After much consideration I have decided to order a QCC Q700X! So now I am looking for design input from current owners or people that have paddled them often. A couple people have mentioned that they disliked the rudder system and suggested an Onno set up. Which looks very nice to me. If this is a good recommendation maybe QCC will install it for me with the build.
Would anyone recommend adding a piece of kevlar on the floor under your feet for extra strength etc… Thanks in advance!
Custom outfitting . . .
Custom outfitting should be just that! In other words, I’d suggest you wait until you paddle the boat before you consider any modifications. Some have been unhappy with the SmartTrack rudder system, but some love it enough to put it in as a custom installation in a model of boat that doesn’t offer it. Some replace the QCC backband. Others will claim that it is the most comfortable kayak seat they have ever sat in. Since you don’t know which camp you will fall in yet, I’d suggest you wait.
(Regarding extra reinforcement in the cockpit area. Again this is not something that is needed if the boat is being put to “standard use.”)
Just trying to get a general idea but an
excellent point! Thanks!
Something to ask
If you decided to order it without a rudder so you can install your own be sure they make the kayak “rudder ready”. Some kayaks have tubing added to route rudder cables. Probably no difference for rudder vs no rudder in the QCC’s, but let them know you will be adding your own rudder in case they can do some things that will make your future installation easier.
Also if footbrace rail mounts are different for your custom rudder braces vs the QCC standard you might want to order the kayak without footbraces so you do not have to worry about filling in the holes left if you have to remove the stock footbrace rails to install the custom stuff.
I think you probably want to get the optional thigh braces, especially if you are interested in learning rolling and kayak control techniques that involve edging. My thinking is that it would be a lot easier to cut/sand the braces away (if you did not like them) than to do the fiberglass work to add them later.
If you find you do not like the kayak, do not feel bad about sending it back. One of my paddling partners ordered one and found it was just not what he was interested in. QCC was great about taking the kayak back and returning his money.
I have had mine less than a year and would not have done anything different.
I like the rudder system. It takes very little movement for the boat to respond which I really like in races. The thigh braces are a must. I have not seen a need for extra material in the floor. I like to put a towel under my feet to avoid grinding away the material with my heels. I took the seat out and use a backband with the bare seat pan. The seat it came with just didn’t work for me. I did put foam blocks in the floor to keep a slight bend in my knees. I put them down with velcro so they can be adjusted. Other than that, it is stock.
Good luck deciding on the color. That will drive you nuts. Just consider what the weather is where you live because darker colors are warmer. Also, dark shows scratches a little better.
Depending upon what you’ll be doing with the Q-ship, you’ll likely modify to suit your needs. Live with it a bit, see what gets on your nerves, and then change as you see fit.
I owned one a few years back, and can’t say enough good things about the fit and finish, speed and behavior of the boat in conditions. A number of folks have questioned the plumb bow design for bigger water, but the 700 is stable and remarkably agile for its size and beam. It’s great both upwind and downwind. You’ll get some bow slap on short frequency wind driven chop, but I was always impressed with the speed it carries through these conditions. Both my wife and daughter climbed in the 700 and paddled off without a problem. If you’re coming off a wide rec boat, the rounded bottom will seem initially a little tender, until you discover there is a ton of secondary stability. As Greyak said, learning to roll will increase confidence considerably, and the 700 pops up easily. The higher rear deck does impede a layback a bit but conversely prevents the rear deck from going awash in conditions and stalling the boat out.
Downwind the SealLine rudder gets a decent bite due to its length-it will ventilate as it comes out of the water on a swell, but so will anything shy of an understern rudder-the added length keeps it digging/turning more than other rudders out there on the market. Mine dragged the housing a bit, but I understand they moved the bracket position up a bit to remedy this. You shouldn’t break an aluminum rail with the alarming frequency of the plastic tracks that were spec’d before these; I have two full sets of pedals, etc. in my garage as spares as my Epic 18 uses them as well. Provided you have proper leg clearance under the coaming, Onnopaddle’s gas pedals would be a nice addition to this boat. I fabricated a crossbar to span the pedals to allow foot position anywhere across the bar, and facilitate keeping the knees together, but had I kept the boat, I likely would have popped for the gas pedals-have 'em on my EFT now and they work just swell.
It may be unique to me and few former owners, but I found the Q-Tip coaming to be on the low side and the cockpit quite wide where the pedals are, thus forcing you into a legs splayed position to actuate the Toe Pilots. The keyhole cockpit is also narrow at the front where the thigh braces are, making it difficult to pop your knees out for rotation. Plenty of people paddle this boat and have no such complaints, but it forced me to sell a boat I otherwise loved.
