Considering QCC500...

-- Last Updated: Sep-10-08 10:21 PM EST --

Hi folks. Finishing up my first kayaking season and after 80+ hours of paddling a variety of lakes, slow and fast rivers(mostly in my Tsunami125, and brief jaunts in a Pungo120, Heritage 12, Sting Ray 12, Saranac14.6 composite, Native Ulimate, Dagger Blackwater Tandem), I've got two-foot-itis and then some. My 14 year old daughter will get my Tsunami, and I've come to realize that I want to take advantage of available salt water in my area, as well as venture off on some multi-day camping journeys as my favored paddling. (I'm a seasoned backpacker with lots of gear) Rec and white water trips will fill the gaps, but this is the direction I want to go. I'm a fairly big guy at a solid 6'1" 250. Strong paddler and have previous sea experience as a licensed power boater from Long Island, with power squadron training. I like what I've seen and heard from QCC customers and reps, but would like to make a fair comparison before I buy a boat sight unseen at the posted price. Since it's demo season, and I'll begin serious shopping this weekend, any advice on fair comparisons to the QCC500, and any New England 500 owners willing to meet me for a paddle?
I've greatly enjoyed my few months here and appreciate the advice and humor displayed by all. BTW...I lurk occasionally in B&B, but I ain't talkin'...

Consider 700
500 and 700 are very different animals. You should fit either (same coamings), so don’t unless you plan to gain a lot more weight don’t assume your size dictates a 500. 500 is huge, and not in ways that may matter unless you plan to also carry 100-200 lbs of gear. If your paddling could be done equally well in a big kayak or canoe - 500 may be for you.

If you want to do more sea kayak type use then the 700 is better IMO for performance and skill development, particularly open water stuff -and will still pack a LOT.

QCC tends to err on the side of the 500 vs. 700 when making recommendations to prospective customers. I think this is party because the 500 is a bit more beginner friendly/works OK for most, and partly because they stand to make another sale when the buyer later upgrades to a 700.

500 owners and former owners now in 700s should be able to confirm this and give you more input.

thanks greyak
The rep didn’t mention the 700 at all. Sounds like I need to investigate the 700 further as I am definitely not looking to have to upgrade a boat in this price range. He did refer to the 500 as a “turbo barge”. Looking for performance moreso than capacity. If the coamings are the same, less is probably more.

Contact QCC
Get in touch with Steve at QCC and ask him for names of people in your area with each model. They routinely provide that information. I did that this summer and got the name of someone local who had the model I was interested in. We met and I had the opportunity to enjoy a lengthy test drive of the kayak. The owner of the kayak was very helpful and enthusiastic about the process.

Good luck in your search.

For a guy your size, I would recommend the 500 over the 700, unless flatwater racing is your priority.

The cockpit rim dimensions are the same, but the 500 definitely has a roomier cockpit overall – wider, deeper, easier to get in and out of (due to the greater depth).

Considering QCC500
Steve did give me one name in Conn. Guess what I should have clarified is are there any other similar sea kayaks that I should consider for coastal paddling, lakes, overnighters?

Dozens of others will work for that

– Last Updated: Sep-11-08 7:24 PM EST –

Be careful here, as this is where everyone will offer up their current favorite as an option. Some have paddled dozens, some only the one they recommend. Few will be your ht/wt - and none will have the same impressions you would from the cockpit.

Sounds like you need to do some more research, and a lot of demos. The most important stuff - how the damn things feel to YOU - only you can decide. Find local paddlers, go to events - and get your but into as many kayaks as you can.

Side note: What feels good for 10 minutes may not be so good all day. What feels tippy today may feel rock solid after a couple months, and what's stable now may seem boring/unresponsive later. Don't go for something to unfriendly/challenging that you can't enjoy it right away, but don't set the bar too low either.

So many kayaks... Hard to even put together a short list. Must be a dozen or more potentially good options. Easier to narrow down if you have certain things you want to do/learn beyond basic quiet water touring where any kayak you fit in works OK .

“For a guy your size, I would recommend the 500 over the 700, unless flatwater racing is your priority.”

As one of the closest things QCC has to a dealer, I can see why you’d side with Steve and push 500s :wink: - but otherwise I’m not sure I really get that comment WW.

Surely you’re not saying the 700 is a flatwater kayak (I’d place 500 there first), or a “racing” kayak, or that it won’t easily carry 250 plus typical overnight gear, or that would be less stable with some added weight (over more “average” weight paddlers) as it was designed to carry a load.

Maybe you can explain this?

If I were 4" taller I think the 700 would only fit me better, likely giving me better leverage/stroke, and another 35 pounds of weight would not have me trading down from my 700.

If a paddler were 275+, or balance challenged, or not skills oriented, or staying mostly inland, and or has size 14 feet then the super tanker makes more sense. Same if they plan extended back country type trips and want to carry a months worth of gear (get a canoe!). At one time I might have added photography and such where a more stable platform is handy - but 700s pretty darn stable for that stuff, once acclimated.

