QCC 700 vs. Valley Aquanaut???

Two very different boats, I know…I currently have a Valley Aquanaut. I really like it a lot in rough water and am quite happy with it; however, I have moved from CA and will not be paddling the ocean very often in the future. Where I am now I am stuck with paddling calm lakes. I will soon be moving to MD near the Chesapeake where I fear the water will be mostly calm as well.

Although I like my Aquanaut in rough water, I find it a little boring in calm water. I don’t like paddling calm water much, but if I have to I think I would rather paddle something really fast with a lot of glide. I have read a lot of good things about the QCC boats. I plan to keep my Aquanaut, but am considering getting a QCC as a second boat.

I generally paddle my Aquanaut between 4.5 and about 5.3 mph when cruising (using my GPS). Would the difference with a QCC be noticeable / significant?



How different really?
I still haven’t had a chance to paddle an Aquanaut - so can’t give head to head comments.

From others comments about the Aquanaut vs. other Brit boats - it actually sounds like it’s more like my 700 than not for manners.

If you like the Argonaut, the Aquanaut seems a good option. If you want to try something not all that different but also good, try the QCC.

Here’s what puts the QCC ahead for me:

  1. 700’s foredeck is 1" lower.
  2. 700 is 1/2" narrower.
  3. 700 is 3" longer, and probably has a good foot more waterline length.
  4. 700 is swedeform - allows better stroke mechanics and max bean at hips just feel good/right.
  5. 700 will be a bit lighter.
  6. Numbers 1 through 5 + the great hull design = more efficiency. Where that translates to more speed depends on you.
  7. Valley/dealers won’t give you a 30 day no questions return policy. You could buy the QCC and if it’s not what you want return it and buy the Valley.

    Pluses for the Aquanaut:

    Lower aft deck and better seat position relative to rear coaming edge for layback rolls (looks like anyway, most Brits are).

    Better skeg control (QCC stock cord setup sucks).

    Day hatch.

    I’ll leave it to the happy aquanaut owners to expand on that list. I took care of seat and skeg on my 700 so it’s almost not fair to use mine for comparison as it’s sort of a hybrid now.

    Hard to go wrong either way.

You May Find
that the Chesapeake is not as calm as you think. Yes, no ground swells and as a bay no where near the fetch to produce waves. However, 2 to 4 foot wind driven waves with breaking chop is not unusual there.

In terms of the Q boat it works well there.

Happy Paddling,


What Mark said…
The Chesapeake can be a wild ride depending on wind,boat traffic and waves. In some places it can be a mass of confused chop up 4’ or better,and heavy tidal currents. I had my 700 in that condition,and it handled it better then I had heard on P-net about it’s lack of rough handling. I was pleased with my 700 all the way around. Sadly a messed up back forced me to sell it in favor of canoe.I do miss that boat for it’s kick a$$ speed. I can’t comment on the Valley boat,because I have never even seen one in my area to try out.

Happy Paddling billinpa

Different direction
You might think about something like a Nordkapp LV. Definitely livelier than the Aquanaut and I think it is supposed to be faster. Or how about a Rockpool Alaw? Or a surfski?

Glad to hear…
Well I am glad to hear that the Chesapeake Bay is livlier than I thought. I am getting very tired of paddling on flat lakes.

I am keeping the Aquanaut (I really like it a lot) but still will consider adding a QCC for paddling on flat days.

Any more comments would be appreciated.


700 and others
First, without revisiting ancient arguments- the 700 is an excellent boat in rough water, and a far better downwind boat for going fast than most other comparable kayaks. I really have never understood this “urban legend” that the 700 is a flatwater boat.

Why not get something different, since you already have a very competent and reasonably fast traditional sea kayak? There’s nothing more fun than a ski in rough water, particularly with following waves- why not try to find an entry level ski, like a V10 sport, a Mako XT or even the Futura 2? Or make the plunge, and get one of the more stable new design full-on skis, like the V10 or the S1X?


Surf Ski…
You may be right. I have never paddled a surf ski before, but maybe that is really what I am looking for. The difference in speed among kayaks of similar length/design is often negligible and hard to really feel real difference. I am trying to determine if the difference in speed / glide between my Aquanaut and a 700 would be significant enough to notice. I am not sure whether it would be or not.

Maybe I really want / need to move up to a surf ski for fast paddling.

We’ll see.


Flat day?

– Last Updated: Jul-23-06 4:55 PM EST –

QCC 700 can be most rewarding when charging wind wave and wakes. It will get upwind faster and easier and the downwind runs will be a blast.

How do you paddle?
What is your typical distance/speed for day paddles? 4.5 knots or better? 10 miles or more? At what average heart rate? If you don’t have a handle on this stuff you won’t notice enough difference to bother. If you like to go at a good clip over any distance you might. I notice most who benefit from more efficient hulls tend to paddle them alone a lot, and their occasional group paddles are often called “races”.

paddle the Q700
Only getting in a Q700 and paddling it will answer your question. I know how fast I cruise in a Q, but your results may vary.

I can cruize my prijon kodiak at 5.5mph and the Q at closer to 5.7 to 5.9. The kodiak will sprint and top out at about 6.2-6.5 no matter how hard I push. While the Q has been up to 7.5+ and at this point I still think I am the limiting factor in its top speed.

