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John F. Kennedy's beloved sailboat Victura back on display

JFK's Victura
President John F. Kennedy's beloved sailboat back on display 02:38

BOSTON -- The night before President Kennedy traveled to Dallas, he made a simple sketch inside a Houston hotel room. It may be the last thing he ever put on paper, but it wasn't the first time he thought of his sailboat, Victura.

President Kennedy's last doodle of Victura John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

"All throughout his life it was being out in the sun, in the wind, on the sea, in the salty air, that somehow was always a source of renewal and inspiration for him," said Stacey Bredhoff, curator at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Victura, meaning "about the conquer" in Latin, was given to him by his father when JFK was 15. He named it, cared for it and sailed it for three decades.

"It's exposed to the elements over the summer so that people can see it," Bredhoff said, so it needs the work every year.

In Osterville, Massachusetts, CBS News' Jeff Glor watched as the Victura was being restored by 75-year-old Malcolm Crosby, whose family designed the boat model 100 years ago.

"A lot of history here," Crosby said.

Malcolm Crosby works on the Victura CBS News

Kennedy credited the boating skills he learned on Victura with saving his life in World War II. And in 1953, pictures of Kennedy and a then-Jacqueline Bouvier onboard launched America's love affair with the young couple.

"The Kennedys have boating really in their DNA," said Greg Egan, who owns the Crosby Yacht Yard and overseas the revarnishing, polishing and painting.

"Every year we give it a protective coat of varnish," Egan said. "We want to make sure the boat's in great shape and protected for all the visitors."

President Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy on the Victura John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum 

Victura was returned to the library earlier this month, back at its prime spot on the shoreline.

Stacey Bredhoff CBS News

"What do you find most fascinating about Victura?" Glor asked Bredhoff, the library curator.

"Just the fact it was his and it was so important to him and was such a part of his life," she said.

"It's wonderful to see her here, in the sunshine," she continued.

Where the stories it holds can be shared anew.

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