10 Best RC Boats | April 2017

10 Best RC Boats | April 2017
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 23 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Just because it'll be a few more years until you can afford that yacht you've had your eye on doesn't mean you can't get out on the water in some kind of style today. With one of these remote controlled boats, you'll find yourself in thrilling, breakneck races as easily as you might gently cruise around the pond, all depending on what kind of RC model floats your boat. Skip to the best rc boat on Amazon.
10
With the Second World War now reasonably far behind us, it probably isn't treasonous to own an exact 1:360 replica of the Germany Bismarck Military Battleship. Just don't go launching an all-out attack on the first Allied boat you find motoring around your lake.
  • comes factory preassembled
  • easily reaches 10 mph
  • short operating range
Brand Unknown
Model BHT3827, HT-3827, HT382
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
The Radio Ranger II Fishing is built for use on larger bodies of water where you might want to send the ship out across a distance, as its radio frequency reaches up to 400 feet. Its detachable fishing rig can actually snare fish.
  • illustrated instruction manual
  • integrates with full-size rods
  • no reverse function
Brand Fish Fun Co.
Model Radio Ranger
Weight 10 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
8
The UDI Venom features a remote with intuitively placed controls, as well as an instruction manual that teaches you how to make special maneuvers. It fully charges in 8 minutes via the included USB cord, but, unfortunately, it's hard to correct when it capsizes.
  • up to 15 mph speeds
  • quickly responds to commands
  • flips over in unstable waters
Brand USA Toyz
Model UDI001-O
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
7
Built more as a collectible, with the ability to float and move in water, the Brigamo RMS Titanic is a 1:325 replica of the original steam ship, with LED-illuminated smokestacks and an exquisitely detailed deck. Just make sure you watch out for icebergs.
  • reaches a top speed of 7 kmh
  • large torsion propellers
  • not enough room for jack and rose
Brand Brigamo
Model B002
Weight 10.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
With its powerful motor and deep V hull, the Midea Tech Vector28 can slice through small and large waves alike. At just 10.88 inches it is easy to transport to and from the lake and the perfect choice for kids or beginners who are getting used to controlling an RC boat.
  • arrives ready to run
  • 150 foot operational range
  • poor turning radius
Brand Midea Tech
Model pending
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
5
The USA Toyz UDI007 Voyager is great for reaching reasonably fast speeds, and includes features to make navigation easy, such as a self-righting, anti-tilt hull; a water-cooled motor; and a low-power alarm that keeps your boat from getting stranded.
  • strong abs materials
  • easy to assemble
  • batteries have issues
Brand USA Toyz
Model pending
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
The Pro Boat Blackjack Catamaran 24 offers 30 MPH speeds without a sacrifice in stability thanks to its offset rudder. Its deceptively small size will amaze the unknowing enthusiast, as it isn't common for boats this small to go so blazingly fast.
  • waterproof electronic components
  • sticks to the water well
  • 5-minute battery life at full speed
Brand Pro Boat
Model PRB08007
Weight 6.8 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
3
The hot red Babrit Tempo 101 is a large racer, so you can always spot it on the water, and you can drive it far afield with its 150-meter range remote. It can reach speeds of 30 kilometers per hour and has an easy trigger operation.
  • made from impact-resistant materials
  • anti-tilt modular design hull
  • controller has an lcd screen
Brand Babrit
Model pending
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
The Littlepig H100 works ambidextrously, allowing you to switch the side of the controller on which the throttle installs. A detailed LCD screen on the remote relays speed and battery data for a more feedback-driven racing experience.
  • quick 180-degree turns
  • 150-meter radio distance
  • 45-minute charge time
Brand LITTLEPIG
Model pending
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
1
The Traxxas Spartan is capable of hitting over 50 MPH using optional LiPo batteries, but don't expect such speeds to come without an expense. Equipped with a Velineon 540XL brushless motor, this model is clearly intended for serious enthusiasts.
  • heavy-duty 12-gauge wiring
  • all-metal drive controls
  • easy to steer at top velocity
Brand Traxxas
Model 57076-4 RED
Weight 10.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

A Brief History Of Radio Control

Radio control is an old technology that has been around since the 1898 when Nikola Tesla designed the first ever radio controlled boat and demonstrated it to a stunned crowd at Madison Square Garden. Not long after that in 1903, Lonardo Torres Quevedo built the first RC apparatus at the Paris Academy of Science, the Telekino. He used electromagnetic waves to remotely control a robot, running it through a serious of commands. WWII prompted further development of the technology when Archibald Low created a radio controlled aerial drone plane for the Royal Flying Corps in 1917, which was to be used as a guided bomb.