Greyak I think you don’t give the 500
enough credit. If someone is going to spend the time paddling enough to feel comfortable in the 700 then that is the way to go. But if you want a VERY nice paddling kayak that really won’t need a learning curve go for the 500.

500 explained

– Last Updated: Sep-11-08 10:55 PM EST –

My recommendation of the 500 over the 700 for this particular paddler is based on the sense that for most 250 lb. paddlers, the 500 is proportionally a better width than the 700 -- and that most 250 lb. paddlers are going to feel a mite wobbly in a 21 inch beam boat, especially in bumpy water. (I'm only going on the feedback I've gotten from bigger paddlers here -- I'm about 75 lbs. short of that myself).

I was NOT suggesting the 700 is unsuited for big water. (Far from it!!!!) but only that most extra-large size paddlers planning to paddle in rough conditions might be better served by the 500.

Yes, the paddler should aim to sit in and test paddle both boats, but short of that, we can only each throw in our $0.02. This is mine!

Big guys boats…
I took delivery of my 700x 3 weeks ago…I’m also 6’1" and just below you in weight at 235…at the time of delivery I was 242 (one benefit of the 700x :wink:

I have an Impex Assateague that I paddled for 2 years previously…great skegged boat built like a tank and yet still fairly quick and nimble for a 17’10", 57# brit style fiberglass boat…

My reason for adding the 700X was a growing need for speed…I’m currently rehabbing from colon cancer and the resulting 2 abdominal surgeries by doing alternating 4 or 8 mile laps every day…while I was doing fine with the Impex I began to want to add a little spice and excitement to break the tedium of watching the HR monitor…visions of masters class short marathon races began dancing in my head as my strength built up and the mileage got easier…

I began to check out the winners in the races/classes I thought I might enter and discovered the QCC 700X among others…the 100% guarantee was too good to pass up so I ordered a “demo” kevlar boat…

where the 1st few days were a bit twitchy and really nerve wracking when caught by a powerboat wake 3 weeks into the boat I find I’m comfortable enough to lay down the paddle and answer my cell phone or grab my full sized pro DSLR with a 70-200 zoom lens from the dry bag and take a pic or 2…

having just gotten a sale notice from them and still being in my 30 day “test” period I called Steve today and ordered the boat I REALLY wanted…upgraded to kev/carbon and got the color I wanted (also got rid of the thigh brace to gain a bit more room…there’s plenty of deck to hook onto)…he didn’t blink an eye and said to put my current boat in the box my new one comes in and we’d be cool…

Carbon/Kevlar…smart track…Qcc quality all for around $2800.00 delivered

according to my Garmin 301 gps my 3 mile lap average has been creeping up from the 3.6 on the Assateague to a current 4.8 with the 700X…granted part of that has to be attributed to slowly getting back into shape but a lot has to do with the 700X…Herbie, the 50ish owner of the NorthWest Outdoor center where I store my boat (about our size) has had her up to 7.4 mph gps verified with a low angle stroke and a werner shuna paddle…so I definitely have some more work to do ;-p

I also paddled an Epic 18X sport and the build quality immediately turned me off after being exposed to both the Impex and QCC boats…

Both the Impex and QCC 700X are great boats for bigger guys but different in what they do and how they are built…if you’re not going to race and want a big stable heavily built ocean warrior that’ll move out at a respectable clip I’d take a look at the Assateague…if you want a nimble fast all around boat that can still pack a few days gear while clipping along almost effortlessly definitely take advantage of the 100% money back guarantee (and current huge sale) at QCC and check out the 700X…at worst consider it a free 1 month trial


OK - what that’s I thought
I don’t really disagree. Really comes down the what the paddler feels when in them.

500 may indeed be the better choice here, and if I were selling him a QCC vs just recommending one/offering options I might push the 500 too. I wouldn’t want someone biting off more than they can chew (your’s and QCC’s likely position), but also wouldn’t want to assume someone’s ability/learning curve isn’t up to a 700 either.

I don’t think 6’1"/250 is enough to make the call either way. A little heavier, definitely could be. His stability would relate more to his balance skills, and to a lesser extent his torso length relative to height and where the weight is on his frame (so where the weight is relative to the keel).

I’ve seen and read about several (happy) 500 owners upgrading shortly after trying a 700. Enough that I’ve come to wonder if QCC doesn’t err on the side of caution a little too much? Maybe they just need to keep all the molds busy? They build great kayaks (design and build) but as busy as they are how much paddling time do they have in them? How much are they relying on customers (from 90+% lake/inland/casual/slow/non-rolling paddlers) for their input on this stuff?

I went to my 700 straight from a 28" wide SOT, at probably 220lbs. First few months had some interesting moments, but it was paddleable right off, and quite solid a few months later, and like a dock now.

