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2011 Rookie- boat questions (Read 10760 times)
01/03/11 at 12:12:05

Lazzy 1   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran

Posts: 14
**
 
I've held off on asking quesitons until I knew I would get into the race.  Now that I'm signed up, I'm looking for a little insight. 

I've read all of the old posts and have gained a lot of information from this site itself.    I've decide not to metion to the wife the stories of the couple that had the run in with the barge or of the guy stuck on the bank in the fog waiting to be rescued in the previous races....

I'm new to paddling.  I got my first boat,  a 14ft Perception Carolina,  just last summer.  I completed the inaguaral 130 mile Tour du Tech race last September.   It was the first long disatnce race held in Louisiana and it was my first race as well.  Due to there being no current, it was a tough race, but I really enjoyed it.   It was during that race that I quickly learned the longer the boat, the faster you go!!  and that brings me to my question.

I'm thinking about getting a faster boat for this race.  Im considering the  QCC 700, the EPIC 18 or the Necky Looksha 17.  Currrently, I'm leaning toward the QCC 700, but i wanted to see what you guys thought about these boats.  There are no dealers for the QCC or Epic anywhere in Louisiana so I'm likely going to have limited opportunity to try them out.  I will have an oportunity to demo the Necky Looksha.  Being 17' 6", the necky woud keep me in the recreational class of the Teche race while the others would move my up to the big boy level of competition so that is an advantage for the necky.

Also, any idea what type of speed improvmeent I could expect from these longer boats?  I can keep the 14 foot Perception Carolina moving about 4.0 MPH over the long haul with no current. 

If it matters to the feedback, I'm 5"11 and weight about 215.  I enjoy these events more for the "adventure" than the "race" so I know that I'm probably the limiting factor on any of  the boats I'm looking at.

Thanks and looking forward to joining the MR340 club!!
 
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Reply #1 - 01/03/11 at 14:21:31

West Hansen   Offline
7X MR340 Veteran
2X MR340 Record Holder
3X Gritty Veteran
Kawnivore Record Holder
Kawnivore Veteran
Gritty Fitty Record Holder
He who hesitates is lunch.
--Chuck Darwin
Austin, Texas, Third Coast

Posts: 1623
*******
 
Good idea. Significantly better glide over the tupperware boats. --West
 

Cognitive Dissonance: when being wrong just isn't an option.
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Reply #2 - 01/03/11 at 15:29:28

JLocke   Offline
MR340 Veteran

Posts: 15
*
 
I looked over the entry classes for the Teche race next year and thought the "solo kayak' class was anything up to 18 feet which means all of the boats you mention should be allowed.  Maybe I missed something so I better go back and check it.  You wont find any dealers for QCC since they are web-only ordering.  I ordered a 500X from them years ago and was really impressed with the build quality.  I have paddled the 700X and it is fast and stable for someone with experience.  It would make a great boat for the MR340.  They are 25% off right now too......but only till today.  Best of luck with your selection and in the race.
 
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Reply #3 - 01/03/11 at 16:29:46

Chuck Hill   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
St. Charles, MO

Posts: 37
**
 

If you've got the money to spend, I would absolutely get the QCC700.  It's designed perfectly for the MR340!

As far as buying them via internet/telephone, read the reviews on QCC...  They all say the same thing: The leap of faith is absolutely worth it.  I bought a QCC600 in 2009 based on a ton of research and nagging a few owners.  I also had several conversations with Steve at QCC as I was selecting the right set-up (he steered me to the 600 over the 700 based on my weight, 175lbs).  The quality build, performance of the kayak, and customer service all make QCC a safe bet.  At least it was for me!

Also maybe reach out to "Mark Bramer", he's on these forums.  Mark bought a 700 last year used.   Mark is a great source of all things MR340 no matter what you decide to race with!

To  try to be fair and impartial, I THINK "Spencer MacYakker" on this forum has an Epic 18.  It's tough to tell, he is always a spec on the horizon when we train together...

You won't go wrong with either of these three...  You'll be very pleased with the speed of the QCC or EPIC.

