01-18-2013Submitted by: amarloweproductions
Reviews for Q500X Kayak by QCC Kayaks
Based On: 47 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I live off the shores of Lake Huron and paddle mostly big open water. The Q500 tracks well and very comfortable in choppy waves as well as rolling seas. I have a rudder but seldom use it. Only complaints are the deck fittings break apart easily and need replacement quite often. The other key issue is both the fore and aft bulkheads easily fill with water in heavy seas. The seals are not tight.
08-05-2012Submitted by: Coggs_53711
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought mine at the factory [so to speak] when it was just south of Janesville, in 2000. It replaced my Easy Rider "Eskimo 17" lost in a house fire in '96. The Eskimo is a GREAT kayak, but I'd bought it in '82 when they were affordable and by 2000 I couldn't afford one. So I bought the QCC 500 in Kevlar and carbon fiber which was a LOT less expensive [still is!].
What did I give up in the process? Only three things: The GORGEOUS looks of the Eskimo, and its LONG cockpit, great for getting one's knees up [essential for preventing / relieving back strain, I have found]. The guys at QCC thought the 500's cockpit would be adequate for that, but as delivered it was not, so they took out the old seat-and-backrest and replaced it with a different kind, which helped -- a little. Also, the rudder pedal system in the Eskimo is far and away the best in the business, but the patent must still be in force else it'd be copied far and wide by now....
What did I gain? -- A MUCH more efficient hull! I couldn't believe the sheer SPEED of the 500! So, of course, longer trips for the same effort or, with more effort, shorter arrival times! As for the looks: Well, the 500 is nevertheless quite a beautiful boat, but of course the stunning looks of the Eskimo are paid for by those useless bow-and-stern overhangs, the ABSENCE of which is why at the same overall length the 500 has a MUCH longer waterline length...and thus its OBVIOUSLY greater efficiency and speed! BRAVO, guys!!! And also, congrats on finally picking up and moving to the Wisconsin northwoods!!!
12-29-2011Submitted by: Mesten
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is an update to an older review (Jan. 2008) now that I have had the boat, a Kevlar model without rudder, for four years.
This is a truly superior kayak in every way I know to measure. The handling is superb, and I have never felt that a rudder or skeg is needed. It has taken some real punishment over the last few years, but has needed no repairs. It is fast, stable, a joy to paddle, and it holds more gear than I ever need on multi-day trips.
10-03-2011Submitted by: mattv
You really can't go wrong with this boat
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've had my QCC Q500x for 2 years now. I'm tall 6'2" with big feet, this boat is great! For once I'm not trying to hold my feet at odd angles the entire trip. The leg room and high deck allow me to adjust or stretch my legs when I need to.
The boat tracks well and is easy to steer with or without the rudder. (I only put it down when I'm dealing with a constant wind or current). I've used it in river, lake, and ocean conditions, all with great appreciation for it's design.
I also appreciate the performance of the boat. I can easily smoke others in my party.
08-17-2011Submitted by: Dave
- Rating: 10 of 10 I Have the 500 carbon Kevlar boat.
This is a lot of performance for the inexperienced paddler. Once I learned to manage it, the boat is a dream. I had this boat in the Missouri River flooding in ND and went over, getting out of the cockpit was not a problem and I am 6-1 240. Missed the herd thinning on that event...
QCC is a great company to deal with, Steve is very patient and helpful. All American companies should be run like QCC I recommend the boat and the company with out reservation!
02-01-2011Submitted by: glennbrank12
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've now owned my QCC 500 (kevlar) for a year, and paddled under a variety of conditions, from Black Canyon on the lower Colorado to Monterey Bay to typical flat water lakes in California. (Read about these trips at norcalyak.com.) Rather than just repeating the previous accolades from other owners about QCC's value, quality, and performance, a few observations:
First, considering that QCC is a small company with virtually no promotion other than modest ads here at paddling.net, the QCC boats receive a ton of favorable reviews. Yes, you should take any online reader review with a grain of salt. But QCC owners are truly passionate about their boats. That should tell you something.
Second, where you find one QCC boat, you're likely to find more. In my paddling group of about a dozen people, we have one 400 (bought within the last six months), three 500s (two rudder, one skeg), and a 700. Once you've actually seen and paddled a QCC, chances are good you'll want one.
There is no one "right" or perfect boat for everyone, to be sure. (Hence no perfect "10" review.) But over several months, I tried out more than a dozen boats from various manufacturers, and I couldn't find one better for the money than the 500, by a fair margin. And the advice you'll get by talking to Steve at QCC directly, on the phone, is priceless.
I wanted a boat that could bail me out, no pun intended, if I got into trouble. Recently, I was out on Tomales Bay, north of San Francisco, when winds unexpectedly ramped up to 20+ miles per hour. There were some nervous folks in my group, and rightfully so. But I wasn't even using a skirt at the time, and I never felt that uneasy. The 500 is as steady as a rock in choppy water, yet it also can be quite satisfying to paddle across a calm lake. For what itís worth, I prefer the rudder model for its flexibility in paddling under any conditions.
Yes, given my aging legs, I would have liked to have a slightly longer cockpit. But I get in and out okay. The seat base is just fine. As for the back band, it's like a bicycle seat Ė no matter what band you put in a boat, someone will probably want to change it anyway. (I added an IR ergonomic back band for about $70, worth a lot more in comfort.)
I've noticed that a lot of cheaply-made kayaks offer very comfortable backrests to make themselves more appealing Ė but I would rather put my bucks into first-class design and handcrafted American construction, not to mention a boat I can count on. I've got a kayaking T-shirt with a slogan that expresses how I feel about paddling in my 500: "The road to Heaven may not be a road at all."
