MillCreek 13, Big and tall

I just finished a MillCreek 13 for my wife and she loves it. Now she wants me to build one for myself - matching his and hers. The problem is that I'm 6'4" 250lb, with more than average mass up high. I fit in the cocpit just fine but the boat sinks down several inches more than when she's in it. 

Are there any tweaks for this model for big and tall guys. (Remember; the boss wants matching his and hers so it's got to be a mill creek 13).






18 replies:

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RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

What would be the effect of padding the bottom and bilge panels? Something like an extra 1/4" of width in the middle, fading to zero at the ends?


RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

Take it from a 14 yr. divorced guy...Getting what you want or need should take precedence over 'cute'.  Is your wife 6'4" and 250 lbs. too?



RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

 I'm looking for boatbuilding advice ;)

Take it from a 14 yr. divorced guy  ... 

    As far as relationship advice, maybe you're not the one who should be giving it.  :o  


Getting what you want or need should take precedence over 'cute'. ...

    My wife wants matching Kayaks. I thought it was a wonderful idea. What's wrong with that?


RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall


Matching kayaks are great, but unfortunately kayaks are subject to the laws of physics. That's why there's the MC13 and the MC16.5.

Just be sure to finish your 16.5 exactly the same way as you did hers. Then you'd have 2 boats, same product line, same shape, same materials, same finish and same boat/paddler proprtions. Everyone will spot the match.

If you went out in a pair of 13's, your proprtions would be different and the match would not be as apparent.

It's like t-shirts - when you guys go out in matching t-shirts, I'll bet she wears her size and you wear yours, yet people register you as a match.

So see if you guys can agree on a definition of match with includes the whole boat/paddler combination. After that it'll be easy.

Have fun,




RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

There is another reason for building the same model; the first one has modifications to allow a catamaran coupling w/ sailing rig. These modifications were designed with a second MC13 in mind. Now that the first one is a hit, I have clearance on the second.


Thanks anyway for the advice to go with a 16.5 but it's going to be MC13. I'm pondering modifications that can help accomodate our size difference. 

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

Consider some of the sailing rigs found in the South Pacific. The main hull and "ama"hull, which I've seen people ride in or on, are different in size but the boats sail very well. I'm a guy your size and I shutter to think how badly off it's designed lines I would displace an MC13, I can however visualize an MC13/MC16.5 rig that would be VERY sailable and the boats, when standing on their own, would be an obvious match. I've also kept the same woman happy (I hope) for over 40 years so I speak from a good place where that's concerned. SEEYA Jack

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

So does anybody have thoughs on tewaking a MC13 hull ?

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

One of my yaks is a Duck 12.  It has a similar paddler weight limit as the Millcreek 13.  I am 6' 4" at 260 lbs.  I have no problem paddling my Duck.  You haven't told us how the Mill Creek paddles for you.  How is it? 

But I do prefer to paddle my Ches. 18. 

Kim Haubert

President Local Woman Haters Club


RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

" You haven't told us how the Mill Creek paddles for you.  How is it? "

To be perfectly honest, it's the first kayak I've been in. I've paddled canoes all my life.

I like it. It's smaller, faster, lighter and more manoverable than I'm used to. The seat is way more comfortable (and this is the wooden slat seat from the book). Obviously this boat won't haul a lot of camping gear so it can't compete there.

Some of the things I'm not sure of; seemed tippy at first, I didn't check the secondary stability yet. While very manouverable, it takes me more effort to steer, not sure if I just need to get used to it or if I'd prefer a rudder (currently no rudder).

Here are some pictures; when I'm in it the bilge panel is fully submerged, not so for my wife.


RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

A longer kayak would be easier to keep in a straight line.  If that is what you mean by steering.  Big reason why I like my 18.

Kim Haubert

President of the Ohio Women Haters Club

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

A longer kayak would be easier to keep in a straight line.  If that is what you mean by steering.  Big reason why I like my 18.


I'm happy with the way it tracks, I just have canoe paddle strokes hardwired. So it was a little frustrating with the kayak paddel not being able to steer as I'm used to.

