The research done on this website is made possible by commissions earned through sales from affiliate links shared within the content. Learn more here.
There is no denying that remote control boats are exciting. They offer an excellent hobby for adults and kids alike. No matter your background, we can all resonate with the ship, and it often ignites those sweet memories of good old days as a kid. Boats are amazing stress killers as they make even the adults feel once more like kids.
Your imagination is your limitation as to the type of boats you can have these days. Improvement in technology has remarkably changed the way boats used to be, and you can have whatever you want if only you ask for it. Imagine such a powerful craft with 25mph speed going for a ridiculous price today. This is possible thanks to advancement in electric engines, powerful, and extended battery life. The exciting part is that prices will continue to plummet as technology improves.
Remote control boat complements are improving in versatility, power, and durability and at the same time prices are crashing. You won’t find a better time to live your dream with RC boats no matter your intention. Our goal in this discussion is to share useful information with you to make an informed decision about buying the boat that meets your taste and fun. The exciting part of it all is your friends and family would want to share the joy with you; and why not?
The Best Remote Control Boats Reviews
Talking of remote control boat with a myriad of great features, you will hardly know where to begin. There so many things to consider when selecting the best RC boat one of the criteria is speed! The speed and other superb areas of performances are what stand USA Toyz apart from the competition. This boat can achieve 20mph and faster thanks to its sizeable propelling system that turns the boat into a rocket on water. You can outrun the kayakers but be careful how you do it to be on the safe side.
You may not worry too much because the boat sports self-righting apparatus. All you need is to flick the right button for self-righting; this awesome feature can save you from getting wet or needing someone to rescue your boat from a mishap. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about water as the ship is double sealed to prevent water from getting inside when it upturned.
You won’t believe how easy it is to control and maneuver such a fast boat. With the help of sophisticated features such as the advanced LCD, controlling this boat is incredibly easy. Additionally, you can check the battery life, speed, throttle switch mode and trim adjustment of your boat. You can also stop worrying about impromptu crashes and bumps, thanks to the particular button that allows your fast boat to stop once you hit it.
Evidently, this device is not just a toy but a mighty boat. Therefore, it is best for older children. You can also use it in freshwater bodies such as lakes.
Speed: 18.6 mph
Double waterproof covers protects the accessories in the boat
Propeller won't spin unless the boat is in the water
Self-righting function protects the boat
Playing time: 10 mins
Dimensions: 14.5 x 11 x 4.9 inches
Weight: 2.05 lbs
Perhaps what you need is a less costly boat. If yes, then the SGOTA RC is the perfect choice for you. Apart from its ability to reach incredible speeds around 18MPH; it also includes incredible features such as the automatic flip, which allows you to spin it. With the help of the LCD-screen remote, you will be able to make the best out of your boat quickly.
Subsequently, we recommend you try to get additional batteries with a long lifespan to boost your boat’s capacity since the original battery can only serve you for about 10minutes. And considering its cost, it shouldn’t be much of a problem to get additional batteries. Incredibly, you can go as far as 150mph on the water with the aid of the 2.4GHz frequency radio controller.
Speed: 18.6 mph
35000 KV brushless motor
Water Circulating Cooling
Automatic Flip Over Function
Over-Charge And Over-Discharge Function
Dimensions: 21.2 x 8.5 x 7.5 inches
Weight: 3.75 lbs
The Feilun RC racing boat is an excellent, affordable boat, with a strong motor and engine. Reaching a high speed around 27mph, its 25A two-way speed controller and brushless motor offer outstanding performance. Going by that speed, the boat can achieve a distance of about 300-400 feet from the control function. Due to the 2.4GHz frequency it uses, its signal fades with increasing distance.
With an 11.1V lithium battery powering the boat and six AA batteries powering the remote control, the boat can last for about 6 minutes after 2 hours of complete charging. However, the duration it lasts depends on the rate at which you accelerate the boat; if you move it at a slower pace, it might extend the battery life to 7minutes. Luckily, for both beginners and professionals, the Feilun is less prone to mistakes. There are built-in features that allow the boat to spin back up when it capsized automatically.