01-02-2011Submitted by: radiomix
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have had my 500 for about a month. The quality and finish of the boat is everything they promise. I don't understand the terrible seat. Sit on the seat pan and get a back band. After that the boat is actually really comfortable. This boat is perfect for lakes and large rivers where intimate contact with your boat is not really required. The high deck gives bigger guys more leg flexibility. Just wish the cockpit was maybe two inches longer and the seat moved one inch forward.
Boat is responsive and very stable. It is as fast as a non racer would ever need to go. It moves efficiently with a comfortable cadence, and doesn't feel like it is dragging at low speeds. The rudder is great for the wind and steering on rivers. I know rudders aren't for steering, but if it is there I'm using it.
If you are undecided between boats, save your money and get the QCC. Better yet, wait for a used one on their site.
Stop worrying about demoing every stupid boat. Especially if your live in a place with limited kayaks. If I bought local I would only be able to choose from a tsunami or a tempest. In the end you are never going to know until you own it. The worse thing that happens is you have another boat.
I will say that there customer service is fine, but I'm confused by their lack of emailing. There company is primarily on the internet, so..... I am still waiting on an answer to three attempts at an email. I know I could call, but now I'm just being stubborn.
10-13-2010Submitted by: Dylanelvis
- Rating: 10 of 10 If you were to give Michelangelo some kevlar and carbon fiber and ask him to make a kayak, it'd look like the Q500x. Beautiful sheerline and proportions, reminiscent of a classic Herreshoff yacht. No wasteful overhangs, ends not excessively fine like many other kayaks. Design similar to the Epic line (and just as fast), but better looking and more solidly constructed. Inspires a lot of covetous looks from other paddlers.
Performance is off the end of the scale - always the fastest kayak in my paddling group (despite my very limited skills), accelerates quickly, glides forever, very seaworthy, easy to turn, great storage capacity. Top quality construction throughout, very helpful factory support. Rarely ever have to use my skeg, but when I do it gives just the right amount of tracking, and it works fine.
The company isn't widely known, but I doubt that anyone who becomes familiar with the QCC500x would ever want any other brand of comparable kayak. I plan to paddle it forever in the lower Chesapeake Bay and James River. Thanks to QCC for making a superior American product.
03-03-2010Submitted by: wvbowman
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have owned a carbon/kevlar 500 since last year. It is a good all round boat. Craftsmanship is excellent. It is certainly a large boat. Easy to enter and exit for big guys like me 6'1" and 225. It inspires a feeling of confidence in a beginning boater. Not too large and not to small. It would make a good touring boat. It blows around in strong winds a bit because so much boat is above the waterline. Overall a good boat.
07-28-2008Submitted by: gwmiller
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have waited a while after buying my Q500X to post this review as I wasn't really sure if I had made the correct decision. I am now sure I have. The final positive factor was a multi-day trip this past weekend.
This kayak can haul tons of gear, which is exactly what I wanted it to do. The hatches are huge and the capacity is enormous. No more backpacking stoves for us, the rear hatch swallows a two burner propane stove with ease. Just keep shoving stuff in and push off. The boat barely sinks further in the water and is still fast and smooth. I love it.
Originally I was not sure it fit very well, and an email to Steve got me a thigh support pillow and turned the seat into a comfortable place. The cockpit is very large, and at 6'4" and 210, I still have lots of room left over. I did have to pad up the underside of the cockpit for a better fit. If I had to do it over again I would not pay for the thigh supports as my thighs come no where near them.
The boat lean turns very easily, behaves fairly well in the wind, handles waves with ease, and is very fast. According to my GPS I have hit 7+ MPH in short bursts. It isn't the sleekest looking kayak, but the workmanship is exemplary and the customer service excellent. Get one.
01-21-2008Submitted by: mesten
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just upgraded from an older 14 foot Perception Carolina to a Kevlar QCC500. I only had it out once so far, a January trip down the Oswego River in the NJ Pine Barrens under flood conditions. This is a tiny stream, in places narrower than the kayak is long, lots of hairpin turns, strainers, etc. I know the '500 is a sea kayak and not intended for this kind of run, especially at flood stage, so I was absolutely amazed at how easy it was to carve tight turns. Crossing the lakes at both ends of the run was a breeze too, as I was able to easily outrun a tandem canoe manned by experienced paddlers.
The QCC 500 is a fabulous boat, one that I doubt I'll ever outgrow. I can't wait for the weather to improve and get her out again in bigger water.
06-16-2006Submitted by: Sandmarks
- Rating: 8 of 10 After 3 years of paddling my 500, I developed a problem with a seam. True to their word and after one trucking mishap they replace my old boat with a new one. Thought it would be a good time to re-evaluate it.
This was my first real kayak, so it was hard to know how to rate it back then. My paddles are usually a short harbor paddle and then out to the ocean. Now that I know a little bit better what I'm doing, I feel that this is a great kayak. I think it tracks really well even in the wind. When put on edge, I think it turns quite well and is easy to correct. I seldom use the rudder in the ocean, leaving it for the harbor when I just like to paddle lazily along. Of course when I got it, it felt very tippy for a beginner, but now I feel very comfortable. I can edge it over quite a bit and feel secure. I recently took an edging class where I had to paddle a much shorter Seaward kayak. I thought it would be much more maneuverable because of its length, but it was a dog compared to my 500. I still only give it an 8, only because I haven't paddled very many boats to compare it to, but has certainly filled my needs.
Also, 3 years ago I really hated the Rapid Pulse seat. Now that I'm in better kayak shape, I really don't think it's too bad. I'm still going to go back to my ratcheting backband though.
