QCC 400 vs 600

I’m planning on getting a QCC kayak in the near future but want some advice. I live and paddle in SW FL in canals, the bay and rivers-mostly fairly flat water. I want to do some medium distance (for me) touring - 10-15 miles over an afternoon or a day. No real overnight stuff, no big ocean trips, etc. I’m 5’9’’ and 170 lbs, the QCC selector says either a 400 or a 600 would fit me. Any suggestions which would be better. Mostly I want to just enjoy myself at a moderate pace but be able to outrun a storm or get home quickly if needed.



I’d also like to hear this comparison.

Give them a call
Why not call QCC and ask their opinion? The money-back guarantee does take the pressure off you, but makes them want to have satisfied customers.

Add 700 to your thinking

At your height and weight
I would echo what go with a 700 also.

I have both a 600 and a 700



on how important stability is to you. If you have the hp and technique to drive yourself quickly you’ll notice the skinnier boats as being more efficient but you won’t outrun storms if you are going out in dicey conditions. If you’re two hours from home, you’re two hours from home in a 400 or 700. You could paddle the 400 in a range of conditions without needing to know how to roll, with the 600 you’ll need that skill. If I was needing to get somewhere fast in high winds I wouldn’t think the 700 would be the best choice for a 170lb paddler but that’s also a skills issue.

Huh ???
I have a 700 and a 600.

The 700 is the faster boat and I am 162 pounds

They are just about equally stable and both are very stable

If you are posting info like this, I sure hope you have been in both boats. If you have then I guess we have conflicting opinions

The 400, the 600 and the 700 don’t tip.

People tip them !



I am planning on talking to the QCC people and I guess what I was hoping for was info from someone who had either had both kayaks or had paddled both. What are the strengths or weaknesses of one over the other? Is one more specialized as a tourer/raceer/whatever? I value QCC’s comments as I am impressed with their customer service committment but I was hoping to start a discussion among the end users.


I agree
I have a 700 and my wife paddles a 600. I have paddled her 600. At first both the 600 and 700 seem very tippy. But as Jackl says they are actually very stable if you just let them do their own thing and don’t tense up. In shallow water try edging the boat a lot. The secondary stability is awesome. The 700 is faster but probably the difference doesn’t matter for your uses. The decks on the 600 and 700 are shaped differently. The 700 is flatter, especially the rear deck. That probably makes no difference either.

Jack’s right
and boats don’t out run storms either. Motors (paddlers) do. So don’t blame the boat.

…and good luck with either boat.

Paddlin’ on


I’ll Jump In
I own the 700 and Q10 but have not paddled the 600 or 400. Jack is the man for the 600, 700 and Q10 issues.

Based on your paddling destinations I might would consider the 400. You said, “canals, bay and rivers”. The shorter boats are nice in the canals and rivers. I have paddled the sawgrass channels and canals of Florida quite a bit and it is nice to have a short boat when it gets tight. For the bays I would go with the 700.

In short, if you think you are going to spend most of your time in tight areas and you are not going to race I would consider the 400. If you are going to spend your time in open water and speed is an issue go with the 700. Both are plenty stable. I don’t consider myself a skilled paddler and I jumped in the 700 and never felt like I was going to get wet.

Huh??? x 2

– Last Updated: Jun-22-08 9:09 AM EST –

I can only speak to what I know:

I'm into my second season of paddling a 2007 fiberglass QCC 700 with latest Feathercraft rudder on large Adirondack lakes and on the St. Lawrence River in the Canadian Thousand Islands. Paddle from April through November (and sometimes into December), mostly alone.

The 700 is my first 21 in boat, and the first time I started playing around in controlled conditions, I realized that the 700 might have a bit less initial stability than either my Prijon Kodiak (23.5 in wide) or my Enlightend Kayaks T-16 (24 in wide). But when you lean the 700, it feels rock solid and the boat tracks like it's on rails. I deploy the rudder maybe 5 per cent of the time. Any 21 in wide boat is going to demand more from the paddler.

Where I paddle there is lots of wind all year long and given the shallowness, the water can get very confused very fast. You can comfortably paddle the 700 through conditions all day long. The 700 can also sprint at need through the same conditions. Once I work up to it, 15 to 20 mile days are the norm. I am 60 plus years old and in good, though not exceptional physical condition.

Design displacemnt will certainly come into play when choosing a boat. I am 5 ft 7 in tall and 30 plus pounds heavier than JackL, and because I mostly paddle alone, even on a day paddle I always carry the camping gear to comfortably the night/nights if I get stuck somewhere. By the way, seen some people really get in trouble, trying to outrun the storm, rather than fining a nice place to camp and popping a can of beannie weanies. I like multi day camping trips and the 700 certainly fills the bill.

