Epic 18 X

Have owned QCC 700s. wondering how new Epic 18 X compares. Any advice?

Own a 700x
Paddled an 18x at a symposium. They look similar but that is about as far as it goes. As I launched in the 18x the rep on shore said “don’t try to turn it by edging”. He was right. It had the lowest initial stability I have experienced. Maybe one would get used to it. But the two boats paddle very differently.

Agree plus
I owned an 18x and have paddled a number of 700s. I don’t believe the build quality of Epic approaches QCC.

I own a 700
and have been racing it for 4 years…my next FSK will be an EPIC 18. Epic seems to have worked out all the problems the have had with their production and continue to improve the design. QCC has done nothing to improve the design in years and I have not been impressed with the quality of the QCC. The 18X is the faster kayak.

I meet a lot of people last weekend racing these two boats vs one another. I don’t own either but am always interested in peoples boats. I got some very interesting unsolicited opinions. Two couples from SC lamented about epic quality issues and both had moved on to other boats. Their issued seemed to be with finishes like the hardware. One couple also said they didn’t really care much for the mentality epic had taken with local events. Just by head count, there was a lot more qcc700s and 600s.

I can only personally confirm that the workmanship of my qcc is impeccable. I don’t think I have met any one who didn’t really agree. By the way, I don’t think the results of the race showed any real difference in boat speed. I would mostly buy qcc because they are made here (usa) and I would like to see the kayak industry stay local. Good luck. Paddle both.

Ryan L.

then there are SEDA kayaks
See many of those recently?

saw a bunch
At least 5 or 6 gliders.

Ryan L.

how do they compare?
Looks similar to and Epic kayak. Do you know how quality compares?

i have no clue
But some where old and seemed to work fine, that has to count for something.

They certainly look fast. I swear for some reason they look 20 ft long.

Side note. I saw a point65 xr18. It was really cool. I might just be distracted by the coolness, but the guy seemed to like it a lot. It had a skeg and rudder. He was pretty fast in it.

We all probably place a little to much emphasis on this quality thing anyway. Every boat seems to have an issue that someone thinks it has. Kinda like Toyota vs German cars.

Ryan L.

Epic 18X
I have an 18X for fitness paddling/racing and it turns quite well with a lean. Stability is relative. It’s the same hull as the Epic V8. Less stable than an average sea kayak but very stable compared to a normal ski and an aircraft carrier compared to a K1.

If you want more stability look at the 18X sport.

Greg Stamer

I think the glider is 19’
They look great and a bit lower volume. I don’t see too many around here but saw two at a symposium (didn’t get a chance to try one).

Any comment on the SmartTrack on the 700 vs the odd looking moveable stern section plus fin on the 18x?

Epic rudder
I have paddled the Epic 16x and the QCC 600 and I did not like the new rudder on the Epic. When the extension is retracted the entire rudder is locked so you have no rudder until the extension is lowered. I was paddling with friend who was in an 18X when one of the spectra rudderlines parted and he was forced to retract the extension and carry on without any useable rudder function. He found his Epic difficult to control and had to return to the launch site. I think that the Smart Track rudder used by QCC to be a far better rudder system.

Epic Rudder
From my understanding about the Track Master Plus, Greg Barton and Oscar Chalupsky originally didn’t intend the rudder to lock. It was after input from the sea kayaking community that they designed the rudder so that it would lock in place when the rudder was up-hauled, to allow for reverse paddling. I consider this a feature.

If you want the rudder active. you only have to deploy the steering fin a slight amount to unlock the rudder.

That said, you can change this behavior. The following instructions are from Epic: “unbolt the rudder from the stern, tape the rudder so that it stays inside the rudder housing, take a dremel with a cutting wheel and cut off the locking stud on top of the rudder housing. This will allow the rudder to be active when the fin is fully retracted”.

I have heard reports of the spectra line abrading and breaking where it attaches to the rudder. A few minutes of work to smooth the sharp edge of the mounting surface, or to attach the lines via split rings, should prevent this. I haven’t had the line to fail in several years of use (and I haven’t done either of the preventative measures above).

Murphy’s law predicts that rudders and skegs will fail at the worst possible time.

Greg Stamer

kevlar glider- eft is better- have both
10 years ago I bought this boat from bay creek in rochester. It has tiller steering and feathercraft rudder. We did blackburn in 3.7 hours. great big water and camping boat. No rocker. Will not turn without edgng or rudder. Front is too wide for wing.

West side boats are far superior. the eft improved my 20 mile time at blackburn by 20 minutes. I added small out of the way thigh braces and rear bulkhead to eft. I trimmed thigh braces on glider for knee action. The understern on the eft rules for huge waves. Has 2in or 6 in fin. Weighs 33#