I am trying to compare the above boats that are John Winter Designs with the QCC kayaks.
Specifically: QCC 400x and 600 with the Bering Sea and Caspian Sea by Swift.
Prices are about same but what about quality? The designs are typical John Winters with the longer waterline and shorter overall which is what I need (storage issues).
I am trying to compare the above boats that are John Winter Designs with the QCC kayaks.
I can’t compare, but…
I just took delivery of a QCC600 and a QCC700. I have inspected both boats very closely and I can say that the fit and finish is supurb. I have been messing around fiberglass boats for the better part of fourty years. The QCC folks have done a good job.
Swift and Qcc
The QCC 400 and the Caspian Sea are the same boat. The Bering and labrador Sea are really different than the QCC models in having more rocker in the bow. Both companies do good work and I have owned a caspian sea and a QCC 600. I now own 2 Swift canoes(solo Osprey and tandem Kipawa) which are excellent boats.
for the caspian and 600? Which is faster more comfortable and stable for fishing and touring in your opinion? I was wondering specifically if the 600 would be too tippy for fishing while trolling from campsite to campsite. Area: Everglades coastal.
All that depends on you. Skill, size, etc.
I could fish out of my 700 pretty easily. A year ago, maybe. When I first got it? Not a good idea.
600/700 are the newest and are higher performance designs. If you want speed - go that way. 600/700 are very stable for 21" beam, but no way to know if that would suit you or not.
The 500/400/Swifts are older and wider and more stable. All are too wide and too deep for me, but I’m not you.
Very hard to suggest without knowing more about you and your needs.
For me, the 700 is the only Winters design that fit’s my needs. A little advanced for me when I first got it, but that went away fast. Feels solid as a rock now. People on the fence regarding beam I usually encourage they go narrower. Fishing, fitness, and other factors might make that bad advice.
Call QCC. Talk to Phil.
good points here is more info
I am 5’ 6 and weigh 160 which makes the Q400 and 600 well sized for me according to Phil from QCC.
He also favors the 400 for fishing. I just sold my perception vizcaya which I used for years and it was also wide and slow. I am of average strength and can paddle up to 20 miles per day coastal. Skill level: never developed more than intermediate not exactly looking to do rolls can brace, wet exit/enter, etc. Have been in some really difficult paddling situations with waves and lots of wind so know my limit.
I’m a long boat fan and don’t like pushing wide beam I don’t need. I also don’t fish. When I read your post I see “coastal” and “20 miles” and I say get the 600!
Then I think fishing, and your “not exactly looking to do rolls” comment, and say 400.
400 and 600 are VERY different boats. They do not belong on the same short list IMHO. QCCs are great, but you may want to consider some others as well.
Swift Caspian and Bering
I currently own a Bering Sea and formerly owned a Caspian. As mentioned in the other post the QCC400 and Caspian are the same design. I think the Swift quality is good and pricing is reasonable. Can’t comment on the QCC quality, but many others have. The Caspian/400 has more initial stability is may be better for fishing. It also has reasonably good speed for a kayak of this length. It is pretty easy to keep up with most paddlers in 17’ footers. I didn’t like the Bering at first because I was new to kayaking. It has less initial stability, but good secondary. The deck is a little lower on this boat as well, so it suffers less from windage. It is a bit faster than the Caspian. I learned to roll this boat and found it quite easy after about three pool sessions. I also think this boat turns better with a lean than the Caspian, but it takes a while to develop this confidence. You can read some opinions about how these boats handle on this web site: http://pages.prodigy.net/apnp/info3.html
Search for Swift Bering and Swift Caspian.
E-mail me if you want additional information - I am 5’8" and 190lbs.
Speed and fishing
Speed and fishing are 2 different boats. I would get the 600 for speed and pick up a sot for fishing. If you buy used you can get both for the same price or less than a new 600. Even if you buy new you can pick up a sot for 5 or 6 hundred and you will have the best of both worlds.
I don’t know about the Swifts. I have a lot of miles under my belt in the Q600 though. Boat was finished well out of the box and has held up well aesthetically and structurally.
I fish it regularly but only because it is the most stable boat that I own. It is pretty cramped for fishing. I can carry a box of lures behind the seat and two poles under the aft deck bungees and that is about it. There isn’t anywhere to keep my catch which stinks since I like to eat fish. The useful bit is that it is fast enough to cover a lot of ground which helps in big areas like the No Motor Zone on the Banana river where I just cruise until I see tailing fish. Also, it is a bit twitchy depending on your hull history. I couldn’t fish it straight away. It took about a year to get comfortable fishing it.
