Rudder Kit for Mill Creek 16.5

I am planning on purchasing the Hybrid Mill Creek 16.5 and was not sure if I should purchase the rudder kit.  I usually paddle a 12' stripper canoe I build in 2007 or our Old Town 14.5 canoe.  I have little experience with a kayak and I was concerned if the rudder kit was essential.  Seems all the photo's I see have the rudder kit.  I will usually be padding with the wife if that makes any difference.



4 replies:

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RE: Rudder Kit for Mill Creek 16.5


I would strongly recommend a rudder.  I built an MC 16.5 over three years ago, primarily to row with the Piantedosi rowing rig.  I am also set up to accept the kit standard slat seats for paddling.  On rare occassions I do paddle the boat with my wife.  Since this is an occassional thing only, and because of the rowing priority, I do not have a rudder.  With two paddling, it is not a matter of tracking, the boat is like it is on rails.  Consequently, it  is darned difficult to turn and thus the desire for a rudder.  As a point of contrast, I also have a Shearwater 17, with a rudder.  The rudder is nice when in traffic, or when fighting a wind, but under most conditions can be paddled with the rudder retracted.

One other item:  If you plan to paddle the boat single for any amount of time, you will want an alternate seating position closer to amidships.  Ottherwise the bow is totally out of the water and the boat will act like a weathervane in any wind no matter what you do with a rudder.  Not sure how you set up rudder controls for two different paddling positions.  That's one for the CLC folks!!

I hope this is helpful.


RE: Rudder Kit for Mill Creek 16.5

Thanks PAG,

That was my main concern, it looked pretty long and I wondered how easy it was to steer.  We often go to a State Park here in Ga. that has a river trail that is loaded with cypress trees and you need to manuver thru and around these trees.  I have seen other kayaks in this park and noticed some had the rudder and they were usually the longer kayaks.  When paddling solo, could you not sit in the foward seat?

Again, thanks for the reply!!

RE: Rudder Kit for Mill Creek 16.5

Hi Neil,

  My Mill Creek 16.5 is about three years old and never had a rudder until the sail kit was installed late last year. In my opinion it's not needed for paddleing with two people, or one as long as there's no wind. That weathervane issue is a real pain when solo. On the other hand I think it sails better solo, but there's a lee board strapped behind the front seat for that.



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