to rudder or not to rudder,that is the?

Kayaking has become an addiction for me with only 4 months under my belt. I started out with a Hurricaine Santee XL which was a good start for me. It allowed me to get out on the water and appreciate what I’d been missing. I’m not terribly impressed with the finishing-calking sloppy and came loose the first time I used it, hatch caver so loose It blew off. I’ll keep it as it is a good boat for those lazy sun loving days on flat calm water and for newbies to try.

Now, I’m ready for a second, da-duh, kayak that I recently ordered from QCC-the 400x after eading tons reviews and research through pnet, planned delivery in the spring. I ordered it with their rudder system, Phil’s recommendation, but am thinking-would a skeg be better? Are they reliable-so many have expressed problems with them in general. I’d like to go on day trips and plan to use the boat in Lake Ontario and other big lakes, finger lakes, protected ocean on occassion. Mostly on smaller lakes and the Hudson.

Riverqueen- I’m impressed with your advise and have enjoyed reading all the disscusions and excellent advice from all you other experts.

I know there are purists out there who don’t beleive in either. Would love to hear your opinions-thanks


Get it with the rudder
Then learn without the rudder.

Believe me you won’t regret getting it with the rudder, especially in a strong quartering wind.

My wife has the 600 and I have the 700 and if we had to replace them we would once again get them with a rudder.



Check the archives?
There are a couple of people who regularly post here and are extremely familiar with the QCC boats, tend to have some good advice about how the rudder or skeg works with some models of QCC’s.

Other than that kind of very targeted advice, you might be best off checking the archives to go thru the various Rudder v. Skeg threads. While you will get some response to this post, you’ll probably find much of the same in those older threads. It sounds like you might have a time window since you’ve already placed the order.

Jack thanks for the advise, That was my iniial reaction then I started overthinking it. I don’t want both, but for the record, are skegs a problem?


my first
kayak was the QCC 400X. It’s a great boat but I, too was addicted and soon regretted not taking Phil’s advice and getting the 600X. The 400 is a huge volume boat and if you’re not planning on doing camping trips all that volume will equal windage. Having said that, it’s a great stable boat and I loved it, but did eventually move on.

My 400x had a rudder and though it’s personal choice, I won’t get another kayak with a rudder. I like to do a cowboy self rescue and that’s not possible with a rudder. If you’re often in choppy water you might find the cables and the rudder itself get in the way. But unlike others on this board, I thought the sealine rudder system was great and I never had a problem with the pegs.

Have fun and if you’re a real addict, this just might be the first of a string of kayaks.


I Have A 600 and a 700
and have been using them two or three times a week for about ten months now. I agree with everyone who says that you should learn to control your boat without a rudder. On the other hand a rudder comes in handy in many wind and current situations.

In so far as the SeaLine rudder system is concerned, I have had zero problems with either unit to date.

If, or when, I buy my next boat it will be with a rudder.

Happy paddling,


I have Two QCC 700s one with a rudder and one with a skeg… i like the rudder boat better!!! Its easyer to fine tune a rudder. and you dont have to use your HANDS to do it!! when the crap really hits the fan, I would take the rudder. As you dont want to be letting go of the paddle. Like everybody says, Learn boat control WITHOUT the rudder first…