Sailboat docks at Prescott Public Library
PRESCOTT - "Who'd have thunked it," a startled woman said Sunday while visiting the Prescott Public Library.
"Huh," was about all a man could muster to say when he saw what startled her.
What caught the attention of library patrons and caused some to do double takes Sunday is the "Isabella" - a handmade 15-foot Chesapeake Light Craft Skerry sailboat that the Prescott Sailing Club installed in the library's Viewerie.
"This is based on a design by Scandinavians," said Jack Seggie, who built the "Isabella." It took him about a year to build because he was busy teaching sailing lessons off the coast of Washington.
"If you don't have interruptions like I did, you could build one from a kit in two to three weeks," he added. The Chesapeake Light Craft website boasts that a person could build a Skerry in one week.
On Sunday, four club members carried the 95-pound boat into the library. Along with the boat display are ship models including a ship-in-a-bottle, photographs of club members sailing area lakes, and the club's new burgee, which is a sailing club's individual flag.
"This is one of my favorite boats because it is easy to sail and easy to build," said Gary Worob, who had the idea for a sailing display in the library.
Seggie, 72, started sailing in the early 1960s after government workers dammed Lynx Creek and created Lynx Lake.
"I built my first sailboat in 1962 right here in Prescott," Seggie said. "It was actually a Verde River boat, which was a long narrow canoe, that I modified. I used an old parachute for the sail. There weren't many people sailing around here back then."
The Isabella is slightly less than five feet wide and seats two to four passengers depending on their size, Seggie said. Sailors consider boats like the Isabella to be reliable, stable and fun, said Allen Laudenslager, the club's safety officer.
"It's not like 'wet boats' like the Sunfish," said Laudenslager, who started sailing in 1969. "Small boats like that depend on the sailors for balance, and if you sail one long enough, sooner or later you're going to tip over and get wet.
"But, if you can master the smaller boats, which are more challenging to sail, you can learn to sail the larger ones a lot easier."
One of the photographs displayed with the Isabella shows a familiar Prescott landmark, Thumb Butte, surrounded by an unfamiliar lake. Sailing club members are seen in the photograph sailing below the famous rock formation.
"It's a fake, we added the lake from another photo," Worob said with a grin.
The Isabella and sailing display are at the Prescott Public Library, 215 E. Goodwin St., until Jan. 31.
To learn more information about the construction of the Isabella, visit www.clcboats.com. To learn more information about the Prescott Sailing Club, visit www.prescottsailingclub.org.
"Of all the places you could show a sailboat, the library is probably the last place you would expect to see one," Worob said. "But there she is."