04-25-2005Submitted by: Erik
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just picked up my new Q500X on Monday, just up the road in Exeland, WI. Wow! This describes the business concept, the fact that this is a local, direct-to-consumer marketing plan that cuts out a lot of fluff. Just a fabulous boat from a great group of guys. I've been out twice already, once calm, and once with a little chop. This boat flies through the water. I passed several tandem canoes and even a motorized fishing boat. I've had some longing glances directed toward my cartop rack when carrying this kayak - it's like having the hottest date at the prom and everyone is envious. My boat (I love saying that) is Teal top, Arctic white base, Kevlar. I don't think I'm going to get any work done this summer.
04-20-2005Submitted by: outfishin
- Rating: 10 of 10 Recently purchased two kayaks from QCC (400x and 500X, kevlar). As with most of the reviews, I found the customer service to be top notch and the boats really are as beautiful as others have mentioned. Mine were shipped from the plant, turned over to a barge company, and shipped to Alaska. Even though the packaging showed signs of mishandling throughout their journey, they were packed so well that the boats were still in perfect condition upon arrival. Bottom line: Great company, great product, great value. Don't be afraid of the "sight unseen" issue.
04-13-2005Submitted by: Rick M
- Rating: 10 of 10 Wow. Wow.
The QCC Q500X is my third boat. The first "Wow" is for the boat. The first day that I paddled the boat I was very concerned that I had made a bad decision in not testing the boat prior to purchase. For 11 1/2 months of the last year that I have owned the boat I now realize how wrong I was. This boat is strong, fast, responsive, durable, comfortable, and looks good to boot. It responds like a dream.
My only regret is that I purchased the boat with a drop-skeg. I now know that the problems that I have experienced are par for the course with the equipment. Even with this issue I have learned what to watch for (primarily loose gravel).
The second "Wow" is for the customer service. Phil and the group at QCC offer fantastic customer service - on the level with any scenarios that are presented to business students as a model of how to win customer loyalty.
If you are shopping for a top of the line boat that will last a lifetime from a company that will take care of you after the purchase you will do well to take a serious look at QCC!
02-09-2005Submitted by: Pat S
- Rating: 9 of 10 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.
12-19-2004Submitted by: dougmyersjr
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased my QCC500 in September, 2002, and have been very pleased with her. She easily handles my 6'1", 260 pound frame and has tons of storage room. This past Columbus Day weekend my wife and I were paddling in Maine with friends when I had a bit of a mishap. I was getting ready to exit my boat when, after laying my paddle across the rear of the cockpit to boost myself out, I heard a loud crack. Turns out I had cracked the deck! I was a bit stymied by this and took a few digital photos of the crack before duct-tapping the deck so I could continue to paddle. A few days later I sent the photos to QCC, asking for their advice. They responded the next day...they were putting an order in for a replacement boat! My new boat arrived this week and I have returned the old one, using the same packing material. They had even supplied a pre-printed Bill of Lading and labels...all I needed to do was to call the trucker for pickup. The new boat (they allowed me to choose new colors) is just lovely and arrived in perfect condition.
My hat is off to the kind folks at QCC. I would never have imagined that, after 2-1/2 years of use, any manufacturer would have done what they did. No haggling, no argument! When these folks say that they have a lifetime satisfaction warranty, they really do mean that. Thank you, QCC, for service beyond my expectations.
11-14-2004Submitted by: 1951henryb
- Rating: 7 of 10 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.
06-29-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased my kayak sight unseen based upon the reviews I read at this site. I was not disappointed. The kayak arrived on time, and in great shape. The quality of the construction is first rate. Both the exterior and the interior show attention to detail. The hatches are huge and well-designed to facilitate storage and retrieval and to keep everything dry (they work). Careful examination of the kayak showed no problems with the gelcoat, layup, or hardware (I ordered it with the rudder).
I was pleasantly surprised to find the seat very comfortable. The back support is great as well. This is a large volume kayak and it fits my 6'1" 225 lb. frame very well. This kayak is meant for large paddlers and conversely will not serve a small or medium-sized paddler well. This was affirmed when my petite spouse took it for paddle.
I have used it in both the Chesapeake Bay and in Lake Champlain. It tracks well, glides easily, and is very stable. I don't have enough experience to comment on its speed relative to other touring kayaks, except to say that it moves well and I was not disappointed. I felt comfortable enough that I could fish, take pictures, cruise, or sprint with this kayak.
The QCC website contains a great deal of information concerning the kayaks, rudder, skeg, etc., and this is important for the customer because it does not arrive with any owners' manual. I can't imagine a better experience in purchasing a kayak.
03-31-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Q500 in June, 2003. I have paddled in calm and rough water - 3 foot swells with breaking waves. I needed a bigger boat - I am 6'2", 210 lbs. and I was having trouble with my narrower and smaller boat (a Sisson) in rough water. Plus, I wanted more storage for camping.
This boat is perfect for me. It is very fast - suprisingly so for a big boat. Loaded down with about 35 lbs of gear on a Lake Tahoe camping trip it handled big, rough chop well and still paddled fast. The Sealline rudder is awesome - being able to change the foot positions from the cockpit is great on a long paddle. The boat holds a ton of stuff and the hatch covers are engineered very well. It is a beauty.
Not sure what the guy who did all the complaining about service meant. Phil was great with me. He supplied me with extra deck rigging mounts so I could retrofit my Sisson for my girlfriend (that boat fits her great). I would encourage anyone to consider a QCC boat.
