Q700 or Epic 16/18X

I am new on this forum and wanted to say hello. My husband is also a fairly new member. We both have alot of canoe experience but are moving to kayaks. Just sold the Wenonah Escape. Fun, yes. Fast NO!

My husband is leaning towards a “Greenland” style kayak either an NC or a Eddyline, Fathom I believe. I want the look of an Epic.

I am wondering if there is much of a difference between the Q500/700 and the Epic 16X/18X??

Yes we all have our favorites but in the end is one a better build? I do like the fact that the QCC is made in USA ! I believe Epic is made in China. Make all the arguments for a “global economy” you wish, however I’d rather keep my money here employing U.S. citzens unless the Epic is far away a “better” boat.

I have little concern about 23 inch vs 21 inch beam. I do not work and have all the time in the world to improve. The Epic site claims their boats are for intermediate to advanced paddlers. Does my canoe time count towards experience?

Any comparisons between the 2 are welcome. Please do not flame one boat or the other. I am not looking for conflict but rather answers!

I am a bit more drawn to QCC as they have an unbeatable warranty (lifetime) and as Iunderstand it will take the boat back , including freight within 30 days if you are not happy.

I don’t know if they give you a hard time on the return but since there are no demos for either boat near us I do like their policy. If I buy an Epic I cannot return it. Has anybody on the board returned a QCC without an argument?

Thanks for all your help.

Maria M.

QCC 500 different from Epic 16x

– Last Updated: Jun-14-12 8:27 AM EST –

The 500 has a lot more above water volume than the 16x. The 700 has noticeably more snug cockpit compared to the 18x. The hulls are somewhat different too.

Depends on your size and weight mainly. All boats you mention are quite different from each other (Fathom, and especially the NC are quite different in feel compared to the Epic/QCC). Make-up your mind about the type of hull you want, then look at the manufacturer's options that fit you best. The wrong type and fit US-built boat will not be a better choice for you -;)

Welcome to the forum
Your canoe experience counts. But it also highlights your ignorance of kayaks. A canoe fits everyone. A kayak only fits certain people. So fit and comfort are variable. To get good boat advice you also need to share a lot about your sizes. Foot size, height, Weight, Leg length.

I’m 5’10", 32 inch inseam, 230 pounds, size 12 shoes

A friend who is 5’4" 30 inch inseam, 200 pounds fits a lot of the same boats I do.

We are both pretty large folks with large hips and thighs, but we like our seats to be set up a lot differently.

I think the most important thing is to find a boat that fits well. For that I have to test them out by at least sitting in them for 20 minutes.

QCC vs. Epic
I’ve owned a QCC 600x and a Epic 18x. My personal preference is for the 18x because about the only time I’m in a kayak is to race or train. I like the integrated rudder and it feels like it was designed to be paddled primarily for fitness with tripping/general use second.

But if I racing or serious workouts weren’t my goal I’d probably take the QCC. I’ve never paddled a 700 but really liked the 600 even though according to the website I’m too tall and heavy (6’1" 170). It wasn’t a tight fit but I thought quite comfortable. I don’t like to feel like I’m swimming in a cockpit.

One thing to keep in mind is that my 21" QCC felt very different stability wise from my 21" 18x. The QCC has a slight V in the bottom of the hull that adds to primary stability. The bottom of the 18x is very round, which gives less primary stability. It’s not a big deal, but it’s there.


Both 700 and epic 18 on my short list
I am slightly inclined toward the QCC 700 as I have some experience with one. Either boat would compliment the two boats I own now. I intend to make a SOF Greenland style as I found out I am allergic to working with epoxy when I built my shearwater 17.

A QCC 600 or Epic 16 may be a better fit if you are small.

You really wont know which you would like better without trying them both.

other fast greenland style boats
Valley Nordkapp or Nordkapp LV

NDK(SKUK) Greenlander or Greenlander Pro

Tiderace Xplore

These are all much more durable than the Epic or QCC boats but also much heavier.

or for a competitor to the Epic :the Tiderace Pace18

These all have a much better fitting British style cockpit which is superior for rough water handling but inferior for flat water speed paddling. There are lots of demo days this time of year. Best thing is to travel to one and try out boats.

