Eddyline Fathom vs QCC 600X

-- Last Updated: Aug-02-08 8:58 AM EST --

I'm a relatively new kayaker and I'm looking for some guidance. I've been paddling a Perception Sonoma 13.5 which is my first and only kayak. It is not your typical beginner's kakyak but I've been comfortable in it since day one. I've had some instruction and it may be time to move on to my second boat. I'm female, 5'9", 165#. I only plan to do calm water but at some point and with more experience I may want to branch out to the coastal waters in New England.

I'll be going to a demo session later this week and I'll be paddling a few boats (Impex Montauk, Eddyline Fathom, maybe a Boreal Fjord, an Impex Currituck and an Avocet). Of these, I'm most interested in the Fathom. I'm also curious about the QCC 600X but, of course, those aren't available to demo.

After the demo I'll have a better idea of my fit in those boats, but I still won't know how the QCC 600X compares to any of them. Can anyone share experience and thoughts to help me out?

You’re at the upper limit
for the 600X at 165#. You might better consider something with a little more volume. The QCCs are generally hard tracking boats, and the others are a little more playful, I’d say. The QCCs are fast, though.


Fathom may be too big for you
Don’t know anout the QCC. I sat ina the Fathom though. I am 6’4, 190 lb and I fit in it pretty well, e.g. snug at the seat with plenty of leg room. I think it will be just a little too wide for you but if you like larger boats, some padding will fix that easy.

The main part that might be too high is the front deck, but only if you use a low angle paddling style. For high angle and especially if you use a wing paddle I think that would not matter at all.

I think you may also consider the Impext Force 5 - seems a little lower volume than the Fathom. And my local paddling store has one one sale that is actually cheaper than the Fathom! But the Fathom’s plastic is something to consider as a plus - tough and sleek and no-maintenance, unlike the other boats on the list…

Fathom LV was on my list…
“I think it will be just a little too wide for you but if you like larger boats…”

I thought the Fathom might be too large as well, and I originally went in to look at the Fathom LV. The dealer told me that the LV would be too small and the Fathom would be just right. Looked big to me but I’ll see if I can try both on Thursday.

I think I’m probably on the upper limit of the Sonoma as well, but I travel light (no overnight trips so no camping gear to pack) and I’ve enjoyed paddling that. I feel more connected to the boat - hope that makes sense.

Fathom vs LV
The Fathom is my leading choice for a purchase at this point. At 6’1" 210 lbs and 14 shoe size, the Fathom is nearly just the right size for me. Perhaps even just a hair larger than I need. I suspect for your size, the LV would be a better option. No experience on the QCC 600 but the 500 is on my short list to try in comparison to the Fathom.

Fathom would be great for you
You’re taller, so clearing the high foredeck wouldn’t be a problem. Keep in mind that the Fathom LV is only 15’7" whereas the Fathom is 16’6", the latter in my opinion a much more versatile length.

Also, for your purposes, thermoplastic is much the better choice. It’s much more durable than gel-coat.

"Also, for your purposes, thermoplastic is much the better choice. It’s much more durable than gel-coat."

The thermoplastic is one of the things that made me look at the Eddyline models. My Perception Sonoma is made of the same stuff and I really like it. I know Perception has an Essence 16.5 available in Airalite (thermoplastic) but I haven’t found one to demo yet. They are new for 2008.

I own a Fathom
amoung various other craft. I read a lot about that “high” front deck. Having owned it 3 months now, I can say, it affects the minds of those looking at it from the side MUCH more than it does the paddler. I have some very low deck and open deck boats, I notice no difference required in my paddling styles. I can paddle low or high angle without a second thought. I don’t smash into the deck. The boat is not oversized for my 5’10’ frame.

I know nothing of QCC but at this point, I would not trade this Fathom for any other boat. It is fast, but I do not see it listed in any racing results. So if you are racing, you might want to do some investigation. This thing flies and glides and makes chop disappear. The waves have to pick up pretty good before this boat even changes line. Like it runs on rails. If you demo the Fathom, your urge to go find a QCC somewhere, some other day, will rapidly dissappear. Unless you got all summer to waste demoing boats, just get it done, you won’t be sorry.

Did you consider the Nighthawk 16?
While you are demoing Eddylines, don’t forget to try the Nighthawk 16. Might be a perfect boat for someone your size.

