The Mill Creek 16.5 is a tandem sea kayak with a cockpit so large that it is almost an open boat: an open boat with a huge volume of buoyancy. It is a versatile boat that can be paddled, sailed or rowed with a sliding seat.
Ever since 1997 when WoodenBoat Magazine featured the Mill Creek 13 in a two-issue spread the Mill Creek models have been built in the thousands. They look good, are easy to build and, even though they are more stable than most kayaks, the Mill Creeks offer good speed and handling that you will never get tired of.
The Mill Creek was designed as a wider, shorter and more stable alternative to the typical sea kayak. It offers the stability sought by nature photographers, fishermen and bird watchers. Mahogany trim on cockpits and rails, cambered decks and contoured slatted seats add elegance whilst the fibreglassed 6mm bottom panel will absorb years of groundings in shoal water.
These comfortable, versatile boats have good handling, rewarding speed, stability and classic good looks. The Mill Creeks have found fans among paddlers of all skill levels because they offer so much boat in such a light and easy-to-manage package.
The Mill Creek's multi-chine hull and relatively long waterline give a surprising turn of speed. It tracks reliably even in big seas and strong winds.
The Mill Creek echoes the feel of 1920's double-paddle canoes. Combining the stability and comfortable seating of a canoe with the light weight and decked-in security of a kayak, the Mill Creek is perfect for photography, fishing, ornithology and relaxed paddling.
The Mill Creek 16.5 will carry two adults together with camping gear but is still light enough to be paddled by one. It is hugely popular since it can be fitted with a sailing rig or a drop-in rowing unit or, if you want excitement, we have a kit for removable outriggers which turn it into a fast sailing trimaran. Several customers have fitted little electric motors and one has installed a pedal power unit. There is enough capacity for camping gear (with optional deck hatches) and the boat can be trimmed by sliding the seats fore and aft on their mounts.
There is also a solo version of the boat, the Mill Creek 13.
The Mill Creeks make wonderful sailing boats, sailing well with a standing or balanced lug sail.
So much easier to build than I expected.
The boat comes with traditional slatted seats but an option is available which replaces them with foam seats and backbands for less than the standard price. They are not as pretty as the traditional seats, but more comfortable for long distance work. The seats are available separately but will save you money if purchased as an upgrade to the kit.
The sealed buoyancy chambers under the fore and aft decks require some means of ventilation. When the boat is not in use, they should be opened to allow the air pressure to equalise in response to temperature changes. You can do this by installing a pair of drain plugs or inspection hatches in the bulkheads or by installing deck hatches, which will also provide storage.
This is intended for pre-build study or to help with the decision to purchase. This is the comprehensive manual that accompanies the kit; reading it will help you decide whether or not you can build the boat. It describes all of the techniques that will be used during the build and also a step by step guide to construction. Scale drawings are used throughout as well as photographs of critical jobs.
If, later, you decide to purchase the kit the cost of this manual will be deducted from the kit price.
The manual does not contain the cutting instructions so it is not possible to build the boat from scratch using only this.
The construction manual for the boat is also available as a PDF download. After credit card authorisation a download link will be sent to the email address put on the order form.
These are the plans and manual that accompany the kit. They contain sufficient information on the cutting of the panels to make it possible to build the boat from scratch rather than a kit.
These study plans are intended to give you an overview of the construction of the boat. They are in PDF format that can be viewed using Adobe Reader. There are two pages and they measure 279 × 216 mm (11″ × 8½″). They can be printed for carrying around.
After credit card authorisation the plans will be sent to the email address put on the order form.
When you have studied the plans, your next step might be to order the printed instruction manual, which will walk you through the project step-by-step.
This option contains only the pre-cut plywood and solid wood components plus the plans and manual. It does not contain any of the epoxy to glue and coat the boat, the fabric or tape nor any of the hardware.