Innovation through the Years at Nautique Boats

Nautique Boat, GS22E, floating on a lake in Miami

What began as a boat company based in Pine Castle, Florida, has now become a global leader celebrated and awarded by our peers and customers. Nautique is the standard for towed watersports vehicles in the marine industry, with nearly a century of remarkable quality and innovation. 

Through it’s history, Nautique has also fostered relationships with important industry partners such as Roswell Marine and the electric propulsion brand Ingenity further taking Nautique down it’s path as Industry Leader. 

Inception and Expansion

In 1924, W.C. Meloon and his family moved from Ossipee, New Hampshire, to Central Florida and formed the Florida Variety Boat Company in Pine Castle, Florida. The company — which would eventually become Nautique — developed and changed names from Florida Variety Boat Company to Pine Castle Boats to finally landing on Correct Craft after Meloon heard a radio advertisement for finding the correct heel for your shoe.

Correct Craft historical photo, entry level model from way back in 1930

In 1942, Correct Craft opened a second plant in Titusville, Florida.

Even in its formative years, Correct Craft made a mark as a pioneer, becoming the first to trailer boats nationally on the highway instead of by train and the first to use tow pylons.

The Miracle Production

Correct joined the war efforts in World War II upon Dwight D. Eisenhower’s request. The Titusville plant soon began manufacturing boats and later large cruisers through government contracts in 1945.

With World War II raging, Eisenhower tasked Correct Craft with constructing over 400 boats in fifteen days. Meloon took the production process under revison, and was able to innovate on the process to produce an unprecedented number of boats in a short time. National Geographic called the accomplishment “A Miracle Production.” And thus Correct Craft gained it’s reputation for quality and reliability.

Nautique, despite worldwide difficulties during World War 2, was able to innovate on it's production processes and develop a better model.

Following the war, Correct Craft began to focus once again on the craft.

They began producing the first complete mahogany inboards, 19-foot racing runabouts, and custom-designed runabouts. The catalog included 15′ 6″ junior utilities, 32′ cabin cruisers, and 50′ yachts.

The company notched another first by adding swim platforms into the boat design in 1952.

After a decent number of years and continued success, Correct Craft decides to scale back their offerings and models, focusing in on Utility boats and their popular line items.

The Nautique Brand

In 1957, as time would have it, Leo Bentz came along with an idea to build boats out of a different material than wood. Bentz built the first Ski Nautique in South Florida and attempted to sell the design to W.C. Meloon, the founder of Correct Craft, who passed on the idea as he didn’t want to build fiberglass boats as he had never seen a “fiberglass tree.”

Four years later, Bentz returns with another offer to sell the Ski Nautique mold and brand for a boat of his own and required maintenance for three years.

The company accepts the request, and the rest is history. 

Leo knew his idea would be a success and he held true until he secured one from the manufacturer itself.

The first fiberglass bottom boat, built by Leo Bentz at Ski Nautique, later being sold to Correct Craft

The flagship boat model Ski Nautique, a fiberglass ski boat, arrived in 1961. It was the world’s first tournament inboard boat for waterskiing and laid the foundation for all modern watersport’s models. 

The newly founded Ski Nautique continued to improve and innovate on it’s product. With the engine’s weight centered in the boat, the bow didn’t rise much when speeding up. The company introduced tracking fins on the hull to make precision driving easy. Allowing one can stay on the course while pulling skiers with relative ease. The company continued to grow.

In 1966, the manufacturers established a facility in Orlando, Florida.

All Around Dominance 

As the years went on, Correct Craft and Ski Nautique found success on all fronts. The years saw the brand increase it’s focus on it’s relationship within watersport’s and innovative boat production. 

Nautique began its relationship with the Masters Waterski Tournament In 1975, and launched its own professional ski team two years later in 1977. 

The company kept introducing boats that kept pushing the envelope. During this time period Nautique debuted several “firsts,” including a center-mounted tow pylon, tracking fins on the hull, a rearview safety mirror, and cruise control. All while receiving rave reviews.

In 1993, the release of the collectors edition Paragon, Correct Craft introduced all all-fiberglass hulls, decks, and stringers.

The 2001 Ski Nautique, Correct Craft's flagship model of fiberglass hull boat.

Era of Firsts

The first Air Nautique released in 1997, the world got its first tournament inboard wake boat. It came with the first flight control tower and built-in ballast tanks.

The flight control tower was able to be raised and lowered to your preferred height to operate the boat safely, getting everyone stoked on customization. The internal ballast tanks helped increase the size of the wakes allowing access to big air for the riders, making it perfect for wakeboarders. 

They weren’t done yet, after came Total Wake Control, the first hull designed specific for wakeboarding performance. It used a method of directing water that made the hull work with the water and not against it. The feature won National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Innovation Award in 1998.

