William Ion Belton Crealock 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.
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 a.m., 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.