-- Last Updated: Aug-30-13 1:04 PM EST --
The Q400 is a renamed Caspian Sea, designed by John Winters. There's a full series of them --- the Q500 was originally called the North Sea, there's also the Tasman Sea, Labrador Sea and Bering Sea. Some were sold under those names by Swift, they still carry the Bering Sea. Plans for some are still available through Green Valley Boat Works.
Here's a page showing a cool cedar strip Caspian Sea: http://www.greenval.com/caspian.html
I saw another done in geodesic aerolite style (a la Platte Montefort), it was amazing, and only about 25 pounds, I think.
I agree with Ayornamut about the weird small cockpits of QCC boats. The Q500 is really a huge boat and would be much more useful to big people with a larger cockpit. It does help to leave off the completely useless thigh braces when ordering a Q400 or 500, the deck is way too high to engage those braces, and they interfere with entry.
Re: the Q400, it's OK for a big boy if being used as a day boat, i.e. no significant cargo. The weight range is 160-240 pounds (according to the designer's statement on the Green Valley site). I use mine at around 210-220 total, and there is capacity to spare. QCC is showing a recommended paddler weight of 120-200 on the 'all models' page, but 115-180 on the Q400 page. I guess they're making some assumptions about cargo.
I think the Q600 and Q700 are a different series of hulls altogether, although they were also designed by Winters.
Recreational Kayak Paddle
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