Capsize Recovery Function
The auto-correcting rudder
Water Cooled Engine Tech
Dimensions: 12.2 x 27.7 x 36.3 inches
Weight: 2.25 lbs
With its exceptional features, the Force 1 Velocity Wave Remote Control Boat is an improved version that children would definitely love. It possesses incredible features such as capsize recovery, a long-range LCD, an emergency stop and a water-cooled engine. It also can travel as fast as 20mph, allowing it to beat other drivers in water-racing competitions easily.
With its forever anti-tilt stable body, the Force 1 Velocity Wave Remote Control Boat is among the most stable RC boats in the market, making it an excellent choice for drivers of all categories.
The 2.4 GHz remote control features an LCD signal, and a Throttle Switch Mode trim and power displays that make piloting this RC boat easy. It can keep water out of the engine and keeps the speedboat super-sealed using its double-hatch and unique design features.
The boat’s high-torque engine water-cooling system helps to keep cool the boat engine. If you need the perfect toy for lakes and pools, the Force1 RC boat is your best choice. The Velocity Wave has extras such as prop lube, extra propeller, battery, and a dry-dock stand for fast drying after you are done using it.
Speed: 50+ mph
Velineon 540XL brushless motor
Water Cooled, Waterproof VXL-6s Marine ESC with low-voltage protection
Dimensions: 40.6 x 10.5 x 8.3 inches
Weight: 5 lbs
This boat is hard to beat in the best RC boat category. Our attraction to this boat maker is the Brushless Catamaran, although the price is steep, we think it worth every extra dime you spend. If you care to explore the Traxxas boat collection, we suggest you consider the Spartan race boat which you will find quite pretty and versatile. This model is a replica of Widebody catamaran from Dave’s Custom Boats (DCB) known for its fantastic speed jetting about 175mph across waters.
Yes, this boat is costly but rest assured you are getting your money value for the hobby you love. This boat is excellent in speed and impressive in maneuvering as it dusts every other boat with ease. You will find the remote control remarkable too!
For the boat, you will need two 11.1V batteries, the lithium polymer type while the transmitter requires 4-AA batteries to operate. But, you have to buy the batteries yourself as the package didn’t come with one. If you are in love with speed and need a boat that will show others the way, you can’t find anything better than this. The need to pay extra to get your boat ready is often the downside for many working on a budget, but if you can afford it, you will be happy you did. The boat motor is the Velineon 540XL capable of doing 50mph plus in speed.
The motor uses high-end tech to deliver RC engine cooling where water flows straight on the motor in its unique sealed casing. The cooling design enhances heat transfer and permits the captain (you) to have fun all day without a break. This boat is a piece of art designed to deliver perfect RC craft. The more than 40 inches longboat is a cool piece of hobbyist delight to get you busy with fun on the lakeside.
Speed: 60 mph
Powerful Twin 2000Kv motor
Brushless Water-cooled ESCs
Precision catamaran hull
Dimensions: 16.8 x 11 x 46 inches
Weight: 17.55 lbs
This boat has what it takes to give you the head start in RC boat racing. Its two brushless motors have 2000kv power to deliver breathtaking flight in water. Powered by 6S Lithium Polymers batteries, the boats motor 120-AMP brushless water cooling ESCs allow it to attain over 60mph in speeds without cause to worry. You can go at such blazing speed thanks to the remote control ease of operation that gives you the resources to fly in the water.
Tell you what; this boat comes with fiberglass canopy and stainless steel propellers, so you have nothing to worry about concerning water or rust. Such a robust construction that delivers speed, power, and safety is hard to find.
Types of RC Boats
The RC Sailboats. Like the real sailboats, this type of boats come with ruder and sails making them need no fuel or battery to move. However, you need batteries to get transmission systems and control work. For its movement, this boat uses the wind and comes at very cheap maintenance to the owner. This boat is best for people who already have experience with full-sized boats or veteran RC boat hobbyists.
