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Spotlight

2024 DAME Design Awards opens for entries and announces chosen charity

Wednesday, 10 July 2024

The closely contested DAME Design Awards at METSTRADE for leisure marine equipment is now open for nominations with entrants directly contributing to providing better watersports holidays and experiences for people with disabilities through Dutch charity SailWise.

Across its 33 editions the DAME has achieved unrivalled recognition in the global marine equipment sector for encouraging excellent end-to-end design practices that make boating more accessible, pleasurable, and sustainable for the industry’s customers. Its roll call of winners and nominees include many products from small businesses to large companies that have influenced the development of the whole marine equipment sector. 

A panel of highly experienced Jury members assesses the total design of each entry in all design aspects including aesthetics, functionality, efficiency, environment, and innovation. The awards highlight the efforts of manufacturers who bringing completely new design concepts to market and equally recognises incremental design improvement of equipment that have been in use for years or decades.

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 comprising leading boat, interior, and industrial designers, and user experts. In a final two-day product inspection meeting at RAI Amsterdam, the Jury selects 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.

Read more about the Awards and learn how to enter here: damedesignawards.com

Recognition at the heart of METSTRADE

All DAME nominated products benefit from high-profile presence on a brilliantly curated showcase within the heart of METSTRADE in Hall 13. This feature is visited and talked about by thousands of leading marine industry professionals, each year. In the past 10 years alone more than 500 products have been nominated and then showcased in this way.

Category Winners and the DAME Design Awards Overall Winner are announced at the METSTRADE ICOMIA Breakfast Briefing in front of many leading industry players on the first day of the show. The DAME Jury also awards a series of Special Mentions and a discretionary Environmental Design Winner.

DAME 2024 chosen charity

Each year, all DAME entrants pay a fee to submit their products which is donated directly to a charitable cause chosen by the METSTRADE Exhibition Committee from a list of applications.

METSTRADE is pleased to announce that the DAME Design Awards charity for 2024 is SailWise. This Dutch organisation provides active multi-day water sports activities for those with disabilities. Each year, more than 1500 people aged between 10-90 participate at Robinson Crusoe Island, its watersports centre in the Loosdrechtse Plassen, located to the south of Amsterdam, and on its specially adapted two-masted clipper. The charity has much specialist equipment to accommodate a wide range of disabilities including wheelchair users. Guests visit with their families and carers from all over Europe.

Lisette Koopmans has a disease that affects her muscles and is a regular visitor to Robinson Crusoe Island: “When I am sailing, I leave my disability on the jetty. That's how free I feel in an adapted sailing boat from SailWise!”

The 2024 DAME Design Awards proceeds will be applied directly to provision of a completely new, low maintenance and long-term sustainable jetty and terrace on the wheelchair-accessible Robinson Crusoe Island, in time for the April-November 2025 season. This is essential to retain safe and easy accessibility for people in wheelchairs and those with a visual impairment. DAME entrants will therefore be directly contributing to a valuable, long-term facility that will serve many European people with disabilities in years to come.



DAME Design Awards categories

The DAME Design Awards categories were completely revised in 2023, to bring them in line with latest industry trends. 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 Design Awards nominations as an Environmental Design Award winner if it finds an exemplar product that is well designed and has clear and obvious merit.

About SailWise

For 50 years, SailWise has been the only provider in the Netherlands of multi-day, challenging water sports activities and holidays for people with a physical or sensory disability, an intellectual disability or non-congenital brain damage. These activities not only provide enjoyable holidays and breaks on and around the water, but also appear to have several positive effects on their self-reliance and rehabilitation.

SailWise water sports holiday participants come from Denmark, Belgium, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands.

The objective of SailWise is to promote social well-being, physical and mental independence and the integration of people with a disability or disability through the provision of water sports facilities; and promoting participation of people with disabilities in water sports activities. Our mission is to help people with disabilities experience and expand their potential (Fit to Sail) through accessible water sports activities in a relaxed and safe environment for everyone (Sailing for All).

SailWise has four fully adapted accommodations, each with its own options to enable people with disabilities to enjoy water sports. One of these is the water sports center on Robinson Crusoe Island in the Loosdrechtse Plassen. Various adjustments and adapted boats make it possible for everyone to participate actively in water sports at his or her level.