11th August 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 seven years old when his father Walter C. Meloon moved the family from New Hampshire to Florida and started the Florida Variety Boat Company (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 ninety 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/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,” added Yeargin.
“Mr. Meloon was a tireless innovator that always put the good of our sport before any commercial interests. We’ll truly miss his energy and work ethic but are happy that through his principles and love for all is passed on to his sons and grandsons with the inspirational spirit that made him a pioneer in the industry” stated Jose Antonio Perez Priego, President of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation. “We thank Ralph Meloon for the enormous loyalty he has shown to IWWF over the years and to our sport. We have lost a great friend.”
About the IWWF: The International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) is the world governing body for towed watersports and has 91 affiliated Federations worldwide. It was founded in 1946 in Geneva, Switzerland. It is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the sole authority for towed watersports. The IWWF is an affiliate member of the Association of IOC Recognized International Sports Federation (ARISF) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). The IWWF’s sports disciplines include, amongst others, Tournament Waterskiing (slalom, tricks & jump), Wakeboard, Cable Wakeboard, Cable Waterskiing, Disabled Waterskiing, Show Skiing, Ski Racing and Barefoot Waterskiing