ORLANDO, FL (August 11, 2018) — It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of boating hall of fame member and industry icon Ralph C. Meloon at the age of 100.
The middle of three brothers, Meloon was 7 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.
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. On August 11, at the age of 100, 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,” stated 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.”