After multiple manufacturing flaws showing their ugly face in my Epic Endurance, I am considering migrating to a QCC700. Anyone have any comparative analysis on performance similarities and differences they would care to share? I am under 150 pounds and do some racing on flat water and some rec paddling on Lake Michigan. The Epic slides sideways in strong winds, but, I assume the QCC700 would also. Performance wise I like the Epic but don’t like seeing it fall apart before my very eyes. Thank for your imput.
There have been some good threads discussing this. Mostly how the original design intent was different for these boats. While they appear similar, and are both very efficient, they are still quite different. Try searching for the earlier discussions.
I paddled an Epic too long ago now to compare directly. Would not be fair to compare a 15 minute pond paddle to almost 2 years with a Q700. I’ve heard the quality on the Epics has come up a lot recently, but hard to beat QCC for that. Love my Q700.
One thing I can offer that may be of use - some side by side pictures. These aren’t my pictures - I just offered to post them after another thread on this (the owner of these boats will probably respond here also).
so let’s talk specifics.
Who you? Seems to be your first post. That's 0k everybody's got one. But the dissing of the epic seems steep. That's OK too; it's your experience. Can you share some of it?
Let's talk specifics about the problems with the Epic, so this can have some value. The only problems I've seen on the Epic endurances I've met (3 or 4 perhaps) have been a leaky rear hatch wich was problematic when thing got really dicey (interesting conditions, and swimming paddler so panicked he went headfirst into his cockpit during an assisted rescue, so it took a bit longer than normal with the back deck fully awash in the chops. Perhaps a flooded back hatch even caused the capsize, but the situation was surely funky enough).
I have generally good feeling about the 700, I owned a 5 but it was way too high volume for my needs. I like the strength to weight ratio of qcc boats. As good a lay up as I have ever seen. (Like seaward and boreal). I'd like mine with a feathercraft rudder and seaward pedals (gas pedal type with large contact area). Might find an old 700 and put the seaward pedals onto it one day. The 700 is built out from the 600 and has weight carrying, very good speed, and acceptable primary stability as it's prime criteria. The Epic endurance seems to have speed as it's prime criteria, and is totally rudder dependant. Initiates a leaned turn really easy, but wants to keep turning from my experience. I liked the secondary on the epic a lot, but I was a much greener paddler when I paddled the q600 which was too twitchy for me at that time. Yet to paddle a 700 but it's on my list.
All else equal, the Epic is a hair faster than a 700. The difference in speed is small enough that you should be able to make up the difference in most situations with training.
Both are an awful lot of volume for a sub 150lb paddler, especially the 700. Unless you’re going to carry a pile of gear when not racing you might find less volume more pleasurable.
I weigh 190lbs and happily paddle a skegged Q600 as a day boat. The 700 fells huge to me. When I lived in VA I used the Q600 frequently for a 2mile commute to school and carried a laptop, books, food for the day, and a change of clothes without problem. I raced it too with good results in small 10-15k events (usually 20-30 boats ranging from cruiser canoes to surfskis). In the five races that I entered last year in the Q600 before I started paddling surfski I never had another kayak finish anywhere near me (including boats like Epic 18 and Kirton Inuk). I generally raced against the surfskis that showed, usually finishing 2 or 3 overall (Never first, I couldn’t touch Ben on his Mako. I didn’t catch him after I got a ski either. The motor was the difference when I was beating skis using a touring boat and when Ben continued to stomp me after I got a ski).
Good comments all. Who am I? My name is Earl Metzler and I live in northern Indiana. My Epic was a first generation. It was a light layup at 40.4 pounds with gel coat. It has a black colored cloth which I believe is painted fiber glass. It came with a coat of linseed oil in the cockpit and hatches that attracted every grain of sand. So that was a bad beginning right there. Next I have managed to break four of the SureTrack footbraces. They all got replaced at no charge but it was still an annoyance. My hatches do not leak, but, they have neoprene covers that only a contortionist can properly put back on. The top deck has so much flex, it has developed stress cracks and the gel coat has started to flake. There are stress cracks at the footbrace bolts on the hull, the seat has developed a crack, the cockpit combing has cracked just because it is too weak, and the white gel coat has started to yellow. All things combined for a boat bearly two years old makes it a bad value of the $2500 for which it was listed. The new boats corrected the old seat problem and have created a new one by rubbing a hole in the bottom of the floor. It just makes me wonder how long it is going to take before we see a quality Epic that is worth the money. I have some light weight boats and have had none of these problems with them. Maybe I expect too much, but, it is frustrating to see all these problems with a boat you thought should last a life time with proper care, and here in less than two years there has been need foro multiple repairs. I did fix the combing crack, but, it cracked again, and am taking it to a kayak builder to see if he can figure out how to keep it from cracking again.
Performance wise, I like the Epic, but in bigger water at my weight it can get a little spooky in wind. About the only time I will use the rudder is when I am in semi rough conditions paddling close to other boats. The hull has more flex than I like, but, could live with that if the rest of the boat weren’t cracking an flaking. I heard the QCC was similar and my boat builder friend told me about this site so I could read opinions. More comments are welocme - Earl
Thank you earl !!!
really nice to know.
