - more to the point of the Tread.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2014
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    How much money can you pour into a ski boat?
    Ouch....
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    A lot...adjustments to make different variation of wakes for wakeboarding, skiing and other. Malibu has boats that run upwards of $100,000 fully equipped. I just checked with all equipment and arrived at $140,000 for one.
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    $140K, that's more than Ouch.
    I was interested in that drop foil on the A%$ (stern). Were we just talking about some bilge or hull after foil on another thread?
  8. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Found it; Hull Vane.
    Still an interesting idea.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Mastercraft and Nautique go up to around $180,000 on their most expensive boats. Supra hits around $140,000 at the top. The run of the mill ski boats in the $50,000 - $80,000 range. Boats for tournament competition first raised the price but then lake boaters wanted those same boats. The competitions are seeming to slow down a bit now.

    Technologically very advanced boats. You started with ski boats, then wakeboarding boats, and other specialties. They building hybrid boats that you could adjust with things like the rear foil to make different wakes.
  10. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    No need to mustard JWY, you've done enough, One of our intrepid posters found Malibu boats. My first search to Protomet Products Innovation produced a company who made mirrors...nothing on the arch I could find. Not to worry. These talented people on here can fill in any blanks, with the possibility of not being able to name the boat that belongs to the bridge on the Furuno ad on page 62 of this months PMY.:D But seriously Judy, aside from the winners, I would like for you to talk about your personal insights, into products that impressed you, that didn't make the winners list. I'm sure that there were products that impressed you outside of the panels choices. I'm sure the rest of "our" group would be interested as well. And one other question...if they asked you again, would you attend as a member of the panel?
  11. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    Very impressive boat! Although I have to point out a concern about the wake surfing mode. If you'll recall a few years ago several people died from Carbon Monoxide(Dioxide?) poisoning from "platform surfing". If memory serves these are inboard boats with the exhaust exiting the transom, in that video, the wake surfer looks very close to the transom. Maybe noxious fumes at that distance dissipates to the point of being non lethal?
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
  12. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Thanks to my YF Buddies for providing comments, insights, and additional information. I plan on posting each of the category winners and the honorable mentions. AND there are numerous products either not entered in the Awards competition or that didn’t make the first choice for winner - definitely products worth presenting to YF. Although I had attended IBEX in years past, it was with a different orientation this time and was one of the most educational events I have attended (and I didn't even attend any of the 55 seminars offered). It dramatically broadened and deepened my boat knowledge and gave a big boost to my enthusiasm for yachting: not too many new builders in the last few years and the marine industry seemed rather ho-hum. IBEX was an eye-opener for me. I would beg to be back on the panel next year, even if it is in Kentucky. Keep an eye on General threads as I hope to post some market trends and comments there. And the Technical forum will hopefully get loaded up with interesting products, some market specific, others with across the spectrum applications. I am asking some of the companies for specific photos and will post upon receipt. Many that were in our presentations can't be copied.
  13. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    I've done a lot of wake surfing, the only situation where carbon monoxide would be a problem would be an old boat in a narrow stretch of river with high walls. On an open lake with some airflow, it's not a big deal. Even better with modern boats that run catalytic converters. My 08 Mastercraft was one of few boats I've owned that you didn't smell exhaust, of course it was one of few injected, stock boats I've owned. I have watched an old beater ski boat, blowing smoke, trying to tow a wakeboarder, and sending a few people to the er, but I've also seen people try to surf behind stern drives and outboards, and that turns out worse.

    Malibu and Moomba have been running streamlined towers for a while now, but this one does look like an improvement. Hopefully they have the deck reinforced properly from the get go this time, their first years of the older aero-tower had a few issues, but their warranty is excellent and customer service is great in this area. It could be a neat product, and one I would like to try out.

    Thanks for the review Judy, neat new toys to look into...