I swapped out the seat which helped quite a bit, and the seat pad/backrest lasted all of an hour before I jettisoned it in favor of an IR Reggie backband. The hatches always leaked a little bit, but nothing major. Here too, I understand they’ve redesigned the gasket setup. I doubt you’ll ever get a fg hatch cover to seal the same way the Valley Tupperware rubber lids do-there’s just too much surface and potential deformation to allow water to find a way in. No big thing though. I’d had the bow pearling underwater to the hatch in steep waves and only about half a cup entered in.
As sea kayaks go, it’s a fantastic combination of speed, handling and quality, quality, quality. I prefer my Epic 18 a bit more for fast paddling, due solely to ergonomic position (speed’s a toss up between the two), but wish it was built half as well as the QCC. I’ll never forget the day I pulled the purple (yes, purple…) over cream 700 from the shipping tube. The guy on the freight terminal loading dock whistled softly and exclaimed; “Now that is one beautiful kayak.”
Biased but have to say it …
you might ask them to quote you on the price of the boat Sans Sealine Toe Controls and Rudder. Might be a good down payment towards investing in better ‘aftermarket’ stuff and your boat will end up being lighter overall with my components on it.
Yes get the boat set up for rudder ( cable housings ) and have them set it up with Yakima foot braces … these are the most solid, my system will drop right onto them and the hole spacing is the realistically the as the SeaLines.
I was looking at your web site onnopaddle, and I am impressed with your products. I have many hobbies to include high power rocketry in which I use composits for construction. In turn that draws me towards the high tech stuff. I actually have considered your recommendation with the exact same idea. Put them on now for a slight price increase over putting them on later at full price. However there is always the chance I will not need anything but the stock ones. It is something to think about.
Colors, orange, yellow or blue in that order. Phil said he would send me some sample colors to help me decide. He seems really helpful and responded to my e-mail promtly.
I am just working out the finacial details with my “boss” aka: wife… So I am planning to place the order tomorrow…
I’ll second Onnopaddle
Pat makes quality stuff. I’ve got two of his paddles and just recently got a rudder from him. Have yet to install it, but looks simple and the rudder itself is a work of carbon fiber art.
I don’t have a “q” boat, but my kayak (Artisan Millenium and IS prettier) was set up with the proper footbraces, cable tubing and a slot for the rudder pin as standard. I’m putting the rudder on for sailing purposes. I plan to set up the rudder so that is easily removable and easy to reinstall.
The New Order
I’m just excited reading about your new purchase. I can only imagine how thrilling it must be. I hope the wait for arrival doesn’t drive you crazy. Keep us posted.
re: 700 mods
I pulled out the seat and use a North Shore backband (without the vertical straps) and just the bare seat pan, VERY comfortable. The stock sling seat would loosen up over a period of 1 hr so I would start to slouch and strain my back, and it was hard to tighten it up while in the kayak
Like the SmartTrack rudder, just had to pad the foor braces and toe peddels with 5/8 EVA foam and inner tube tire rubber for comfort.
Get the thigh braces and the carbon/kevlar construction, it is outstanding!
Really thought about the ONNO foot bar/gas peddle (great design), but I now get in the kayak holding the cockpit coaming and then inserting one foot/leg in deep past the foot braces, then drop in my butt and second leg, and then extend my second leg. With the ONNO foot bar I “do not think” I would not be able to insert my foot/leg deep down the center of the kayak.
My hatches do not leak.
Enjoy an excellent American desiged and built kayak!!!
ONNO and QCC
Same quality, good fit. I took out the stock seat (it made my feet go to sleep) and put Patrick’s seat in. It was easy to install and made my boat my boat again. I also moved the seat forward three plus inches (helps the boat stay level at speed).
THEN, you’ll need to get Patrick’s wing. Patrick built me a brick and it’s still lighter than anybody elses wing that I’ve seen todate. It also paddles great. I have not seen his rudder or gas peddles but hear they are a work of art.
All these comments are good stuff!
Congrats on the new boat! I know you’re going to love it. It’s really not tender. I don’t believe you are going to have any problem with it all.
Congrats on your planned purchase!
I’m on my second QCC kayak. The first was a QCC 500 kevlar with the Smartrack rudder, thigh braces and compass. I sold it and bought a kevlar 700 with thigh braces and a skeg.
A little discussion for comparison purposes…I liked the QCC rudder but disliked it too. I liked it because when deployed, the drag was barely noticable because of the foil design. Other stamped metal rudders (like the one on my Perception Corona) create a lot of drag. What I didn’t like was in the stored position (tip towards the sky), the rudder blade and bracket are very vulnerable to being bashed off if you’re not careful while handling or paddling the kayak. I sometimes paddle in swamps and narrow rivers and I’d have to keep an eye on it when paddling under low hanging trees or turning around in narrow creeks.
I ordered the skeg in my 700 and prefer it over the rudder, mainly because I don’t have to worry about a rudder/bracket getting snagged or broken off. QCC skegs are controlled by a line that you release versus a wire that can jam, but it has its own set of issues, mainly that the control line is too short to fine tune how much skeg to deploy by running the line through a jam cleat.