03-30-2004Submitted by: lt10resq
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've owned a QCC500 for 4years and am very glad i bought it . I like the boat more as time goes by . It is extremely seaworthy and fast for such a large kayak . I would recommend it over any other kayak made. By the way the folks at Qcc are absolutely fantastic. That review from Micheal is absurd this guy is obviously impossible to please.
03-30-2004Submitted by: chango2
- Rating: 10 of 10 Absolutely agree with latest review (below) on QCC. Great kayaks. Just my two cents again.
03-22-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had a Q500X made of Kevlar for a year. I have experience paddling on the
Long Island Sound and on lakes and slow moving rivers. I've also spent a week
on an expedition in the Adirondacks of New York State, so I now feel qualified
to comment on the boat as well as the experience surrounding the purchase.
PURCHASE/SERVICE: Phil was very helpful over the phone when I placed orders for
a Q500X and a Q400X (for my sister). The orders were shipped out in a timely
manner and packages such they arrived without a scratch. I took advantage of the
financing arrangement they had available at the time and paid off my boat in
full without any additional fees or interest six months after receiving the
boat. I have attempted to contact Phil by email regarding some cosmetic issues
that arose after we began using the boats--kind of tardy with the reply,
required some hounding, which I did not expect. Overall the service was quite
good though, I'd say 8/10. Would still recommend going through QCC of your are
interested, Their guarantee is hard to beat.
BOAT: What can I say--I love my Q500X!! I am 6'1" tall and weigh about 185
pounds with decent sized thighs, and the fit is pretty good. Needed to make some
small adjustments with the seat to make it my own--but I would expect to need to
do that with any item like that. The boat is stable, yet fast, looks great, and
is fun to paddle. I went out for a week with all the gear filled in the
bulkheads--the boat handles even better when she is loaded up. Has more than
enough space. Could have packed way more stuff, although I can't imagine what
else I would have needed for a longer trip with the exception of more food.
Yes, the gelcoat is not scratch-resistant, which is particularly annoying,
especially when you get the first scratch. . .But to expect anything different
is naive since that is the nature of the beast. A kayak is made to use, and as
such will show signs of wear and tear. If you want a kayak that you can just
ram onto the shore and generally abuse, this type of boat is NOT for you. Now
that I have used the boat for a year, I have come to view the small scratches
and marks (which I notice more than anyone else--purely cosmetic) as a testament
to the enjoyment I have gotten out of the boat.
The workmanship is top notch--the hatches stay bone dry even when rolling. The
boat is light enough for me to handle by myself in most instances, though given
the length, I prefer to have help.
People who comment that the boat is difficult to get into because the cockpit is
too small should not complain: you did not do your homework before making your
purchase. The dimensions of the cockpit are clearly indicated on the website.
You also have to practice exiting and entering the boat just like you have to
practice making the boat go straight.
Overall I have been more than happy with my purchase. A comparable boat from
other manufacturers/dealers would have been at least a third more expensive; the
money you save by going through QCC gets you all the other equipment you need (a
decent paddle, sprayskirt, PFD, some dry bags, etc). I look forward to years of
touring with my Q500X!
01-23-2004Submitted by: mjcullen
- Rating: 10 of 10 Follow on to original review of 6/24/2003 by mjcullen.
I must say I wholeheartedly disagree with the scathing review listed below by Michael. While I have not always gotten a prompt reply to emails, anytime I have just picked up the phone and called the customer service has been phenomenal. I just took delivery on a brand new QCC 700XL (my 3rd QCC boat by the way) and it took 3.5 weeks from my order to in my hands. It is absolutely beatiful and exactly as I ordered it. Can't wait to get it out on the water and try it out. I'll post a review under the 700XL section as soon as I do. But as for Steve and Phil, they're top flight. As you can see from my review, I had my 500XL damaged in delivery and they still made the entire transaction hassle free!
Feel free to email me if you have any follow up questions on their products or services. I am a big fan of the boats and the company!
11-03-2003Submitted by: Michael McDonald
- Rating: 4 of 10 Don't do it. Just say no to QCC. Wherever you happen to live, buy locally. Nothing but trouble since I contacted them. Zero customer service. I totally regret giving this company my hard earned money. Warranty damage within 30 days of getting it and it took almost a year to get another one. They sound great before and during the buying process but if you have any trouble they ignore all emails and phone messages. I wish I had bought at REI. It is my first one so I can't speak badly of the boat except that it scratches very very easily and it is not easy getting into the cockpit without something to hold onto or someone to help you. This makes it kind of hard to go out by yourself. Sent them two emails wanting to purchase matching gelcoat to repair the scratches before I store it this winter but they are ignoring me again. I don't want to get the gelcoat anywhere else in case it does not match.Buy locally.
09-02-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I probably drove phil nuts but it took me months to finally purchase a five hundred from them. I was very pleased initially in ALL phases of the purchase. QCC and especially Phil were fantastic. Then the unthinkable occurred. I got damage on my yak. Not going to say how or why .....just damage. I contacted Phil who suggested they send a repair kit. But he asked for a pic and when I sent that he said they would build me a brand new replacement that came this week. These guys are the absolute best. I took it by a local retailer who when I asked them what they would do if I bought it from them - his response was "charge to fix or sell you a new one". QCC//Phil sent this one free. Need I say more?
09-02-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I was reluctant to buy a boat from an unknown source over the internet, but based on reviews I saw on paddling.net, I decided to take the chance, and I'm glad I did! Like many of the other folks here, I had excellent experiences with Phil and Steve at QCC. They were both very helpful in the selection process and Phil steered me to the 500X and gave me the reasons for doing so. They delivered the boat when they said they would, but unfortunately the trucking company lost it. However, Steve called his local contact and they tracked the boat down and it arrived safely a few days later.