Later on in 1937, William and Walter Good constructed the first RC airplane, "Big Guff". They pioneered the vacuum tube-based control system and paved the way for hobby RC crafts. Starting in the late 1940s, a number of other RC designs emerged and the RC craft hobby market was born.

The initial focus of early RC controlled vehicles was on boats and airplanes, but 1967 saw the beginning of RC hobby car racing and then in 1968, Dr. Dieter Schulter built the first RC helicopter. RC hobby technology continued to develop into the 1970s when integrated circuits allowed for the production of smaller and cheaper electronic control systems, helping RC crafts gain mass popularity.

Radio remote control systems continued to miniaturize and become more affordable well into the 1990s, and by the 2000s RC became commonplace for even the smallest and cheapest of toys. Nowadays, RC is so advanced that it is being used for interplanetary exploration vehicles like the Mars rovers.

Types Of RC Boats

There are 6 main types of RC boats you will find for commercial sale, and most of the powered types can be found in gas, nitro, or electric-powered models. Fun sport boats are by far the most common and the most popular among casual hobbyists. In the past, gas-powered RC sport boats were faster, but with recent advancements in lithium polymer batteries and brushless motors, electric-powered models can be just as fast these days.

High-end electric hobby quality sport boats start at around 20 MPH with some capable of speeds over 40 MPH right out of the box, and reaching over 60 MPH with some modifications. At the toy grade level, RC sport boats often top out at 15 MPH.

RC sailboats are wind-powered, like their larger brethren. In addition to using radio waves to control steering, they also utilize it to adjust the position of, or trim, the sails. Both RC sailboats and RC sport boats are available in racing models, with the racing of RC sailboats being governed by the International Sailing Federation, which is the same organization that governs full-sized crewed sailboats.

There are also RC scale boats, which are exact replicas of full-size boats and, as the name implies, built to scale of their larger counterparts. They range from miniature models small enough to fit into the palm of your hand to large, trailer-transported models. While it is categorized as a different type of RC boat, scale model tug boats are similar to other scale model RC boats, but these generally often include a scale drive system.

An interesting offshoot of RC boats is the competitive combat boat. These are built like real warships and designed to fire some kind of projectile at opposing ships in the hopes of damaging or even sinking them. These models are often simplified as they tend to need repairs on a regular basis.

Choosing The Right RC Boat

Deciding which type of RC boat is the best choice is a personal endeavor, and depends entirely on where and how you want to use it. If you are buying one as a gift for a child or to use periodically on the weekends when you take your kids to the park, a toy-grade sport boat is usually a good choice. They are easy to control and can be found in nearly every price range.

On the other hand, if you enjoy speed, plan on using your RC boat regularly and are willing to spend a little more for something that really flies over the water, you might want to look at hobby-grade RC boats or RC sport racing boats. Mechanically inclined people who enjoy working on engines, might prefer gas-powered models as they have working combustion engines that may be easy for them to maintain and modify.

If you are in pursuit of a more leisurely repast, an RC sailboat is probably your best bet. They require the least amount of maintenance and can be the most fulfilling in terms of boat-handling skills. As with full-sized sailboats, they require you take things like wind direction and speed and water currents into account. They can also be great practice for people looking to improve their real life sailing skills, as they can help you gain a deeper understanding of the best sailing techniques and tacking approaches.

If you are a military buff, then you'll probably have the most fun with an RC combat boat, you may just want to look into RC combat boat clubs in your area first, as a combat boat with no opponents might get boring pretty quickly.



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Last updated on April 30 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.