Submitted: 03-01-2004 by JJT
I had been a newbie to kayaking though I have childhood experience with open canoes. Purchasing the boat from QCC was a pleasure. I heard about them from another member of my club who had just received her Q400X from them after purchasing it sight unseen-they deal only on-line or over the phone, not through boat shops, and they build your boat to order, including very flexible color options, within a month of placing your order. But purchasing my craft on line, “sight unseen” was no problem for me. I spoke with Phil at QCC, and he recommended the Q400X based on what I felt I wanted from my envisioned kayaking experience. He steered me well. Also, part of the advantage of buying through QCC was that I just do not have the time to test drive lots of boats at a boat dealer. I also had concern over how my shoulder would hold up to paddling, not to mention whether regular paddling would fit into my busy schedule. But QCC offers a 1 month test drive program, during which time the boat can be returned to them with all costs recovered (including shipping) if not satisfied for any reason. In my case, having received the kayak (fiberglass with rudder) in mid April 2003, they were very accommodating, and offered me until mid June to make up my mind-effectively 2 months. This arrangement allowed me to make my purchase with peace of mind, knowing I had nothing to lose if things didn’t work out. But thankfully, my shoulder has held up fine, and the kayaking routine has fit in nicely. Aside from being a great “exercise machine” and platform for just hanging out on the water, the boat is a solidly built structure of beauty and fine craftsmanship (a sentiment validated by other more experienced members of my club). The feeling I got from dealing with QCC is that the folks at the company really want to place you in a boat you will enjoy, and make the process of purchasing it stress free. Through QCC, I also completed my outfitting, with a Lightning paddle, Lotus PFD, spray skirt, pump and paddle rescue float. Almost a year later, I feel my money was very well spent. My kayaking routine (up to early November) has consisted of 1-2 hour “workout” paddles on Long Island Sound, before going to the office, once or twice a week. Admittedly, I have not yet taken any extended expeditions in the boat, and I have yet to learn more advanced techniques such as bracing, and rolling. But I can paddle the boat at a reasonable clip, covering a 4 mile circuit in less than an hour. Tracks and maneuvers very nicely too, I’ve used the rudder only once. And yet, this boat is extremely stable. I have yet to even feel the threat of losing my balance, let alone capsize. For my purposes of regular workout paddles, and enjoying being out on the water, while feeling very safe, secure, and comfortable, this kayak is great.