Can anyone point me to plans for a homemade rudder?

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

appdx...................that boat is rated for 300 pounds. You weigh 250. What is the problem? Of course the boat will sit lower with a heavier paddler. Why do you see this as a problem? You are 50 pounds light of having to worry about it. The 250 pound max recommendation for a paddler has a 50 pound buffer built into it for gear to be carried on the boat.

Part of what you are uncomfortable about will pass as you get used to the boat. You need to be flexible at the waist. In time you won't think about your balancing, it will become reflexive. The 'tippy' feeling will pass with experience. A 29 inch beam is huge and extremely stable.

Also in time, you will find ways to 'tweak' the boat to make it more perfect for you. For example, moving your seat an inch or so forward can make a difference if much of your weight is aft. How and where you store your gear can also make a difference in balance and handling.

Your turning will improve in time also. A rudder really is not needed on kayaks. You will learn to lean to cut/carve your turn without effort. Where a rudder comes in handy and appreciated is when you do a lot of kayaking in open bays where the wind is howling and combatting strong tidal currents in channels near inlets. I have days where I would like a rudder in my kayak but those are generally bad weather days, for the most part it is not needed. You will develop better paddling skills by not having one.

I recommend you move forward and finish building your matching pair.

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

I have followed this discussion for several days now and feel I must stick my oar in.  A look at the pictures posted with this discussion and it becomes very obvious that a 250# person in the MC 13 is pushing the limits.  Yes, technically you are still within the design limits of the boat, but barely.  You are right on the ragged edge.  Why would you want to put all the effort into a new build of a boat that does not fit you properly.  A good measure of a boat's potential speed performance is its displacement-lenght ratio.  This is a number which represents the relationship between the weight (boat and paddler in this case) and the waterline length.  The MC 16.5, with a 250# paddler, has a similar DLR to the MC 13 with a 150# paddler.  The 16.5 is the boat that would fit you as the 13 fits your wife.  Now, a word on modifying the hull form of the MC 13.  As a Naval Architect, I tend to really do a knee-jerk when folks talk about altering a proven design, especailly if it is someone with less that a lot of experience with design themselves.  For example, your idea of increasing depth and beam would need to go considerably farther than the 1/4" suggessted.  You would need to increase the maximum beam by about 50% to get your MC 13 to float at the same draft as your wife's boat.  It will now look a lot more like a pumpkin shell than a kayak at that point.  So, I strongly recommend that you build a boat that fits you.  Pick one that puts your weight and height well within the limits suggested.  Make it a project that, when finished, will reward you for all your hard efforts of construction.

Good Luck

Paul G.

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

How does the MC15 compare with the MC13? Anyone here who's used both?  (I don't see the plans here for the 15 but rember seeing it in a book).

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall


 G'day, I weigh about 210Lbs and I used to use an electric trolling motor with a car battery in my MC13 while I was recovering from a heart attack (back to good health now) and the boat carried the weight well.

RobertMill Creek with motor

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

Hi, hope you don't mind one more comment.  I am 6' and 240lbs and I don't have any issues with my Mill Creek 13.  I felt the same way you did when I first put it in the water but got over it after my first 4 hour paddle.  It was a little freaky to look back at the rear of the boat and see only 3 or 4" of boat out of the water.  

It helped when I moved the seat forward a couple inches, however I had to install some padding to keep my legs from rubbing raw on the edges of the combing.

As you know, this is an extremely stable boat and I think you'll get used to it.  

Besides, you can always build another boat where that you feel more comfortable.

RE: MillCreek 13, Big and tall

Wow - long thread going here!  I guess I will jump in.  I'm 6 foot 7 and 195 pounds and have the Mill Creek 13.  I will often put one of my three kids in front of me in the boat bringing the weight to where you are at but evenly distrubuting it.  I love the boat.  I would however think hard about spending time building something that isn't just right for you - it is a lot of work and having them match doesn't mean anything.  There is good reason CLC has some many options because people want and desire many different things for different reasons.  I'd read about some others and think about what is best for you personally. 

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