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Submitted: 04-16-2001 by envyabull
This boat is a performance machine. I weigh about 200 lbs and am in relatively good shape, so wanted a hull design capable to be easily driven at speed. With a waterline length of 17'-5.5" and a waterline beam of only 20.25" (LWL/BWL = 10.34), this hull always feels like its being paddled downhill. I've tried other boats and find they hit the wall (hull speed) before I do.
QCC markets this boat as an efficient cargo cruiser and I'm sure it excels at that with its huge storage compartments and large hatches, but give me a couple water bottles, 15 miles of open ocean (any condition), about three hours, a QCC 700XL and I'm one happy paddler!
Why not a 10 rating? I don't believe any kayak deserves a 10. Despite what a salesman will tell you, you can't have it all, at least at the levels I expect. Every boat design requires some compromise. In the Q700XL, its speed performance is offset by a reduction in roll stability. If you want a boat with training wheels look elsewhere. Maybe the stability improves when loaded with cargo. If you have some paddling experience or are a quick learner you will enjoy taking this thoroughbred for a ride. Also be aware that there isn't much foot clearance. I'm a US9 and don't have a problem, but an 11 or 12 may not be as comfortable.
Weight: My finished kevlar boat weighed in at around 50lbs. I was told it would be around 46lbs. I did get it with the optional rudder system that I hardly ever use, so maybe this accounts for some extra weight. Still, I have no problem loading it onto the roof of my Saab.
By the way, the rudder is a beautifully shaped NACA section (airfoil) not a square edged plank stamped out of a sheet of aluminum. I've never seen another kayak with NACA section rudder. Would the average paddler notice the difference? He would if the next airplane he got on had square sectioned wings.
I've been involved in the marine industry for most of my life. This boat has excellent workmanship. The kevlar layup is immaculate. The fittings and rigging are top quality. The seat and foot pedals are the best I've ever experienced. If you have an eye for quality then you will be spoiled by a QCC boat. You can buy a popular brand boat at your favorite dealer, but expect to do a complete refit to get QCC quality components. Many people enjoy tinkering and spending extra money improving their sports equipment. If you do your kayaking in the garage, don't buy a QCC. There is nothing to improve.
Last item: compare prices. The QCC boats are $1000-$2000 less than the composite boats at your local dealer. I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for, but don't let the price fool you. By removing the middlemen, the distribution network, the sales force, the large advertising campaigns, QCC can deliver a higher quality boat for significantly less money. Maybe QCC would sell more boats if they raised their prices.
Bottom line: An exceptional value for a high performance kayak. Somewhat tender stability characteristics when unloaded make it more suitable for the intermediate to advanced paddler. If you are a heavier racer, fitness paddler or even an experienced long distance cruiser without huge feet consider this boat. Lighter paddlers with the same objectives should check out the 600XL. If you are a seal hunter or want to look like one, this is not your boat.
Email me if in S.E. CT, and want to check out my 700XL. I'm not a dealer, just hoping to advance the sport by encouraging enlightened design philosophy, quality craftsmanship and reasonable prices.