RC Power Boats. They are like a speed boat, fast and streamlined; these are popular boats among racing boat enthusiasts. However, this boat may not be a prime territory to explore by newbie because of the difficulty to control. If you want a boat for leisure, you are good with sports boat as they are slower with amazing recreational choices for beginners. Power boats are amazing but consume enormous resources including batteries and gas because of their high speed.
Scale RC Boats. This boat is for people who love the ship and their history. These boats use remote control and behave like a real ship. However, they are not designed for speed; the attraction is the appearance to give the impression of a real boat and their aesthetics.
Why It Makes Sense to Spend a Little Extra for a Quality RC Boat
Both old and young will enjoy the fantastic fun offered by a quality RC boat. Although there are upfront costs, but you will be happy to spend it when the pleasure begin to happen. Heck, faster boats need control skill and may not be recommended for beginners considering the upfront investment.
Choosing RC boat as hobby brings you in contact with resourceful people who can become an ally in your other endeavors. Like the bikers aim for the best bike to establish their presence and recognition, as a boat enthusiast, you need quality RC boat to do likewise. Sure, you don’t want a boat that flips often and can’t stand the waves. No one wants such an embarrassing situation where you can’t compete be where your fellow hobbyists are. You need a boat engineered to deliver great performance in the water.
You don’t want a boat with an inferior frequency that seems to hide among others making it hard for you to control your boat. Ideally, you need a boat running on a 2.4Hz spectrum that enables you access to your boat among up to 20 boats running simultaneously and still maintain your control. It is when you can control your boat that the fun is guaranteed, without control you are only a spectator with so much worry about your boat. Sometime, your frustration could lead you to engage your fellow captain in a fight when you have to kick the wrong target. Therefore, your boat control matters and don’t get anything less than a 2.4GHz control to guarantee your place among your equals.
Making a lot of upgrade to your boat will end up costing you so much. Instead, buying a high-quality RC boat from the start will save you money and time.
Additional Tips for Picking the Best RC Boat
With your understanding about Radio Control Boats, it is essential to choose the best RC boat from the start of your adventure in fun packed hobby. For the savvy shopper, they often start by checking out the various crucial features to the product they are buying. Likewise, you should do the same and measure your options against the cost of every boat checked. When considering the best RC Boats, the following features are a must, except in instances of a genuine compromise.
Power options. Apart from sailboats, any RC boat you choose will run on gas, batteries or nitro. Let’s check the differences among the three power options.
- Battery. Battery powered boats are easy to operate and maintain. They are quiet and trouble free for indoor and outdoor uses. Their imitation, however, is short distance before needing a recharge.
- Nitro. Boats running on nitro are faster and highly responsive; they are many times faster than battery powered boat and equally faster than gas-powered ones. As fast and versatile as they are, they require lots of maintenance. If you are not a techie and ready to get your hand dirty, this is not a boat for you. Also, these boats are noisy and lots of fumes; not ideal for indoor use and finally, they are prohibitively expensive.
- Gas. Boats running on gas are larger than the other types. The energy source is cheaper compared to others and easier to maintain compared to nitro boats. However, they aren’t good for indoor use and run slower.
Hull types. The type of hull on your Boat matters. We suggest you pick one that is suitable for your boat’s condition.
- Single, V-shaped hulls. This hull is also known as monohulls. This type fast and very stable in rough water. It also offers maneuverable control which makes them very popular.
- Hull with a large footprint. The Catamaran hulls come with two sponsons attached on either side. They offer stability in normal circumstances but not so excellent in rough waters. Due to increased drag, they may be slower.
- Hydroplane hulls Shaped like a two-pronged. These were fashioned for oval racing, but poor at turning left making them unsuitable as multipurpose RC boat.
