Submitted: 03-18-2011 by kronosmn
I purchased a Kevlar Q700 in 2010 and was disappointed in the craftsmanship. The seams were poorly matched, rubber washers stripped, the foam padding on the thigh brace upgrade not only felt disappointingly cheap, it was cheap, starting to peeling off after a few hours of use. The seat was underwhelming, and having a long torso, my center of balance was a bit high. I picked up my boat rather than having it delivered and when I got there, it was seaworthy but not completed. I took it on my trip as I was stopping on my way to Lake Superior, but had to return it to have it "finished." When I made my third trip to the shop to pick up the boat a second time, many things they said they were going to fix, they hadn't touched. I can only guess they had their B-Squad put together my boat, and communication was dropped when finishing it.
Let's talk about my boating experience: Though more proficient in a canoe, I consider myself a beginner to intermediate paddler and enjoy kayaking bigger water, i.e. Lake Superior, the Gulf, the Pacific. The Q700 was the fastest and most maneuverable kayak I've ever used, and once I got used to it, I enjoyed paddling it in calmer conditions a great deal. If, however, you have significant waves and crosswinds, you will need some ballast and experience to feel safe (especially if you enjoy cross crossing frigid water to go camping like I do). Expect island hops to regularly require tacking at an extreme angle in order to safely cross.
This is not a boat for beginners, and the more I paddled it the more I felt comfortable in it. I must say it was a beautiful boat when not looking closely at the details.
Though I was looking for something a little more forgiving, that relates to my skill and my preferred usage, not the quality of the boat, and my ranking excludes this. I was seriously tempted to order a Q500 as a replacement, but like I said in my opening, what disappointed me was the craftsmanship and I decided to do a return, washing my hands of it for now. To QCC's credit they honored the return with minimal grumbling.