I have the standard heavy fiberglass layup but when you are doing that kind of stuff your kayak really gets beat up. The lighter boats will show it real quick. I have no complaints about the quality of my boat. I did not have a choice of color (British Racing Green) for the price I paid but if I had a choice it would be white, cream, yellow or some light color. The lighter colors are cooler to the touch temperature wise in the hot summer sun and are lighter in weight. I am 6'4" so I have a HV version with a foam seat. I like the foam seat because you can position it anywhere in the cockpit and it easy to add foam to. The back band was replaced with a NSI one, IR also makes a good one.
I have the triple dump one which is 3 layers to make it stiffer and less prone to the plastic's oil canning. For a 21 inch or so kayak it is very stable. I am not great a rolling but easily managed 3 in a row. It tracks great, surfs well and is an over-all really fun boat to paddle. Edging and steering are very good, too. No leaks so far. My cousin and I took a paddle with me in the Explorer and him in the Surf RM, then switching off. I paddled with the same effort in both kayaks while he compensated. He felt that it required about a 1/4 more effort to keep up with me in the Explorer which has 20 more inches in length and is fiberglass but he could keep up.
I don't know if I would be as happy if I had to pay full price. Buying an almost new kayak at a used price of $1050 makes it a really great boat that I would be happy to have as my only kayak. New price is like $1900 vs. fiberglass list for $3400. I guess you don't see more Brit plastic kayaks because of the lower price the larger companies have using Chinese kayaks. You can get a new Wilderness Tsunami or Zephyr under $1400 and although they are good boats, they just don't handle the same.
I gave it a 10 based on comparison to other plastic 16 ft. sea kayaks, it would be a less if it you compared it to the range of kayaks a fiberglass Romany is in.
In defense of NC, their recommended limit is for a person of 6'2" and that is probably the very limit. It is a very fast and well made kayak. I tried it in kind of cold weather so I did not push the limits of lean stability. I really like the seat, it supports the back and thighs just right. If you are 6' or shorter it would be a great boat. It is neat the way you can order colors.
I am a beginner so my handling description is limited by my experience. I wanted a kayak that has lots of room for my skill set to grow into. I wanted a fast kayak that handled well on large lakes, rivers, the bays and eventually the ocean. So far I noticed that it likes rough water, seems to paddle as fast backwards and is fairly stable. I got a rudder just in case but you won't need it until extreme conditions. I got the basic fiberglass version. Back band is fine but I had to pad out the bottom in front of the seat for support to my long legs.
I did a lot of looking and web research before buying. QCC kayaks have the best value for the quality. I did not mind paying a little more for what I perceive as much more build quality. And it is cool to pick whatever color combination you want. They are one of few companies that actually spells out their warranty in plain English. I heard a lot of the old, "we stick by our product" from other manufacturers but try to find it in writing.
It is a leap of faith not to try it or sit in it but I am sure you read it in all the QCC reviews, don't worry it is an excellent buy. The more I use it the more I realize that it would be really hard to tell which kayak really is best unless you are very experienced. A beginner just can't pick out little nuances between kayaks. Now, that doesn't mean you shouldn't do demos, I quickly learned that I did not want a poly boat or something like a Pungo. I also saw the difference in kayak width, handling, and stability.
I noticed the little rub marks and scratches to the gel coat from small rocks near the shore. I am careful but a beginner. One of the things I did do to protect my hull was to add a thin clear layer (8 mil) of protection 3M film that I have used on my cars for 10 years. I put on a 18 in wide by 8 ft long strip in the middle and 6 inch width to each end. I got the bulk film from XPEL.com for a cost of about $120. It is easy to peel off by heating it with a hair dryer and then wiping the hull clean with alcohol. Get the install kit if you do it.
And naturally everybody gives their kayak a 10 unless it really sucks.