Mill Creek seats question

So, we ran into a snag during the buildout of the MC 16.5 (cut the deck beam too short, had to scarf/glue some extra material on) and during the delay I decided to knock out the seats. 

Came together reasonably well but came up with two questions that I figured folks here might have opinions on:

1) Do people generally coat with epoxy or some other sealant to avoid potential water damage? I'm starting to get sensitive about overall boat weight, but it seems like a good idea.

2) I've read various posts and build logs discussing a middle seat placement for solo paddling. Any suggestions on where that's best located? Do people just glue additional guides in the middle? Don't think those would be too much in the way... 

5 replies:

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RE: Mill Creek seats question

for what it's worth, my Mill Creek seats are just varnished but some water got in the boat during storage and the back seat has some damage on the lower rails now from soaking it up. I haven't tried the center seat position but I've tried rowing solo from both the front and rear in wind and the bow tries to blow downwind from both. Worse in the rear, I'm contemplating a removeable skeg for the bow to fix the problem. Another issue you might run across is the slat width. The plans and the instruction book give different widths, 1/4 and 3/8. Go with the 3/8, I used the 1/4 and cracked a few,



RE: Mill Creek seats question

I use my MC 16.5 seats very little as I primarily row the boat with the Piantidosi Row Wing.  That being said, I have paddled the boat as a single, from the aft seat, and found it pretty unsatisfactory.  Any breeze at all kicks the bow around.  Also a considerable amount of boat length is out of the water, shortening the waterline length.  Were I going to paddle this boat as a single, I would definitely install cleats and straps for a middle seat position.  that position should be pretty close to half way between the fore and aft locations, perhaps biased just a bit aft.


As far as coating the seats, the epoxy is not going to add that much weight and will seal them up well.  I'd do it.

Paul G

RE: Mill Creek seats question

I cut my seat slats from ash.  I epoxied the plywood frame parts but just gave the slats a couple of coats of tung oil once the seats were assembled.  It's easy to apply and can be reapplied every couple of seasons.  Trying to epoxy all those slats seemed like a mess waiting to happen.

RE: Mill Creek seats question

I have a MC16.5 and have tried the slat seats in numerous positions.  When paddling sole, the seat back is roughly 2 feet from the aft bulkhead.  It seems to respond well here to steering and handles the wind a bit better.  I do agree that paddling solo from the normal 2 seater aft position is tough!  As for how to anchor the seats, instead of using 4 seat cleats (2 pair), I just made 2 full length runners with mounting holes every 6 inches so I have full adjustability and a few lashing points in the cockpit for gear.  I also coated the seats with epoxy (before assembly) and have had no issues with water damage for the past 2 seasons. 


That being said, I think there is room for improvement regarding the design of these seats, but that is another conversation.



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