Submitted: 05-18-2011 by Luther962
I have had my QCC 700X Kevlar / Carbon Fiber kayak for over a month now, and have had it out on the Mississippi river eight times now and have logged over 100 miles on it so I figured now I may be able to provide a review based on my experience to date. I am 42, 5'10" 195# and I can say the kayak fits me very well. If you are worried about buying a kayak sight unseen, you shouldn't be, just give Steve a call to help you make your selection. I am a little worried about the great customer service and industry leading warranty now that QCC has been bought out by Winonah Canoe and Current Designs Kayaks. Hopefully, nothing will change, but everyone knows what happens when one company is bought out by another.
Anyways, back to the review.
The kayak is absolutely stunning, very beautiful lines, and excellent attention to detail. But everyone else pretty much says the same, so I won't elaborate on this aspect.
The kayak is fast, fast, FAST! Short sprints have been GPS verified at 8.9 MPH (no current) and 10.4 MPH with 4MPH current. Not that anyone other than the man of steel could keep up this pace, but it is nice to know that I am the limiting factor on the top end speed. The kayak with the rudder deployed, tracks straight as an arrow. it is easy to oversteer with the foot controls, especially after 3-4 hours paddling and the lower extremities being numb. It has great initial stability for a 21" boat, and the secondary is good enough to take pictures of wildlife on the go. The boat is remarkably light and easy to load and transport, which is a real benefit the older you get!
The not so good:
Every kayak has both its good and bad points and this one is no exception, although none of these are a deal breaker by any means, just honest criticisms. First, I think it is because mine is made of a Kevlar Carbon fiber layup, the deck does have a tendency to "oil can" just forward of the forward hatch and between the rear hatch and the cockpit opening. I have not noticed any problems of "oil-canning" with the hull, which seems very stiff. I am worried a bit about the flexing of the deck behind the cockpit (I usually sit on the deck behind the cockpit with the paddle sitting across as an outirgger as I get in and out) I just hope it doesn't break or crack with repeated use.
The other thing that I have noticed is water from the cockpit tends to migrate into the forward and rear bulkheads. I have not rolled yet, so I know the water is not coming in from the deck hatches, so I am thinking the glassed in bulkheads are not quite as watertight as they could be. The water in the cockpit measured 1/2 cup and the water in the front and aft compartment totaled about 2-3 oz. ea. The foam padding is a tad on the thin side all around, so unless you carry extra padding on your person, you may want to look at supplementing the foam on the underside of the deck for your knees, the seat is comfortable for 2-3 hours, but a gel seat is in my future for longer trips.
I can't add much more to what other reviewers have had to say about this truly stunning kayak which has a lot going for it! It is a beautiful kayak that is fast, tracks straight, has good stability for a 21" wide kayak and is remarkably light for its 18 feet. Based on my own experience I would give this kayak a 9.5 out of 10. Tighter seals on the bulkheads, a little more stiffness right behind the cockpit and a tad thicker padding on the seat and this kayak would be a perfect 10. If you are looking for a new kayak, you need look no further than the QCC 700X.