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Remote control boats have gained popularity in recent years, and it is no surprise. The technology and design that goes into making remote control boats have drastically improved, piquing the interest of many RC enthusiasts.
Many remote control boats claim to be the best, but how do you know if that’s true? Well, that’s why we’re here.
We’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve compiled a list of the best remote control boats of all sizes and price ranges so that you don’t have to spend hours searching the web to find quality reviews; we’ve got them right here!
First on our list is the Altair AA102 remote control boat. It is a little pricey, but for a good reason. Altair makes a variety of remote control vehicles, so the AA102 remote control boat is a great remote control boat to have.
Its top speed is 30/kmh or 19mph, and it has a 390 brushed motor. The hull is designed not to capsize so that it can be used in pools, lakes, and creeks. When the boat flips over, turn the wheel of the remote control to flip it back over. This makes taking hard turns fun because you know the boat can get turned back upright quickly.
If the boat gets too far away, there is an out-of-range alarm that sounds to let you know the boat is getting too far away to respond to the remote control. There is also a low battery alarm letting you know to charge the batteries. The two lithium-ion batteries are included, charged, and ready to go right out of the box.
The frequency of the remote controls your boat only. This means you can race with other boats, even boats that are the same model as the Altair AA102. The total drive time of the batteries is 20 minutes, with each battery providing 10 minutes of drive time.
The DEERC H120 remote control boat has a 4-channel 2.4 GHz remote with a range of 150 meters or nearly 500 feet. The two batteries will power the motor and accelerate it to 20mph. The two lithium-ion batteries can be recharged with the included USB charger. The fully charged batteries give you 16 minutes of drive time (8 minutes each for each battery).
The design of the boat has an anti-capsizing hull with capsize recovery. This means if your boat capsizes, you can easily flip it back over with the remote. There is also a motor cooling system so that the motor does not become overheated as it runs. The motor will not run until it senses contact with water. This means you can’t accidentally turn the motor on and overheat it or damage it on a dry or hard surface.
When the batteries are low, there is a low battery alarm that sounds and indicates that the batteries should be charged. The charging time for the batteries is just two hours.
Safe operation; only works in water and motor cooling system
Easy to use
Short battery life
Best Premium Choice
3. Pro Boat BlackJack Catamaran Remote Control Boat
The Pro Boat Blackjack Catamaran remote control boat is made for those who want a remote control boat to replicate the catamaran racing boats that are frequently shown on TV. Its design, stability, and high speed make it a great option to replicate those racing boats that you see on TV.
It can reach speeds of 30mph, making it one of the fastest remote control boats on the market today. To keep it balanced and stable, there is an offset rudder system at the stern of the boat, so you don’t have to worry about the boat coming out of the water.
The electronics are all waterproof, so you can rest assured that the electronics on the boat are safe and protected. There is also a built-in drain plug to drain any water that gets into the boat as it is being used.
The only downside to this boat is that it will need two lithium-ion or NIMH batteries along with a battery charger and 4 AA batteries. These are not included with the boat.
Although it’s a little pricier than other models, the MOSTOP HJ806 remote control boat has features and functions that make it worth it.
The motor of this remote control boat is more rugged and tough than the rest. The high-speed motor is magnetic and twice as strong as the motors that are typically used in remote control boats. This means the boat can power over waves, wake, and strong currents easily without resistance.
The features of the MOSTOP HJ806 include reverse sailing, ship resetting, and an automatic shut off when the ship leaves the water. All of these features help the remote control boat function to its maximum and safest potential.
The radiofrequency allows for multiple players to use their boats without fear of interfering with one another.
The hull of the ship has a double waterproof enclosure to ensure that water doesn’t get into the motor or the hull to damage or sink the boat. The hull is also made of tough material that is resistant to cracks after colliding with an object or another boat. There is a water circulation cooling system that will extend the life of the motor so that it doesn’t overheat as it is being used.
A low battery alarm lets you know when the boat needs to be recharged. This keeps you from stranding your boat in the middle of the water if the battery dies; you know exactly when to bring it back to recharge. There is also a weak signal alarm that beeps when you are getting out of range. Just like the low battery alarm, this tells you to bring the boat closer to you so that the boat doesn’t get so far away that it can’t respond to the frequency signals.
The FT016 remote control boat is 18.9” long, but there are two additional models you can choose from if you prefer a bigger size. There is a 25.5” and 31.5” speedboat you can choose if you want something bigger. Just be aware that the price jumps pretty substantially when selecting a bigger size.
For the 18.9”, it is affordable, fast, and durable. The maximum speed tops out at around 20mph, and the motor is protected by an air circulation cooling system so that the motor doesn’t overheat as it is used.
The hull is made of ABS thermoplastic and gold powder so that it can withstand impacts on the water. You don’t have to worry about the hull of the boat getting damaged after just once impact. This also ensures that the boat won’t chip off during those impacts as well.
There is a flip-correction mechanism that will turn the boat back over on top of the water in case it becomes capsized. You can easily correct the boat using the remote instead of having to enter the water to fix it.
There is one pre-charged lithium-ion battery and a battery charger included with the boat so you can unbox and go.
Hull should not crack or scratch
Flip-correction mechanism to turn boat upright again
Another affordable remote control boat on our list is the Venom high-speed remote control boat by Udirc.
Although it is affordable, it only has a top speed of 15mph, making it one of the slowest on our list.
The hull is made of ABS thermoplastic, and it is anti-tilt, water-cooled, and features a single propeller 370-size motor. The hull also has a self-righting feature that will correct the boat when it capsizes so that you can continue playing.
