After researching for months now, I am looking at purchasing a QCC400X seakayak. I am a small female, and am looking to purchase the kevlar/carbon model. Does anyone have one of these and how would you rate it?
What advantage do you expect from kevlar–other than a pound, or two difference in weight?
OP specified carbon/kevlar, which is a nice light but stiff combination.
Specs off QCC site
Select the construction you prefer for your Q400X Learn More
Fiberglass Construction - 50 lbs. (MSRP $2,899)
Kevlar Construction - 47 lbs. (MSRP $3,299)
Kevlar/Carbon Construction - 44 lbs. (MSRP $3,599)
Carbon Construction - 42 lbs. (MSRP $3,799)
I once paddle the Q600X its a nice kayak. But like any kayak best to try it out before you buy. I believe QCC allows you to return it if you dont like it which I doubt you wont like it.Hey if you have the money lighter makes it easyer to handle out of the water BUT I have also heard its harder to deal with repairs if needed.
All their boats are well made and paddle nicely. If you are real small you could consider the other little boat, whose name is escaping me. 10x or something like that. Under normal use you won’t have to repair it, so go as light as your budget allows. Good luck.
Have you looked for local owners?
I know that local in Wisconsin can mean a long drive, but before spending that kind of money I suggest that you ask QCC for owners nearest you so that you could go and sit in one of these. I checked out the specs - I am seeing 12 inches at the rear and 14 inches at the front of the cockpit.
QCC makes fine boats and this model is popular, for good reasons. It delivers a good ride and reliable performance for a paddler who fits it.
My concern is whether you are that paddler if you are a small female. I am an average sized female. I have paddled other boats with these rear and forward depths and found them to be way too deep for comfort. I have to contort to get decent contact, especially that 14.3 inches up front, so that after about an hour I am hurting.
I will admit that the depth problem is the easiest one to solve as long as the overall volume works OK, with minicell. But padding down a tall front cockpit height doesn’t make the boat any shorter - just allows you to reach it. There are potential effects on your forward stroke depending on exactly how small a female you are.
Boats are still largely sized and discussed in terms of an average male paddler, with longer torso, arms and legs than a female. Hence a boat for a “small paddler” can still be a barge on a small female.
As I understand it, QCC has lists of owners who are willing to let you sit in or even paddle their QCC boat. I’d suggest you se if there is a 400X within driving distance and take advantage of the program. It is not an imposition - most kayak owners are all too happy to put other people into their boats for a try.
I was also looking at the 10X model. It probably would be a better fit for me. Thanks!
I have two kayaks now that weigh #44lbs & #39lbs. I can lift both of them. But I fear getting a kayak that’s longer and heavier for fear I won’t be able to lift it. I just figured lighter is better. I really don’t know much about the construction of these kayaks other than what I read on-line. And I still don’t understand alot of it. I guess that’s why I went with the kevlar combo.
Demo in Madison
According to QCC’s website, Rutabaga in Madison has these kayaks to demo. I’m going down there in a few weeks for a kayak rolling class and I’m going to see if they have any I can sit in. I’d definitely like to try it out on the water. After reading your post, I’d hate to spend that type on money and not have long enough arms to paddle it the right way.
might want to tell your weight and height. Small can mean different things. If you are stuck on getting a QCC, then the 10x is for the “small” the 400 is a larger volume boat and will not be the best for "small"or not at all for “petite”
I have the Q400
I have a Q400S (only 1 hatch) in carbon/kevlar. The weight reduction was worth the cost, in my opinion, and feels significant. The boat is a pleasure to paddle, glides well, behaves predictably in confused water, is beautifully constructed, etc. It is a roomy boat - I am 5'9" and big, and there is plenty of room.
If you're shorter than 5'8" or so, I would guess the Q10X would fit you better. The only issue is the width - the Q10X is a scaled-down version of the Q600X, which is a performance model, whereas the Q400X is a general touring kayak. If you test it and are comfortable with the initial stability, it should be a great boat.
