Mill Creek 16.5 okay for open bay?


MI am considering a Mill Creek 16.5, for some lakes and rivers here and also Isle ROyale, ( where I work as a park ranger. Then I would probably do some camping at the many docks on the island. My question is how the 16.5 would handle in gentlele swells/roller that i might get in Lake Superior.  I also live on a small lake behind myhouse so I like the 16.5 because I can take my doggie and maybe a friend, and could add a sail.  THe weight is something I could handle by meself compared to the SKerry, which I really like.

My other choice would the the wood duck 14 or maybe the double. This might be a little more weather friendly but if the weather changed I would head to beach as quickly as possbile.

All opeions welcome and any people with actual experience in open bays or ocean will be appreciated.




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RE: Mill Creek 16.5 okay for open bay?

As usual with this kind of question, the answer is - depends. It's all up to the weather and the paddler's skill and experience. I realize what an unsatisfying answer that is.

Remember, these are wooden boats so they'll float fine, even full of water. The issue is keeping the occupant safe. Up where you're talking about I would imagine that hypothermia is probably a year-round problen, right?

Have you taken out a canoe in the conditions that you expect to be paddling in? Was it fun or scary? That should give you a hint as to whether you;re ready to go out with an MC16 or large Wood Duck.



RE: Mill Creek 16.5 okay for open bay?

   I can't speak to the Mill Creek, but the Skerry rows extremely well.  It's not a bad sailboat either.  It has the same rated payload as the MC16.5, but being more open, you can put pretty bulky things like a cooler in it that might be hard to fit in the MC.  Add tiedowns to the build...I'm adding them after the fact.

I've crossed Chesapeake Bay and Fishers Island Sound several times and it is a seaworthy little boat if you keep in mind the limitations of such.  In big chop or powerboat wakes it bobs up and over, only taking a splash when the tops are breaking.  That said, Lake Superior is a lot colder than the Chesapeake, so a capsize is something to be prepared for, both in terms of gear and technique.  That would hold true for any small boat, but classic, closed sea kayaks at least present the chance of a rescue roll w/o leaving the boat.  Any capsized sailboat will have the extra rigging, sail, spars, to deal with when rescuing or uprighting.

The Northeaster Dory is bigger than the Skerry and only a bit heavier, with much more payload.  If you are a rower, it might be a more seaworthy choice if you are expecting to be in exposed, cold waters.  You can handle either the Skerry or the NE Dory with a dolly like used with kayaks, so I wouldn't worry on that score.  I cartopped my Skerry at first but got a trailer and it's a lot easier, though I still keep my homemade dolly for handling it away from the trailer.

RE: Mill Creek 16.5 okay for open bay?

Generally speaking, kayaks with big open cockpits like the MC16.5, WD 14 or WD Double are not best for open water.  They will do fine in short crossings with good weather, but if it turns nasty you can end up with a cockpit full of water that you are unable to empty.  Boats with smaller cockpits are less likely to get swamped and a skirt can be worn if it is rough.


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