NH 16
Funny you should mention the Nighthawk 16. When I went in to visit the dealer and set up the demo, I asked about the NH 16 because I also thought that it would be a good option. He immediately dismissed that, saying he wouldn’t recommend it. Then his phone rang and I didn’t get a chance to ask him why. When I go for the demo, I’ll give it a try. Sure wish he had elaborated at the time.

Perhaps the dealer felt
at 5’9" you may be a bit smallish for the NH?

If you are going to certainly do some camping or expeditions then the NH would be better suited. But the Fathom can hold everything for the weekend. NH is a bit heavier, cockpit is a bit larger, hull a tweek wider.

Thanks everyone
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to post your comments. Tomorrow is the demo session and I’m looking forward to getting to try out a number of kayaks back to back. I’m most curious about the Fathom (HV and LV versions) and the Montauk. I also learned of someone in my area who has a QCC600X and she’s offered me the chance to paddle her boat - a generous offer to a stranger!

I’ll try to remember my reaction to each of the kayaks and come back to add another post to this thread. I don’t have vast experience, so the report may not be as technically informative as many of the others I read on this forum, but I’ll do my best.

Please do
I’d be interested to hear whatever you have to report among those, especially if you can relate the QCC to the others.

NH 16 vs 175; more on thermoplastic
There are two versions of the Nighthawk. The 16 is fairly low-volume, whereas the 175 is huge. Made for those over 6’, 200 lbs.

My husband paddles the 16, loves it better than any other boat. He’s about the same size as you, Jasmine.

It is actually only 15’10", though.

I’ve paddled both (NH16 and Fathom). I like the Fathom better. The hard chines make it a dream to edge and the longer length makes it more versatile.

Re thermoplastic: our livery fleet has composite, thermoplastic and poly boats. We use our boats hard, and after several years the thermoplastic has performed the best and held up the best.

The poly boats get fuzzy and this creates drag in the water. They are really heavy to carry and paddle and we have to be careful not to store them on soft spots (like anywhere on the hull!) or they deform.

The gel-coat on the composites scratches, cracks and chips constantly and is a constant headache to maintain, and gets dull and draggy after a couple of years unless you keep it constantly waxed. I’d rather spend the time paddling. Gel coat was never meant to touch land; it is intended for boats that stay in the water. Even then, heaven forbid you should scrape a piling or a rock; a lot of boatyards make their bottom line on gel-coat repairs.

With the exception of really rough paddling that requires the strength and stiffness of a composite layup, thermoplastic is the perfect material for most kayaks. It is incredibly strong and abrasion-resistant. Our thermoplastic boats are almost maintenance-free; even after four years and many scrapes and scratches, my husband’s Nighthawk 16 looks almost new. The hull is still shiny and there is minimal increased drag. We sold off a few of our livery boats last fall (cash flow for the winter, don’t you know), and all it took to make them look like new was a little polishing compound.

With all the discussion of boats on P.net, I continually wonder why thermoplastic isn’t brought up more. IMHO, it is far and away the best material for most kayaks, and we are gradually converting our entire livery fleet to thermoplastic boats. They cost more than poly but hold up so much better than poly or composite that we will end up saving money in the long run.

Demo postponed…
Well, I don’t have much to report - the demo session was postponed to tomorrow. Unfortunately I think it has rained nearly every day for the last several weeks, which wouldn’t be too bad except most days that has included severe t-storms. We’re supposed to get a break tomorrow so I’m headed for the outfitter in the afternoon.

I’m still very much interested in the Fathom, in no small measure due to the thermoform aspect. Trilliumlake, thank you for your insight into the material and the Eddylines you have tried. Of course, if I don’t like to paddle it as much as I like another boat, the thermoform isn’t going to be the deciding factor. I’ve been impressed with it in the Sonoma so I want to investigate other thermoform possibilities, too. I’ll try both versions of the Fathom and see how each fits and behaves for me.

Today I sat in a QCC600X - the t-storms precluded a paddling opportunity - and found it to be very comfortable and easy to get in and out of. The fact that the front deck is raised a bit like the Fathom’s seems to be made it a good fit for my size 10 feet including water shoes.

