Q700 vs CD Nomad vs Epic18

Anyone have comparative wind or rough water or following seas experience in 2 or 3 of these ruddered boats? One of these will eventually be added to my fleet.

2 Out of 3
Former owner of a QCC700, now have an Epic 18 (Not the 18X) in my ‘fleet.’ Some impressions…

both are good ‘big water’ boats despite what anyone will tell you. The 700 has more bow volume; as a result, it bow slaps more into the wind, but it doesn’t seem to slow it down any. The 18 has more of a tendency to pierce the top of a wave when going into the wind-maybe a hair slower upwind than the Q ship. you might predict with the plumb bows both would be pushed around by the wind, but I don’t find this to be the case. The Q has a surprising amount of rocker, and turns easily-the Epic is a little more rudder dependent, but neither are hard trackers-rudders are a good match for both-particularly the Epic.

Downwind, the 18, I feel, picks up swells better than the Q. Both surf extremely well, but the 18 seems to stay on a wave a little easier with less tendency to broach. When the rudders cavitate on a wave (as all oversterns will eventually do), they come around slowly and controllably. The greater bow volume of the Q causes it to pearl less on steeper, shorter duration swells and fetch like we have here in the east-I’ve had it buried to the hatch and it pops right up again. I prefer the behavior of the 18 on a wave-the Q has a little quicker roll rate on edge, and the cockpit of the 18 fits me a bit better. I’ve used both the QCC and 18 in a couple of tamer downriver races (I know, I know…) and they were surprisingly manageable through the Class II and one or two short sections of Class III rapids-nod here goes to the Epic for better cockpit fit. Last year I raced the Epic in the Blackburn, and it was very confidence inspiring through some confused sections and the larger swells at the finish that gave some dedicated unlimited race boats fits.

Build quality/Customer Service: QCC. Hands down the winner. amongst the very best of anything out there. Quality, quality, quality.

Personally, I prefer the Epic for fast paddling, surfing, and racing, due to the better cockpit fit (for me). The low thigh braces/narrow front of keyhole cockpit in the QCC forced me into a legs splayed position resulting in pressure on the sciatic nerve and leg numbness, but this is my biomechanical bent, not necessarily yours. Hard to go wrong with either boat.

2nd everything above …
Trilobite has a very good handle on boat review and real world interpretation of a boat’s characteristics. : 0

A 10 … LOL

slaps down

Thanks for your comments. I once test paddled the Epic 18 into head seas and found it rising up and slapping down annoyingly. Your comment that the Q700 does this even more makes me lean toward the CD Nomad, though I have not had it in these conditions. One of my current boats is the CD Solstice GTS, which has been my favorite for the past 13 years, despite buying and selling various others. The GTS rides nicely into head seas and I am hoping the Nomad will do the same.

Epic Cockpit
Please be aware that the cockpit design from the Epic 18 to the 18X is significantly different. Even though the 18X is billed as a “longer and wider” cockpit, the description is not even close to accurate. I can only find it being 3/4 of inch wider at the stern of the cockpit while they shortened the length - bulkhead to bulkhead- by 9 inches.

This has resulted in significant problems for me and the customer service, so far, is definitely lacking at the corporate level. So please don’t make my mistake of expecting 18X to be anywhere similar to the old 18.