Submitted: 06-25-2003 by Tom
I have had Kevlar QCC600 since when they first started making them and have paddled it on several 2-3 week trips. It is well built with good handling and QCC backs it up with excellent customer service. I've also paddled the 400 and 500 and will contrast the boats. Most people reading this will want to know: is this the right boat for me. I've come to the conclusion that for most paddlers the vast majority of well made kayaks will work well form them. Most people will be happy with a QCC. Given their low price I strongly recommend the boats.
Construction: Very good. Some better, many worse. The front hatch of all versions has never leaked on me. The rear hatch takes on pint of water over the day. Not unusual and never a problem. They have always used top quality fittings. The new Seal Line rudder or skeg is a good example of that.
Handling: Tracks moderately well. In a cross wind it will weather cock significantly. I have a skeg and I recommend that or a rudder. I think a skeg is nearly ideal: with it up the boat is reasonably easy to turn and with it down the boat tracks straight as an arrow in all conditions. Their rudder is fine to. Low to moderate initial stability with good secondary stability. Tippy enough that it is hard to use binoculars in any sort of sea. A little more stable fully loaded. The boat is quite low to the water and small waves will splash into the cockpit so I always wear a spray skirt.
500: A bigger boat and harder to steer with out skeg or rudder. Fast. Good initial stability - you can easily use binoculars - but harder to put on edge. Higher and dryer cockpit. Same cockpit fittings. A lot more room for legs - more comfortable for longer periods.
400: Perhaps the best combination of handling. Because it is a short boat it can both track well and be easy to steer. You may be fine with out a rudder. Stable but reasonably easy to put on edge.
Fit: Very good for me. No keyhole, but my legs easily grip below the rim of the cockpit. Large enough for easy entry. The low deck and narrow beam makes a tight fit. Good for paddling but not much wiggle room for long days. I like having a narrow kayak close to the water. Same cockpit fittings. A wide boat with a high deck. Lots of room below. I was still able to grip the boat well. I felt like there was a lot of boat around me.
Customer Service: Excellent. I originally ordered a 500, was not happy with it, and they exchanged it for a 600. They wanted me to be satisfied and were very interested in my feedback.