The quality of construction is excellent. I couldn't find a flaw anywhere, and believe me I tried. It is a beautiful boat. I got the Kevlar construction in a gulf teal color top with arctic white bottom. It is a beautiful boat with obvious attention to the detail in the whole construction process all the way through finishing.
I had ordered a spray skirt with the boat. At the time the boat was going to ship, Phil said they were out of that model and it was backordered. I chose to go to the next model up in the line so I could get it with my boat. Phil gave it to me at no extra charge since they didn't have the one I had originally picked in stock.
I have only had the boat on the water once due to other commitments, and plan to do an update to this review after I have had it out a few more times. However, the one trip on the water showed me the boat handles well and it glides through the water with hardly any effort required. More to come on handling in the next update....
I cut the bungee on the deck accidentally, and called Phil - he said he would send me some more at no charge. What else can I say about these guys? They did what they said they would, when they said they would, and the boat is beautiful with no flaws. I saved hundreds of dollars by going with them over a "big name" model, and got an excellent boat in the process.
Would I recommend using them again - YES!!
08-04-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I'd like to dido the above positive comments. In paticular I'd like to mention the unbelievable customer service response from QCC. This customer very much appreciated thier help in finding the right boat. Excellent product from good folks.
06-24-2003Submitted by: mjcullen
- Rating: 10 of 10 Excellent Boat. I bought a used QCC400XL last summer almost on a whim (see review on that site) and was so impressed with the boat, it's quality/craftsmanship and handling that I decided to get a 500XL and let my daughter use the 400XL. I love the 500XL. Very stable and forgiving, it tracks beautifully and has loads of room. Dealing with the factory was simple. Good guys that know their stuff. Very helpful. My boat is a kevlar which seems to work just great. Highly recommend this boat. May add a 700XL to my collection someday........
06-21-2003Submitted by: richard
- Rating: 10 of 10 QCC500 Kevlar/Carbon Fiber. Paddler is male, 50 yrs., athletic, 5'10", 200#.
Before purchasing, I paddled at least 8 or 9 different kayaks for a few hours each. I thought that a plastic kayak would be best, because it could handle abusive treatment like running up onto a rocky shore. Along the way, I tried kayaks from Perception, Necky, Dagger, Current Design, and Wilderness Systems, to name a few. My kayak trials typically entailed a half day of paddling, although a few models were rejected after an hour or so at kayak demo days. The plastic kayak I enjoyed the most was the Wilderness Systems Tempest 165. That boat handles extremely well and fit my body (and butt) very well also. If a paddler doesn't want to spend the money on fiberglass, kevlar, or carbon fiber, the Wilderness System's Tempest (or Cape Horn series) is definitely worth checking out. However, once I paddled a couple of fiberglass boats (Swift Labrador Sea and Caspian Sea), I decided to explore better materials.
I relied on the reviews in Paddling.Net and found that QCC was consistently rated the highest by its owners. People always say that "word of mouth" is the best recommendation. In this case, it prompted me to explore the QCC website and talk with Phil about the different models. The model QCC500 is the best fit for me in the QCC product line, and I promptly ordered a DEMO model from the website. It arrived the next week, however, despite being well packaged and clearly marked, the trucking company decided to pick it up with a fork lift (holes in the box) and drop it on end (cardboard looked like an accordian). After carefully unpacking and inspecting the boat, it had a couple of cracks in the side and upper shell. I immediately contacted QCC expecting they would say something like: send it back and we'll issue you a credit towards another kayak. I was very pleased when they suggested that I use the current kayak for a 2 - 3 weeks while they build a new one exactly to my specs. Not more than 3 weeks later, the kayak arrived at the local truckiong company. I unpacked it on-site and re-packed the old one to return to QCC. In case you have any doubts or fears about doing business direct with the factory, you can rest assured that QCC offers SUPERB customer service and support. I would highly recommend QCC to anyone seeking an excellent fiberglass, kevlar, or carbon fiber kayak... at about 25 to 35% less than you would pay to a retail outlet.
In regards to the handling of the boat, fit, finish, quality of materials, workmanship, etc., the QCC is equal or superior to every competitive kayak I have seen or paddled. I use it every week to explore the rivers, intra-coastal waterways, and lakes in Florida and could not be more satisfied.
In regards to the comparison to plastic kayaks, one strong benefit of my QCC is the 43# weight, which I can carry under one arm. The plastic boats in similar sizes are all around 60 to 65#, which typically requires two people to carry to/ from the water.
Any questions, please feel free to send an e-mail to me. Other owners of QCC kayaks will also attest to the "WOW" factor of these kayaks. They look awesome!