There used to be a Q300 model, which was a scaled-down Q400, but it's been discontinued. It was 13'6" by 24.5" wide. I recommend reading the model descriptions at Water Walker, as they contain the designer's statements about the various QCC boats.
PS Here's the Q300 page at QCC (even though discontinued):
Haven’t tried a QCC but…
…if you are interested in rolling, it helps (at least for me) to have a low rear deck. Depending on just how tall/short you are, you might find yourself up to your elbows in that cockpit.
If you're under 150lbs it'll be a BIG kayak. I had one, it's a good design, I'm not a fan of the seat and it's attachment though. I think of it as a good kayak for a 200lb person.
How small are you? My 400X is loose
on me at 5’6" and 165 lbs and is a lot of work for me to edge, but it’s very easy to enter and exit, because of it’s depth, so my wife, who’s shorter and lighter, but rather stiff, still prefers it over the smaller kayaks that actually fit her better once she’s in them, but she uses the rudder full time and has no interest in edging or rolling.
At my size, I don’t find the 400X to be sporty, but I do find it to be very reassuring and well behaved in wind an waves quite efficient at a moderate cruising speed.
If you’re small and are planning on rolling, either the 10X or 600X would likely be a better choice than the 400X.
Maybe to big
I used to have a 400X and found it to be to wide a boat for me. I am 5’6" 170lbs.
There is a 400x on Chicago craigslist…
I think it is kevlar for $1200. Owner claims it is mint. Might be worth looking in to as you would likely get your money out of it if you don’t like it.
I’m glad I asked!
Wow…I didn’t think I’d get so much info from one question. Thank-you to everyone that replied. Your advice is very helpful to me. I also recieved an email that suggested looking at the NC Kayaks. Which are built to your specs as the QCC are. I’ve been reading about these kayaks and they also get excellent reviews. NC recommends not buying kevlar.
Someone asks what small means. I’m not tiny but 5’4", 120 lbs. I have a short torso, so I am concerned about a kayak being to high for me to paddle without fatigue.
I think a 400x is to wide of a boat for you. I think a Q10x would be better.
We have had a bunch of QCC’s and I …
didn't reply earlier since it sounded like you were interested in the 400x
We have had kevlar 700's, 600's and 10X's, and right now I have a 700 Carbon/kevlar, and my wife has a carbon/ kevlar 10X.
If you are a decent paddler, and can enjoy a 21 inch wide boat, I suggest that you try both the 600, and the 10 x. The 600 might be a tad big for you.
My wife is around 116 and is 5'-2" and loves the 10x, (she was in on the design of it and had the first kevlar one that QCC built). She originally had a 600 and it was too big for her.
On the kevlar vs the carbon/kevlar I would never get a carbon/kevlar kayak again unless I was strictly using it for racing and was looking to shed an extra pound.
It is possibly because I paddle over a thousand miles a year in it, but from my experience it is too delicate, and I am constantly repairing both of our boats.
It is a big decision on your part, so good luck
No need to lift a boat
This is a common misconception when people come from rec boats, because they are commonly lifted. But there is no need to actually carry the full weight of a boat if you are willing to invest in a bit of equipment and allocate more time to load and offload the boat.
Get a cart for the distance from car to the water. Lots of kayak carts out there from cheapo to really fancy, big wheels for sand or not, foldable etc. That’s easy to solve.
For the car itself, you slide the boat off (and on). You can put a towel or a blanket on the ground to protect the boat hull. To protect the car you can hang towels off the back rack, and/or get creative with long ropes to hold it even even as it goes up or down (I have done that at times) or invest in something like the Amagansett Roll-Loader. This device works for me to handle 55 pound 17 ft plus boats alone when needed. It has gone up in price since we got ours, but if the current one broke down I’d get another in a heartbeat. It just makes things that easy.
Note that you are now talking about boats with rigging like perimeter line, so you have ways to hold onto and control the boat as it slides up or down that are not present in a rec boat.
I have carried these boats occasionally. But I have gotten to the point of age where I am no longer willing to risk my back if I can spend an extra 10 minutes per boat and do it without hurting something. We all get there.