Submitted: 07-05-2005 by medicineman
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 kayaks, 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 or Nigel Dennis or Foster skeg but a Seal Line Foil blade which will take you several outings in differing conditions to master the subtle nuances of 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)...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 a 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 well 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 was 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. 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...I first encountered Seal Line products with their rudder system used in the Looksha II and regard their products are second to none, innovative, but costly.
Speed? my first day out was a 17 mile day and I averaged 4.5mph (GPS confirmed of course)..sad but the QCC was loaded with almost 70 pounds of gear with a large percentage of that being water/Gatorade.
Cockpit length- nicer than the Nordkapp, far better than the Arctic Hawk Pro, and slightly better than the Looksha II- for my 6'1" height.
Stability- primary and secondary both excellent, with the hull shape QCC could even take an inch off the width.
Complaints: QCC should follow Lincoln Canoe and Kayak's lead and offer an emergency hatch option. Also, the release toggle for the drop down skeg is placed on the side of my QCC and when you lean into a turn the toggle will 'gurgle' as it cruises through the water...not a big deal but it is drag and a noise you’re not expecting.
When I purhased my particular QCC700 it was advertised as having a recessed compass. The boat I recieved did not have a compass recess. One e-mail and 4 days later an impecable forward hatch arrived not only with recess but with compass beautifully mounted. I brought the hatch into the hospital to show co-workers the workmanship of QCC-all were impressed. I've dealt with many dealers over the years obtaining kayaks. QCC truly is simple to deal with if only because they provide an excellent product and in a timely fashion.