Ralph Meloon of Correct Craft is being inducted into the National Marine Manufacturers Association's (NMMA) Hall of Fame.
Meloon's career achievements and contributions to the recreational boating industry will be recognized during the 23rd annual International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) at the show's annual Industry Breakfast on Tuesday, September 17 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
The NMMA Hall of Fame, the association's highest honour, was established in 1988 and recognizes individuals who have, or continue to generate, substantial and lasting contributions toward the advancement of the marine industry.
"Ralph has spent the past 80 years supporting the boating industry through his time at Correct Craft,' said Mark Schwabero, President of Mercury Marine Group of Brunswick Corp. and NMMA Chairman. "His work will leave an undeniable legacy and I'm honoured to be announcing his induction into the NMMA Hall of Fame.'
Ralph C. Meloon, Sr. was seven years old when his father, W.C. Meloon founded Correct Craft in 1925, and he has spent his life operating, building and selling boats. Today, at age 95, Ralph continues to be instrumental to Correct Craft's success, promoting boating around the world and helping to build Correct Craft and Nautique as premier brands for water ski and wakeboard enthusiasts.
Meloon has seen Correct Craft through many challenges and helped it capitalize on numerous opportunities. He helped the company survive the Great Depression by traveling through the eastern United States with his father and brothers, exposing customers to water toboggans, water skis, aquaplanes and gliders while offering 10 and 25 cent boat rides to pay expenses. During World War II, Correct Craft worked to build 400 storm boats in less than three weeks for the military, earning the company the Army and Navy "E' Award, an honour presented to a company for excellence in production of war equipment.
Meloon held numerous executive positions at Correct Craft including President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. He was named Chairman of the Board in 1975, a position he held until retiring in 2002, and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus.
Under Meloon's leadership, the company developed numerous innovations. Correct Craft says it was the first boat company to transport boats on trailers rather than train, to include pylons, and incorporate a swim platforms and tracking fins in its boat designs. The company also introduced Ski Nautique water ski boats, Air Nautique wakeboard boats, the Total Wake Control hull and the Smart Pod 2000 dash pod.
During his career, Meloon has visited 85 different nations promoting Correct Craft and boating. He is credited for developing Correct Craft's US Midwest and West Coast territories, and in 1994, Ralph Meloon, his brother and nephew received the Award of Distinction from the American Water Ski Educational Foundation for their leadership and support of the sport of water skiing.
At last year's IBEX, the NMMA (US) inducted Phil Dyskow, the past president of Yamaha Marine Group Company, into its Hall of Fame.
NMMA Canada is currently seeking nominations for the Canadian Hall of Fame. The due date for nominations is October 1. The recipient of the award will be announced at NMMA Canada's Industry Breakfast, which will take place on January 14 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto during the Toronto International Boat Show.