Submitted: 02-09-2005 by Pat S
I have very rarely bought anything (big) new in my life. Buying a Kevlar QCC500 was a risk for me; while I'd paddled a friend's 400 I was buying it sight unseen. I needed something lighter and faster than the plastic bath tub I'd been paddling.
For the record I'm 6' tall, female and ~#175 so that is scraping the lower height/weight limits for the 500.
I'm happy with the fit, speed and space. I'm thrilled with the stability in high seas. The 500 is great for camping, I've taken it on a 10day trip and end up carrying items for friends with less space. Also, I wasn't too cramped at the end of the day.
The boat is fast. I got talked into taking a racing workshop (mostly folks with K-1's or QCC700's) My boat looked like a barge compared to the others, but by the end of the class I hadn't humiliated myself, kept up with the slower racers and the instructor seemed impressed. I paddled some of 700's which convinced me I'd made the right choice for me.
The problems: The QCC500 weather cocks a bit, so my rudder is usually in use. This raises ire from purists but I'm fine with it. The seat developed cracks within 2 months. Nothing deadly and nothing that duct tape could not fix, but nevertheless it was annoying in something so new. Phil and the gang at QCC said they would take care of it by replacing the boat when production slowed down. It took awhile, but they exchanged the boat during their slow season. That alone impresses me - the honorability of the company. They are good company to deal with. Definitely worth consideration if you are looking for a new kayak.