Battery life. The boat size will determine the battery to use, hence the bigger the boat, the more the battery life required for reasonable boating activities. However, don’t be afraid to explore upgrades, the more you try, the more fun you will get. No matter the capacity of your battery, you will soon discover you could do more with extras, while a few models have a battery backup to swap, others don’t. Therefore, when selecting your battery, keep your eyes on the following: Capacity, mAh rating and charge time. Selecting the right battery with more minutes will impact your fun greatly.
Top speed. You will be disappointed if what you need is a high-speed boat and you choose a cheap model. Your ability to fly your boat at great speed gives you the presence among follow captains controlling their boats. Although we do not recommend top speed boats for beginners because it lacks proper control may result in crashing your boat. Of course, the ability to handle speed comes with experience. So, if you own a high-speed boat, speed with caution until you can handle high speed and enjoy the feel!
Control. When you are shopping for the right boat, also consider the controller. The rule of the thumb for choosing the right controller is user-friendly. If you don’t find the control easy to use, it is useless no matter how cool the features may be. Another thing to consider is transmission power. Here, we recommend using 2.4GHz that gives you the reach to your boat among lots of other boats without losing connection. You should be aware that the more the boat in the same environment the more you will have signal interference. A control with a weaker transmission in such an environment will be disoriented and fail to connect with your boat.
Maneuverability. The feel and turning radius of every boat differ according to the making of each unit. If you are familiar with boats like catamaran, torpedo or battleship, you will note the differences in them thus their uniqueness. You can’t turn a longship, like a battleship as you would a short boat like a torpedo. That tells you that boats are different and serve different needs. Depending on the use you intended for your boat to determine its ideal maneuverability.
Durability. Nobody wants their boat to spoil soon, but to guarantee longevity; you need to pick a model that is designed to last longer. If you want to know a boat that will not break so soon, we suggest you check current users review to know how the boat you intend to buy measure up in durability.
Cost. While we are all sensitive to cost, you should expect to spend a sizeable amount of money on a quality boat. If you cannot afford $500 at a go on a boat, we suggest you avoid boats that are ridiculously cheap for RC Boats.
Experience level. This is similar to cost; if you are a beginner RC boat, we suggest you exercise restraints on your financial exposure. Try to go for a mid-priced boat and grow with it. The best way to enjoy your hobby is to do it with confidence, and that comes with experience in your chosen hobby. After you have mastery, you can always upgrade and grow.
Self-Righting. When your boat is upturned, the best choice is to wait for it to drift ashore. But in case you can’t wait, while we don’t recommend getting in the water to recover your boat, we suggest you get an RC boat with a self-righting feature. This helps you to get your boat back in normal position with the press of a button, and you can continue running your boat as normal.
Accessories & Supplies. Make sure to check that the manufacturer includes all the accessories you need. You also need to note the accessories that you need but are not included, that you have to buy separately. Some of the accessories include the batteries (for boat and the transmitter), a charger for the boat battery, transmitter, propellers, and a stand. Some boats are ready to run, while others are not. Do check to see if you have these accessories or you have to buy one by one. Also, consider buying water-resistant adhesive tape/hatch tape used for sealing the hatch. Like a car hood, the hatch is the equivalent in a boat, and the tape helps to keep water out of your boat, one run at a time. A boat with too much water in it will run much slower risks capsizing. The common hatch tape measures almost an inch wide with a roll under ten dollars. Only a few boat makers add the hatch tape as part of new boat accessories.
Help & Support. While most manufacturers warranties do not cover damages caused by accident, can they support you in your time of need? Yes, a lot can go wrong, and it is mostly with the help of the support you can come out smiling again. You want to check if the boat’s maker has support in place for you just in case.
- Are parts available? Some have replacement parts available for sale. Find out if the boat’s manufacturers offer replacement parts.
- Do they offer a warranty? With warranties, your worry is alleviated hen your boat malfunctions. You can get up to 90 days warranty from the majority of RC boat makers with only a handful offering up to 2 years warranty.
- Manufacturer’s contact. Let’s agree that problems are inevitable, but when they happen do you have the contact of someone that can help? Check to see you can reach the manufacturer with ease by telephone or email.
