MC 16.5 launching

Posted by Peter Lyons on May 8, 2004

My shiny new Mill Creek 16.5 successfully completed sea trials this past week on my in-laws' farm pond and also at Lake of the Ozarks (where my wife and I got a couple days to ourselves while Christy's parents watched the little ones). I'll point out that the boat is not yet really finished all the way - it's just epoxied - but Kurt has already been e-mailing me on that subject, basically saying "get over it already! paddle yer boat!" So, I'm over it, and in fact, have been having an awful lot of fun!

I find that it's definitely important to keep the boat trimmed as well as possible by shifting weight forward or back. If it's perfectly calm, I can sit way at the back of the cockpit and paddle from there, but about a foot of the bow sticks up out of the water when I do. Even a couple of kids in the boat with me don't help much in that regard. If it's windy and the bow is up, it's like a sail. If you get to heading downwind, there's no way you're turning around. But if I move up to the center of balance, it's no sweat. Seats are not in yet, so I have plenty of freedom to move around! When I do add the seats, they'll be adjustable, of course. I'm building wooden seats from Waters Dancing.

This boat was chosen to replace my Old Town Loon 111. That boat has been great for paddling around with a couple of kids, but it's no good for three - at least not for any length of time. I take the kids camping alot during the summer - at least, those that are 3 and older. Last year, that was just two of 'em. This year, there will be three old enough to come. What's camping without paddling?! I needed a bigger boat, and now I have it. This one has plenty of room.

You may not be able to see it real clearly in the pics, but I modified the front of the coaming to be curved instead of pointed. I get another foot or so more passenger carrying capacity that way! You can see that one of my kids is right up at the front of the cockpit.

While I started construction way back in September, most of it has been done since the beginning of March. That's when I started stitching. Finishing will take a few more weeks.

Thanks to all on the board for the good advice along the way!