Since the publication of the design of Unsanctioned, a 22-foot lightweight outboard cruiser, a number of inquiries have turned up in the mail asking for designs of a typical shallow draft river cruiser; one to match the type of craft associated with the great and small rivers of the middle west.
River Rat, whose design appears this month, one might call a fresh water sister to Unsanctioned. Her over-all length is 22 feet; the waterline length is 18 feet 6 inches; the breadth 8 feet; and the draft, 1 foot 2 1/4 inches. The freeboard at the bow is 2 feet 5 1/2 inches, and at the stern, 2 feet 4 inches. The sheer is a straight line. The speed with a 25 horsepower outboard motor will be very close to 17.5 miles an hour.
The cabin is laid out for a party of four. The deckhouse is fashioned after the manner of most western river work boats. The house sides are high and extend for nearly the length of the hull. Also they are parallel sided. This simplifies the window arrangement and gives the utmost in usable space inside; a practical rectangular cabin. The headroom throughout is a good 6 feet beneath the deck beams. The windows are of modern type; glass without sash sliding in standard window channels. The forward cabin door hinges outwards. It is fitted with glass and when opened against the forward cabin window does not obstruct the view. The after door is of sliding type; two doors. These should he fitted with glass panels. No need for sliding hatchway over the after doors; but a hatchway will be necessary over the forward doors. The cockpit floor is 3 inches above the L. W. L. and will be self draining. Therefore any water splashing out of the outboard well will drain overboard.
A helmsman's seat is forward at the steering wheel and similar seat is on the opposite hand. There is a gasoline tank beneath each seat; the combined capacity of both tanks will be a little over 25 gallons. A water tank will be located below the port berth. This should have a capacity of approximately 20 gallons. The berths will be located as shown; 6 feet 4 inches long by 2 feet 3 inches wide. The backs of the berths will hinge upwards to form uppers. Notice that when the backs are down their tops are several inches below the sills of the cabin windows. The toilet room and hanging locker are abaft the main cabin. The respective doors of water closet space and locker close off this unit, incidentally providing generous space here. The galley is aft; a little over 3 feet long; both sides adding up to 6 feet of counter, locker, and working room. Considering the modest out-side dimensions of River Rat the accommodations are astonishing. She will be a most livable big, little boat.
This latest design shows a scow model hull having enough deadrise in the bottom forward sections to ease slapping when the boat is plugging against a head wind and sea. The deadrise flattens aft which combined with the straight chine lines will prevent the hull settling at the stern while under way at top speed. It will be noticed there is a skeg extending from station 5 to within five inches of station 11; this will keep the boat on a straight course and contribute a lot toward ease of handling at both low and high speed. The nature of a hull of scow form makes it very difficult to provide topside flare. In view of the fact that a boat like River Rat will be used on well protected waterways there are likely to be few days when the going will be rough enough to make the boat wet and uncomfortable. Of course with the windward side windows closed she will be snug and dry inside.
The construction is as light as possible consistent with strength. The planking will be made of 3/8" waterproof plywood.