Yesterday I sat in a Montauk - or should I say I tried to sit in a Montauk - with little success. I found it uncomfortably tight on my hips, very hard to get into, and my feet didn’t fit well. I was surprised and disappointed, but I’m going to try it again at the outfitter tomorrow - the one I tried was a used one available through a private sale and it could be that some customization had been done that made it such a bad fit for me.

I’ll keep you posted…

I have tried both the NH16 and Fathom and am 5’11, 190#. The NH16 fits well and the Fathom also fit but allowed for more leg room, room for feet. I ended up getting the NH16 and am loving it. At your size, you may find the Fathom cockpit a bit too large. Give them a try either way, as you may prefer a more loose fit. Agree with all of the comments on thermoformed plastic. My boat was bought new and has been used on lakes and 5 different beaches on two different coasts and after 3 seasons, it still looks brand new!! Good luck on your search and have fun!!

The build quality
and customer service from QCC will win hands down! I’ve owned both and delt with both companies. You’ll also get “a lot more boat” for the money with the QCC. You are not to big for a 600. Paddle it and you’ll agree.

Good luck deciding and happy paddling!


ps You can repair a QCC. Your out of luck with thermo whatever.

Still learning!
Okay, my brain knew this general fact but I hadn’t put it in the context of fitting in a kayak - men and women are constructed differently! My weight is distributed differently which is one of the reasons that I don’t fit into some of the kayaks that many taller and heavier men can fit into.

I sat in five kayaks today but only paddled one. I found that the kayaks with low decks were more uncomfortable for me due to a combination of wider hips and long legs. That explains a lot about my trouble with the Montauk, I think.

I sat in, but did not paddle, a Boreal Fjord, a Kajak Viking, an Impex Currituck and a CD Cypress. The Currituck and the Cypress were okay to sit in but both are longer than I want in my next boat. The Viking was fairly comfortable but it was the most expensive kayak of the lot and beyond my budget. The Fjord has a deck that’s just too low for comfort and the thigh braces weren’t in the right place for my legs.

I paddled the Eddyline Fathom and liked it very much. I was on the river for about 25 minutes and I was very comfortable in it. To look at it, I’d expect to feel like I was up to my chin in the cockpit, but the seat is raised a bit so my thighs hit the braces in just the right place without the severe angle in my legs that I was expecting at first glance. There was plenty of room for my feet and I found that after paddling a bit I actually wanted to bring the footpegs back toward me just a notch. Still, even without that adjustment I was very comfortable edging the kayak and I had a lot of fun with it. The hard chines make this boat sit solidly on it’s side without feeling like I’m working hard to keep it on edge. The foredeck is indeed higher than a number of the other boats, but I’m tall enough that it didn’t pose any problem at all and certainly didn’t get in my way. Maybe it’s partly because I tend to sit up straight anyway, so there is no tendency to hunch over when I paddle. I didn’t find the boat to be the least bit tippy, but I’m coming from a soft-chined 14’ kayak with a 22" beam.

Tomorrow I’ll paddle the QCC600X for comparison and see if I have a preference for one over the other. As a rookie, I may not be looking at this the way many of you would, but I’m enjoying the process and I hope some of this information will be of use to someone else out there.

Thanks again to everyone for the help and suggestions!

Nice choices…
Just a few extra thoughts…

  1. I have paddled a Fathom, and of all the boats I demoed on that day, it was by far my favorite. I’m 174 Lbs and 5’10".

  2. I understand that repairing Thermoformed plastic is, in fact, much simpler than gel coat repair. Done correctly, its also said to be cosmetically clean and smooth. Don’t take my word on this…read up. I am increasingly impressed with thermoformed kayaks.

    3)I too am considering the QCC 600, but have yet to find one to demo. (I haven’t tried too hard, I admit.) I’ve heard and read - without exception - that QCC boats are fantastic on the water, have extraordinarily high build quality, and that the company has clearly got the customer satisfaction model down pat.

    It would seem that you cannot go wrong with either choice…so it definitely would come down to personal preference on the water, I guess.

    Good luck.

Contact QCC
Mctec, contact QCC for the names of some 600 owners near you. That’s how I found out about the one I paddled. QCC sent me the owner’s email address and I sent off a message. The response was fast and enthusiastic. If you really want to try one, that’s the way to go about it.