Correct Craft celebrates 95 years

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Correct Craft employees recently built a home through Habitat for Humanity.

Correct Craft employees recently built a home through Habitat for Humanity.

Correct Craft is celebrating 95 years of boatbuilding this year, having grown from a small company to a global organization with several boat and engine brands.

“Correct Craft is honored to have served millions of boaters across the globe, helping them make almost a century of memories with their families and friends,” president Bill Yeargin said in a statement. “Our team realizes this success is built on the shoulders of many great people who have gone before us, and we are committed to continuing to honor their legacy with excellent products.”

Walter C. Meloon launched the Florida Variety Boat Co. in 1925, building a variety of powerboats and sailboats. By 1936 the company had shifted to focus primarily on powerboats and was renamed Correct Craft.

In 1942 the company opened a second plant in Titusville, Fla., to manufacture boats through government contracts during World War II.

The advent of fiberglass brought new possibilities, and Correct Craft worked with designer Leo Bentz to bring the fiberglass Ski Nautique to market in 1961.

In 2005, construction began for Nautique’s 217,000-square-foot plant in central Florida. In September 2006, Yeargin was named president and CEO of Correct Craft.

Correct Craft began executing a new growth strategy after the recession, acquiring such brands as Aktion Parks, Pleasurecraft Engine Group, Bass Cat and Yar-Craft, Centurion and Supreme Boats, SeaArk Boats, Bryant Boats, Watershed Innovation, Velvet Drive, Parker Boats and Merritt Precision.

The company also has made volunteering a cornerstone of its culture. Over the past two weeks, 52 employees from Nautic Boats, Aktion Parks, Watershed Innovation and Correct Craft volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. They spent two Saturdays assembling a home for a Florida family in need, according to the company.

“Our Correct Craft team is honored to use our platform to serve our industry and others around the world,” Yeargin said. “I have travelled the globe with our team to build homes, work in orphanages, fight human trafficking and in many other ways serve those who we can help.”

The company has also been active in connecting with lawmakers to discuss the challenges facing the industry.

“We are working to help companies in our industry optimize their organizational culture by using our influence in Washington, D.C., and state capitals to look out for those who enjoy being in, on, under or near water,” Yeargin said. “We are committed to using our platform and influence in a never-ending effort at ‘Making Life Better.’ ”

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