NMMA Canada announced today the induction of Harold Copping, former president of SeaStar Solutions (formerly Teleflex Canada Ltd.), into the NMMA Hall of Fame. Copping’s career achievements and contributions to the recreational boating industry were recognized this morning during NMMA Canada’s Recreational Boating Industry Breakfast at the Toronto International Boat Show at the Beanfield Centre, where he was presented with the 2018 NMMA Hall of Fame Award.
The NMMA Hall of Fame Award is the Association’s highest honor. Established in 1988, it recognizes individuals who have, or continue to generate, substantial and lasting contributions toward the advancement of the marine industry. It honours individuals whose names and deeds are synonymous with the pursuit of quality, innovation, and perfection within their respective spheres of expertise.
“Harold has provided great contributions to the development of modern marine industry steering systems and more, helping to drive our industry forward through his forward thinking,” said Sara Anghel, NMMA Canada President. “We honour him with the Hall of Fame award in recognition of his constant focus on innovation, leadership and dedication to the industry.”
Harold Copping began his career with Teleflex in 1976. Teleflex had surmised that as boat engines got larger and more powerful, mechanical steering systems would become less efficient and not provide the necessary comfort and safety required for powerboats. The vision of Harold’s team was to make boats steer as well as cars and this set the direction of SeaStar’s marine steering technology. Strong engineering and manufacturing capability was developed and Teleflex Canada’s hydraulic steering systems (SeaStar, SeaStar Pro and BayStar) were designed to enable more comfortable control of pleasure powerboats.
By 2004, the company had a strong market share in North America, as well as internationally and Harold had added a custom hydraulics business segment which allowed sterndrive engine companies to purchase private label steering systems, as well as trim and tilt, to integrate with their engines, and provide complete steering and controls packages.
Today, SeaStar employs more than 350 people in Richmond, British Columbia. And in 2012, as a result of Harold’s vision, the Optimus and Optimus 360 (NMMA Innovation award winner) joystick steering system for outboard boats were launched. These products fundamentally changed the marine industry.