- Downloadable manuals. Also, with a decent warranty period, easy access to the manufacturer and great customer support, we recommend you check to see if you can get downloadable user manual to guide you about the boat technicalities.
Speaking the RC Boat Language:
If new to boating, you may encounter alarming terms that your regular dictionary may be useless to decipher. Below are a few commonly used terms you need to know:
- Bow. It refers to the front part of your boat.
- Brush Motor. It relates to the cheapest electric motor application in RC boats. This type of electronic device has been around as early as the 1800s. The drawback of brush motor includes the possibility of overheating unless your boat has a water-cooling feature.
- Brushless Motor. This is the second option to the Brush motors with advantages that far outweigh its earlier one. This type of engine is highly responsive and boosts the speed power of the boat, helping them to move faster.
- Deck. This is the boat’s top.
- Draft. It refers to the vertical gap between the water height and the base of the hull.
- Hull. This is the body of the boat.
- Keel. It is the bottom center of the boat.
- Port: This is the boat’s left.
- Rudder. It’s used to steer the boat. The vertical plate connected on the stern.
- Starboard. It refers to the right side of the boat.
- Stern: This is the rear (back) of the boat.
- Strake. Called lift rails, it is positioned underneath the boat.
- Strut. It is the propeller support bracket mounted on the boat’s back.
- Transmitter. It is the radio-controlled unit held by the pilot to control the boat. The transmitter uses a 2.4-GHz radio frequency to interact with the boat and allow the pilot to communicate and control the unit.
The Water Etiquette & Safety of RC Boats
You need to learn this or you may regret not doing so earlier. You need to understand that RC Boats aren’t toys; they are susceptible to the usual risks in life such as overheat, cause accidents and even hurt people. You need to abide by water etiquettes and safety measure to fully enjoy your hobby without regret of any kind. The easiest way to learn this is to start with the ones provides by your boat’s manufacturers; we repeat it here to keep you in the know:
- Don't Swim After a Stalled Boat. When your boat’s battery dies, or it flips over out of your reach, never be tempted to swim in an attempt for recovery. Nobody doubts your ability to swim, but for a speed boat you have, the location in the water will require a skilled swimmer to reach it and swim back safely. For this reason, RC boat manufacturers warn against swimming to recover your boats. They advise you to wait patiently for your boat to drift ashore. However, you may attempt a rescue if the location is closer to you and in shallow water. Importantly, try to use a personal safety gadget such as an inflatable boat to help you with the rescue.
- Never Operate RC Boat While Standing in the Water. While there is no reason from manufacturers for this warning, you can avoid dangers inherent in water while being carried away by your hobby. At times, you need to react quickly, to avert troubles but being in the water can prevent that. And because of the conductivity of electricity in water, it is not advisable to operate electronics in water. Don’t be fooled by the seeming insignificant electric current in a battery; elemental circumstances may turn things around for some surprises; you can’t be too careful!
- Never Operate RC Boat Near Swimmers. AS mentioned in the first rule, RC boats are not toys and can pose severe danger and injury to others. They have propellers similar to the full-size boats which can cut through the human flesh. Also, these are fast moving units that can leave a substantial impact when they come in contact with any object; imagine if the victim is a swimmer!
- Always Mind the Propeller. The propeller is not a toy! It will injure anyone who comes in contact with it while running. As for you, be careful not to mess up with it as the consequences can be fatal.
- Don't Harass Wildlife. Remember there are other lives around where you are catching your fun and don’t spoil theirs. Refrain from chasing the ducks and other wildlife that have the water as their courtyard to live their normal life. You are the visitor, and they deserve the right of way.
Not minding these essential but straightforward Water Etiquette & Safety rules can get you in trouble including having a brush with your local law enforcement and people.
Upgrading Your Gas-Powered RC Boats Hobby
While you became entrenched in your new hobby and gained more skills, you will want to improve your boat.
- Motor and Battery upgrades. Luckily, we have carefully selected RC Boats in this review to make sure they are all upgradable so you can decide to upscale and do more. By upgrading, we mean you can swap your motor and batteries with superior versions. But while you think that, be aware, there is a limit you can go with electric components.