It’s a mystery why QCC builds such a quality kayak but installs such a rinky dink skeg control in their kayaks. I plan on modifying mine to make it easier to adjust.
I would also order it with the thigh braces. The few people who I know who have QCC’s and don’t have the thigh braces wish they had them. I installed a set with some fairly thick minicell on the underside in a friends 500 last summer and he swears that if we hadn’t added the thigh braces, he would have gotten rid of the kayak by now. In my experience, the little bit of extra contact they allow you to have make a big difference in using and enjoying the full capability of the design.
Remember too that lighter colors don’t show scratches. I got mine with a white hull, blue deck and black trim but if I was going to do it again, I’d opt for a white hull and deck with either sky blue or red trim.
And not to start something, but you ought to try paddling it with a Greenland paddle! : )
I hope you enjoy your purchase! And if for some reason you don’t, you can always return it for a full refund. That aspect alone gave me some peace of mind when I bought mine.
I agree with about all above
Unless they’ve made major changes in the seat in the past few years, get the backband and cushion.
Especially if you do any tripping or to make pumping out easier you could hve them move the forward bulkhead back a couple inches to move volume from cockpit to front hatch. Likewise I wish they’d slope the rear bulkhead close to the coaming to make it easier to empty the boat.
I paddle with a GP almost all the time and I have the Sealine rudder with the newer aluminum rails and I’m happy with it. I don’t paddle at a level where I can tell that much difference from the housing dragging in the water.
All in all it’s a great boat, you’ll settle into it quickly it’s not that tippy.
I’ve had this boat in high winds and 4’ waves and never felt it was out of it’s element, I on the other hand was getting concerned.
The nice thing about having it custom
built is that you can make changes such as the ones you guys have mentioned. Franklin also mentioned moving back the front bulkhead and when I spoke to Phil he said that have already incorporated that feature. I am glad you mentioned the rear bulkhead mounting. That was one thing I liked about the Seda boats so I will be sure to inquire about it. Franklin also recommended raising the rudder mount and Phil was also aware of that as well and said it wouldn’t be a problem. So customer feedback works. You ask and you shall recieve. That is what will make QCC the tip of the spear when it comes to kayak design and customer service.
One thing that concerns me a bit is the rudder. Not so much its operation but the storage position being straight up. I will discuss that with Phil tomorrow to see what we can come up with.
My QCC wish list
Morph 700 to 900:
19' x 19"
NZ multisport style cockpit
Understern rudder with plate/pedal system
2-3" lower rear deck
Ain't gonna happen - 'til I design/build one myself - or get them to OEM manufacture for me...
For real world options:
Patrick's rudder and foot system would be da bomb. A solid foot brace surface is hard to beat, and his rudder is simple, effective and looks great.
Stock seat pan is OK if you take out their seat pad/back and use just a decent low backband ( too use an IR Reggie). I'm sure Patrick's seat is great too - but haven't seen/tried one.
Much of the rest that I've done to mine won't apply as QCC has changed a lot of stuff since mine (the listening thing you noted), plus mine has a different cockpit location (older version), and a skeg. You sound like more of a rudder guy.
If a wing paddle is of interest - and I suspect it is or will be - get Patrick to make you a package deal. I got to play with one of his wings recently and it was a thing of beauty.
I have mostly used a Greenland paddle with mine - if these interest you but you want to keep with the high tech gear check out the Superior Kayak carbon Greenland paddles (best thing I've ever bought) or those from Novorca. I'm also using an Aleutian paddle with it (the 700 is pretty Baidarka like after all) and loving it, as well as an experimental hybrid native/wing paddle that's damn sweet with the 700 too.
The best advice you've gotten is to paddle it a while and make small outfitting changes as you go (rudder might make sense to address up front - but few of us are that smart and it will be OK as is for a while, maybe indefinitely). I had a lot of changes planned early on, and many never needed to get done. Some things meant to be temporary turned out to be more than adequate. The more Spartan I went with things the better they seemed to work out.
If I get crazy (and resume an income source) I'll rethink doing do a rudder mod with foot plate and understern, and maybe put in a more race type seat... Time probably better spent building a new kayak with all that in from the keel up.
BTW - QCC can also blend their colors, match other colors, and do some custom effects - just to make the choices that much harder for you.
I had them mix their grey and white to make a very light grey deck color (hull is white). Light to beat South Florida heat and a bit grey to cut the midday glare. May not be pretty or flashy but I get enough compliments and it hides scratches really well. Might not be the most visible color, but it looks like a boat to other boats and not a toy - and this seems to be helpful in the busy waters here. Also very neutral to look at which is a plus over time vs. a big bright wedge of color in you visual field all day. Boring maybe, but has worked out well.