03-11-2003Submitted by: Sandmarks
- Rating: 8 of 10 Well I've only had my 500 for a little over a month, but I thought I'd put in an early review. I admit I'm a newbie and my last boat was a Loon 160T, 80lbs of plastic with a 29" beam and a 7 foot cocpit, so most of my paddling has been just getting used to a completely different boat. The boat is beautiful and I have no major complaints about its contruction. My boat has about a hard to notice 5 inch dimple or discoloration going down the side of the hull at the rear bulkhead that QCC said was just some of the adhesive bleeding through, so I took their word for it not being an issue. I am a big guy, 6' 265lbs so I realize I am not the average size paddler, but this is something I discussed with Phil before purchasing the boat. I was worried about the small size of their cockpits as far as entry and exit for someone my size. It was tough at first, but after building up several layer of skin from my shins on the front of the cockpit, I'm doing much better now. To me the biggest disappointment is the RapidPulse seat. It is totally inadequate for someone my size. I think the people at QCC should know this and have some other options for big paddlers. It is pretty hard to get a feeling for a boat in the 30 day trial period when your constantly in pain from the seat and you can't do a lot of modifying in case you want to send it back. I can't figure out how it is I can be so comfortable in the seat that came in my $500 rec boat, but have to be tortured in my state of the art $2000+ boat! In the water the boat seems fast, seeming to get up to speed in just a few strokes. The secondary stability seems good to me and I don't have much trouble turning even without using the rudder. After about an hour of wet exit practice and pathetic newbie rolling practice, the hatches had about a 1/4 cup of water in them. I do wonder if there is a better method of securing the hatches than the velcro straps provided. One thing I have not been too impressed with through my purchase has been the customer service that I read so many good things about in the reviews. Other than Phil who spent a good amount of time answering my question before the purchase, I think they failed to meet a lot of the promises they made on the website, which made the scary idea of purchasing an expensive kayak on the internet a little worse. Other than the seat which may be just great for someone of normal size, I think you probably can't buy a better boat especially for the price. I think this type of purchase is better for people with more experience in kayaks so your 30 days of paddling doesn't have to be spent trying to get used to a complete different way of paddling. I don't really want to give a number rating, as I really just wanted to give my view as a big guy stuck in a skinny boat for the few that may be in my situation.
12-12-2002Submitted by: jayfwms
- Rating: 10 of 10 I thought only a hand-built wood boat could be a work of art until my Kevlar Q500 arrived. It has to be the most beautiful kayak made. After years of "roofing" kayaks, this is the first one that causes strangers to stop me and ask about it. Fit and finish is exquisite, down to the smooth deck level hatches leading to cavernous holds in front and back. With a very flat bottom and light weight, the Q500 rides high in the water and lets you do a weight shift and "spin." It doesn't carve so much as slide, offering very quick response.The Q500 will carry weeks worth of supplies and paddle effortlessly for great distances. With its high volume, it's hard to believe it weighs only 46 pounds. I added the featherlight rudder, but have found no need to use it under any conditions. In windy weather it needs a load or ballast to hold it down in the water. Otherwise exceptional in every respect.
11-21-2002Submitted by: Bill Lloyd
- Rating: 10 of 10 I forgot to say something in my earlier post. My old Eskimo 17 was white with grey trim [which is, in my humble opinion, what God intended a sea kayak to look like! :-) ], and QCC didn't show that as a color option. I asked the guys at QCC if I could have that combination; they said they didn't have grey but they would try to find some and if they could, try to match the grey of the Eskimo 17. When I picked it up, there it was, white with grey trim...and perfect. !!! These guys want to please their customers!!! These guys TRULY CARE ABOUT their customers!!! I see that perhaps I should add that I now live in Ohio and do not and never have worked for QCC. Like most QCC 500 owners, I simply think that what is essentially a "word of mouth" operation like QCC deserves to get the "word of mouth" out there...and people looking for a new 'yak deserve to learn about QCC! [Now why has Sea Kayaker magazine not yet reviewed this wonderful boat???] And yes, feel free to e-mail if you want more on all this.
11-15-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I had a horrendous house-fire in Madison, Wisconsin in 1996 and lost my gorgeous Easy Rider Eskimo 17, "the Cadillac of the industry." I almost had heart failure when I learned what a new one would cost (and didn't care for the cobbled-up deck meant for sailing fixtures!). I stumbled onto QCC by accident searching the Internet for leads on a used Eskimo. So I drove down to Janesville, talked with Phil [Hi, Phil!!! - you're GREAT!!!], saw the quality of the boats, couldn't BELIEVE the prices [!!!], and ordered one, "thinking" that this was a compromise after my gorgeous Eskimo. Got it home, put it in on Lake Wingra, started paddling...and IMMEDIATELY "noticed" [!!!] that this was a MUCH more efficient hull! Two years later, I gotta tell ya, this is a GREAT kayak! - and a bloody STEAL!!! :-) I do agree that a better hatch-securing system should be found (maybe has been, by now?), and as Phil knows I would have appreciated a longer cockpit [the Eskimo spoiled me there, with its 33" cockpit! -- easy to get my knees up, to relieve the lower back], but other than that, this is PERFECTION!!! [I got the Kevlar lay-up, with the rudder; don't let anyone fool you, a rudder is great in big angled cross-winds, saves the ol' lower back!]
10-07-2002Submitted by: Paul
- Rating: 10 of 10 Check out the QCC before buying anything! My father is kicking himself for buying the Perception Eclipse over this boat!!! I waited about 3 months before writing this. I have the Q500X, which sports a wider 23" beam and is approx. 16'10" (Kevlar). I have used this boat throughout New Jersey and New York. This includes lakes, rivers, saltwater bays and the ocean.
This kayak has excellent initial stability and extremely predictable secondary stability. John Winters did his homework on this one. The boat tracks very good and weathercocking is minimal, although I do recommend the rudder for rough water and high winds. In a following sea, the front of the boat has enough buoyancy to keep the bow from pitch poling, and in a head sea, the boat is simply awesome. It slices through chop for breakfast. I've been in 3' whitecaps with 30 mph winds in all sea conditions and found the hull to be stable, dry and fast. QCC did an incredible job with the fit and finish; Phil is a great guy to deal with. The company offers you a lifetime warranty with a No Bull S. policy towards customer satisfaction. The fit and finish is truly in a class by itself. The watertight compartments are very nice and the openings are larger than any boat in its class. I've had 200+ lbs. of gear (I'm 5'10", 185 lbs) during extended camping trips and the boat felt nimble and responsive. You'll appreciate the smart track rudder system and the stainless steel hardware used throughout the boat. My only problem with the boat is the deck rigging. While practicing paddle float re-entry, I had a bungee cord knot unwind. I would like to see QCC make the bungee fastens more secure. In addition, this boat has lines that make people heads turn. I can discuss this for an hour, please email me if you have any questions. Buy with confidence, you will not be disappointed!