What He Said…
Andrew’s advice is sound. Before my Q700, I owned an Explorer, quite similar to the Aquanaut in many regards. It was a superb boat in the rough, literally scoffing at nasty conditions. In addition, it was so easy to roll, two friends were successful rolling it after twenty minute lessons. Purchased the Q as I started gravitating to the racing end of the sport, and with the Explorer, I’d quickly hit its ‘wall.’ After buying the Q, I found the Explorer hung in the garage-with limited time to paddle, I paddled what I enjoyed the most, and it seemed to be the QCC each time.

I don’t know how the Q has developed a minor reputation on these boards as not being a boat for conditions. It is extremely capable in the rough. There’s a bit of bow slap over steep chop, but it’s exceptionally fast into the wind, and a great deal of fun downwind as well, picking up rides easily. The only boat in its class that might surf better is the Epic, and I’d give the nod to the Q in steep stuff due to its greater bow volume; it tends to pearl less. No, the boat is not perfect-I have my own issues with the seating position-but it does just about everything extremely well.

After another glowing review of the Q (smile), I agree that owning a ski will be just about the most fun you’ll have. The new breed of fast yet stable surf skis (S1-R, Mako XT, V-10 Sport, etc.) will be far faster than what you have, will surf like you will not believe, and raise your bar for balance skills. Keep the Aquanaut, a great boat, and give one of the new crop of skis a try. There will be a learning curve. Keep in mind that ‘stable’ is a relative term for surf skis, but you may be surprised how quickly you’ll progress.

Ditto on the surf ski
If you already have a good all-around boat why do you want to add another one?

Although the Aquanaut and the 700 are different boats the differences are most likely not huge while if you get a surf ski you definetely get another-kind-of-boat.

Have both
I will confirm that the perceptions posted on this board that the qcc700 is a flatwater boat only are utter nonsense. I actually have a lot more confidence in conditions with the 700 than I do with my aquanat. The areas where the aquanat outshines the 700 are in rollability and manouverability and outfitting. Of these areas, only in outfitting does the aquanat far outshine the 700 (and there is the matter of the tourture device the brits smugly refer to as a seat). In terms of handling, the 700 is very confidence inspiring and soooooooooooo much faster. In terms of what i’d prefer to be in in case of a hard landing on a rocky beach, the layup of the aquanaut is sooooooo much more rugged.


– Last Updated: Jul-24-06 11:16 AM EST –

Just got back from three weeks paddling my 'naut nearly everyday on Muscongus Bay on Mid-Coast Maine.

I'd mostly been paddling my Romany prior to heading to Maine. I was reminded the last three weeks of how well mannered the Aquanaut is in conditions. It isn't as easily maneuverable or as forgiving rolling and balance bracing as an Explorer or Romany, but I find its personality in real sea conditions to be more to my liking than any other boat I've paddled. It is noticable faster than an Explorer. It is also faster than a Nordkapp or Nordkapp LV. I pefer its confident secondary to either 'kapp.

I haven't paddled a QCC700 - no one near me has one :-( It has a notably longer waterline than an Aquanaut and is likely faster in many ways.

Have you tried them side by side…
or are you just reading the scrolls from Sea Kayaker? Did you paddle a Nordkapp LV? What was that like? I paddled a naut for a day in rough conditions and liked it, but it was not faster than my Nordkapp.


Kapp and Kapp LV

– Last Updated: Jul-24-06 3:43 PM EST –

I've paddled an H2O and an LV 'kapp and each felt quicker off the dime than my Aquanaut, but not faster.

The SK stats do reflect this sense, though I first paddled an H2O well before the SK review appeared. The narrative that was referred to here some time ago indicated that the Nordkapp LV was faster than an Aquanaut.

Mostly I like the handling of the 'naut and find its performance in conditions to be excellent. Though, I've had my Aquanaut out in much more challanging conditions than I've had the opportunity to paddle in a Nordkapp.

I think the Nordkapp LV is the most 'fun' of the three. It is a quick and responsive boat that is a blast. It also seems to roll faster with less effort than the other two. If I didn't have my Romany, I might consider a 'kapp LV as my play/day boat.

I was afraid you’d say this:
“I think the Nordkapp LV is the most ‘fun’ of the three. It is a quick and responsive boat that is a blast. It also seems to roll much faster and easier than the other two. If I didn’t have my Romany, I might consider a 'kapp LV as my play/day boat.”

There is no end to boat needs.


QCC and Rough Water…
Sorry if I implied that the QCC was not a good rough water boat. I did not mean to do so. I have followed many of the debates about this subject here on the forums and I believe it probably does do well in rough water, but I already have a great rough water boat----my Aquanaut. I love it in rough water and doubt that I would choose another boat for this purpose.

I just was looking for something faster for flat water use and the QCC seems like it would fit the bill. Plus, I would not mind having a second boat so that I could take my wife out as well.

In regards to test paddling one…I would if I could find one or if I could find a shop that carries them. When I get to MD I may find someone there with one that I could borrow for a test paddle. Right now I am just planning ahead for the future with my probing question.


What are rough conditions?
Curious what people mean when they say “conditions”, “real sea conditions”, "rough conditions. Just what are you all referring to in objective terms…as in wind, wave type and height, etc.