image: brent m
Growing up you may have seen kids playing outdoors with remote-controlled cars. All those commercials and ads popping up showing off the elite capabilities that each vehicle possessed (and all with a simple remote!), they were a hobby that every kid wanted to try out. Now, with their popularity rising, they become a fun, useful hobby for all to enjoy. Even adults! However, there’s an option that’s been vastly rated better than those cars – remote-controlled boats (or RC boats)!
RC boats are model boats in which they are controlled by a disconnected, distant remote control. Yes, it’s that simple! The remote uses radio frequencies and controls to power the boat and move it how you so choose. Cool, right? How could you not want one? For those whom have already owned one, you know what the craze is all about.
But for those who are beginning their RC boat adventure and have no idea where to begin, read on further! This article will provide you will all the essential information that you will need on your RC boat-choosing journey.
History of RC Boats
In 1898, the very first RC boat was established by none other, but Nikola Tesla himself and by the 1940’s early RC model boats were put on the market already. More specifically, Tesla introduced his remote-controlled torpedo boat in which consisted of radio signals that controlled all aspects of the boat. The propellers, the lights, the motor, etc. – all powered by a remote.
Tesla had claimed that this torpedo was a highly valuable and unique creation. And it must have been, as these remote-controlled boats were recognized by WW1 and World War II just a few decades later. Being interested in the design and capabilities that this boat held, the Germans then decided to use a remote-controlled motorboat as a transportation device for explosives.
From then on, more companies enjoyed the idea of these RC boats and began producing a wide variety of different models. RC boats were already a hit in the early 1900’s and still are today.
Types of RC Boats
When it comes to RC boats, there is a wide variety of different models. As a beginner, understanding the differences of each is ideal in order to choose the best model for you. You don’t want a boat that’s difficult to control, especially when you’re just starting out. The models includes varieties of electric boats, scale boats, sailboats, and gas-powered boats.
Electric boats are one of the easier rc models for beginners to start with as they come in an assortment of sizes. This model is relatively silent, which is amazing considering it consists of, both, a brushless motor and a brushed motor. In addition, this RC boat is much easier to keep clean and care for. The only possible downside is a minimal run time.
RC scale boats are models that depict the same characteristics as full-sized, real boats. These boats are usually very detailed and are available in a variety of sizes. Scale boat models come in a box and require the owner to piece them together. As well as a battery and charger, which is individually sold. Although these RC boats are typically easy to control, they do require some extensive knowledge during the assembly portion due to it needing to be balanced.
RC sailboats are quite literally just mini representations of real sailboats. This model is equipped with an electric motor, making it effective in lower wind speeds. This is more of an intermediate level RC boat, as it can become difficult to control when the wind is helping the owner guide it. With that being said, yes this is still an RC boat. The owner uses the remote control to steer the boat while the wind gives it a push.
Gas-powered RC boats are typically more difficult to control due to being a bigger model. Not to mention, for proper maintenance, the owner must have knowledge of mechanical-based skills. Having that knowledge alone does make the maintenance process significantly easier.
Steps for Proper RC Boat Care
Regardless of where you are using your RC boat they are bound to get dirty. If that dirt remains on the surfaces, it can become corroded and ruin the details of the boat. However, with some routine maintenance and cleansing, you can stay on top of that dirt and avoid such events from happening. When you purchase an RC boat, some may come with a book of care instructions for you to look to – otherwise you can follow these few guidelines to keep your boat looking new.
Ensure you’re always using the appropriate safe soaps on your boats.
Some soaps may be too harsh on the body of the boat and could potentially scratch or chip off the details and paint. To avoid this, make sure you’re using an alkaline soap when cleaning the model.
Thoroughly wash the boat.
It’s highly recommended to wash RC boats prior to using them, as well as afterwards. To properly wash your boat, be sure to clean each part with an appropriate amount of soap. When rinsing the soap off, only use fresh water to do so as using saltwater could be harmful.
Keep it dry.
Simply dry as much of the boat as you can with a clean towel. If you can’t get it completely dry, that’s ok – leave it out to air dry for a few hours. Either way, you need to make sure the boat is completely dried before storing it.
Apply lubrication oil.
Lubricating your RC boat with oil is essential to avoid corrosion from happening. You can purchase this oil anywhere where RC vehicles are sold. To apply it, simply get some of the oil on a clean towel or rag and rub it onto the model.
Properly Storing An RC Boat
Knowing how to store your RC boat is just as important as knowing how to clean it. Prior to storing the boat, you’ll need to make sure it’s entirely cleaned and dried. Next, you’ll need to do a maintenance check and ensure the following things have been done:
- Oil change
- Cleanse/flush out the cooling system
- Apply lubrication oil to the engine and remainder of the boat
- Check the fuel system
- Take off the drive belt
- Remove the battery, as well as disconnecting the remote
Once those actions have been made, it’s time to store your boat. RC boats can be stored anywhere, as long as it’s dry and safe. However, it’s recommended to store them within a closed case or tote rather than just up on a shelf.
How To Choose The Best RC Boat For You
Owning a remote-controlled boat is already an extremely fun hobby to pursue, but it’s even better when the boat is the perfect fit for you. Hence why it’s important to evaluate the models and depict which ones closely relate to your skill set. However, this process can be tricky if you don’t know what all to look for in an RC boat. If that’s the case, you may want to consider the following criteria for choosing the right boat for you.
