Submitted: 07-01-2005 by medicineman
Boat Reviewed: QCC 700 Kevlar Sky Blue/Black Stripe/White Hull, thigh braces, drop down skeg
Boat was advertised on the Demo page at QCC as having a compass recess. The boat I received did not have this recess. An e-mail to Mr. PHill garnered there promise that a forward hatch with recess is on the way.
Paddling experience: almost 20 years of sea kayaking in various conditions. I'm an intermediate paddler with a small fleet of kayaks I'm collecting to one day give my children.
Boats owned and instant comparisons to this kayak:
Necky Looksha II=less stable, wont track true
Nordkapp Jubilee=harder to pack, not as fast
Wilderness Systems Arctic Hawk Pro=harder to pack but just as fast
Aquaterra Sea Lion (kevlar)=vastly slower but other than that some interesting similarities
Paddler physical parameters= I'm 6'1" and weigh 188 pounds
I've got almost 50 miles on a new to me (bought a demo'ed) QCC700, 36 miles of which were paddled this past week on a 4 day adventure on Fontana Lake (forms the belly of Great Smoky Mountain National Park)...living out of this kayak for 4 days has given me an appreciation of this kayak, a glimpse at its strengths and weaknesses (which are few).
For paddle camping and long sojourns you will love the cavernous compartments fore and aft, the beautifully fitted (though not 100% waterproof) hatch covers. Even with the drop down skeg you will have plenty of room in the rear (note that a size 10-11 pair of hiking boots will fit perfectly astride the skeg box)...and speaking of the skeg, not your typical VCP, Nigel Dennis or Foster skeg but a Sealline Foil blade which will take you several outings in differing conditions to master the subtle nuances and settings possible and desired for each particular condition (for example, just dropping the skeg a wee bit will give you excellent tracking and a degree of turning ability with full deployment train like tracking)...and while on tracking I noted that this kayak needs the skeg to track true.
I was under the impression from so many other reviews on the QCC700 that it would track like said train without rudder or skeg, not so in my case but like the double edge sword the gain is the ability for an 18foot long kayak to turn easily when leaned...Compared to the Necky Looksha II, the QCC700 does not require either to track true but the Looksha II is uncontrollable without a rudder while the QCC needs only corrective strokes.
Seat comfort- after 4 days the seat was deemed a wonderful surprise. I've logged hundreds of miles in a Nordkapp Jubilee and know the pain of British seating, I think most will be surprised by the comfort allowed by the Rapid Pulse seat, not only on the buttocks but also in the lower back. I liked it so much I have requested Unicorn Kayaks to use one in an English Kayak they are building for me. Along with the seats you will find the foot braces (another Seal Line product used by QCC) to be top notch...