Malibu Boats is an American manufacturer of recreational boats, founded in Merced, California in 1982, and currently headquartered in Loudon, Tennessee with additional production facilities in New South Wales, Australia. Malibu is "the world's largest manufacturer of watersports towboats", used both recreationally and in water skiing and wakeboarding events. Malibu was founded in Merced, California, in 1982 by Bob Alkema and Steve Marshall. During the first year of operation, "production began at a modest pace of two boats per week", using a single-hull design and a blended gel coat. The company quickly developed a backlog, and increased staff and output. The company implemented an employee stock ownership program in 1986, and had acquired a nine percent share of the market by 1988. With the California plant at full production, the company opened a second plant in Tennessee. By the end of the year, Malibu had built almost 1,000 custom ski boats and had been awarded their first Product Excellence Award for Value by Powerboat Magazine. By 1989, it had become "one of the largest boat manufacturers in California", manufacturing 1200 boats per year. That same year, Australian company Flightcraft sold its boat designs to Malibu, and Flightcraft's founder, David Telling, joined Malibu as director of sales and marketing, remaining with Malibu until he left to pursue other endeavors in 1991.