Just as an aside: This company made a mistake with my first order and sent me a boat without thigh bracing. Rather than suggest a quick fix, they built me a new boat and it didn't cost me anything. In fact, I offered to pay half the shipping cost and they refused to take my money.
06-19-2002Submitted by: Nypaddlers
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just added a QCC 500 to my kayak collection, and I must say it is a very nice kayak. The fit and finish is very good on these kayaks. This is a great tracker and is not to hard to turn. It is very fast for its size and also very nice to sit in for long periods of time. I got mine in kevlar and have a rudder on it, but have not used the rudder yet as the boat handles very well without it. If you have the time to wait for one to be built for you I think you will be happy with this kayak.
03-25-2002Submitted by: chango2
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is in follow up to my original review regarding the QCC 500. My first QCC displayed a mild problem with the gel coat in the hull that I "caught" after owning the kayak for two months. This problem was diagnosed as mild shipping damage that I missed or shipping trauma/damage that did not display itself until the boat was used in the water a few times. I sent a jpeg picture of the (mild) damage to QCC. QCC went way beyond the call duty in rectifying the problem. I did not "ask" for anything other than advice, but QCC came through in a manner that was, if anything, saintly. I will e mail any specifics if you inquire via e to me. I've never been treated as well by any company for any product. Most importantly, my QCC is a great kayak. If you want to go first class, go QCC. No, I don't work QCC and I live in Los Angeles. QCC is near Lake Geneva,Wis., hundreds of miles from here, so I've never met the QCC people other than via telephone and e-Mail. I can't say enough good things about their integrity and product. If you want to buy something extra special (and at a very fair price) "go" QCC.
02-04-2002Submitted by: billinpa
- Rating: 10 of 10 Well, I can not add anything more than what was said by the posters below. If you want a very well made, fast and stable kayak stop looking elsewhere. Yes ordering online takes a great leap of faith, but the positive reviews here on this site and talking to some owners online convinced me. The money back guarantee, unheard of in this industry, just made it a no-brainer.
The 500X I bought was Kevlar with a rudder. After researching all models on the net for about a year before buying, I am convinced that you will not find a similar new model anywhere for the price. If you have any questions contact me at my profile, and I will be happy to answer your questions. If you live in southeast PA. maybe we can set up a demo paddle. No, I do not work for QCC. I just want to help a company that has treated me very well, and their boats should set the standard for other companies to follow.
10-17-2001Submitted by: chango2
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am not going to say too much about the QCC 500. Others have said it for me; it's fantastic! I just took delivery on my new QCC 500, and it is a 10. It is more kayak than I need, but has everything I want. I strongly recommend that any shopper put the QCC line on his or her short list when shopping for a new sea kayak. Feel free to e-mail me for any additional comments. All the positive comments listed here (and at the QCC site) ring true in this case. The QCC line may very well be the best line of composite kayaks available at any price. Kudos to QCC.
06-28-2001Submitted by: Lt10resq
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've owned a QCC500 for almost 2 years, I liked it and the quality of design so much I purchased another boat from Qcc, a 600 for my wife. It's smaller and more nimble but my boat of choice is the 500, fast very seaworthy stable very comfortable it's all you can ask for in a touring kayak. The folks at QCC are also outstanding, buying from them was truly a pleasure. I think you cannot buy a better touring kayak or from a better company than Qcc. P.S. I don't work for them simply put they do things the right way.
06-07-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my QCC500X last November after a visit to their factory outside Madison, WI. Phil and Steve showed me all around the plant and explained their methods of construction, build quality and gave me some background on the original design by John Winters. I asked a lot of questions ..., and so did they. By the time I left, we both felt comfortable that I had made the right choice. Waiting until late February to try out the new boat was the hardest thing I've ever done. Now that I've got several trips under my belt I can say, without hesitation, this is one fine boat. Steve told me it would handle better with additional weight in the hatches, and it does. The more I load in it, the better it feels. It's a real "freighter". Don't buy this boat for Sunday afternoon paddles on the local lake. You will never realize it's true potential. The bottom line is, the boat is everything I want, the folks at QCC are honest and fair and I feel there isn't a better boat available at their prices ..., or even considerably more.
04-11-2001Submitted by: Jack OBrien
- Rating: 10 of 10 Well, I did it. After a year of reading, riding and arithmetic, I took the plunge and bought my fiberglass QCC 500X. Know that I am a newbie and will need time to learn the handling aspects of the kayak, but I can report on my experience to date. I have taken several classes and short trips in calm water but wanted my first kayak to be one that would serve me well over time. Issues involved quality construction and design, capable advice from the manufacturer/dealer and accessories that would enhance the performance and quality of my paddling experience. I asked questions and traded emails with other QCC customers including John Winters. Steve and Phil at QCC patiently answered my (endless) questions, walked me through their design and manufacturing methods and philosophy, even allowed me the opportunity to test paddle a demo boat to assure me that I was making a good comparative choice. It DOES require a leap of faith to buy a kayak over the internet without a test paddle (so, I admire those who can). Being able to try the kayak out allowed me the confidence to make the investment. I bought the 500X (w/rudder) and the accessories package which is indeed first class (Lightning paddle, Lotus PFD and nylon skirt) The boat is flawlessly built and handles beautifully. Because I live in Northern Illinois, I picked the kayak up at the plant and saw the care and detail that QCC builds into their kayaks. These guys are committed to their John Winter's design, quality mfg. processes, customer service and Internet commerce as a means of providing a truly first class product at an excellent price. After I have more experience mastering the handling characteristics of my 500, I'll update the review. But as an obsessive/compulsive shopper when it comes to buying major products, I will wholeheartedly recommend QCC for its dedication to a quality product and service. Keep up the good work, guys!
