Cannot afford a QCC400X

This is my first posting. I like the QCC400X. I am 6ft tall and 180lbs and do a lot of photography on a lake (1/2 mile by 2 miles) from my Pungo 120. I would like a boat that is stable like that but that can also handle the NJ backbay areas for exploring the wildlife sanctuaries. The Pungo is pretty sluggish when paddling into the wind. The issue I have is that $2500 is beyond the budget. Can anyone suggest boats that come in at about half that price that are somewhat comparable. Thanks

A used q400 should be reasonable
or any nunber of used boats suggest themselves.

Evolviing your technique will make the difference boat difference is more marginal

There are none …
that come in at half the price that are comparable.

You might want to think about a seventeen foot long plastic kayak.



followup question
About the $2500 – that amount is for the kevlar q400 w rudder and thigh braces. Would a fiberglass, rudderless, unbraced q400 be one of those shoulda, woulda, coulda decisions?

QCC 400
look in classified under NC, i can solve your


CD BReeze

Swift Caspian Sea
The Swift Caspian Sea is the same hull and can be had a lot cheaper on the used market. I had a Kevlar one a few years ago bought as a demo for well under $2,000. Used glass should be in the $1,000 and under range. They are pretty light too ~45 lbs.


There’s a brand new Caspian for sale
in NJ:

Check out that Anas Acuta too!

My husband, like you, loves to take wildlife pictures from his boat, and the one thing he has found is that a rudder is invaluable. He uses it primarily for controlling his direction while slowly drifting towards a bird or other animal. He’s gotten great photos of otherwise very skittish creatures this way.

While I’m in no way saying this boat compares to a QCC 400X, as I’ve not paddled either, he uses a Necky Zoar Sport with the rudder, not the skeg. We paddle some fairly large lakes, but stay pretty close to shore, because that’s where the good stuff is!

The Q400 does not need the rudder but for fishing and wildlife viewing it is invaluable to quietly sneak up for that perfect picture or cast.

I also paddled the CD pachena that would be good for the application wanted. The Q400 is relatively stable and paddles easily. The advice given to find it with just aft hatch no thigh braces in fiberglass sounds good but the best advice is to find it used.

CD Pachena
Current Designs Pachena is a nice choice for this use - I bought a pristine used FG boat for about $1300. Had looked at a Swift Caspian Sea but I believe the CD is a better build quality. Maneuverable, the rudder is standard, stable for photos…

rudder for photography
Thanks to all for your suggestions about the q400.

I had not thought about the importance of a rudder for controlled drifting in to take a close-up pic. I have been making small corrections with my paddle but that has required putting the camera down.

The issue that has kept me away from rudders is the loss of solid foot bracing. The q400 appeals to me, in part, because it uses a rudder that provides solid foot bracing with toe control of the rudder.

"doesn’t need a rudder"
Cars don’t NEED power steering either. But boy it sure makes it alot easier, and more efficient. The important thing is not to get totally dependant on a rudder. Anything can fail, and you need to be prepared in case that happens.

BTW, that QCC that RufusSr has on the classified board sure appears to be a great deal. If it suited me, I’d have already bought it myself. And no, I don’t know him. I just want to see someone get a great boat.


solid footbracing
you can retrofit any push pull rudder control to toe pivot

Speaking of wildlife photography
Try bringing along a single blade. I can silently sneak very closely to my subject, by sculling with the single blade on the opposite side from the subject. It’s fun and you can get much closer than with a double blade or oars.

The only other thing to consider
is if you also want to do some overnight or week long trips with the kayak. The Q400x is perfect compromise of stability and also ease of paddling with a loaded boat. I usually cover 12 -16 miles each way with camping gear aboard and don’t feel like I am pulling a sled through mud which is the case with other “stable” boats I have tried out.

Try Clc
Cheaseapeake light craft. They have some pretty nice kits for way under 2500 dollars. Or do what the canoenut did, and rip his own cedar strips and build just what you want!

Enlightened Kayaks Sale
Check out the Enlightened T16.0 standard on sale for $1299. Same designer, I believe, as some or all of the QCC boats and same concept of direct ordering. Check on this website or here:

I’m looking into purchasing one and all of my dealings with the company have been extremely positive so far.

Good luck,


If not interested in the Enlightened
kayaks then I agree with tssplash that rufus,sr’s QCC400 looks like a great deal and it certainly is a beautiful boat. And no, I don’t know him either.


Rufus Plug
I did some paddling gear business with Rufus a year or so ago and he was a nice guy, easy to work with. WW