I'll spend some more time reading your post and edit this later.
Though at least 40 folks who read this know exactly who I am, I have never pubished my name here. You got some guts man! I love it. My hat is off to you, and my door is open to you.
Neoprene hatch covers
Some of the early Epics had neoprene covers as a stop-gap solution. No clue as to when and how many got them.
Re: a photo of the Endurance neoprene covers, I would be happy to supply one, but, don’t have ready access to a digital camera. If that changes soon, I will post a photo or send one to you directly. Thanks for the comment on the black graphite.
The footbrace breakage is not an Epic problem but a defect from SureTrack as they all shatter in the same place. The Epic problem is that they seem to continue using old defective units on their new boats.
Let’s look at the right footbrace rail from the side, foot peg towards you, with the green slide device to the right. The breakage is on the bottom about 1/3 of the way in measured starting from the end of the black enclosure section that encases the green adjustment rod. The shattered piece is about four inches long x 3/4 inch wide and breaks behind the footpeg. Once shattered the footpeg becomes loose and inoperable. Some shatter all the way off, and some have stayed patially attached.
An engineer friend wanted to look at it before it got sent back to SureTrack to see if it was a design flaw, or one of materials, but didn’t get a chance to look at the broken unit before it got sent back. Right now, I have two aluminum units that have not yet shattered. Time will tell if these hold up or not.
you hit it,at that weight there’s a lot of boat in the air. If he’s not using the speed potential of that boat the QCC600 would be a more usable design.
Sealline has since designed aluminum tracks for the rudder system that both boats use. They will replace the plastic tracks with the aluminums, I also broke three of them in my Q700 until I placed the Aluminum ones and have had no problems.
My friend and I both had plastic boats and would always race about the last mile of our paddle and we finished real close
Then I bought a Epic and he got a Q700 and I was shocked of how much faster the Epic is
If we race the last mile of our paddle I can have my boat on the car before he gets there
So I think the Epic is the boat if you want speed
Identical plastic boats?
Methinks it’s the motor. I would buy a few second edge, not what your claiming. Try switching boats next time (if you can be objective and not slack off in his boat).
Difference between Epic and Q700 is 5 seconds a mike in the Epics favor, difference between Epic and EFT is 20 sec. a mile and 25 sec. versus the Q700, all these with the same paddler on the same course with similar conditions. Comparison done more than one time. This was done on a flatwater 7 mile course, in rougher conditions there would probably be less advantage in the EFT vs. both and probably even in Epic and Q700, for this paddler anyway.
We then took it a step further and ran the course switching boats between the Epic and QCC owners, same difference with-in 1 to 2 seconds a mile. All it points out to is, as Scombrid and Greyak have said, WORK ON THE MOTOR AND WORRY LESS ABOUT THE BOAT.
Thanks HEX. This is just the info for which I was looking. If I went to the QCC700 I would want to make sure that it was about as fast. Performance wise, I like the Epic, I just want something that is of excellent quality and will hold up but be not much slow than my Epic. Today I decided to write Greg Barton about my problems and he might offer some type of equitable solution. Great ideas to all. Thanks.
Have no personal experience with Epic
but I just do not get it… Seat wears through the hull? Who is the guy (s) that speced that ??? How many times did the set up get real world tested and thought about?
Having the seat adjust fore and aft is great but it cannot be such that micro movements cause such wear… although it could also be from small pebble wedged in there too.
Its takes some time and caring effort to build. A solid, sub 40 pound boat that does not crack around the CP rim or hatch areas from stress risers, oil can or flex so much that middle of broad panels do crack their overlying gelcoat, can be done. Takes time to cut and place all those small ounce saving pieces.
Experimenting should be over by the time people are purchasing the boats on the market. Good that changes are made mid steam but a little more pre- production R&D should be manditory. Or at least a conversation with the customer to determine their intended use and expectat… wait … why am I helping ; )
My 2 baht.
Onno - my thoughts exactly. Having e-conversed with Greg Barton at Epic, he explained some of the problems they had with QC in their plant which should now be corrected after the firing of their previous production manager. He has explained that my boat, one of the first made had the most problems of all their boats. He has offered restitution by offering me a new boat at the current difference of the list price of $300 or $900 for the carbon, which I find acceptable.
My regular kayak is an NDK Explorer. I’ve had the opportunity to test paddle the Epic several times. Terrific performance, very fast, a great seating position, really comfortable, edges very well, stable, handles rough water well but tracks a little loosely without the rudder. Essentially a racing boat that tours extremely well as was stated earlier, very narrow from the cockpit forward. Much lower volume than the QCC 700.
Quality is extremely variable on these boats but has improved markedly from earlier versions. The cockpit coamings are much thicker and sturdier on the new boats. Carefully hand pick your boat from what’s in stock if possible. The store I went to had 2 carbon lay-ups, both of which failed my quality test so I passed on them. Check the hatches carefully. One of the boat’s hatches just plain didn’t fit to the deck contour and would leak profusely. Every boat is different, so be your own quality inspector. If I ever spot one that passes my inspection, I’ll buy it on the spot.
I think that is an excellent offer by Greg Barton. Good luck with your new boat.