Jock Williams has been around boats all his life – probably a lot like you. As a teenager growing up on Martha’s Vineyard, he spent his summers working in a marine store, running a fuel dock, operating a launch service, and learning to be a rigger. At fifteen, he bought his first sailboat and was soon an avid participant in local day races and, a little later, ocean racing. He has skippered a contender in the Bermuda Race and crewed in six additional Bermuda Races. Jock has also competed in two transatlantic races, the TransPac, and almost every major ocean race in the Northeast. A 1962 graduate of Colby College, Jock went on to Naval Officer Candidate School and was subsequently assigned to a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey ship charting the South China Sea for vessels in the Vietnam War. Later, he was stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Office in Annapolis, and served as varsity sailing coach.
Discharged from duty in 1967, Jock moved to Denmark to serve a year’s apprenticeship in wooden boatbuilding at Paul Molich’s shipyard in Hundested. Upon his return to the States he joined the notable Hinckley Company as fiberglass production manager. When, a few years later, he felt it was time to strike out on his own, the John Williams Boat Company was born.
With a background in traditional wooden boatbuilding and a full understanding of the advantages of fiberglass hull construction, his boats naturally incorporate the best of both. His wide experience as a sailor and racer has also given him a special appreciation for beauty, grace, and responsiveness that is exemplified in every boat that goes down the ways. Being president of the company means Jock must spend time in the office tending to business, but his first love remains what it has always been: “. . . simply messing about in boats.”