My wife and I are looking for an addition lite weight kayak 16 feet or shorter, one either of us would be comfortable in. A kayak that performs “close” to what we have now. She has a CD Squamish and I have a CD Soltice GTS. She is 5’ 7" 130 lbs and I am 5’ 11" 180 lbs. There are not too many current reviews of this boat. We generally paddle the Chesapeake bay area for 8 to 12 miles at a time. Any opinion of the 400X (kevlar) would be welcome.
a 400X that is looking for a good home. We have way too many boats and this is just too nice a boat to let company use when they come to the lake. Contact me if you’re interested.
this is a little confusing in that you're looking for a boat that is similar to two different sized boats that will accomodate two different sized people yet be lighter. Why 16' or shorter?
Compared to the Squamish the 400 will feel huge for her. It's long waterline makes for good tracking and it's rounded bottom is efficient. But it's too big/tall for her compared to the Squamish.
The QCC400 is a good alternative to the Solstice GT for your size. It has more stability than the GTS. But if the only reason is that it's under 16' then you're sacrificing her paddling criteria.
8-12miles for a 135lb paddler in the Chesapeake means a boat that is efficient and not going to get blown sideways when the wind picks up. Tossing on a rudder will help but it'll be like her getting in the big Solstice GT but with better maneuverablity. Doesn't sound like an improvement over the Squamish.
A boat that would fit you both would be a CD Caribou.
Honestly I'd consider a composite Manitou 13 for a "kayak under 16'" that would fit you both over a QCC400. The Caribou would be the best compromise for 10mile paddling in changeable conditions. The 400 for increased stability, and in her case a platform/lounge chair.
If she's going from a skegged kayak and you're going from a tracky ruddered kayak the biggest challenge will be paddling an unruddered kayak.
Consider your options
I just recently got the QCC 400 and although I think its a great boat…probably should have gotten something less expensive and plastic. The boat is tippy, so if your not used to that, it might be a problem. It is very well made, but it is not nearly as bomb-proof as plastic boats. It doesnt feel that much lighter than some similarly sized plastic boats.
The Q400X is a pretty stable boat, all things being equal. It’s not going to feel tippy compared to a Squamish or a Solstice…
400 tippy? i have two 700s, i dont think of them as tippy, and I am 6’3" 250 something. I have a high center of gravity too. Find sombody that has a 500,600 or even a 700 and test them.
compared to a 40" wide canoe
but even that is tippy if you stand up. Depends on the reference.
The 400X is straight tracking & stable.
I have a Swift Caspian Sea, which is essentially the same as a QCC 400X, and find it to be very straight tracking and stable. I’m 5’6" and 155 lbs.
It’s not near as maneuverable as my composite Aquaterra Sea Lion.
I haven’t paddled the two boats that you already have.