I agree with my NY friend, I use a ScupperPro for paddle fishing (which I do alot), camping, just playing around. And I have a 600 which I use for touring/camping, although I do have a Scotty flush mount bracket which will hold not only my Spirit Sail but a fishing pole as well. I have a little bit of experience with ENP & I’ve found that my Scupper works better than the 600 for a fishing platform. But, only if I don’t plan on doing more than 5-6 miles, more than that & I would go with my 600. I’ve caught only trout so far while actually sitting inside my 600, not sure what would happen when a big 'ol red/snook blows my Topdog out of the water! As far as using a 600 (or similar) while trolling the hard part seems to me in getting the rod tip facing back towards the front of the yak so the fight is in front of you & not behind you or off to the side. I’am sure it can be done, just make sure your camera is in a dry box!
Just thought of a question, Rudder or Skeg? A skeg might give you just a little more control from making unexpected roll. But, a rudder is usually better for drifting a mangrove line.
I already own
a very nice solo canoe for “just fishing”. One of my joys in our winter season is to tour in the E Glades troll from campsite to campsite. On the long days of 12 - 20 miles I usually don’t fish but there are days when the sites are 8 -10 miles apart and that is when I enjoy trolling.
Basically the suggestion is that perhaps I could get used to the 600 which may be true especially if the thing was loaded with gear it may be more stable. But the comment on it being a tight cockpit…I hate that feeling. I wish there was a dealer around where I could sit in one and try it out. Guess I’ll look at the Bering Sea there is a dealer in FL. Thanks for all the comments and opinions!
All QCC coamings are the same - Demo
All the QCC coamings are a standard 16 x 30" - with or without the thigh braces to make it into more of a keyhole (which I recommend for non-racers as they really do give better boat control and surfaces you can add custom padding to more easily), so don’t let the in and out part concern you.
There is obviously some leg room difference inside given the differences in boat dimensions - but at your size I’d think you’d have room to spare in a 600 in all directions.
There are a few in S FL. Maybe you should see if anyone can give you a demo? Would take a lot of guesswork out. If no one here volunteers, or are not close enough to you, Phil has been known to give customer names for people to call and talk to…
The styling of both…
…or should I say, lack of styling, is enough you put you to sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
and how many…
have you actually seen? Paddled? Some time in a 600/700 (skip anything else!) might alter the way you look at them. There are more important things to consider.
Nothing fanciful about the QCCs - but there is a clear purpose to the design that some can appreciate. Most composite kayaks look pretty darn similar from the cockpit anyway.
Rather than deride them on a subjective aesthetic opinion, why not offer some other suggestions that might fit the posters needs? Lot of kayaks…
with John Winters on his design philosophy. At this point in my kayak search the aesthetics are not as important as boat performance, function and comfort.
If there are other kayaks I should be looking at based on my needs, I am open to suggestion. The 600 and 400 however are on a very short list the decision will be made when I check out a 600 personally see how it fits.
actually, i think the 700 looks pretty damn cool, particularly from the cockpit. mine is sort of a battleship grey, and the view of the no nonsense deck from the cockpit makes me think of a modern navy destroyer.
good psychology when you are trying to go fast!
with the no nonsense clean lines of the QCC, something about pointy tipped Leprechaun shoe looking boats that just turn me off.
Brian, were you bored because the QCC cult hadn’t gotten riled up for a while?
It has been long established that that cult believes the simple homliness of their boats is attractive. Think of it as believing that there actually is such a thing as English cuisine and that it is the best food available.
Stop poking to cult and go paddle!
You guys can’t take a joke, can you?
Lighten up a little, OK?
I’ve seen plenty of these boats. I haven’t paddled any of them, since they’re all either two wide or two high volume for my taste. I never said anything derogatory about their performance. If they suit your needs, that’s fine with me.
Contrary to what you guys seem to believe, there is purpose in the shape of other designs. Not everyone wants or needs a boat that’s optimized for performance on flat water. Sure, there’s some unnecessary “cheesecake” on many boats, but that doesn’t make them bad designs. Take a boat like a Pintail or Anas Acuta out in rough water sometime and you’ll understand the definition of “functional beauty”. While I’m basically a “form follows function” type of person, I can appreciate aesthetics, too.
As for making other recommendations, it’s rather difficult when the poster asked only about two similar boats and gave no other pertinent information.