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niftynickers 10-13-2009 04:27 PM

Gentleman Bill Crealock
Sad news-WIB Crealock (gentleman Bill) has died at the age of 89.Apparently complications from a broken hip.More info in Yachting and Boating World.
Fair Winds and following seas Bill.
Dianne and Chuck Burke S/V NiftyNickers Crealock 37 #139

SVArgo 10-14-2009 12:37 PM

Rest in Peace Bill
That is sad thing, but Bill Crealock's legacy will no doubt live on for decades to come.

JohnRPollard 10-14-2009 03:33 PM


I hadn't heard. Thanks (gulp) for passing along the sad news.

Anyone who'd like to read a short obituary can find one here.

Like so many other Pacific Seacraft owners, we had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with WIB Crealock on several occasions in Annapolis. Invariably one had the sense of being in the presence of a rare gem of a man -- that unusual combination of natural brilliance, acquired experience, self-deprecating wit, modesty, and warm charm.

"Bill" had a friendly, easy way about him. He'd stand in front of the assembled crowd, responding to the same questions that he'd heard year after year from would-be blue-water sailors (e.g. "What are the benefits of the skeg-hung rudder?" or "Why not a full-keel?"), as if it was the best question he'd ever heard and the first time he'd heard it. Always a polite, thoughtful reply.

Certainly his small boat designs pale in significance when compared to his larger projects (see, e.g. Irving Johnson) --- Bill was one of the rare few true "Naval Architects" designing production sailboats. But his goal (at least with his Pacific Seacraft series of boats) was not to produce the fastest hull form, rather instead to create a wholesome sailing boat, in a sturdy, comfortable package equally capable of working the coast or transiting an ocean. Plenty of builders today claim to produce "ocean rated" boats, but very few offer designs in the mid-low-30 foot range, much less a 24 footer, with those capabilities.

After a decade of sailing his designs (first a Dana 24, now a Crealock 31) I can attest that the man had rarified talent. Spend even a short stretch aboard his boats and you cannot help but appreciate the convenience and safety features he incorporated into these designs, and the genius behind them. On many occasions while pressing along in challenging conditions, I've told my anxious kids not to worry because "Bill Crealock designed this boat to take good care of us."

This past weekend, we ripped across Chesapeake Bay with a single reefed main and partially furled genny in a solid nor'wester, turned up the Eastern Bay close-reaching steadily at over 6 knots, rounded Tilghman Point, headed across the mouth of the Miles, turned up the Wye River, pinched our way up around Bruff's Island, cracked off a bit and poked our way upriver to a tiny creek. Sailed the entire way, often with newer, flashier "modern" designs motoring along beside us. We had a foul bottom, but maybe we had a little nudge from a helping hand too.

Thank you, Bill, for these wonderful sailing machines and the memories we make in them. You'll be missed.

I invite owners of any Crealock-design (PSC or otherwise) to post a photo or two here in tribute to the Gentleman.

Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 going to weather:

And at anchor:

tdw 10-14-2009 04:38 PM

It's always a shame to see another one of the old guys shuffling off. Inevitable as it may be there is always a sense of loss.

There was a Crealock design on a mooring near us for some time and I never passed by without thinking what a good looking boat she was.

ralopata 10-14-2009 06:11 PM

1 Attachment(s)
As per John's "Memorial Request," if I uploaded correctly, here's another of Bill's designs, the PSC 40, underway somewhere between Long Island and Newport.

Just to echo the other posts, Bill was a true gentleman, a lively wit, and a delight to meet.

Fair Winds Bill.

Roger Lopata
PSC 40 -- #46

j.cook 10-14-2009 06:55 PM

Bill Crealock
1 Attachment(s)
I see a lot of familiar names, from several e-mail lists, writing in after
the passing of Bill Crealock. We all share a lot of good memories of great
ocean rides, all thanks to the wonderful designs that Bill provided. As requested, I'll post a photo, too. Rest in peace, Bill.

Jared Cook
Bunky II
PSC 37 #344

MC1 10-14-2009 07:35 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Well said John. I never met you Bill but what you've left us all speaks volumes. Fair winds and rest well.

DGriffith 10-14-2009 08:37 PM

To all my friends, I shed tears today. To most of us, we just sail a Crealock. I had the fortune of speaking to Mr. Crealock over the phone some years past and he thanked me for my call and we just had a nice personal meeting. I will always remember when (for me i'm quite shure) he said to me AHHH the 37 my favorite design! Google wib crealock and read the obit from LA Times.:cool: A great photo from the family album. Doug Griffith Crealock 37 #249

JohnRPollard 10-15-2009 09:50 AM

Doug et al,

Here is a link to the LA Times obit Doug mentioned.

Similar to the other one, but with a nice photo of Bill at the helm in his younger days.:)

SecondWindNC 10-15-2009 04:21 PM

Bill Crealock will be missed greatly, especially in the Pacific Seacraft community. He designed beautiful and amazing boats that have carried countless people over the horizon and back safely, and are a delight to sail. I did not have the opportunity to meet him, but those I know who did speak of him highly.

If these photos don't show up, they are also in my Gallery.

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