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Scout Boats chief executive Steve Potts holds a plaque for Scout winning an innovation award at the Miami International Boat Show.

When a Summerville boat maker displayed novel additions to its 42-footer last month, word had it the firm went above and beyond in crafting the customer-inspired changes.

Now there’s evidence to back that up: Scout Boats Inc. earned accolades last weekend at the prestigious Miami International Boat Show.

The company won the 2016 National Marine Manufacturer’s Association Innovation Award for the new 5 N 1 Performance Leaning Post built into its flagship model 420 LXF luxury sportfisher. Scout Boats took top honors in the Center Console Fishing Boat category.

Innovation award winners were announced at the show’s annual “state of the industry” breakfast. The show counted 77 product entries in multiple categories.

Eight members of Boating Writers International, “an organization comprised of seasoned and respected marine journalists,” judged the categories. The judging panel agreed that Scout Boats’ innovative design “set the bar” in the Center Console Fishing Boat competition, the Summerville-based boat maker said.

“We’re honored to accept this innovation award on behalf of all of our employees at Scout,” company founder and chief executive Steve Potts said.

Scout Boats is proud of its hard work and “out-of-the-box thinking” that moves the marine industry forward, Potts said, noting it was recognized in what many boat makers consider the top innovation award in the industry.

“We’re humble mavericks of our accomplishments and trendsetting ways, and we’re always thankful to be recognized for what we do,” he said.

Pott’s son Stevie Potts, the company’s chief designer and director of product development and engineering, created the versatile, efficient leaning post — which debuted to the public at the Charleston Boat Show in late January.

According to the company, the performance post is a “cleverly designed second-row-seating option” available on the 420 LXF. The seating arrangement allows for five crew members facing forward as well as an aft-facing sixth chair, “ideal for sportfishing.”

Sink and tackle compartments flank the sixth seat and can fold down to allow room for the spring loaded sliding pop-out grill. Storage takes up both sides of the leaning post, which also includes “plush upholstery, armrests and footrests,” the company said. Boaters also can safely and conveniently access the second tier “upper station flybridge,” a newly available option on the 420 LXF.

Scout Boats builds 17-42 foot center and dual console sportfishing models, flats and bay boats. The company, which started up more than 25 years ago, calls each hull a “true original” as the research and design team works closely with engineering specialists “to take concepts from blueprint to production more efficiently.” What materializes are top-notch boats known for “quality, strength, durability and value,” the company says.

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A Charleston-based racing team will handle key components on Mini Coopers taking part in national road race events — a job formerly managed through a local car dealership,

Autometrics Motorsports “will be assuming the role as sole supplier of the approved parts” for Minis that race in the popular B Spec series of modified stock models as well as the TCB Class with Pirelli World Challenge. The class includes Mini Cooper, Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Mazda 2, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris, backers said.

“With modifications limited to suspension changes and safety equipment, the class provides tight and exciting competition,” Mini supporters noted.

Directed by Brad Davis with service advisor Stuart Kestenbaum’s technical assistance, Mini of Charleston developed a racing package to convert Mini Cooper R56 models to the popular B Spec Series in Sports Car Club of America, National Auto Sport Association and BMW Club racing.

“I’m thrilled to see the B Spec parts find a new home at Autometrics,” Davis said. “The Friedman family business is a class operation with a real passion for motorsports. I’ve known them for decades and they are great people and strong competitors,” he said. “I still speak to Cory Friedman even after he beat me in the Mini vs. Porsche Challenge event at Road Atlanta in 2010,” Davis quipped.

Last April, Davis retired as managing partner of Rick Hendrick BMW Charleston/Mini of Charleston and Volvo of Charleston. He took a part-time position with Hendrick Automotive Group as the community relations specialist for the Hendrick dealerships in Charleston and North Charleston.

With Davis not in the Mini dealership on a daily basis, Mini of Charleston decided supporting the B Spec Minis “was not within their comfort level,” according to parties involved in the parts supplier move.

Davis reached an agreement for the inventory to transfer to Autometrics Motorsports. The “long established” independent Porsche repair shop touts extensive racing experience. Davis will partner with Autometrics to provide the B Spec Mini racers “the parts and support they need to compete and win,” backers said.

Mini of Charleston will continue to promote the Mini racers through discounts and support of the “original equipment” parts they require.

Autometrics Motorsports’ history dates to 1988 as a racing offshoot of Autometrics president Gordon Friedman’s import repair shop. In 1999, Autometrics Motorsports split off while jumping from amateur to professional racing.

Highlights include campaigning the final air-cooled Porsche 911 in the Daytona 24 (hours) in 2001; podium finishes in the Rolex Series from 2002 to 2004; and multiple podiums and wins earning second overall in the IMSA (International Motorsports Association) Challenge Platinum class in 2011.

Davis, meanwhile, became a Mini USA race driver in 2002 while helping to launch Mini of Charleston Racing. With more than 20 SCCA National wins, “the team became the premier showroom stock racing Mini team,” supporters said.

After testing and development, Mini of Charleston in 2011 became the sole supplier for B Spec Mini racing parts. In 2013, Mini driver Robbie Davis switched to the SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge Series. He won three races as well as the crown as that year’s Pirelli World Challenge TCB champion.

The race team also competes in the SCCA amateur racing series and has won four Southeast Division championships, two SCCA Majors championships and two national points championships in B Spec and H Production.

Now semi-retired, Brad Davis said he’s committed to boosting his Mini racing exposure in 2016 and beyond.

For more, contact Autometrics at 843-763-6740 or Davis at 843-870-2763 or