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Correct Craft mourns loss of boating industry icon Ralph C. Meloon

By Correct Craft

Correct Craft has announced the passing of National Marine Manufacturers Association Hall of Fame member and industry icon Ralph C. Meloon at the age of 100.

The middle of three brothers, Meloon was seven years old when his father Walter C. Meloon moved the family from New Hampshire to Florida and started the Florida Variety Boat Co. (now Correct Craft) in 1925. Meloon was involved with the company then and continued his involvement until his death on Aug. 11.

While upholding the tradition established by his father of “Building boats to the glory of God,” Meloon held many positions at Correct Craft over the years including president, executive vice president, treasurer, and chairman of the board.

He was instrumental in helping shape Correct Craft for over 90 years. Meloon passed away leaving more than just a memory—he left a heritage that will never be forgotten.

During his tenure, Meloon served in many distinct roles and was instrumental in tracking down and paying all creditors back from the 1960 company bankruptcy.

He also established the first grassroots water ski promotional program to pull water ski tournaments in the Midwest and shortly thereafter he developed the first water ski promotional program in the United States.

Meloon, known as the face of Correct Craft for decades, traveled to 85 countries for the company building the Correct Craft brand and exporting waterskiing boats all around the world.

In recent years as Correct Craft has grown substantially, including acquiring new companies and entering new markets, Meloon was always encouraging the team. There was no one more excited to see the success of the Correct Craft team than Ralph Meloon.

“Ralph was truly an extraordinary man who always encouraged everyone he met; our team understands that the work we do today was built on his shoulders and we are incredibly saddened by this loss,” said Correct Craft President and CEO Bill Yeargin. “Personally, Ralph was a dear friend. He was always full of encouragement and many times he would pop in my office and say, ‘Betty and I prayed for you this morning, Bill.’ He rarely left my office without saying ‘We love you, Bill.’ As I have traveled the globe for our company, people all over the world would ask me about Ralph Meloon. So, as we celebrate Ralph’s life, we recommit ourselves to the values that Ralph so embraced; faith, integrity, and family – those are the things that were important to Ralph.”

4 comments

  1. Mr Ralph, Mr W.C Meloon, Sr. Gave my Dad a job when we first came to Fla.
    He was a Mentor for a lot of men old and young.

  2. So sorry to hear of Ralph Maloon’s passing. Simply put, they don’t make ‘em like Mr. Meloon any more.
    I’m sure that all the dealers and employees of CorrectCraft will miss him very much. It was always a pleasure to say hello and listen to his wonderful stories about CorrectCraft and the growth of the company under his family’s watch.
    Enjoy your well earned rest with the Lord in Heaven.

  3. I remember visiting the plant several years ago with Mr. Maloon as our guide. Even tho we were 15 years younger, he was two steps ahead of all the way. I also remember Jim Irwin, a Chris Craft dealer on Lake Winnepesaukee, NH telling stories about how he sent boat parts to Florida to help Meloons get started back in the early days .Meloon was a great story teller and will be missed by many.

  4. Yes he certainly was one of a kind and will never forget meeting him with his brother Walter on the banks of the Yarra River back in the 80s standing there in their long grey cloke jackets as it was cold at the Moomva Maaters Int’l Waterski Tournament in Melbourne Australia 🇦🇺
    He handed me a business card with the Lord s faith notes May the Lord always be with you and Ski Nautiwue photo on the front ! Also a big brochure booklet outlingvthe history of making his unique onboard ski boats in usa 🇺🇸 and was very keen to get them into Australia 🇦🇺 but with the Aust givernmrnt customs and heavy duties made it a very expensive exercise impossible in the 70s 80s plus Mercury Outboard Motors had been heavily sponsoring the event since it began in early 60s or before with putting up the big prize money and boats !
    But with never giving up and the trooper Ralph always determined to succeed in business and with following the Lord Jesus Christ in his Wake’s he eventually came through with the boats we so proudly use today !!

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