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Johnson Outdoors Honored for Innovation; Escape® Fun Boat Beats out Record Field of Entries

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Feb 16, 2006

Johnson Outdoors Honored for Innovation; Escape® Fun Boat Beats out Record Field of Entries

Johnson Outdoors Honored for Innovation; Escape® Fun Boat Beats out Record Field of Entries

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 16, 2006--Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq:JOUT) received top innovation honors today at the 65th Annual Miami International Boat Show, the world's first and largest consumer boat event. The award recognized Johnson Outdoors for innovative achievement for the new Escape® Electric Fun Boat™, and was one of only six (6) companies honored. The Innovation Awards program, organized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), recognizes products which demonstrate an innovative distinction from other products currently manufactured; a benefit to the marine industry and/or consumer; and/or practicality; cost-effectiveness.

According to Roger Marshall, Innovation Awards chair and president of BWI, this year there were a record number of entries. The Escape® Electric Fun Boat™ was one of two winners in the "Inflatables, Small Boats and Tenders" category. "We had two strong contenders in this category, and both are so different that the judges felt giving each an award would be appropriate," says Marshall.

Additional BWI members rounding out the judging panel this year include: James R. Barron, technical editor/writer, Trailer Boats; Jam Mundy, editor, DIY Boat Owner; Zuzana Prochazka, staff writer, Latitudes & Attitudes; Bill Pike, senior editor, Power & Motoryacht; Lenny Rudow, senior technical writer, Boating; and Alan Wendt, editor, Marine CEO. Judges said the Escape® Electric Fun Boat™ redefines the entry level boat for youngsters and is an ideal vessel to get new people into the industry.

"The 10-year-old child in the Escape® will be the 16-year-old who buys a 16-footer, and the 30-year-old who buys a 30-footer," says judge Rudow. "This boat reaches to the very core of our industry's biggest challenge--bringing new boaters into the fold."

"We are thrilled to receive this very prestigious award, and to be recognized for what we are all about - winning innovation driven by unique consumer insight," said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Outdoors. "Our 'flip the switch, and go' Escape® electric boats make fun-in-the-water simpler, easier and more accessible for more people. Innovation defines our 35-year legacy of continuous growth, and propels us forward to an exciting future."

The Escape ® Electric Fun Boat is the ideal craft for interacting and connecting with family and friends. Featuring a "flip-the-switch-and-go" electric propulsion system by Minn Kota®, intuitive steering, lots of comfort features and built-in, electric water cannon that shoots up to 30-feet, the boat offers non-stop entertainment and interaction for kids of all ages.


Johnson Outdoors is a leading global outdoor recreation company that turns ideas into adventure with innovative, top-quality products. The Company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft, Marine Electronics, Diving and Outdoor Equipment. Johnson Outdoors' familiar brands include, among others: Old Town® canoes and kayaks; Ocean Kayak® and Necky® kayaks; Escape® electric boats; Minn Kota® motors; Cannon® downriggers; Humminbird®, Bottomline® and Fishin' Buddy® fishfinders; Scubapro® and UWATEC® dive equipment; Silva® compasses and digital instruments; and Eureka!® tents. The company has 23 locations around the world, employs 1,300 people and reported annual sales of $381 million in 2005.

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The Miami International Boat Show is produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA.) NMMA, the world's first and largest producer of boat shows, is unsurpassed in providing a quality experience for the consumer. NMMA is the leading association representing the $33 billion recreational boating industry.


CONTACT: Johnson Outdoors Inc.
Cynthia Georgeson, 262-631-6600