James Backus Collection

Ships Plans Collection 144

Overview of the Collection

Repository: Ships Plans Division, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Backus, James
Title: James Backus Collection
Dates: 1982-
Extent: 125 sheets
Abstract: Original plans drawn  by James Backus for, primarily, pleasure craft, including the Victory tugs,  Cigarillo, Gatsby and Kodiak boats.
Identification: Coll. 144

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Biography of James Backus

James Backus was born in 1946. He attended Bryant College in Providence, Rhode Island, working for residential architects while attending Bryant. Jim applied for, and was accepted to, the Rhode Island School of Design Masters Architecture program but was then drafted into the US Army. To complete college, Jim joined the US Marines on a 180-day delay program, with grad school put on hold. A near fatal helicopter incident caused Jim to fear heights so he turned his attention to yacht design. Jim graduated from the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, apprenticed with Pearson Yachts in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and worked as a designer with Robert H. Perry, Yacht Designers, Seattle, Washington. In 1982 Jim opened his own office and his first design was the Victory 37 tug. Jim designed production and custom boats, commercial fishing boats and pleasure boats, in fiberglass, aluminum, traditional wood and plywood. Jim moved back to Connecticut when a recession hit, accepting the Chief Instructor position at Westlawn while continuing to design. He became president of Westlawn and held that position for seven years. Much of his later work was in conceptual design development having transitioned from traditional hand drawing to computer-developed designs.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Ships Plans Division.

Restrictions on Use

Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Ships Plans Division.

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Index Terms

This collection is not included in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers who are interested in finding library material about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Document Types

Ships plans

Occupations

Naval architects
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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 144, Ships Plans Division, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.
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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Vessel designs
144.1 37′ Victory Tugboat, cruising power boat Designer: James Backus; for Admiralty Ltd, commercial contract #2; 27 sheets  of plans, dated 1982-1985.
144.2A 23′ Gloucester fisherman, design 38 Designer: James Backus; for Nowak and Walls Yacht Sales; 8 sheets of plans, dated 1983-1986
144.2B 23′ Kodiak Fisherman Cruiser, design 38 Designer: James Backus; for Andrew Nowak and Kodiak Ventures; 7 sheets of plans, dated 1983 – 1986
144.2C 23′ Kodiak Cruiser, design 38 Designer: James Backus;  design 38; for Andrew Nowak and Kodiak Ventures, 4 sheets of plans, dated 1983.
144.3A 14′ Cigarillo high speed planing hull Designer: James Backus;  design 39; for Peter Buck, ©Cigarello Boat Co. 5 sheet of plans, 1984.
144.3B 22′ Cigarillo high speed planing hull, Des. 39, Designer: James Backus; design 39; for Peter Buck, ©Cigarello Boat Co., Inc.   1 sheet, not dated.
144.4 Ski-Cat  4.2M Designer: James Backus; for Buck Enterprises, 2 sheets dated 1986.
144.5 42′ houseboat Designer: James Backus; design 85-1, 9 sheets of plans dated 1985-03 thru 1985-06.
144.6 Bull Dog 26′ Designer: James Backus; built by Benchmark Marine Inc.;  6 sheets of plans dated 1986-07-1986-09.
144.7 49′ Victory tugboat, cruising power boat Design contract #2; for Admiralty LTD., /Lord Nelsom Yachts; 19 sheets, plans dated 1982-1986.
144.8 18′ Livingston fishing, bass boat Designer: James Backus; for Jim Sandman; 8 plans dated 1987-06 – 1987-08.
144.9 36′ ketch Designer:  James Backus; for Jim Sandman; 17 sheets, plans dated 1985-10 – 1988-03.
144.10 54′ Liberty Gatsby Designer: James Backus; for Liberty Yachts; 1 plan dated 1987-10.
144.11 Gatsby 46 Designer: James Backus; for Admiralty Ltd., 1sheets, dated 1987-12.
144.12 Doge of Vince Designer: James Backus; for Gregory R. Caron and F James & Association; 1 sheet, not dated.
144.13 36′ sailing power yacht; ©1986-01-24 Designer: James Backus; for Liberty Yachts; 1 sheet, not dated.
144.14 52 diesel powered Passage Maker Designer: James Backus; 1 sheet, not dated.
144.15 53′ Long Distance yacht; ©1984 US Patent Office Designer: James Backus; 1 sheet, not dated.
144.16 27′ fisherman Designer: James Backus; 1 sheet, not dated.
144.17 42′ Police / Rescue /Fire/Pilot boat Designer: James Backus; builder: Island Marine Industry, Albany NY; 1 sheet, not dated.
144.18 21st Century Floating Home Designer: James Backus;  1 sheet, not dated.
144.19 45′ express yacht Designer: James Backus; 1 sheet, not dated.
144.20 Futuristic passenger launch Designer: James Backus; 1 sheet, not dated; Drawing of Futuristic passenger launch showing passenger seating accommodations.
144.21 Gatsby Models Illustrations Designer: James Backus; 4 sheets, profiles of Gatsby 46 and Gatsby 39.

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