Understand Your Skill Set
As a beginner, it’s essential that you find a boat that best fits your skill set. You shouldn’t get a model that is too difficult to control until you get the hang of handling it. Therefore, it may be best to consider purchasing an RTR (ready-to-run) RC boat with simpler attributes to it. Doing so will give you a chance to gain more knowledge and skills on the models and controls before purchasing a bigger or even faster one.
Get An Idea of Where You’re Going To Use Your RC Boat
RC boats can be used in pretty much any location with water. Pools, rivers, lakes, etc. Whether it’s saltwater or fresh water, that doesn’t entirely matter either as long as you maintain the boats cleanliness. Figuring out where you’re looking to use your RC boat prior to purchasing one can be highly helpful. For reference, if the water area is smaller like a pond, you won’t be able to use a bigger or more powerful boat in it. You’ll need enough room for your boat to safely turn around without hitting anything or potentially flipping.
Weight of the Boat
When it comes to choosing the right boat, weight is very important. That is because the weight is entirely what keeps the boat from flipping. Beginner or expert, that doesn’t matter if the boat was a minimal weight to it – either way, it’ll flip or sink, causing damage. With that being said, avoid boats that have a lower weight to them as that would be a waste of money. Especially of you’re planning to introduce your boat to bigger bodies of water, it’s going to need that heftier weight.
Especially if you’re looking to purchase a beginner friendly RC boat online, this part is a huge deal. There are companies out there that will increase prices on lower quality models to make you think that they’re dependable just because they’re expensive – that is not always the case! It’s important that you research brands and models to decipher which models are more likely to last longer. Along with that, you should may close attention to the material and durability of the boat you’re looking into. Does it have a long-lasting battery? Does it have a reliable motor? Is it equipped with a cooler to ensure it won’t overheat while in use?
Overall Presentation of the Boat
Last but certainly not least, you should analyze the overall presentation of the boat you’re interested in. With all the models available on the market, they all have different features to show off. Some are faster than others, some are easier to control, and some have additional extensive abilities. When choosing a boat, you want to choose one that feels right with you. One that you’re comfortable with handling, especially in larger bodies of water. If you’re a beginner, speed isn’t necessarily all that important yet – just focus on getting the hang of controlling your model first and then you can upgrade later on.
Best RC Model Boat Kits for Beginners
The DEERC Remote Control Boat is a motor boat model with the ability to reach 15 5 mph. This model is great for, both, smaller and larger bodies or water and is flip resistant. Along with that, the motor won’t leak or overheat regardless of the play time. Speaking of play time, one charge of the battery can last up for 40 minutes, even at high speeds.
- Equipped with a sensor on the underside of the boat – if the sensor isn’t wet, the boat won’t move
- Handle grip on the remote
- 2 speed modes
- Automatic flip recovery
- 2 Rechargeable Batteries
- LED Lights
- LED Lights for nighttime play
- Designed to avoid capsizing
- Automatic winding mode
- Turns quickly
- Alarm to indicate when the battery is low
- Great for children and adults
- No cons found
This AbcoTech Remote Control Boat perfect when you’re looking for an affordable, yet fast boat. Ranging at about 20 mph, this model is great for racing. And it won’t flip! It comes equipped with a 4 channel interference feature that avoids multiple boat collisions and is durably made for harsh waters.
- Has a water-cooling engine to promote smooth running
- Capsize recovery to avoid flipping
- Self-correcting rudder to avoid the boat from drifting off
- Emergency stop feature
- Emergency stop function allows you to stop the remote control boat at any time.
- Durable and appealing body
- LCD screen to indicate the functions
- Great gift for kids
- Waterproof body
- Recovery doesn’t always work
- Low Battery doesn’t always indicate correctly
- Cannot be used in saltwater
This Altair AA102 speed boat is perfect for driving or racing in any body of water. The model is equipped with a powerful water-cooling motor to reduce the chances of overheating. The motor is also a brushed model that can reach up to a speed of 15 mph. Not to mention the boat can go within 100 meters away without disconnecting from the remote.
- Anti-capsizing system
- Durable enough to remain intact even after wave colliding
- Reduced chances of interference with other RC boaters
- High-quality product
- Rechargeable Batteries
- Great for children and adults
- May still flip
- When fully charged, the batteries only last for 10 minutes
Further Interesting Facts about RC Boats
- When using your boat in larger bodies of water where waves may be present, using just the remote, you can learn to duck through said waves safely.
- Small ponds or rivers are best for RC boats for beginners.
- All RC boats possess one of the following sources of power: nitro, gas, electric, or wind.
- RC gas-powered boats can hit speeds of 100 mph and higher.
- RC boats are often used for fishing.
- The world’s quickest RC boat once reached a speed of 206 mph.
- RC boats are crafted from a variety of materials such as wood, fiberglass, metal, and plastic.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to these rc model boat kits for beginners than what meets the eye. And there’s a lot of knowledge to gain prior to purchasing or even using one. If you’re someone whom is interested in owning an RC boat, hopefully this article has provided you with enough helpful information to ensure your model lasts a while.