My Buddy Bought the Q700
I think he wishes he had gotten the skeg instead of the rudder.
You might need to add a little ballast the first few trips in it. Just fill a few empty milk jugs with water.
Consider a Greenland paddle and learning to scull with it right away. You’ll grow/advance as a paddler more quickly… in my humble opinion.
My sentiments exactly. I want that boat. Sort of a ruddered Outer Island.
Wish List (Addendum)
While we’re at it, in addition to all Greyak’s changes…
-inobtrusive higher mounted thigh braces, a la the Valley Rapier-there when you need 'em, out of the way when you don’t.
-scalloped foredeck with cutaways for tight catch, slightly higher foredeck.
-(already mentioned) sloping rear bulkhead like my Explorer had to facilitate cockpit draining-one flip and dump and ALL the water comes out.
-changeover rudder system enabling understern for ocean use, or kickup, for shallows, river paddling. My Huki ski has a brilliant design, allowing rudder changeover in 45 seconds flat.
That said, I’ve touted Pat’s work before on these boards. My Q had his contour seat (Thanks, Franklin!) which allows an extra measure of boat control-the sides contour around the hips but the seat was still flexible enough so as not to impede torso rotation. Very comfortable.
I have his gas pedals in my EFT, and will not go back to the tiller. Tiller proponents claim that there’s no way you can push off the same way and not actuate the pedals inadvertently. This is simply not true. I’ve been able to drive hard enough on the footbrace to tear the entire glassed in mounting ‘L’ channel away from the hull of the boat and still maintain a straight line. Plus, the gas pedals enable you to hook your knees under the coaming for stability (and premeditation in the event you get knocked over in the big stuff and need to roll back up) and still actuate the pedals to steer. VERY useful in a following sea and surfing rollers. With the tiller you end up doing the Aztec Two Step, especially with size 12s and winter booties on… Those raised on tiller use do just fine, and more power to 'em.
I also have Pat’s carbon kick up rudder for my S1-R ski. It is a thing of beauty-sculpted, impeccably finished, simple and light, light, light. Makes you look at the SealLine housing montrosity, scratch your head and go: “Huh?”
Don’t yet have one of his wings, but that lever lock system looks very sweet. No birthday coming up either…
As to rudder vs. skeg, that’s an argument best served by the other 4,567 impassioned threads in the archives (Wink.). Comes down to what type of paddling you like to do. If you prefer to edge your boat, then go skeg. If you’re a Point A to B kind of guy, and contend with numerous cross currents, etc. and/or think you might be racing, then the rudder would likely suit. The Q has quite a bit of rocker for its length and waterline, and will initiate a turn easily when edged even slightly. When I was first getting used to this, I found it was way different from my Explorer: the Q would edge and keep on turning, the Explorer would edge, then snap right back to center-just a different feel and one you adjust to.
Exciting having a new boat coming, isn’t it? I’m envious. Enjoy.
my 2 cents
I have two 700s one with a rudder and one with a skeg… Things I like, the rudder works great, however it does look goofy. Like I mentioned earlier mine was whacked by a UPS truck, hard enough to bend the bracket, once I bent the bracket back in a vice it was fine.) The skeg has less appeal to me for several reasons, it leaks (Its easy to fix with massive amounts of RTV), it’s easy to jam, and the big one, when the crap really hits the fan, you have to take your hands off the paddle to mess with it. You also don’t have any access to the moving parts of the QCC skeg. The rudder is easy to get to, how ever it has an issue with the mounting bracket that drags in the water, at least with me it does, if you’re built like a road bike geek, it may not be a problem. L I also think the cockpit is too short, but then again I am 6’3” I personally don’t like the thigh braces as my thighs are big enough that I don’t need them, matter of fact with them I doubt I could fit in at all!! I didn’t mind the stock seat pan; however I wish it had more up angle to the most forward part of it. I use an inflatable under knee cushion for that purpose. The Skeg box also takes up storage room. Personally I think an under stern rudder would be great, something like the mirage kayaks use. Or the new epics, although I haven’t seen the new epics yet. I also hear the new epics have longer cockpits too, but I have yet to see one. They are great boats, and don’t worry about scratches, that just means you actually paddle it!! Some other issues, my 2 gen QCC seems to be constructed sturdier then my 3rd gen QCC. I think it has to do with the bulk head placements and movement of the cockpit slightly forward in the 3rd gen one. I only notice it when picking it up by the cockpit, and or getting in the boat using the paddle park behind the cockpit. The 3rd gen one flexes a whole lot more. Like I said though light folks may not notice it, and due to the shortness of the cockpit I have to bench press my body and slide in both legs at a time. I also notice that the 2nd gen one has more toe room for my size 12 feet. That is also due to the cockpit being moved forward on the 3rd gen one.