Model: Length: Hull Weight: Beam: Max Payload: Cockpit Size: Paddler Weight: Sail Area:
Mill Creek 16.5 16' 6" 62 lbs. 33 in. 450 lbs. 88" x 21" 230 - 400 lbs. 39 sq ft.

see other Mill Creeks Mill Creek 13 Mill Creek 16.5 Mill Creek 16.5 Hybrid

Mill Creek 16.5 Configurations:
» (click here to learn about kit options)
Standard Configurations:
Complete Kit
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Alternative Configurations:

Wood Parts Only Kit
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Plans & Manual Only
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Manual Only
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Study Plans - Emailed PDF
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Additional Components:

Sailing Component Kit w/o Sail
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Sail - Tanbark
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Sail - White
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Hatch Kit
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Materials List for Plans Builders:
» view the Mill Creek 16.5 materials list and order a la carte!
Popular Accessories:
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Supplies List for Kit Builders:
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view Kayak Comparison Chart

Ever since WoodenBoat Magazine featured the Mill Creek 13 in a two-issue spread in 1997, the Mill Creek models have been built in the thousands. And why not? They look good, they're easy to build, and even though they are more stable than most kayaks, the Mill Creeks offer good speed and handling that you'll never get tired of.

The Mill Creek was designed as a wider, shorter, and more stable alternative to the typical sea kayak. It offers the stability sought by nature photographers, fly fishermen, and birders. The most versatile paddling designs in our lineup, the Mill Creeks are true high-performance boats. That is, if high performance is defined as comfort, good handling, rewarding speed, stability, and classic good looks. Originally drawn as stable and compact complements to our more traditional sea kayaks, the Mill Creeks have found fans among paddlers of all skill levels because they offer so much boat in such a light and easy-to-manage package.

Mill Creeks are built using the stitch-and-glue method.  In the kits, BS1088-grade okoume marine plywood is cut on our CNC machine.  Builders stitch the hulls together with twists of copper wire, then add epoxy and fiberglass to stiffen and waterproof the hull.  Mahogany trim on cockpits and rails, cambered plywood decks, and contoured slatted seats add grace notes, while the fiberglassed 6mm bottom panel will absorb years of groundings in shoal water. All materials included in the kit are varnish-grade, and most builders varnish the entire hull and deck.

The Mill Creek 16.5 is enormously popular because it can be used in so many ways. Not only can you paddle it as a single or a double, but you can sail it, add a sliding-seat rowing unit, or even adapt an electric outboard. The Mill Creek 16.5's stability will reassure the most nervous paddlers, while the low freeboard and light weight yield better speed and handling in wind than the average canoe. There's enough capacity for camping gear (with optional deck hatches), and the boat can be easily trimmed by sliding the seats fore and aft on their mounts.

The Mill Creek 16.5 can also become a great sliding-seat rower with our Drop-in Rowing Unit installed. Check out the installation drawings.

In 2008 we introduced a "Hybrid" Mill Creek 16.5.  In this model, the okoume plywood deck is replaced with hand-fitted cedar strips. It's a "hybrid" because it combines techniques of stitch-and-glue plywood kayaks and cedar-strip kayaks.

See Assembling a Mill Creek for a series of images showing how to build a Mill Creek. 

Build this boat if:

  • You need the most versatility in a single kayak
  • You need to paddle either with one or two people aboard
  • You need flexible seating for families or pets

Builders also looked at:

MicroBootleggerMill Creek 16.5 Hybrid