Q700/600 vs Epic
The Q600 is more comparable to the Epic 16x than the Q500.

I’ve paddled the Q700 quite a bit. It’s a boat for large paddlers, so depending on your size, you may want to consider a Q600.

According to a friend who has paddle the Epic 18x extensively, the Q700 is more stable, and the Epic is faster. I believe the Q700 has more rocker to make it more manuverable, less room to pump your legs for leg drive, more stowage volume, bigger hatch openings. From what I’ve heard QCC has less quality control issues than Epic.

My understanding is that the QCC700/600 was designed primarily as a touring kayak to be as fast and efficient as possible, and the Epic was designed primarily as a racing kayak that could also be used for touring. So if you planning on touring, the QCC might be better, and if you primarily looking to race than the Epic might be better.

Incidentally, there is a post somewhere on the internet comparing the 2 kayaks in more details.

are you planning on purchasing without experience kayaking?

I’d suggest the QCC for durability and learning and the Epic after you are capable of racing. If you were willing to develop some experience you’ll be able to make better informed questions other than going by “looks”.

Go directly to Epic

– Last Updated: Jun-14-12 5:15 PM EST –

Epic has been around for quite a while
- 2 key guys Oscar Chalupsky & Greg Barton

They used to be made in South Africa

I have a 2004 model Epic 18 foot with a
SmartTrack Rudder system and enjoy it a lot.


Ironically two former Canadian companies who had been already gobbled up by American giants, are now leading the exodus of large North American kayak companies to Asia:

Current Designs Kayaks:
Once Canadian, Current Designs (now owned by the Wenonah Canoe Co. in Minnesota) is manufacturing its new Vision Kayak Series in China

Epic Kayaks:
Epic Kayaks originally made in South Africa
is currently trying to move their kayak manufacturing
from the Flying Eagle Boat Company of China
to a new factory in China, except the Flying Eagle Co.
refuses to release Epic's molds and equipment without
paying hugely-inflated fees. Epic Kayaks has filed a
lawsuit rather than pay what they consider ransom

Necky Kayaks:
Originally established in B.C. Necky Kayaks is now owned by Johnson Outdoors. This U.S. Company has moved 40% of their composite sea kayak manufacturing to China, These models are stamped "Made In China" accordingly and include: Eliza UL, Manitou 13 UL, Manitou 14 UL, and the Looksha 17. Necky's 6 highest-end Composites are still being made in Maine, USA

Point 65n Kayaks:
Originally based in Sweden Point 65 N Kayaks has moved 100% of their composite & roto-mold kayak production to China. Note: although "Sweden" is prominently plastered all over their boats and web site... China where the kayaks are actually made is NOT displayed anywhere

Wilderness Systems:
Production of ALL Wilderness Systems composite kayaks will be transferred from South Carolina to China in June 2009 (note: 'ALL' of our Composites for 2009 were made in the USA).

Some manufacturers go to great lengths to HIDE the FACT that their kayaks are now made in Asia! Sadly retail shops also ask their staff to "peel off the Made in China Labels". Note: 2- Thumbs Up to Necky Kayaks as they fibreglass over top of their labels so they cannot be easily removed!

For every North American manufacturer who has moved kayak production offshore, a larger number of companies will consider moving. The unfair financial advantages Chinese workplaces offer have N. American kayak executives convinced that they must move to remain competitive.


So are you suggesting the Epic?

To others ; thanks for your opinions.

If I go QCC do you think I should go either rudder or skeg?

Don’t know much about the QCC tendency to weathercock.

Thanks again.

I will call QCC see if they can locate an owner near me to possibly


Maria .M

QCC behavior varies a bit from model to
model. My understanding, from reading other’s comments, is that the 500X and 400X behave differently than the 600X and 700X.

I own 400X and find it a bit stiffer tracking than I like when not using the rudder. A bit less responsive to edge turns than I prefer. My wife loves it and always uses the rudder. The cockpit is pretty loose on both of us. I often sit on a 1" or 2" pad to get a little more contact with the boat and have a higher center of gravity to make it easier to effect edge turns.

