Cornelius Nathaniel Ray III, who founded Sea Ray Boats in 1959, died on November 12 after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 84 years old. Ray opened the first Sea Ray boat factory in Oxford, Michigan, in 1959. He grew the company into an icon, leading it through the industry's peaks and valleys, including the inflationary periods and oil embargoes of the 1970s. He sold it to Brunswick in 1986 for US$350m. The book, Commanding the Waterways: The Story of Sea Ray, describes how Ray was one of the early adopters of fiberglass, and instilled a culture of innovation into what has become the world's largest production boat builder. Sea Ray now builds boats from 17 to 60 feet. Besides building boats, Ray's other passion was racehorses. He began his first thoroughbred operation in 1983 after acquiring Evergreen Farm in Paris, Kentucky. He won his first stakes race in 1985 and other stakes winners soon followed. Ray was also a frequent participant in the Breeders' Cup program, and won the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) in 1996 and 1997. Ray is survived by five sons, a daughter, and his wife Carol. There will be a remembrance ceremony at the St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California, on Saturday.