08-28-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I picked up a QCC 500 for my wife to paddle on a weeklong trip to cape cod bay. I am a canoe racer by passion and picked up a Wenonah Seal several months ago, wanting a fast kayak. Looking for a yak for Linda, I wanted something seaworthy for a novice kayaker, with storage space and the speed to keep up with the Seal. A tough order to fill! I came across a kevlar QCC 500 that a guy was selling on paddling.net for a the price of a plastic boat. I bought it without paddling it!
The QCC is a great all around boat! With moderate hip action it can be paddled straight in most conditions without the rudder. It has excellent storage space with great hatch cover seals. It was a bit heavier than specs say at 53lbs. The Gel coat is beautiful and quality overall is the best I have ever seen in a composite boat.
I took it out in some pretty rough conditions one day exiting a tidal creek with an outgoing tide making some sizable standing waves at the entrance. I was impressed to say the least. The boat is faster than most. I got into a sprint with a young buck in a Boreal Designs Narwal. The old man kicked butt. Nuff said! A great boat! I would have to compare it to a Mercedes SUV!
08-24-2000Submitted by: Rick
- Rating: 6 of 10 I purchased a QCC500 based on reviews and actual discussions with several owners who were very pleased with their boats. The boat I received was well made and good looking; however the feel in the water was not to my liking. After several trips in various conditions; I decided to return the boat. To their credit, QCC fully backed their warranty; but the repackaging and shipping is somewhat of a hassle. I have since purchased a Romany 16 with which I am extremely pleased. The disadvantage to buying through the Internet is not being able to paddle it first and then having to return something as bulky as a kayak after waiting 45 days to receive it.
07-30-2000Submitted by: Larry J. Allen
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am really pleased with my QCC500. Needless to say, I was somewhat apprehensive in ordering a kayak over the internet that I had never actually seen in person. However, upon it's arrival it was nice to see how well it was packaged for shipping. Two other kayaks that I own and that were shipped were not as well prepared for shipping. Upon opening the shipping carton, I was immediately happy with the quality of work and detail of the QCC500. Every attention to detail seems to have been made. I live along the Ohio River and my first use of this kayak was on a windy day with large whitecaps on the river. Not knowing the stability, I was concerned of the show that I might put on for some bystanders who were watching. As it turned out, the initial and secondary stability is excellent. I have since used my QCC500 several times and continue to rate it a 10. I am very, very pleased with my purchase and with the folks at QCC. They certainly know how to build a wonderful kayak and how to treat their customers.
02-07-2000Submitted by: Mark Yochim
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is the Rolls Royce of kayaks. My Q500X is 16'10" long with a 23" beam. The Q500X is a John Winters design. I ordered mine in kevlar, which is about 46 pounds. I also ordered the optional Feathercraft rudder.
The Q500X is a large kayak with two large flush hatches. There is more cargo space in the Q500X than I can imaging using. The hatch covers are not your typical black rubber you have to stretch over the hatch. The covers are built out of kevlar and have automotive type seals. The covers are even finished on the under side to give it a nice finish.
The Q500X water line is 16"4" which makes it a true tracker and very stable. The seat is an upgraded seat, which is very comfortable. A large cockpit and tall deck makes it easier for those of us with size 12 shoes and 38" waists. At 220 pounds, the additional space is welcomed.
Ordering the kayak on the Internet is a little strange. However, the staff is very helpful and takes extra steps to explain everything to you. I do not think you could buy a nicer kayak then the QCC kayaks at any price. The Package Deal was $2,700.00 including shipping. The Package Deal included the Q500X kayak in Kevlar, Feathercraft rudder, Lightning composite paddle. Lotus PFD, cockpit cover, spray skirt and bilge pump with float. Fiberglass would have been $300.00 less but at this price kevlar looks pretty good.
The hardest part of buying the kayak is waiting for it to be delivered. The kayaks are not sitting in a warehouse waiting to be shipped. When you order the kayak, it is custom built for you. The color selection is almost unlimited.
I would strongly recommend QCC to anyone looking for a composite kayak. Give them a call and tell them what you are looking for. They have a no risk refund policy if you do not like your kayak. I cannot image anyone not liking their kayaks. Kudos QCC.
11-15-1999Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 My friends and I have had our 16'10" QCC 500s out in all kinds of conditions on Georgian Bay, Lake Michigan and, more recently, off the North Coast of Lake Superior, and have come to the following conclusion: This big girl has it all -- stability, comfort and speed.
A beautiful, finely crafted 23-inch beam boat, the 500 is a bit lighter, at 50 pounds, than most kayaks in her size/range. The optional rudder is recommended for dealing with quartering winds, but isn't really necessary under most other conditions.
With plenty of space for achy knees and lots of room for all sorts of gear, the QCC 500's is perfect for big water and heavy loads. The large, watertight hatch covers and cargo holds are an asset. We actually pack folding chairs in the stern of this turbo freighter.
The hull's 16'4" waterline length really helps with tracking and stability, and the 500's rockered bow keeps her nose out of the waves in surf and following seas more than we expected. And at $2345 (w rudder), the boat is a bargain compared to other, similar hard-shell models out there!
What a pleasant surprise _ Designer John Winters and the folks at QCC-Wisconsin really have come up with something different and special!
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