I haven’t paddled or sat in any other QCCs.

My 400X had a few construction imperfections and cosmetic imperfections. I bought it unused from a guy who won it in a sweepstakes.

I bought the factory 2nd carbon Epic Touring Cruiser 16 2nd hand last fall and it has obvious issues with the clear gel coat - cloudy in places and a few cracks, but hey, it was a factory 2nd to start with.

Good luck with your selection.

Epic is a Great Kayak

– Last Updated: Jun-14-12 6:50 PM EST –

Epic makes a great kayak - go to an Epic Dealer

I like the split rudder idea that gives a solid
permanent foot peg and rudder control via toes.

A review worth reading

my understanding is that Neckys composites are made in Thailand by Cobra and from my experience are the best made production kayaks on the market for the money.

it kind of matters how big you are for the boats you’re considering. Epic makes wonderful racing kayaks but if you aren’t racing but learning you’re going to be learning about composite repair and customer service. To narrow your choices to these two companies based on no experience is like chosing a racing bicycle based on who won the TDF.

Not sure I understand. If I am in a position to afford and wish to experience a “high end” boat, why not?

Unlike a novice buying a Ferrari, I will not kill myself and likely will enjoy the experience.

Again, not sure I understand where you are coming from.

Maria M.

I am coming from some experience
in the use and repair of kayaks. The Epics are racing kayaks, the Neckys are general use sea kayaks with much greater durability. If you don’t have the power and technique to race Epics then you are simply paddling them. In your learning cycle you’ll find yourself dropping, hitting, climbing on and other activities that come with regular use.

You shouldn’t deny yourself a good kayak, I’m just saying you should get the kayak that meets your needs.

It’s not clear that you’re chosing process is based on something other than liking the “looks” of the Epic. Most people pick a kayak based on their intended use and whether it fits their size/weight.

I see your point(s).

It is more than looks. From what I have read the “plumb bow” boats have more boat in the water (waterline length?) and as such are more “efficient”

i believe the plumb bow allows the kayak to enter waves more smoothly with less of a tendency to slap against the water. Granted some of my understanding is from the Epic webpage and may be biased.

Are you suggesting that in a wet exit if i attempt to reenter via ladder i.e. climbing on back and than into cockpit I will damage the boat I’m not sure. Are they that fragile? Be it a rotomold or carbon boat I do not intend to be dropping it in the parking lot or running it ashore!!

Good points however.

To your knowledge is the QCC any more sturdy than the Epic? Do you have any suggestions re; plumb bow kayaks?

i am pretty athletic for “a girl” and paln on training and paddling hard. For just mucking around small rivers I’ll get a less expensive boat.

Again: Thanks for your input.

Maria M.

Imo, plumb bow boats are great. Especially if you plan on paddling hard on flatwater. I have a Qcc 500 and unless you are big you will swim in it. I would stand behind Qcc boats. I have friends with epics and they seem fine too as far as quality. We can sit here and split hairs all day, but chances are you will get a good boat and you will like it. I prefer the Qcc boats just because you can actually talk to someone who will witness the building of your boat. In the same vein call pat at onno for a paddle.

Ryan L.

Epic Kayaks are for Anyone

– Last Updated: Jun-14-12 9:47 PM EST –

Kayaks for everyone ! - built by world class racers.

Honda has Race Cars and what they learn on the track
eventually filters down to the consumer cars.

Epic builds refined TOURING KAYAKS

On September 11, 2005, Werner Stolz completed
a 1740 km solo circumnavigation of Ireland
using an Epic Endurance 18.


What makes an Epic Kayak special

Do other kayaks have Swede Form design - sure
Do other kayaks have a Plumb Bow - absolutely
Do other kayaks have Carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass, vacuumed and heat cured - yep

I bought mine direct from a dealer.
Took it out for a demo, damn near dumped it !
Was it a bit squirrely and skittish on day one,
yeah it was, but I learned a lot in this boat.

Weight does play a role

The Plumb Bow Thing
Various models to choose from