Plans & Drawings

CN1075 plans of a boat

The Mariners' Museum at Christopher Newport University houses a collection of over 10,000 plans and drawings related to historic watercraft. Publication dates range from the mid 18th through 20th century and include steam, motor, sail and human powered watercraft.

The plans collection includes naval, merchant, passenger, combination, recreational, fishing, and yachting vessels. The plans depict primitive vessels through modern-day craft, with a focus on the last two centuries. There is also an assortment of architectual views, such as rigging plans, inboard and outboard profiles, deck arrangements, midships sections, hull lines, general arrangements, and sheer, body and half breadth views.

See a list of selected plans from the collection

In addition, there are more than 55,000 original design plans for Chris-Craft boats built from 1922 -1980.

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Piver trimaran catalog

Arthur Piver Collection
Acquired in 2001, this collection contains plans of trimaran boats designed by Arthur Piver and produced under the company name Pi-Craft during the 1950s and 1960s. Vessels include Lodestar, Trident, Banner, Chariot, Empress, Encore, Herald, Nimble, and Victress. The plans are part of a larger collection (MS232) that consists of articles, periodicals, books from Piver's personal library, manuscripts pertaining to his research and visual material, including film, photographs, and slides.


John L. Hacker Collection
Considered among the 20th century's finest boat designers, Hacker's collection ranges in dates from 1935 through 1961 and contains materials such as annual reports, original photographs, patents, plans, and much more. Plans for boats, ranging in sizes from 12' to 108', include cruisers, fishing vessels, hydroplanes, rescue boats, runabouts, sedans, torpedo boats, and utility boats.


The Library has plans for the heralded Civil War ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia as well as early concept designs of ironclads and later Monitor-class vessels produced for the U.S. Navy. These plans range in dates from 1846 through 1902, spanning a period of innovation and transformation in naval architecture.

See the list of plans


Everyday Library staff handle a variety of requests concerning the plans and drawings collection. Areas of interest include cargo vessels, Civil War naval vessels, lighthouses, multihulls, passenger liners, small craft, and yachts.

Frequently Requested Plans


The public is invited to visit the Library to conduct research using the plans and drawings collection. If you cannot visit the Library, staff can assist in locating plans for you.

There are additional fees to obtain reproductions of plans (see below).



View images online for purchase at The Image Collection

Copies of plans from this collection can be purchased on bond paper for personal or research use.

  • Prices vary and are based upon the size of the original drawings.
  • Shipping and handling is calculated based on the dollar amount of the total order.
  • Museum members enjoy a 20% discount on the cost of reproduction of plans.

For conservation and copyright reasons, The Mariners' Museum reserves the right to refuse to copy any of its plans and drawings.

The Mariners' Museum does not warrant any construction based on these drawings, and disclaims any and all responsibility and liability whatsoever, whether expressed or implied, that may arise from any use of these drawings.

For more information please contact:

For commercial use, publication or public display of plans or drawings contact:

Click here for more information on the Chris-Craft collection.