Chuck
 

Fortes fortuna iuvat
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Reply #4 - 01/03/11 at 17:35:22

Lazzy 1   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran

Posts: 14
**
 


Jlocke-  For the Teche race 18' and over is once class and everything under 18' is considered recreational.  I went ahead and went with the qcc anyway because I don't think I'd win either classiifaction so I might as well go with the faster  overall boat.........

Looking forward to the race
 
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Reply #5 - 01/03/11 at 18:08:42

natecanoes   Offline
MR340 Veteran

Posts: 274
*
 
You chose right!

I am 6'1" and 205 lbs and the QCC 700x really shines for me. They are pretty fast, and a great tripping boat too. The seats are kinda uncomfortable (at least mine was) but they are excellent boats.

I've placed first in my division every time I have raced it, and first overall once.
 
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Reply #6 - 01/04/11 at 06:40:26

JLocke   Offline
MR340 Veteran

Posts: 15
*
 
Yep.  Your right for the Teche race... anything 18 or over is in the unlimited category where you could be up against who knows what.   Hope you enjoy the new boat. I don't think you'll be at all disappointed.
 
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Reply #7 - 01/04/11 at 10:45:48

Lone Wolf   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Kawnivore Veteran
Saint Charles, MO

Posts: 103
*
 
Whatever boat you get, be sure you have plenty of time to get used to it.  A longer, narrower boat will feel more 'tippy' the first few times you get in it.  
 

It's supposed to be hard.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.  It is the HARD that makes it great!&&&&Pain Heals, Chicks Dig Scars, but Glory Lasts Forever!
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Reply #8 - 01/04/11 at 11:19:20

Los Humungos   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Sometimes wears a Wally
Werderich costume

Posts: 1365
**
 
If you must go with a kayak, the QCC is a good choice.  You will gain significant speed over your canoe.  Even when you are losing one paddler.  I have not ever heard a bad thing about the QCC models and they always seem to fair very well in the 340.  The QCC is also a good choice for the TDT.  The hull design will provide much more glide in the Teche's still water.  Other than losing a partner, this will provide you with not only a speed advantage, but a physical advantage as well.

I also like your logic in terms of justifying a good boat for both races while taking them on with the adventure aspect in mind.  While all of the kayaks you mentioned are very good boats, you made a good choice.  

Wasn't the TDT an awesome race last year? Congrats on the finish.  it was truly a slog, and to finish it on your first race...WOW!  Which boat were you in?  Where are you from?

Hut,
Wally
Los Humungos Paddleos a/k/a the Illinois Birgade for the TDT

Ps, I second the thoughts on Bramer, when he is not out working, he is a great resource and paddled a QCC700 last year.  Mark Bramer your source for rivers read and people dead.  I think that is what it said on Bramer's business card.  Funny when you are racing you seem to hallucinate at times when you push yourrself over long periods.  Bramer was the topic of the hallucinations  in our canoe.  We made up all of these stories about the Kayaking Missouri River Hit Man, Mark Bramer.  He does two things, read rivers and kill people.  Rivers read, people dead.  Smiley. Seriously, he is a nice guy.
 

Sometimes when you are man, you wear stretchy pants...its for fun... -Nacho   
You do not get guns like these from riding a bike. -Matt Strieb
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Reply #9 - 01/04/11 at 13:39:10

Spencer MacYakker   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Saint Charles, MO

Posts: 58
*
 
Chuck is right about the boat I paddled last year.. Epic 18.  FWIW, having paddled both the older model and the newer 18X, I can say without reservation...I hate the new integrated rudder.  I prefer the flip down rudder.  If you can find an older Epic 18 in good shape, go for it! 

I also recently picked up a new QCC700.  While I haven't actually "paddled" it (the wife insists that we bought it to be her boat...crazy right?!) they are virtually identical.  The Epic has more of a vertical knife edge nose, but otherwise you would be hard-pressed to find a difference in hull shape.  I've heard that some believe the Epic hull design was actually based almost entirely on John Winter's QCC700 hull shape.

