Weight Classifications

What is the purpose of classifying kayaks by paddler weight? For instance what would be the disadvantages of a 145 pound person paddling a Q700X(>160 pounds) as oppposed to a Q600X(110-160)? Is the amount of weight carried in the hatches relevant?

if too little weight

– Last Updated: Aug-15-05 6:26 PM EST –

then the kayak will ride too high. This increases the above-water surface area making the boat vulnerable to wind. It also can reduce the waterline length, reducing speed.

If too much weight the boat might handle sluggisly, or tend to pichpole in waves, or lose speed.

High paddler weights tend to reduce stability. High cargo weights tend to reduce maneuverabilityespecially if placed near the ends.

There is the third grade primer on the subject.

The size and weight of the paddler
can be overpowered by the size of the kayak.

For instance I at 5’9" and 160 pounds am just at about the bottom of the scale for the QCC-700. If I were 10 or 15 pounds lighter I would do better in a 600.

My wife who is 5’2" and weighs 120 pounds is way to small for her 600. (she is eagerly awaiting a smaller QCC).

I don’t think weight in the compartments has much to do with it unless you were way overweight.

The size of the cockpits, thigh braces, etc, and the foredecks are made in accordance to the weight and average height of the paddler, and that is why the various kayaks have the different weight limits listed.

Just my take on it!



A Thought
More weight will cause more of boat to be in the water and that increases the wetted surface. As the wetted surface grows most boats will slow down.

That said, boats are designed with a target weight and generally performance figures will be measured by the designer at or very near the target weight. Each design will very but generally speaking wetted surface is one of the pieces of the formula for design speed.

I was looking at the speed vs applied force curves of several boats a few weeks ago, (posted here on this board). I was struck that some of the faster boats at their hull speed were actually slower than some of the boats that had slower hull speeds. It was explained to me that some of the shorter boats will actually be faster at half of the force req’d to achieve hull speed because of the lower wetted surface. The QCC 600 and 700 are very similar in hull design. The 700 has a higher hull speed, it is longer and caries a longer water line length. I was surprized to not that at some of the lower effort ranges the 600 was actually faster than the 700, and that is because the 600 has a smaller wetted surface.

Long explaination saying I think that overall weight added to the boat will increase wetted surface and the boat will tend to be slower.


I guess size is as much at issue here
as weight. My wife is about 5’6", around 150, and a little wide in the hips. I’m concerned about the fit of a Q600 for her versus any loss of performance if I put her in a Q700 cockpit that I know would be big enough. Cockpit size according to weight is tough to figure because of the differences betwen men’s and women’s bodies.

Look Again
The cockpit size of the QCC600 is the same as the 700. I am 6 feet and have tried the 600 a few times and fit the same as in my 700.

Happy paddling,


Where are you located ?
It would be good if you can catch up with someone who has them and let her try each one out.

I personally think that at the size you mention she would be better in the 600. I think the 700 would be too big for her.

I have tried out my wifes 600 on occasion and it fits me pretty well, but for racing, (which I enjoy), I can definately go faster in the 700.



Yes, For Certain,
The best thing you could do is as JackL suggests, try each boat.

I am 180 and my paddle partner about 140-150, (somewhere). We followed the recommendations that Phil provided at QCC and choose the 600 and 700 due to our weight differances. We are happy with our respective picks. Given the opportunity we would do it the same way again.

Dont confuse physical fit with operational fit. The cockpit of each boat is the same. The seats and coamings are interchangable between the boats. The weight recommendations have to do with the volume of the boats not the size of the cockpits.


Are you certain?
I thought the coaming size was the same, but the 700 offered more knee room. What are you basing you statment on; the coaming measurement? PS my information comes fron a man who owns a 600 and a 700 but I have only been in a 6.

I am not certain. I am assuming as both cockpits feel the same. I am certain that the coamings are the same as the covers and skirts are interchangable.

I also own one of each.


Concerns for women
Just a mention - for women, the width of the cockpit is often less important than the length of it. Nothing personal, but taller guys tend to forget that their thighs are going to be longer than those of an average sized woman. So what you often see is women placed in wider cockpits out of concern for their hip width, and then being unable to control the boat at all because the supposed thigh braces become at best knee braces.

Overly tall decks can also create a poor position for exerting strength to hold the boat on edge, etc. Lovely cramps and low back problems from having to twist around a lot to get the boat over.

Gravity works upside down and people are slippery when wet. If someone can slide into a cockpit to start with, it is likely that the width is not a stopper to their getting out of it again. My husband (reluctantly) has found that he can’t guarantee getting out of my Vela, but the fatal problem is leg length rather than hip width.

Those QCC’s are boats that I would guess are likely to be in bigger water, where boat control matters a lot. I’d suggest that you take a real good look at the fit into the thigh braces first, then worry about hip width.

Well if you onw one of each
I have to take your opinion very seriously. This saddens me because I thought that while I cannot fit into a 6 with anything heavier than a wetsuit on my thighs. I was hoping to get them into a 7 in a drysuit. Thanks for your help.

Wind and Waves!!!
I bought a Tempest 170. I liked the boat until I’d get out on a very windy, wavy, choppy day. Then I had a difficult time handling the boat.

Then I paddled my buddy’s rented T165. This was true love. The 170 relationship was over. Why? 'Cause I only weigh around 160-165 pounds and I don’t carry a lot of gear. Too much of the 170 was out of the water catching air. I learned my lesson the expensive way. Thou shalt not paddle more boat than thou needeth.

Hey how is that new bike…
…going in this sultry weather?

I know the fit is right on that!