Mill Creek 16.5 versatility?

I'm interested in building a Mill Creek 16.5.  I'm new to boat building but I have a little experience in a variety of boats.  The Mill Creek design caught my eye because of her purported versatility.  How well does she really row, paddle and sail?  I'm not looking for a hotshot performer in any one category, I know that her hull shape won't really allow for that.  But I want to know if she preforms well enough so that I will have fun paddling or sailing her with my girlfriend or rowing her with a sliding seat by myself.  Any input would be much appreciated.  Thank you!

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RE: Mill Creek 16.5 versatility?

I built my MC 16.5 to row.  At 16.5 ft she is shorter than one might want for purely rowing, but she does fit into the garage, which was a must for me, and frankly rows like a dream.  I have only paddled her as a double once and she did just fine.  With the open cockpit you can plan on lots of paddle drips in your lap, but the handling was great.  To paddle as a single you would wnat to be able to locate your seat closer to amidships than either of the two-seat locations, which I have not done.  Have no experience sailing this boat so I can't comment on that.  If you look at the CLC Main Gallery photos for the MC 16.5 you will see five or so pictures of my boat under "Paul G".  by the way, my boat came in at 65# which I can manage to get on and off my Ford Expedition alone.  I would be happy to answer any additionalo questions - I love this boat.

RE: Mill Creek 16.5 versatility?

Paul, thanks for the info, and you've got a great looking boat there.  I'm glad to hear that she rows well as that is one of the reasons I'm attracted to the design.  I don't mind that she's a bit short, I'm more interested in good manners than overall speed.  I like a hull that moves through the water with little fuss.  And I like the fact that she has so much initial stability, most of the skulls I have experience with make it difficult to even stop for a breather.   

Does anyone out there have any experience sailing her with the sail rig and outriggers?  I can't find a review of that anywhere.

RE: Mill Creek 16.5 versatility?

I too am considering the MC 16.5 primarily for rowing.  (But I love the idea of double-duty.)  My cousin was returning from our North NJ home to Virginia, so I jumped in his Vet and off to Annapolis we went.

The folks at CLC were great.  Even though they were short handed due to a trade show, we loaded the MC (I believe it was the original demo – perhaps 10 years old.) in a pick-up and headed for a near-by beach.

The MC is easy to row and surprisingly fast.  If you are like me, you will probably get a better work-out in the MC because you can move around enough to relieve the sore butt I get rowing racing shells.   It would probably track a little better with a skeg or keel (see Kayaks You Can Build.)  I would feel safe rowing the MC well after the shells are in the boathouse for the winter.

By the way, the train ride home was a bummer.

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