The construction of the Epic 18 is noticably flimsier than that of the QCC700.  Both boats are carbon/kevlar and weigh about the same.  The QCC is noticable stiffer.  Of course, the Epic is 2004 and usage does take a toll.  I guess time will tell.

Good luck in your hunt!  Gear shopping and evaluation is part of the fun!

Looking forward to Seeing You On The River (SYOTR)

Spencer
 

You don't beat it.  You don't beat this river.
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Reply #10 - 01/04/11 at 14:14:34

Spencer MacYakker   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Saint Charles, MO

Posts: 58
*
 
I really, really, really hate to admit this, but I think Wally may be right about Bramer.  You may recall that Bramer suffered an unfortunate shoulder "incident" during the race.  But I trained many days with Mark and he never, not once, complained about so much as a twitch in his shoulder.  NEVER.  And then he was mysteriously taken out by it...it didn't make sense to me, well not until today.  Did I mention that he disappeared for hours during the night and suddenly and dramatically reappeared injured?  Coincidence?  I think not.  More like a river-hit gone awry???
 

You don't beat it.  You don't beat this river.
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Reply #11 - 01/04/11 at 15:20:34

Hellbender   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Kawnivore Veteran
Gritty Fitty Veteran
Race Volunteer
paddl-in dave

Posts: 259
**
 
Spencer - you have too many boats you need to get rid of that epic or the 700.........
btw I may be  looking for a QCC or an epic wink wink...
Who knows for sure but hit man Mark may have thrown his shoulder out chucking carp at people in the dark..
dave
 

Hellbenders have flat bodies and heads, with beady dorsal eyes and slimy skin
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Reply #12 - 01/04/11 at 22:07:00

Mark Bramer   Offline
3X MR340 Veteran
Sanity checked at the
door
Maryland Heights, MO

Posts: 273
***
 
Wally, I'm so glad to be with you in spirit during your race - That's probably as close as I'll come to being with you guys as you smoke the river!  I imagine thats' for the best, lest I get caught up in your burrito-fueled wake.  Talk about killing people...  You're probably throwing down extra burritos already, just to get fueled up!

Beware Los Humungos Paddleos - Their arms are strong, their boat is swift, and their afterburners are deadly!

Regarding the original question - I agree with all the comments on QCC.  My boat is now 10 years old (I bought it a year ago at the tender young age of 9), and it's solid as a rock.  Lazzy, you made a good choice.  I have no opinion on Epic, other than to concur with Spencer's comments about the hull shape and that I've also heard the rumor (fact?) that it was "lifted" from the QCC 700's design.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...  And to that end, I might just show up in a luchador outfit this year!
 

18' QCC 700X&&http://www.active.com/donate/paddle2battle&&Paddling to battle cancer one stroke at a time
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Reply #13 - 01/04/11 at 22:54:42
STEVE SHAY   Ex Member

 
They shiped my QCC700 from their place up in Wisconsin and I have to say that they have a very good shipping system. It came in a very heavy well made cardboard box, not just wraped in bubble wrap. I picked mine up at a trucking terminal about 30 miles from me. I took it out of the box and put it on my truck and they let me leave the big box at their terminal and they took care of it.
 
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Reply #14 - 01/06/11 at 22:04:36

goldfishgoddess   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
The Docks, Pembrokeshire Wales

Posts: 308
**
 
I currently have 2 Necky Looksha 17 ( poly 17 and kevlar Looksha IV) and a QCC 700x in kevlar.
The QCC 700X is classed as a FSK (fast sea kayak) in some races.