- Boat size upgrade. It is also possible to upgrade your boat’s capacity. The majority of entry-level RC boats are about 17”, but you can raise the size to 36” or more. However, note that the larger boats use large motors designed for larger water space. Upgrading your boat size will take you from a small local pond to boat on a lake for more fun.
- RC Boat upgrade. For improving your radio-controlled boat, you may move from battery operated boat to a gas-powered one for more speed and robustness. With such an upgrade, prepare to fly your boat at around 50 mph or more with significant run time for more fun. You also don't have to wait for the battery to recharge. You only add more fuel to the boat. With the upgrade, no more waiting for battery or getting worried the battery would drain in just 10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
How Fast Are RC Race Boats?
RC Boats can travel in an excess speed of over 100mph, but this is in the realm of professional captains with skills to maneuver and control. There are regular racing boats with an average speed of 50mph and more. These boats are swift and are upgradable to attain even higher speed level from 65mph and more. Note that the type of hull your boat has will also affect its speed. Therefore, a double hull boat can handle 50mph successfully while a single hull boat is best with 25mph speed.
How Long Do RC Boats Run?
It is dependent on the battery for battery powered RC boat. This category of boats doing 30 minutes run is fantastic! Of course, you can get longer run with other types of RC boats already discussed. If your boat is shipped without batteries, this gives you the opportunity to buy high-end batteries for a longer run. If you have a battery with good lithium-ion and a charger, you can run your boat for about an hour.
What is the boat’s remote control range?
The capacity of your battery, on the one hand, will determine the range of your boat. On the other hand, how far your boat travels is a function of your control transmission coverage. Some control can reach up to 100 feet to communicate back and forth with the control radio signal.
How do I recharge my RC boat batteries?
You can charge the batteries using the recharging adapters for your boats. It’s similar to the way you charge your mobile phone, plug the adapter into the mains or generator power source and plug your battery charger to charge the batteries.
To operate remote controlled toys boat for kids, do I need training?
No. The boat is shipped with an easy to read manual, read and follow the instruction. Provided you follow the manufacturer's instruction and take your steps gradually, you will become a master of the art in no time.
Where should I operate the boats?
They are intended for outdoor use on water surfaces including swimming pools, and ponds. You need a water surface that is clam for you to enjoy running your boat. For the slightly bigger sized boat, then you are no longer dealing with toys, and they can be operated in somewhat rough waters. Of course, follow the rule of thumb to run in the water where the wave is not higher than the height of your boat.
Can I operate the boats at night?
Yes, but you need a way to light up the water surface. Check with your manufacturer if there are accessories for headlamp attachable to our boat. However, this will impact on your battery life, so think before you act.
How close should two RC boats be operated?
The closeness is determined by the frequencies both boats are using. If they are on the same wavelength, there is the need to stand apart to avoid interference. However, if the boats are of different frequencies, the captains can stand side by side without problems.
To operate an RC toy boat, do I need a license?
No, there is no need for a license to operate. Your toy boat uses civilian grade frequency and will not interfere with military or commercial operating frequencies.
Is there an age limit for operating remote control speed boats for kids?
Operating RC boat requires no age limit. However, you must be sure the pilot can operate it responsibly without causing injury to others or damage to the boat. Even kids under two years that is vast and smart can run it. And the caution will be ensured by the adult who watches over the kids playing.
When operating remote controlled speed boats indoors are there safety measures to observe?
Toy boats are safer compared to toy chopper and planes. They operate in water and within a close range under the watchful eyes of the adults around them.
Compared to mortised boats meant for hobbyists, are motorized boats for kids of poor quality?
No, they are not of inferior quality compared to boats for hobbyists; the difference, however, is the cost and versatility of functions. The functionality involves operability in similar frequencies as nearby boats with no intrusion and the long-lasting batteries for more extended periods of fun.
You may be also interested to check out these articles on our website: