My name is Jeff and I'll be documenting my Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) Mill Creek 16.5 (MC 16.5) build. The MC 16.5 is a tandem recreational kayak and it's made from lightweight wood. My plan was to build a sculling boat with a sliding seat and I was originally leaning toward the CLC Annapolis Wherry or the CLC Oxford Shell. Since I have a wife and two teen aged daughters, the MC 16.5 looked like a better fit. It can be paddled as a kayak, rowed with a Piantedosi Sliding Seat unit or sailed. I have plans to use it for all three! I'll need to purchase the rowing unit and the CLC SailRig kit or plans.
I ordered the kit in February and received it in mid March. I read the assembly manual several times, studied the plans and read the CLC Builder's Forum. I also searched out and read other Mill Creek build sites. Once I knew where to begin, I got started. That was April 3, 2010. The first couple of weeks, I worked in our basement. That got me all the way up to a stitched hull with fillets and fiberglass tape. After that, the weather outside warmed up enough to move the whole thing to the garage just in time to fiberglass the hull. There have been several nights that I worked on it until 2am and some that required an hour's worth of work followed by a 24hr epoxy curing period. Nothing has been too difficult and it is a great way to clear the mind. My goal was to complete it by summer's end. However, I think I'm going to finish her by mid June with an official Father's Day launch! It definitely will not be a work of art, but she will look good from a few feet away and to the casual observer. The current Gold Standard for a Mill Creek was built by a fellow going by the name of "dehager" on the CLC Builder's Forum. He spent 1.5 yrs building his boat to the finest standards and it won Best in Show at the 2010 OkoumeFest. I am not that patient...and it shows.
This is the view from the deck of our lake home and where she will be paddled. This is Lake Chatuge (about 2hrs north of our residence in suburban Atlanta) which lies in GA and NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The lake is just under 2000ft above sea level and is surrounded by 5000-ft peaks. I look forward to paddling and rowing on this water:
All photos taken with Nikon D50 DSLR