1.  the kevlar boats are faster and better glide, and lighter.  My Kevlar Looksha is 35 lbs, the QCC is about 40 and the poly Looksha is a chunky 65lbs ++    

2.  the QCC 700x is awesome and one of my favorite boats ever.  with the postponement of last year's event due to flooding, I got my QCC only a week before the MR340.  within a week I was extremely comfortable in it and no trouble with any aspect of it.  Speeds I got on it after a week were:  cruising 6.0 - 6.5, sprinting peaks on flatwater 7.2-7.5,  snarky 2-3 foot chop on Lake Erie, 5.5-6.0.   Manitou Paddler here also has a QCC 700x and I think he can back me up on those speeds and his are much better because he's a stronger paddler than I am   Smiley   If you feel the primary is a little low, just lower the seat and it will be a rock... mine will edge all the way to the rim of the combing without fears of falling... it's just fantastic.    And in last year's event,  had an accident by a bridge strainer, and my boat was caught in some nasty stuff for about 12 hours.  When it was finally freed, it was in absolutely perfect shape with no damage.   Did go over some hidden rocks in the last part of MR340 last year and got some good gelcoat carvings but the kevlar QCC did not hole.    It's just a fabulous boat and if you are lucky enough to find a used one like I did-- jump on it!!

3.  The Kevlar Looksha 17 is wonderful but is a wider beam and not as fast as the QCC.  If you need more stability, it's a GREAT boat and I use my 2 for family and friends.   They have loads of storage space too.  Beginners might find the Looksha 17 a little tippy, but nobody has ever fallen out.  If you are worried about the QCC being a little too unstable for a first run in the MR340, the Looksha is a great solid choice.

Both these boats have strong flip down steel rudders.  If you go over rocks, the rudders will pop up and not break.   This differs from the Epic 18x which has a set in rudder which will give you some MR 340 grief at checkpoint launches or on rocks and thru some of the eddy fields which hide rocks..  

Best thing to do is demo the boats, but if you are confident enough as an intermediate paddler I'd say hit the QCC with no reservations.  


 

Lots of love from Wales, United Kingdom.
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Reply #15 - 01/10/11 at 16:10:23

goldfishgoddess   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
The Docks, Pembrokeshire Wales

Posts: 308
**
 
Lazzy thanks for the PM.... when it gets here why don't you write up a review here for everyone.

I think you are going to be happy with it!!!   Be sure and say hi before the big dance.


Catrina
 

Lots of love from Wales, United Kingdom.
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Reply #16 - 01/12/11 at 15:29:41

Los Humungos   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Sometimes wears a Wally
Werderich costume

Posts: 1365
**
 
Mark Bramer wrote on 01/04/11 at 22:07:00:
And to that end, I might just show up in a luchador outfit this year!


Now that I would like to see!

Bwwwwooooooooo ha ha ha ha!!!
 

Sometimes when you are man, you wear stretchy pants...its for fun... -Nacho   
You do not get guns like these from riding a bike. -Matt Strieb
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Reply #17 - 01/24/11 at 20:24:59

Lazzy 1   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran

Posts: 14
**
 
Sorry for the delayed response.

Wally- I live in Baton Rouge, LA.,  about an hour from the TDT starting line.  I was in a yellow 14 foot Caolina perception solo kayak and I was paddling with a girl in an orange 13ft kayak.  She was the only solo women to finsh the race.  She is signed up for the mr340 as well.   How much more difficult is the MR340 over the TDT?  It's obviously a lot longer, but i'd think the favorable and noticable current would soften the blow somewhat.

Also,   I saw you guys at the  start of 2010 phatwater as well.  I'm sure you had packed up and left Natchez before I got to the finish line........

Goldfish-  Thanks for the info on the boats.  In similiar conditions, what is the cruising speed difference between the QCC700 and the (chunky) looksha.  The reason I ask is that I've come across one of the 65lb Looksha's that I could probably borrow/rent for the race.  I'm still leaning toward buying the new boat, but just courious what the speed and stability differences are between the two. 

Thanks for the insight

 
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Reply #18 - 02/11/11 at 13:33:04

goldfishgoddess   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
The Docks, Pembrokeshire Wales

Posts: 308
**
 
Hi Lazzy, I'd definitely get the QCC.  Even my teenagers pitch a fit when they draw the poly Looksha vs the kevlar Looksha, because they know they won't get the knots from it.

On the other hand, if you are looking to just get to the finish line before 88, then the poly Looksha can get you there.   You'll just work a little harder and take a little longer.  Remember to pack light!  The first year I took everything but the kitchen sink and that adds to your workload too.
 

Lots of love from Wales, United Kingdom.
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