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Submitted: 11-14-2004 by 1951henryb
QCC 500 kevlar; paddler is 6í0Ē, 185 lb. I bought this boat a year and a half ago and have had a love/hate relationship with it ever since. The boat is 16í10Ē and 23Ē wide, and I bought the skeg model. It has very little rocker with a multi-chine hull. I sometimes refer to it as a canoe with a lid. The seat is comfortable, and the pegs are as uncomfortable as most sea kayaks and need modification if you want to walk at the end of long paddles. Canít complain about that as itís a criticism I have of all the stock foot pegs Iíve ever used. QCC has installed a very nice extension back from the rails that allow very easy peg adjustment while seated. The hatches are huge, the lids well designed and built. The hatches are definitely one of the love components. One complaint I have with it is the cord for raising and lowering the skeg. This boat needs the skeg at various depths in head, tailing, or angled cross winds, and itís sometimes hard to get the skeg to respond perfectly the way a cable control does.
It rides like my cousinís old Lincoln on flat water and handles harbor and wind chop well, although it is more subject to wind than any boat Iíve owned. The weather cocking is sort of inevitable with such a high volume boat. Initial and secondary stability are both very good. It rolls easily and turns well. It responds to leaned turns fairly well too. I keep this boat because I believe on flat water camping trips it would be a total gem. Trouble is, living in San Diego I have so many day paddling options available but I also have too many kids and responsibilities to have enough time to expedition or camp.
I have found the 500 really doesnít like holding a line in stormy, close swells. It wants to turn on the face and line up with the troughs. Most boats will want to do this, but the 500 is even more insistent. And with the small rocker the bow goes under water in every trough when the swells are coming from behind. Being so high volume, it always seems to pop up, but it requires some care. And the 500 doesnít surf. It turns sideways to the wave face every time, so unless I race in between waves I will be doing a braced slide with every landing in surf. And the high volume makes me fear the dreaded windowshade rolling in anything bigger than about 2í surf. Bottom line is that for every day use other than the protected bay I never seem to choose the 500. I have a British sea kayak that is much more fun in surf, swells, around rocks, and in storms. I have a surf boat that is way more fun to play with although much less comfortable, and I have a long sit-on-top that is much more fun cruising from beach to beach with beers in the bay. So Iíve kept the 500 for the once or twice a year that I can go camping, and for the dreamed-of trips to the Green River in Utah or Black Canyon in Nevada. As an only boat, you would probably choose this only if you want to paddle fairly flat water or if you intend to do a lot of camping or expeditions.