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W. I. B. Crealock

w.i.b crealock sailboats, w.i.b crealock 44
William Ion Belton Crealock August 23, 1920 – September 26, 2009 was a yacht designer and author He was one of the world's leading yacht designers from the 1960s through the 1990s, and his yachts were owned by the famous and wealthy, including Walter Cronkite and William Hurt


  • 1 Early years
  • 2 "Vagabonding Under Sail"
  • 3 Yacht designer
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Early years

Crealock was born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England in 1920 He attended the Glasgow University where he studied naval architecture and worked at the Glasgow shipyard during World War II

"Vagabonding Under Sail"

In 1948, Crealock and three friends pooled their money, purchased an old cutter, and set out "to study the behavior of boats at sea" Crealock arrived in the United States after "an unhurried two-year journey" in a small sailboat Crealock wrote about his adventures sailing with his friends in his first book, "Vagabonding Under Sail" Crealock's second book, "Towards Tahiti" published elsewhere as "Cloud of Islands" relates the story of a lengthy cruise from Panama, via the Galapagos, to the South Pacific On this cruise Crealock sailed on the ketch "Arthur Rogers," a Brixham trawler built in 1929, with its owners Tom and Diana Hepworth The Hepworths later life in the Solomon Islands is documented in the book "Faraway" by Lucy Irvine

In 1956 and 1957, Crealock was the first mate and navigator on a scientific mission aboard the "Gloria Maris," a 110-foot schooner The mission was commissioned by the National Science Foundation to study the shells of the Pacific Ocean In February 1957, the schooner was caught in a typhoon in the South China Sea which rolled the ship to 60 degrees to starboard and put the water level halfway up the wooden deck Crealock recalled being forced to leave the deck at 1 am, telling the skipper, "There's no use going topside" The wind tore the main mast from the deck, and Crealock concluded it would be suicide to go on deck; the schooner dragged the mast for 24 hours through the typhoon before it broke loose

Yacht designer

In 1959, Crealock began a career as a small boat designer in Southern California In the 1960s, his fiberglass designs made boats quicker, less expensive to build, and easier to handle He designed boats for celebrities, including Walter Cronkite, William Hurt, and Claire Trevor He also became friends with celebrities, including Rock Hudson, Jane Russell, and Natalie Wood, through their interest in boating

In 1986, The San Diego Union wrote that, in local yachting circles, Crealock's name was almost as well known as that of the America's Cup champion, Dennis Conner Crealock said at the time that naval architecture was for people who love boats and boating: "We do it for a living, because if we didn't, we'd probably be doing it on the backs of envelopes" He noted that he had started in Glasgow designing parts of large ships and found the design of yachts a more satisfying profession: "I soon realized it was not very romantic to spend several weeks designing one bulkhead on a big ship So I started big and edged my way down to pleasure boats, which was what I really wanted to do, because in small boats you do the whole thing" Crealock described the factors he considers in designing a boat:

"Seaworthiness in a cruising boat has to be the No 1 consideration It doesn't matter how cute the boat is if it doesn't get the cruisers to their destination in one piece Just about any boat does well in Southern California A bathtub would do fairly well But when things get bad, when it's blowing hard and rough, that's when the difference between boats shows up most But beyond safety, you must give up in some areas to achieve in others The boat must be aesthetically pleasing to the owner and not too slow – nobody likes a slow boat But you can't take a camper and put it on a Ferrari and say you have the ideal combination"

In 1975, Bill Crealock designed the longest, lightest, trailerable Masthead ketch sailboat ever built, the Clipper Marine 32 Aft Cabin Ketch coastal diesel cruiser racer About 100 of these sailboats were built in 1975 and 76, and many still sail the waters of the world today CM32's had an 8-foot beam and 4,500 displament, were supplied with a two or three axle trailer that could be pulled by the family vehicle, put his design in the record books A heavier displacement blue water CM32 was also built, and was also trailerable, sold in an aft cockpit single mast sloop A smaller designed CM 30, a 30-foot motorsailor was also offered

In 1976, he designed the Willard 8-Ton World Cruising Yacht, a blue water yacht for long distance cruising, for the Willard Company Crealock's other well-known designs included the Westsail 42, the Crealock 34 and 37, the Pacific Seacraft 31 and the Dana 24

In 2002, the Pacific Seacraft 37, designed by Crealock, was inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame

Crealock said the most unusual vessel he was ever commissioned to design was a large bottle He recalled, "A guy sitting inside was to cruise it down the coast off the beaches to advertise a soft drink It was never built, fortunately" Crealock did not own a boat himself, saying he had no time to sail one However, he enjoyed participating in sea trials of the boats he designed, joking that he did so "just to show I'm not afraid the boat's going to sink"

Crealock died at his home in Carlsbad, California, in September 2009 He was survived by his wife, Lynne Banner Crealock, a daughter, a stepson and a grandson


  1. ^ Rod Kulbach Sep 1993 "W I B Crealock: Designer and gentleman" Cruising World 
  2. ^ Rod Kulbach "WIB Crealock: Designer And Gentleman" West Sail 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Carole R Shaw 1986-10-19 "Boat designers love their craft" The San Diego Union 
  4. ^ William I B Crealock 1951 Vagabonding under sail 
  5. ^ W I B Crealock 1955 Towards Tahiti London: Peter Davies 
  6. ^ William I B Crealock 1955 Cloud of islands; by sail to the South Seas Hastings House 
  7. ^ "Schooner Being Fitted for Scientific Trip" Los Angeles Times 1955-04-17 
  8. ^ a b c d "Vessel Outlasts Angry Storm on Shell Mission: 110-Foot Schooner Caught in Watery Snare of South China Sea Typhoon" Los Angeles Times 1957-02-11 
  9. ^ a b c d e Tony Perry 2009-10-10 "WIB Crealock dies at 89; yacht designer and author" Los Angeles Times 
  10. ^ "New Motorsailor" Los Angeles Times 1974-09-28 
  11. ^ "New Bluewater Yacht" Los Angeles Times 1976-03-14 
  12. ^ Dennis McClellan 1988-07-08 "Dreamboats Pair Build Classy Craft for Blue-Sea Sailors" Los Angeles Times 

External links

  • Bill Crealock
  • Dana 24 review
  • Google Maps path of the Content as documented in Vagabonding Under Sail 1951

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