most of my paddling will be fitness oriented but 20% will be camping. mostly overnights with maybe one week trip on the new england coast. my question is does anyone use the 18x as a tourer not just a racer. no qcc suggestions please, i prefer the larger cockpit/day hatch. one more thing, do the hatches leak(qcc) or are they pretty tight. p.s. not knocking qcc, if they had a larger cockpit option i’d be ordering from them not posting this.
Verily I say unto thee: Cockpit/coaming sizes can be increased with a bit of work and look good. I’ve extended my wood stripper twice, both forwards and aft. If you really like the hull and performance, the change is well worth it.
will be here in 20 days
18x, another point of view
I have been reading some of the 18x feedback, and I find that some of it is very,very different from my experience with the boat. I weigh about 215, and I have been paddling an 18x for a little over a year now. During that year I have won and/or placed well in over a dozen regattas, so from a go-fast point of view, the boat clearly doesn’t mind having a 215 pounder in the cockpit.
I find that this boat carries my weight with no problem at all, both for cruising with a moderate load of camping gear, and for racing. I don’t know what the practical load limit is, but for cruising/camping, 25 pounds plus my 215 doesn’t seem to faze the boat at all. I would note that, while the boat obviously doesn’t accellerate as well when loaded, the cruising speed holds up quite well.
I am also disappointed to read the comments about Epic boats not holding up. That is completely contrary to my personal experience and my observations of three other Epic owners I paddle with around here. There are a couple of places where the topside finish could be better, but everything about the boat is solid, and after a year of hard use everything still works flawlessly.
I short, this boat has been an absolutely delightful ride for a year of extensive use in a broad range of condition. It makes me look much faster than I really am, and it is equally nice for a quiet sunset paddle.