Skip to main content

Sunsets: W.I.B. Crealock

The sailing world lost one of its own on September 26 when William I. B. Crealock passed away n his Carlsbad, California home. The noted sailor, yacht designer, and author was 89 years old. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1920, Crealock set out to sea in 1932 with three mates to "study the behavior of boats at sea." The group of friends sailed an ancient cutter called Content from the

The sailing world lost one of its own on September 26 when William I. B. Crealock passed away n his Carlsbad, California home. The noted sailor, yacht designer, and author was 89 years old.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1920, Crealock set out to sea in 1932 with three mates to "study the behavior of boats at sea." The group of friends sailed an ancient cutter called Content from the cultural wilds of Morocco to the ecological wilds of Guyana, documenting his experiences in his first book, Vagabonding Under Sail. Other big passages and gripping sailing stories would follow, including a nerve-wrecking voyage through a massive typhoon in the Pacific Ocean. Crealock and his crew lost their mainsail in the blow but successfully and safely managed to bring the boat ashore in Okinawa for repairs before eventually sailing to his adopted home of California.

Stateside, Crealock received his first commission to design Lady Claire, a 56-foot trawler. He drew upon his education at Glasgow University and his time at sea to draw this husky yacht. Crealock's timing into the design world coincided with the golden Age of Yacht Design (1960s and 1970s), namely the early years of fiberglass boats. Many other boats followed, ranging in size from 40 to 70 feet; his designs were both for power vessels and sailboats. Among the later, the Crealock 37, with 362 afloat, is perhaps his most celebrated design (it was inducted into the Sailboat Hall of Fame in 2002), but other Crealock classics include the Westsail 42/43, as well as many custom designs.

Crealock will be remembered as an unassuming, perfect gentleman who spoke the Queen's English, polite to a T and always willing to help a friend, a customer, or a fellow sailor.

He is survived by his wife Lynne, stepson Bevan Iredell, daughter Anne with husband Tom Robinson, and grandson Nathaniel. Crealock's final voyage will take place on November 8 aboard the brigantine Irving Johnson, from which his ashes will be spread into the sea. The public is welcome to watch from Point Fermin Park in San Pedro, California. The family requests that in lieu of flowers please, if desired, send donations to the Los Angeles Maritime Institute's Brigantine Project Completion Loan at www.lamitopsail.org.

Related

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 10.42.33 AM

Race Update: RORC Transat

With the fleet leaders about halfway to Grenada, the 2022 RORC Transatlantic is shaking out to be a tactically interesting one. The race, now in its 8th edition, began on Saturday with 30 teams ranging from 70-foot catamarans to a 28-foot JPK 1010. Early in the race, light winds ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1585

Experience: Fire Down Below

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local racing had resumed with household crews only. My wife, though, while always up for a pleasure sail, was not up for this kind of thing, so, for the fifth time in what was any measure an unusual sailing season, I found myself singlehanding my ...read more

BestBoats2022-logo

Best Boats 2022

In case you hadn’t heard, the fall 2021 boat show season was one for the record books. If there was ever any doubt the sailing public still enjoys making its way to Newport, Rhode Island, or Annapolis, Maryland, to see the latest in boat design, those doubts were put to rest ...read more

01-LEAD-Dominique-David-2048x

Mulithull Show Coming to La Grande-Motte

After a year without boat shows, 2021 proved to be a blockbuster summer and fall for events around the globe, and the International Mulithull Show is looking to continue that trend in 2022. First held in 2010, the show, which takes place in La Grand-Motte, France, on the shores ...read more