Ultimately only CTYaker can determine which (or what other kayaks) might suit him better, but if a 700 would work - and isn’t too much at first - I think it is a better kayak (better hull/performance, better deck layout, better contact, easier to roll, etc).

Yeah, yeah, 500’s a fine kayak…

– Last Updated: Sep-12-08 3:48 AM EST –

... but have you spent any time in a 700? *L*

It does sort of come down to the learning curve, but for many it's really small or nothing in a 700, a bit more for others.

Have you compared the 500 and 700 side by side on the ground to see differences in deck layouts and heights, rocker, etc? Paddled a 700 side by side with someone in a 500 through any waves/wakes/chop?

300/400/500 are all good "nice paddling" designs (pre-QCC from when they built for Swift), but 600/700 were designed for QCC as the next level in performance.

These are all VERY different kayaks. There may be some functional overlap for many paddlers (considering what sort of paddling most folks do), but otherwise they are different enough in design intent and performance that it should be pretty rare to have a situation where the choice isn't clear (except maybe between the 600 and Q10x, and maybe with some bigger guys like in this case looking at 500/700) unless the paddler really has no idea what their needs and abilities(current or want to learn) are.

In this case I'm just pointing out that a 700 might also be an option, and that the 500 and 700 are very different kayaks, not trying to bash the mighty 500. The 700 does that all by itself. ;)

Only CTYaker can determine which kayak (these or others) is the best choice for him. ricphoto's post may be most helpful one in the thread.

I had a 700
but it was too small for me, 245lbs. At 57 my knees don’t bend like they used to either, so it was hard for me to get in and out too.

I bought a Current Designs, Solstice Titan LV this summer at a symposium in the U. P. of Michigan, and it fits me much better. With a longer cockpit, it’s real easy for a big guy to get in & out. The higher deck gives me so much more room inside. I can actually raise my knee to a hang position now. I’m not putting down the 700, it’s a great boat. I gave up a lot of speed selling it, but I sure like the way my Titan feels. Friends make fun of my new, “huge” boat, but I love it. On the bow I put, “The USS TITAN”

Leaving for the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior in a

few minutes for a three day trip. Oh, & I can pack two folding chair for the wife and I in the back hatch along with a 6 man tent and some other small junk. Love my big boat!

Why I love this place…
Excellent insights and thoughtful feedback as I expected, and I thank you all. Greyak has provided a lot of quality QCC info on P-Net and is a major factor in my strong consdieration of the Q. I used to own a service business, so I fully understand the impact of happy customers. I’ve been researching right along, and am attending a low angle vs high angle paddling seminar this weekend. Ease of entry and exit, and some space is important for my situation as years of athletics and physical activity have left me with creaky knees, a bum ankle, ruptured biceps tendon, and separated shoulder. I would still like to try 500 and 700 because at 46, I still enjoy a challenge, and tend to continue pushing the envelope on my skills at whatever I do. Big and fast are one of my favorite combinations, as it provides the best of both worlds, which might tilt me in the direction of the 500, or something like the Titan. When I was younger, I used to have a Corvette as my sunday car. Now that kids are older, coaching is in the past, and I have more time for self(paddling), the Ford F-150 with 5.4L V8 is my sunday driver. This year I’ve learned everything I could about plastic boats, and decided they don’t provide me with what I need. I begin demos tomorrow (Swift) and plan to log as much seat time as I can before laying down the greenbacks. I know Steve would rather not hear that, but if I do eventually end up among the happy Q owners, they’ll be rewarded with a very informed, vocal, and loyal customer. If I have any other questions during my demos that can’t be answered by research, I’ll post them here. Thanks again to all of you for your time and consideration. It is greatly appreciated.


Leg position
I paddled a Q700 for about half an hour and had to get out - the deck kept my legs dead flat and I just couldn’t deal with it at all. I’ve not paddled a Q500, but I used the Swift version of the Q400 for a 6 hour day paddle with no leg issues. The volume of the 400 and 500 are similarly huge.

As an aside, I saw this listing a while back for a used Mariner II in your general area. Mariners are highly regarded boats for their design, construction and performance and are rare to find on the east coast. If it’s near you and still available, it’s worth a look:

If my garage was a foot longer, I’d have bought it already…

Two cents more
I have a 700 and this can be added to your information. I paddle mostly in fresh water and have paddled this kayak in salt water in Florida across the Everglades. Empty, this kayak rides high in salt water and having extra weight makes it feel more stable. I’m 6’1" and shed a few pounds(205) and prefer to add some weight to the kayak in salt water. It is very fast in open water, easy to load, and carrys a lot of gear. It isn’t nimble though.

I have a CD Gulfstream and it is nimble, easy to turn, dances on big water, and only slightly slower than the QCC700 on open water. I really haven’t tried to “fly” the Q down a twisty river…yet. Still learning after all these years… Tom