In 2004, Nautique added the Sportshift next to the throttle, allowing the user to create designer wakes. With one easy shift, the driver can engage the Hydro-Gate, which builds pressure and lift for a completely new wake experience.

Five years later, Nautique introduced a saltwater-ready Coastal Edition.

Defining a Movement

Even as the world reeled under a global recession, Nautique kept pushing the pace with innovation and new model introductions.

In 2010, Nautique released the Ski Nautique 200 — a tournament ski boat available in both open and closed bows. It’s a V-drive geared boat designed to impress all multi-water sports enthusiasts. 

With its rear weight bias, the wakes would rise as speeds dropped. It offered gently-sloped wakes for wakeboarding and long open-faced wakes for wakesurfing.

In 2012 Nautique did it again with the release of The Super Air Nautique G23. Out of the box, the boat had an unbelievable wake. Only made better by customization options, pushing wakeboarding as a whole to another level.

Three of Nautique's more popular model boats, the G23 G25 and Costal Series G23 all with the almost century of innovation at Nautique.

Some rider-inspired features included the multiple rear-facing seats, the convertible bench seat, and the Nautique Configurable Running Surface. It fine-tuned the boat’s hull for efficient takeoffs.

Nautique introduced a luxury performance wake boat with the Super Air Nautique G23 Paragon. At 23′ and 7,400 lbs, the G23 Paragon is a vessel with striking exterior lines and a refined interior. It also debuted the Nautique G25, the industry-altering 25′ model, succeeded G23 with even more room for friends, family, and gear.

Changing the Game with NSS

In 2013 Nautique debuted the Nautique Surf System (NSS) The NSS can shape perfect waves with the touch of a button, allowing nearly limitless customization options. The features of this innovative tech include: 

  • Intuitive Interface: dial in your ideal settings related to speed and ballast from the touchscreen. Customizing the wake per riders request. You can either change settings on the go or choose from presets already dialed in.
  • The Waveplate: allows surfers to shape details in the wake without offloading the ballast. Six set points will enable you to customize a wave’s height, shape, and length. The waveplate is part of the hull design and extends outward and down to shift the water flow.
  • Garmin App Integration: You can remotely control the range of Surf Select 3.0-enabled boats with your Garmin smartwatch model. You can change the boat’s speed and shape the wake while riding on your ski or wakesurf.
  • Nautique Surf Select You can wear this controller on your wrist and easily change the side of the boat the wave is on. With no need to signal the driver, you are in control of driving your dreams.

Multi-Sport Excellence

With a smaller footprint in the water but still with substantial power, the Super Air Nautique GS20 became the most innovative multi-sport boat. It is an achievement in design and technology as it can transform from a ski boat to a wake and surf boat with a ballast shift feature.

The ultra-lightweight construction with a carbon fiber-fiberglass blend made it ideal for the three-event waterski world. It has since become the benchmark in tournament waterski towboats.

Nautique's best looking model, the Paragon. Released in 2019 it became the standard for the industry luxury performance boat.

Electric Dream Machine

In 2021 Nautique partnered with the electric propulsion brand Ingenity to produce the revolutionary GS22E. 

The 100% full electric model doesn’t compromise power with the reliability Nautique users trust. The battery-powered GS22E delivers all the torque required to tow skiers, wakeboarders, and wakesurfers. Fully rechargeable, the GS22E comes with a 120k W/hr high density battery pack for up to two or three hours of fun. The battery adds a bit of weight – 1,100 lb for a total boat weight of 5,900 lb, but that weight comes with its advantages. It delivers bigger wakes for wakeboarders and wakesurfers through Nautique’s Configurable Running Surface, which lets you fine-tune the wake.

The battery and propulsion system ensure free-flowing conversations among people in the cabin. With the GS22E, say goodbye to harmful emissions. With zero fuel oil and filer costs and less maintenance than traditional engines, the Super Air Nautique GS22E is also cost-efficient in the long run.

Trust is important, and Miami Nautique has been heavily involved with Correct Craft for 25+ years.

The timeline of innovation at Nautique proves one thing: the attention to detail and state-of-the-art technology make Nautique boats different from the rest.

We here at Miami Nautique are experts in all things Nautique – service or parts related. If you’d like to learn more about the range of Nautique boats, the NSS technology, or more boat tips, visit Miami Nautique

If you’re interested in purchasing or financing a boat – Our team of experts will help you make a perfect choice. Stop by our pro shop in Miami, Florida, or browse our site to get the ideal Nautique Equipment.

The butt can sometimes be the prettiest part of the boat. Nothing is more romantic then staying goodbye and sneaking one quick peak as they walk away.

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