My wife has a QCC 400X and that is one sweet paddling boat. Maybe the 400 might best meet Alan's paddling needs.

Guess it all depends, given the design displacement of the boat, what you want to do, how much gear you want to carry, etc. But, Alan, don't be scared off either the 600 or 700 just because they are 21 in wide boats.

See you on the water.


One more thing
I am a QCC nut. I love their boats and if I could buy every model I would. But here is a thought for you.

Don’t rule out plastic. If you are in Florida and are paddling shallows you are going to get tangled up in oyster beds. How about buying the 700 and then shop for a plastic rec boat for the canals. You should be able to get a used plastic boat for less 400 if you shop and you can save your work of art for deaper water.

I have a 400 and have paddled a 600. The stability difference between the two is significant. Your statement that the 600 and 700 are both “stable” is without reference, it’s stable for you. I weigh 200lbs and am pretty sure if you stick a beginnning 170lb paddler who can’t roll or brace into a 600 they will go over in 1’ waves from the stern. The original poster doesn’t give a clue as to his skill level. I taught basic sea kayaking in flat water for five years and participated in coastal paddling ACA IDE/ICE and observed quite a range of skills so my observation is of a range of people in a range of boats.

When someone asks a general question about a boat ennabling them to do something it says to me they probably aren’t an experienced paddler so that’s who I’m speaking to, not an experienced paddler who is able to instinctively brace with waves from the stern and have loose hips. My assumption may be off but IF the original poster is a beginner they will notice significant difference in stability between the 400 and 600,which was there comparison.

I’ve seen enough top heavy paddlers struggle for a season through basic classes because they could not relax, admonitions to them “RELAX” don’t work and the expectation that they SHOULD RELAX sets up a frustrating learning curve that isn’t necessary.

Not everyone is going balls out fast, so the idea the 700 will enable the poster to go fast rests entirely on his conditioning, technique and desire, and like you said, it’s not the boat.

the 400 and 600 differ substantially regarding stability, if you can’t outrun a storm in a 400 you won’t do it in a 600. If you want to outrun storms you should be in motor boat going 30mph, not a kayak going 4-5mph.

The comparison was between those two boats, not between individuals and their respective boats.

I haven’t paddled a 700 but assume it’s more stable than the 600. If you were looking for efficiency, lowest effort for max touring speed the 600 is a good choice, I assume(yes, it’s an assumption) you give up some stability compared to the 700 and a lot (based on my experience with my weight) compared to the 400.

Basically it gets down to how much effort you plan to exert, an experienced paddler like JackL who races can utilize and percieve the speed potential of the 700. If you anticipate exerting the amount of effort you’d put out runnning an 8minute mile then the issue of speed is applicable. If you are thinking of the effort fast walking a 15minute mile then it’s kind of irrelevant, all three hulls are slippery for easy touring efforts.

they’re good boats
aesthetically they’re plain, the seats are odd and not to my taste but I paddled the 400 with some friends and was struck by how well it handled and paddled, a lot of “touring” kayak designs out there are meeting aesthetic criteria that detract from basic efficiency and handling. I got the 400 as a spare boat I could take anyone out in,especially tall folks with no paddling experience. Without a rudder the glass 400 is lighter than a lot of kevlar boats with rudders.

You are correct. Not only do people buy boats based on what you describe, they buy what looks cool not what they really need. I call it “parking lot affect” in cycling. Maybe I should call it “roof rack affect” in paddling. Most don’t want to carry around a 30" wide plastic boat on their rack even if it is the best boat for them.

I will disagree about the looks of the QCC though. I think they are beautiful. I also think my wife is beautiful and some may not. That is why there are so many choices.

you certainly have stimulated a discussion among the end users.


As always, I learn from your posts.


the thing that got me was that at first it looks like a high freeboard design that would get blown around, that the sides of the hull wouldn’t contribute to handling in waves and that it would pretty much want to sit hard and flat on the water.

Then I paddle it and find that it’s perfectly controllable leaning over to the rail, it ‘sticks’ to the water well with the long waterline so there isn’t a sense of long cantilevered hull getting pulled by the wind off a wave OR low volume ends getting jerked by the waves and the long waterline makes for comfortable but not stuck on rails tracking. And if I want to sprint, the boat could get up and go with no sense that it would be limited by it’s wake,er,at my sprint speed that is.