Today, I took the Mill Creek 16.5 out for a quick paddle. It tracks nice and straight and accelerated nicely. I was going to make my first launch from our floating boat dock, but decided to make a beach entry instead. I may regret that decision. First, I didn't realize it, but I got a ton of mud in the boat and caked onto the foot pegs by doing that (I was wearing river shoes). Second, as I paddled away, I think I drug the stern on the bottom which in addition to the mud has some rocks. It is floating in our boat slip next to our boat right now. I'll take it out later and have a look for scratches or worse.
The one thing I may need to add is a rudder. It tracks quite straight, but did not turn as easily as I would like. That could be because I weigh over 190lbs and was sitting in the aft seat. That may be the problem. I'll paddle with my 125lb wife up front tomorrow and see how it turns with two paddlers.
I bought a pair of 240cm Bending Branches Whisper paddles and I have to give them very good marks. They are light and I was able to generate good power. For $59 each, they are excellent recreational paddles.
After seeing the completed kayak and seeing me do something at night other than watching TV, my wife is all for me building the WD 12 that I now have my eye on.
I'll have some pictures posted on Tues or Wed.