Which QCC hatch straps do you prefer?

I have a 1997 Swift Caspian Sea / QCC 400X which was built by QCC and it has the older straps which have the velcro and can be tightened down snugly and are easy to use.

My new 2007 400X has the buckle straps without velcro and their tightness has to be adjusted before the buckle is fastened and they seem less user friendly to me - it’s difficult to get the buckle fastened when the straps are already tight.

I’m considering looking for an older set of straps for the newer boat.

Those of you who have used both, which do your prefer and why?


I have a QCC-500
that came with the velcro-style straps. They do give you some mechanical advantage in snugging down the hatch, but I wanted a more secure method and one that would allow quicker access to the hatches.

That, and I cannot leave things stock. Personality disorder maybe.

I added side-release buckles, but retained teh velcro to keep the end secure.

I am surprised that you cannot snug the strap through the buckle after it is clipped closed - that is I do. Is it because there is a three-bar slider securing the free end of the webbing?


Had both…
Velcro on QCC 500,Buckle on QCC 700. Hated the buckle,couldn’t tighten it enough to prevent leaking hatches,was a bitch with arthritic fingers to try to get tight. With Velcro I had no leak issues. What Jim did would be the ultimate, quick,with ability to make tighter. Some claim the velcro failed when hit by a wave. If you keep the Velcro clean of sand & debris, I never had that problem when waves hit me in the chest.


No loose end of strap on the newer
boat to pull to tighten the strap after the buckles are fastened.

That’s kinda strange.

How handy are you with a sewing machine?


What’s a sewing machine?

I’ve had them All
I’ve had three QCC700’s, an original, one in the middle, and the most current version.

The original velco straps were easy to use on land, however if you ever took a heavy wave over the bow, the straps could get ripped loose as the force of the water separated the velcro. This happened to me a few times while paddling through surf break and even a couple times during some seriously rough open water paddling. Each time it happenned was a time when it was neither convenient nor safe. I immediately seeked a protected shore to refasten the straps. I began wrapping the ends of the straps with rigging tape to lock them in place when I knew I was headed out into fun water. Some people would use a segment bicycle inner tube to accomplish the same thing.

The new system with buckles takes a little more effort to get them to lock, but are safer out in big water. I preferred this, but I never used my hatches for anything other than occasionally checking for water in the compartments.

The new hatch designs with new seals are also an improvement. They require a little more force to put in and take out, but seem to be completely water and air tight.

How to do it
I have a new version of the 700x. Here is how to get the snaps fastened and have them hold tight.

Start with the strap length adjusted as they come from the factory. Straddle the boat facing the hatch cover. With a thumb and forefinger on each side of each clip half, push the clip halves together while at the same time pushing down with your thumbs. If the straps are too loose, unclip them and make a small adjustment and repeat. Keep going until you get the straps as tight as you can. The key is depressing the hatch cover while you snap the clips together.

sounds like Fastek buckles
You got it. THe problem is that the design of fastek buckles really isn’t ideal for that application.

The fastek buckles are designed for an application like tightening straps on a backpack. Click it together then pull the strap to tighten on a compressible bag.

For hatch closure it requires exactly what you describe, for sufficient down force you pre-adjust the strap then apply maximum effort between thumb and forefingers of both hands.

Which can be hard to do with very cold or wet hands.

But it works if the seals can be compressed enough from the straps down force.

Personally I’d rather configure some kind of swivel ‘dogs’ like I’ve made on wood boats.

I prefer the buckles on my new 700
but more importantly, I prefer the new hatches - a lot! I have an older 400 with velcro straps and the old style hatches. Both the end curling, frayed velcro straps and rubber hatch seals are both really starting to show their age. Though the straps have never failed, I will get some water in the hatches. I suspect the buckles will last longer. Perhaps when arthritis sets in I will feel differently, but for now you can put me squarely in the buckle camp. Two thumbs up for QCC’s new super watertight (almost hermetically sealed) hatch design. You could transport sugar cubes in those hatches!

Buckles plus pull tight straps seems
like a good combination - that’s what’s on my composite Aquaterra Sea Lion hatches.