DAME Design Awards announces new categories as nomination window opens

Thursday, 20 July 2023

The globally renowned DAME Design Awards at METSTRADE has opened for entries with new reimagined categories that reflect the rapidly changing nature of marine technology and the industry’s future customers.

The DAME is a truly unique competition that highlights the merits of excellent design in all its many facets. Everything is assessed, from functionality, and innovation, through to integration, practicality of use, price to performance ratio and presentation. Entrants must also explain how environmental impact reduction has been considered across the whole product design. Nominees and winners of this famous award enjoy valuable exposure from the well-deserved recognition of their successful products.

DAME entries in 2023 will be judged against eight completely new categories, redesigned in response to the evolving world around us. They reflect how end users are likely to interact with marine equipment in the future. They also accommodate major shifts of industry focus, such as moves towards interoperability, automation and alternative energy and propulsion. You can see the full category list below.

Entries open

METSTRADE exhibitors are encouraged to submit entries online from now until the 16 September deadline. A month-long process of virtual and physical assessment will follow, led by a highly experienced Jury of 10 comprising leading boat, interior, and industrial designers, and user experts. In a final two-day product inspection meeting at RAI Convention Center Amsterdam, they select a nominated shortlist of entries, before identifying the best product in each category. An eventual DAME Design Awards overall winner is chosen from this best of the best list. Renowned yacht designer, Andre Hoek, will once again chair the Jury this year.

DAME recognition at the heart of METSTRADE

All DAME nominated products benefit from high-profile presence on an expansive special showcase within the heart of METSTRADE in Hall 13. Category Winners and the eventual DAME Design Award Overall Winner are announced at the METSTRADE/ICOMIA Breakfast Briefing in front of many industry peers on the first day of the show. The DAME Jury also awards a series of Special Mentions and a discretionary Environmental Design Winner.

Additional exposure

The DAME is indisputably a key highlight of the year for the whole marine equipment sector. Winning and nominated companies benefit greatly from additional exposure of their products and increased commercial success. The DAME also provides valuable recognition for the often-unsung heroes behind many of the industry’s great marine equipment designs.

Winner of the DAME 2022 overall winner, Ocean Signal, capitalized on the success and exposure afforded by such a high-profile achievement for its rescueME PLB3. The company’s Managing Director James Hewitt said: “We are delighted to receive recognition from the DAME Jury. The team here dedicated many hours to perfecting an advanced Personal Locator Beacon to save thousands of lives, so it is hugely rewarding to receive this prestigious industry award.”

About the DAME

The DAME (Design Award at METSTRADE) was launched in 1991 to promote design across all disciplines and recognize the best-designed products at the METSTRADE show. In the 31 editions and one pandemic special since many hundreds of pioneering companies in the marine equipment sector, from micro businesses to large groups, have had their design achievements recognized and promoted across the industry and its customers.

Participation is open to manufacturers and authorized suppliers who are registered as exhibitors or co-exhibitors at the METSTRADE Show. Entry is made online and the METSTRADE team is available to answer questions on For more information, please see

Entries close on 16 September 2023.

New DAME categories

The DAME Categories are all completely new for this year, with revised focus on a product’s purpose and application to assist judging. The category headings are followed by a brief explanation illustrating where a boat user or marine industry professional might encounter the products being entered:

  1. Personal equipment
    If I was going on a charter, had a boat share arrangement, went boating with a friend or have my own boat, what would my personal kit be?
  2. Comfort & Entertainment afloat
    If I don’t want to go boating in a bare hull, what kinds of equipment am I likely to need to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of all afloat?
  3. Navigation & Communication
    If I was on the helm of a boat or bridge of a superyacht, what electronics and other equipment would I use to control and safely navigate it?
  4. Electronic & Electrical systems
    If I need electrical power anywhere in the boat or to make networkable devices speak to each other, what systems and equipment would I use?
  5. Propulsion & Dynamics
    If I want to move, steer, stabilise and trim the boat, what machinery and systems will I use?
  6. Deck equipment
    If I am sailing, mooring, anchoring and using the outdoor spaces on my boat, what hardware and equipment will I use?
  7. Security & Safety aboard
    What is the equipment aboard that serves specifically to keep my boat secure, safe and capable of dealing with emergencies afloat?
  8. Shoreside equipment & Materials
    What are all the items of off-vessel equipment, hardware, materials and software that help to construct and then support my boat from cradle to grave?

The Jury will additionally name a product from among the field of DAME nominations as an Environmental Design Award winner if it finds an exemplar product that is well designed and has clear and obvious merit.

DAME Charity

Every year, the DAME Awards' total registration fees are contributed to a designated charity, serving as the METSTRADE community's gesture of giving back to society. This year it has been decided by the METSTRADE Exhibition Committee that the proceeds from the DAME Awards will be donated to The Magenta Project, a passionate collective working towards greater equity and inclusion in sailing, with a focus on gender. For more information on the Magenta Project, go to


METSTRADE 2023 will run from 15-17 November 2023 at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam, celebrating its 35th anniversary.

METSTRADE is the world’s largest trade exhibition for equipment, materials and systems for the global leisure marine industry. Organised by RAI Amsterdam in cooperation with ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations), METSTRADE’s target audience includes yacht builders, naval architects, refit yards, distributors, dealers, wholesalers, captains, marina owners and marine equipment manufacturers worldwide.

In 2023, METSTRADE will run from Wednesday to Friday (15-17 November). Since the existence of METSTRADE in 1988, the show has always been from Tuesday to Thursday. This one-time change in days is to ensure that there will be sufficient build-up time for all exhibitors, as the RAI halls have a very full calendar this autumn.