Saturday, November 26, 2011

Water Rat Developments

My customer and friend, Ross Trinder from Toowoomba, Australia, has just launched the very first (to my knowledge 10.8 ft length Water Rat. Prior to this there had been a number of the original 9 footer on the water, but Ross' is the first 10.8 ft version.

Ross Trinder's Water Rat 10.8 racked on top of his Green Island 15

Jon Trinder, at 6' 2", gives some proportion to the boat.
Jon seems a big fellow, but the 10.8 version sits high in the water
Ross and Jon Trinder elected to instal a commercial seat
Ross Trinder's beautifully finished Water Rat 10.8

Al Burke has written a couple of nice pieces for Duckworks about his Water Rat here (scroll down to Water Rat) and here (again, scroll down to Water Rat).

Al's Water Rat showing that even the short version can carry a load
Al's wife, Rhonda, showing that the tumble home topsides make paddling easy even though the boat is wide. She is also showing that though Al is an expert pilot as well as waterman, she is better looking than him....
As you can see Al Burke did a top-class job of this Water Rat
Here is a photo of my youngest son, Steve (a long time ago), showing how stable the very first boat was. She was originally designed by my great friend, Doug Laver - I collaborated with the project, but the idea was Doug's and I still call her his design. Since the original, I've worked over the projections and some of the proportions, but as much as possible I've stayed true to Doug's original concept and shape.


  1. Hi Ross,

    I like the Sea Rat a lot!
    Do you have the plans for sale?

    Thanks a lot!


  2. Alex, Thanks for the comment. Yes, plans are available, and although the sheets have plenty of detail, there are no accompanying instructions other than what is printed on the plan sheets. It is assumed that a purchaser would have a passing understanding of basic stitch-and-glue construction techniques.

    Plans are available in either metric or imperial measurement (please specify your preference) and the package contains four (4) sheets of A3-sized drawings which covers the building of both the 9ft and the 10.8ft versions. Price is AUD$25 Paypal to my email address ( ) for postage by international airmail. Please send your postal address.

    Any queries about construction will be happily be answered.

    Ross Lillistone

  3. Thanks for the quick reply, Ross!

    I have built two stich-and-glue boats so far, so I think I'll have no problem building the Sea Rat. By the way, I live in Vancouver, Canada. I'll send you an e-mail shortly with my postal address.

    Many thanks again!


  4. just sent my payment for a set of these plans, can't wait. any thoughts on how this will surf compared to a yak board surf kayak? I currently borrow my dads yak board to surf with, however it doesn't match the stability shown in the pictures. I can barely stand on it and not for very long.

  5. Hi Ross
    How wide/beam is your Water Rat design?


  6. Mark,

    Thanks for the comment. She is 36 inches wide at the widest point (to the inside of the planking) but 32 inches wide at the waterline at full load. At the coaming - i.e. where the tumbleholm ceases - she is a fraction over 27 inches.

    Ross Lillistone

  7. Rossco,

    Did Ross Trinder use 4mm or 6mm ply on his longer Water Rat?

    With my 9' Water Rat I used 4mm with a full length centre stiffener of 1/4" x 4" western red cedar ( from an old verical blind) plus some smaller ply pieces and a pair of heel pegs, between the centre stiffener & the chine.You can see these in the photos I put up in Duckworks Magazine forum under "Water Rat".The bottom seems quite stiff enough with these, plus of course,the fore & aft facing seat mounting cleats.

    My Water Rat weighs only 17kg,which is very light,so using 6mm will probably increase it to about 25kg which is still very portable.

    Would "rowerwet" be better advised to use 6mm if he intends surfing his boat?

    Al Burke

  8. Sensational design!

    Rick Hayhoe

  9. A couple of questions.

    I see Jon Trinder is quite tall, but how would Water Rat cope with someone who is large in other dimentions? i.e. 100kg + fishing gear?

    There seems to be some options over ply thickness. How about using 6mm for the bottom (I expect to beach it a lot) and 4mm for the topsides?


  10. I plan on using 1/4" laun underlayment from the big box stores here in the US, I haven't had any problems using it for my mouseboats, I'll be glassing the chines and adding more than one strake to the bottom if it needs it to protect the bottom