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Tiderace Pace Tour 17 review

Review of Tiderace Pace Tour 17 kayak.

Manufacture date February 2015.

This review will mainly compare it to the boat it replaced which was a QCC 700x 2003 kayak; both are plumb bow boats with rudders.

Letís start with the quality of the boat. It looks great, gelcoat is perfect. Layup being G-core Light is solid and smooth. The boat is well built. Bathroom scale weight at 54 pounds. No flex in hull like the QCC had (QCC was base layup Fiberglass)
Now let's start with the problems with its build. There are vent holes in the bulkheads to allow air pressure difference so as not to implode or explode the hatch covers. Not all boats have them from the factory. My Valley kayaks have them. I added them to my past NDK kayak and to the QCC kayak. The problem is twofold, the hole size used in my opinion are too large, about 3/32 inch were I use 1/32 inch drill bit. The second problem is that the holes where drilled right at the very top of the bulkhead (an included picture shows this). When the boat is upside down in the water the hole is now under water. Water will go through into hatch compartments. I found this during a pool session when I first got the boat. The front hatch had about 1 cup of water in it after 2 hours doing rolls and self-rescues. I covered the holes with glass then re-drilled with 1/32 drill bit at about 2 inches from top of bulkhead. No more water in front hatch.
The second problem is that the rudder cable housing/sheath is my term for the plastic housing the cables go through. Any way water POURED around the plastic cable housing into the day hatch from cockpit then into the rear hatch through and around the cable housing/sheath. Now the sheath does not go all the way to the front smart track foot peddle controls like it does on the QCC kayak. Since it doesn't Tiderace had to secure the plastic housing from moving somehow. They did this by using what looks like a compression fitting right at the rear bulkhead to secure the cable housing from moving. This fitting lets water just POUR through into rear day hatch and then continues on to rear hatch. I am talking more than a gallon of water in a 2 hour roll session. I took the fitting apart couldn't see anything wrong with it, its just not even close to being water tight. I ended up putting Lexel glue around the fitting which finally stopped the leaking water into rear day hatch and back hatch. I also sealed the fittings at the day hatch to rear hatch bulkhead as it had same kind of fitting. The QCC had on its bulkhead a rubber grommet the cable housing would go through which was water tight; something Tiderace should do. Tiderace would have to extend the cable housing all the way to the foot control pegs in order to do this. The cable housing on the Pace stops at about the seat position and itís just open steel cable forward of that (see picture).

On how the boats handles: It has fairly high primary stability and high secondary but thatís a subjective observation and you may feel differently. It has more stability than the QCC 700X. I can sit on the back deck behind seat and feel quite stable where the QCC was not so solid sitting up on the high back deck. It makes a cowboy scramble easier with a more solid platform to slide up into cockpit. Rolling is very easy. Itís a nice roller and itís easy to balance brace in this boat. Iím not even close to balance bracing in my QCC as the rear deck is lower on Pace compared to QCC kayak. Reverse sweep, storm, layback ,butterfly, shotgun all easily done on the Pace (video) . In waves, heading into them, it does fairly well for a boat with not much rocker. The QCC and Epic kayaks tend to really slap down hard in waves like that. The Pace handles those better. The Pace has a little more rocker than a QCC or Epic 18x. In following waves the Pace is a little loose in the back. I think that maybe has to do with the hull being a Swede form and the QCC was Fish form.
Speed: the boat is fast. I think the QCC 700x being an 18 foot boat with 17.08 waterline compared to the Pace at 17.126 feet with a waterline of 16.6 feet makes the Pace 17 a little slower than the longer QCC. I did not do a head to head speed comparison. The Pace can turn without a rudder by leaning where the QCC would not turn much at all by leaning. The QCC was heavily in need of a rudder to run decently. In rougher water i.e. winds 30 mph gusting to 40 mph and waves of 3 to 4 feet, the Pace handles that with no problems. It is hard to turn in that kind of wind but quite doable. It is a better boat in those conditions than the QCC.
Weather cocking: With the rudder up and a side wind of about 20 mph it would slowly turn into the wind. This is easy to correct for with a lean. Drop the rudder and it tracks straight. I generally paddled the boat rudder down, but if the rudder broke the boat would still paddle fine. This is unlike the QCC I had which would be a bear to turn.

This boat is for camping. I have only got to do one Georgian Bay trip, unfortunately. The boat is more stable loaded with about 60 pounds of gear. It has quite a bit of storage, as much as the QCC did maybe a little more. QCC bulkheads are farther forward and backward so even though the QCC is longer and taller in back deck area the Pace held as much or slightly more. Move the QCC bulkheads in more then that would change. QCC does offer custom bulkhead placement. Tiderace does not.

The hatch covers I really like. They are totally leak free and easy-on, easy-off. I love the little front day hatch. Tiderace says it holds 6 liters, that's a flat out lie or mistake. I measured it at 2.5 liters; enough room for two 16.9 ounce water bottles and 2 cliff bars. I emailed Tiderace about front day hatch volume they said they changed the size of front hatch but still it shows 6 liters on their website.

I always add an Electric bilge pump to all my sea kayaks , you can see pictures of the bilge pump and of the kayak and a few videos at links below.

So how do I rate this boat? Well, itís as close to a perfect expedition boat I can find. Bad points were the vent hole placement, easily fixed, and the rudder cables leaking like crazy, harder to fix. Iím not 100 percent satisfied with what I did but its 100 percent dry now. The boat is fast stable, a great camping boat. I would be fine paddling into any conditions with this boat, except not for surfing in the surf zone. For that I use a smaller high rockered plastic Valley Avocet.

About me I am 5' 7 inches and about 170 pounds. I had to add about a 1/2 inch of padding by the hips on both sides of the seat for a nice fit (see picture). If you have any questions PM me on paddling.com. dc9mm is my user name

Pictures of kayak http://www.pbase.com/dc9mm/tideracepacetour_17

Videos of me and kayak in use http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wSNxjWjwAg

Just got boat first time in it at pool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3PuHOCsMvk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp1S1wT9K6M&feature=youtu.be
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