Hello all, I'm new to the wood built kayak hobby, and my hope is to build something to replace the 1980 vintage Folbot I currently use around the Northwest. I enjoy getting out when I can but the 17' boat is heavy and hard to load on my own. It is 34" wide and weighs about 85 lbs just guessing. It takes some work to paddle several miles. It is larger than what I really need, most of the time it's just me with two Pomeranian dogs but on occasion a young niece or nephew comes along. I just do short day trips, fair weather calm lake to calm river boating. Although I don't get out much during the year I think with the right boat I'd get out a lot more often.
Since I've never paddled anything besides my Folbot I have a number of questions, but for now I'll just ask two:
1) What boat to go with. Definitely doing a stitch 'n glue vs. strip built for time, cost and difficulty reasons. I'm leaning toward the Mill Creek 13 because it looks like the cockpit is large enough for myself and a couple 4-legged passengers or younger child. I am 5'9" and 165 lbs so capacity isn't much of an issue. The other one I was kinda looking atis the 12' Wood Duck but I think it's a bit small as far as the cockpit is concerned.
2) Has anyone built a boat by ordering the plans then coming up with and cutting out their own material? How difficult & challenging is that? If you order the plans & book only would it still cost hundreds in materials to build a Mill Creek 13?
3) Lastly how laborious is it to paddle a MC 13 any considerable distance, what would its typical "cruising" speed be, maybe 3-3.5 knots?
I've sure been enjoying this site and am excited about possibly building a boat. I've been looking around at kayaks a bit but I find plastic boats VERY unappealing.