Choosing a kayak

As I stated yesterday I have ordered the QCC Q600X with a rudder.

I have been paddling a Pungo 140 for a 1 1/2 years, & wanted something that tracks better in the wind.

I have tried the Tempest 165, Mystic,& I was not blown away.

Does anyone have suggestions on a 16’ they really like?

Thanks again,

Robert G

Your Physical Dimensions

– Last Updated: Apr-01-06 6:46 PM EST –

may help folks in giving suggestions. Also, why you don't like the boats that you have tried. What characteristics of those boats turned you off and what are you looking for instead.


Tempest 165

– Last Updated: Apr-01-06 7:12 PM EST –

What didn't you like?

I prefer it over the QCC600. The 600 has a back deck that is HIGH. Impossible for me to roll.

QCC has a new model that Nanci L. bought that I understand has a much lower back deck. You might consider asking the folks at QCC about it before they ship the 600.

Note in your previous post that greyak prefers the 700 over the 600 and cites the back deck.

Other questions…
What do you want to do with the 16 ft boat? (And do you have the funds to turn around and go new or will you be looking for used?)

As mentioned above, the QCC you ordered is not going to be the most gracious about throwing you favors if/when you start trying to get a roll, deep braces and some other other of-balance manuvers. If you think you’ll want to go for those skills, the most important criteria for a 16 ft boat may be finding one that will make that a bit easier. Both of the boats that you didn’t much like would probably be easier in that area that the QCC you have on order - lower deck and a more manuverable.

If you are just looking for something in 16 ft that will also go very fast very straight, there is a whole different direction you should be looking.

working at cross purposes
The pungo tracks pretty well but if you need something that doesn’t get moved around it won’t be responsive to paddler skill. That’s the “no free lunch” reality. It’s why ruddered boats like the ArlukIII and Solstice were developed.

So you’ll find the QCC600 will get moved around quite well as will the T165, the trick is to put the paddle in the right spot and use your body correctly.

A ruddered kayak will move around less than a maneuverable skegged one but that is neither good nor bad.

back band position
I’ve only paddled a QCC600 a few times but something I"ve noticed is that a lot of folks allow their backbands to rest all the way back allowing the back coaming to impact their back sooner than needed. I haven’t found a high aft coaming a problem in rolling or paddling as long as there was adequate room to twist around.

A lower aft deck is more desirable than a high one but a well placed back band can obviate the “restriction”. It’s odd how folks will pass up a good hull to accomodate a low aft coaming on the perception that it will inhibit rolling. A person can rely on leaning back to finish a roll with a sweeping brace but it can mask a poor hip snap or head lift. I’ve seen more than a few folks get used to rolling by finishing up laying back and in a crappy position to meet the next wave.

Skeg Use

– Last Updated: Apr-02-06 11:52 AM EST –

I'm not being sarcastic, I swear. But do you know how to use a skeg? When I first tried a skeg I thought the idea was that the further you dropped the skeg, the 'trackier' your boat became. I got straightened out real quick.

My point is, the Tempest and other skegged boats track really well with proper skeg control.

If you want to race, the rudder will probably suit you fine.

AND... I think you owe it to yourself to do a side by side taste test when your boat arrives. Take the 600 and one of the skegged boats and paddle them back to back. Ship the 600 back if it doesn't meet your expectations. That's the risk the manufacturer takes.

I applaud QCC
for their business model, and superb guarantee. Though personally not interested in that type of kayak, I think they are excellent, well made, and I wish the company well. Kudzu, the more you understand about the politics and dynamics of the industry, the more you may recognize that the big guys aint exactly helpin the specialty dealer either… QCC couldn’t afford to offer such a great craft to consumers like us at those prices if they had to give a dealer margin. It’s just a different model, and one that stands a chance of working is a saturated market…just my take on it.

QCC and the customer split the savings of bypassing the dealer.

I can’t help but think there are some customers who aren’t really crazy for their QCC but think “ah hell, OTHER people seem to like it… and what a hassle to ship back… I’ll get used to it.” QCC wins and the customer loses.

I’m not saying I’d never buy a mail order boat but I sure would prefer to paddle it first. (Look how badly it’s stressing Mr. Robert).

Do some research
on the industry, and I think you’ll come to respect QCC’s approach.

test paddling
How many test paddles of a particular boat does the average paddler have before buying from a shop?

How many novices have enough experience/capability to judge a boat based on one or two test paddles?

It seems to me that a lot of people get to a demo day or two and buy based on one or two test paddles.

That seems just as likely to stick somebody with a boat that they ultimately don’t like. At the same time, people often have to take the leap into a boat that is uncomfortable (ie tippy) and go through the adjustment period before they know whether or not they actually like the boat. That is a risk whether buying online or over the internet.

Hey Robert
I noticed that you live in south Florida.

Why not get in touch with Grayak who lives down there and has a 700, and see if he will let you test paddle it.

If you are comfortble in a 700 you will be just as comfortable in the 600.

Having both, the only difference that I can see is the 600 has a higher front and rear deck. the higher front deck makes the smaller 600 easier to get into than the 700.

For straight on paddling, they both seem equal to me.



Wilderness Tsunami 16
I have a Tsunami 140 and I love it. The boat is a transitional kayak in that it has the stability of a recreational boat but the features and line of a touring kayak.

It tracks beautifully, it is light and easy to paddle and best of all, it is incredibly comfortable. I have sat six to eight hours in the boat without issue.


600/700 are super EASY to roll/brace
Take comments from non-owners for what they’re worth. While I agree a low back deck is VERY nice to have - and I have boats with this for that very reason - it’s not needed for basic rolls and braces. If someone can’t roll a 600 - or any similar kayak - they can’t really roll.