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British Marine Electronics Association Conference 2009 Sponsored by Victron Energy

23 October 2009

RogeruphamwebThe British Marine Electronics Association (BMEA) Conference 2009 took place on 21st October at the Novotel Hotel, Southampton. The event sponsored by Victron Energy had over 80 delegates from all over the marine electronic and electrical sectors of the marine industry. The conference provided an opportunity for all sides of the marine industry to get together not only to discuss topics of mutual interest but also to create and build beneficial business relationships.

This year’s conference included a number of presentations by distinguished speakers and members of the BMEA committee. Among the subjects that were covered were; ‘Marketing Opportunities for BMEA members’ by Ian Lockyer, Icom UK Ltd; ‘Galileo and other related e-navigation subjects’ by Rusell Morrison, Senior Engineering Specialist , Earth Observation, Navigation & Science, EADS Astrium; ‘Finance Today’ by Tim Gallego from Poundbury Wealth Management; ‘Hybrid Power’ by Ken Wittamore from Triskel Marine Ltd and Johannes Boonstra from Conference sponsors Victron Energy.

This year’s Conference was an extra special occasion as the BMEA welcomed its counterpart organisation from North America, the National Marine Electronic Association (NMEA). David Hayden, President of NMEA gave an interesting overview of the NMEA and the work that it does’. Following the formal Conference day, Steve Spitzer, Technical Director & Dave Morschhauser, and Assistant Technical Director of NMEA gave a presentation on NMEA 2000 with a ‘hands-on’ ‘Connect Fest’ demonstration of NMEA 2000 interfacing.

After a full day of conferencing and the brief Annual General Meeting, the day ended with the announcement of three major awards:

• BMEA Waterside Dealer of the Year Award sponsored by Garmin UK Ltd
• BMEA Product of the Year Award sponsored by Boating Business
• BMEA Newly Certificated Technician of the Year Award sponsored by Raymarine plc

The winner of the BMEA Product of the Year, sponsored by Boating Business was Actisense with their NGW-1 NMEA 2000 to NMEA 0183 Gateway. Commendations were awarded Icom for its IC-M71 VHF Handheld Transceiver and Raymarine for its C Series Multi-Function displays.

Based in Poole, Dorset, Actisense has established an enviable world-wide reputation within the specialist field of marine electronics. Paul Whitehurst, Managing Director said, ‘The NGW gateway is a great solution to users who have established NMEA 0183 equipment and want to upgrade to the NMEA 2000 network without losing their original investment.’

The winner of the BMEA Dealer of the Year Award, sponsored by Garmin was Landau UK Ltd. Jonathan Bagge, of Landau UK Ltd said, ‘Landau UK is very honoured to receive this award. Our mission is to give our customers, both trade and retail, a high quality service, “ a service second to none.” Receiving this award means we are making significant tracks to achieving that. It has given all at Landau new impetus and drive to aim for our goals with regards to customer care and service. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all at Landau for their hard work making this award a team effort and to also especially thank our customers for their continued support and votes.’

Raymarine presented the first BMEA Newly Certificated Technician of the Year award at the BMEA’s annual conference. The award was made to Roger Upham of Roger Upham Marine Electronics Ltd by Derek Gilbert of Raymarine (see picture above). Based in Chichester, the company has over 30 years of experience installing marine electronics products. Roger recently completed the BMET (British Marine Electrical Technician) training and received his certification this year, making him eligible to enter the award.

Roger Upham said,’ I am absolutely honoured to have been given this award; especially as it has been voted by a panel of industry peers. I have been doing this job since the late seventies and to be rewarded for doing a job I love has literally left me speechless.’

Commenting on the conference, David Hayward, President of the National Marine Electronics Association said,’ the conference was very well organised, had some excellent presentations which provided those attending with a great amount of information of which to think abut. I was really pleased with the interaction between the delegates and speakers, there were a lot of questions.’’

Paul Holland, Chairman of the British Marine Electronic Association said, ‘The conference was a great success. The key involvement with the NMEA has given us an excellent springboard to launch our comprehensive range of training schemes not only for electronic but electrical technicians as well.’

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