The boat includes one lithium-ion battery and a charger. There is a low battery alarm that lets you know when you need to charge the boat.
It is important to know that when you charge the boat, you need to make sure the boat is completely dry. Water can get into the battery area and cause the battery to malfunction if it tries to charge while wet.
Easy to use
Self-righting feature to correct the boat if capsized
Low battery alarm
Lithium-ion battery and charger included
Only one battery shortens the playing time and lessens the overall speed of the boat
This catamaran remote control boat by Traxxas has quickly become a fan favorite. If you want your remote control boat to go fast, it doesn’t get much faster than this one.
This boat is large. Very large, in fact, at 40” long, and it weighs 5 pounds. It is the largest and heaviest on our list, but for a good reason.
The Traxxas catamaran remote control boat can go over 50mph when using a 65 lithium-ion battery. Unfortunately, the 65 lithium-ion battery is not included, so you will have to purchase this separately if you want the boat to hit those kinds of speeds.
What is included with the boat is a remote control transmitter that has model memory so you can adjust your speed and stability. You can also purchase the Traxxas Link Wireless Module that you can use with your smartphone to make adjustments directly in the app. You can time your intervals and record your speed, all within the app.
Traxxas has included a stability-management feature in this boat so that the boat always stays glued to the water and in a straight line if it feels it is getting off course and losing control.
All of the equipment on the boat is sealed so that water cannot enter. There is a flex cable to keep all of the motor components in place for easy removal if you need to service it.
The 17” Recoil boat by Pro Boat features a deep V-shaped hull which gives the boat increased stability on the water.
The boat can reach speeds of 25mph, has a self-righting feature that will keep the boat from staying belly-up if it capsizes, and an aluminum rudder with stainless steel trim tabs. The propeller has two blades that are composite-molded.
There is a low battery alert that will beep when the battery in the boat is low and needs to be charged. It includes one lithium-ion battery and one charger. The lithium-ion battery included with the boat gives it about 15 minutes of run time with a top speed of about 25mph.
You will need two AA batteries for the controller.
Easy to use
Lithium-ion battery and charger included
Requires two AA batteries for the controller
Choosing the Best Remote Control Boat
Sure, you can search for a remote control boat and buy the first one that comes up and will likely have an RC boat that works, but it will likely be a risk that you shouldn’t have to take. Not all remote control boats are the same, especially if you will be using your remote control boat in a body of water that has a current.
The last thing you want to happen when you place your RC boat in the water is to have it drift away because the boat you chose doesn’t have a motor equipped to push through currents or moving water.
To help you throughout the buying process, we have assembled a list of conditions to consider so that you can choose the remote control boat that has the right features and equipment that you need.
Before anything else, you need to know where you will be using your boat. This is why we have put it first on our list. This will set the stage for the type of boats you need to look for and the type of boats you need to steer clear of.
If the water in which you will be placing the boat will have a current or wake, like a creek, river, or ocean, you will need to choose an RC boat with a strong motor. If the water is calm, like a pool or a pond or small lake, you can choose a remote control boat with a lighter motor.
It’s important to understand that a remote control boat in a pool, pond, or small lake can still have a strong motor. Just because you are using the boat in a calm body of water doesn’t mean you can’t have an RC boat with a strong motor.
It is just important to know that your boat will only be successful in water with strong currents or waves if it has a strong motor that will power through that kind of resistance.
Remote control boats come in all different shapes to replicate real, full-size boats. There are catamaran, v-hull, deep v-hull, and pontoon hulls. The hull shape you choose will contribute to how easily the boat will be to capsize and how easily the boat will be to recover (turn upright) if capsized.
Many remote control boats come with an anti-capsizing feature that allows the boat to be quickly and easily recovered if capsized. This is an important feature to look for when choosing an RC boat because you don’t want to have to rescue your boat from the middle of the water if it can’t flip back over. Additionally, if the boat is flipped over for too long and the deck of the boat is not properly sealed, water may enter the boat and damage the components inside.
Battery Type and Life
Remote control boats will have a power source that typically comes from a battery. Before settling for a remote control boat, take a look at the battery it requires and the life of the battery.
The type of battery that the remote control boat uses can determine the speed and total playing time of the boat. For example, two lithium-ion batteries will double your speed and run time of the boat, whereas one lithium-ion battery will give you a slower boat with shorter playtime.
Some remote control boats can support upgraded batteries that make them go faster and play longer. If you are interested in making upgrades to your boat, see if the remote control boat can support upgraded batteries or additional battery packs.
Most remote controls come with a frequency that only the RC boat can recognize and respond to. This means multiple boats can race without worrying about interference with one another on the water.
Make sure the remote control of the boat has authenticated that multiple boats can be used in conjunction with one another without interfering.
The remote control should also be easy to use and have an alarm that sounds when the battery is low, or the boat is out of range. This will keep you from having to enter the water to retrieve a boat that has become a sitting duck in the water.
The remote control should also have an anti-capsizing feature on the boat for you to quickly and easily rescue the boat straight from the remote with a simple action on the controller. The boat should be able to turn right-side-up if becoming capsized.
Many remote control boats come with a feature that will cause the motor of the boat to shut off if it is not in contact with water. This prevents the motor from overheating or burning itself out, trying to propel the boat on a surface that it shouldn’t.
The motor of the boat should also have a cooling system that will keep the motor cool as it is run for long periods of time. The motor should be sealed off from water or waterproof so that it doesn’t become damaged when it comes in contact with water.
If the motor of the boat does not indicate that it has protection from water or an automatic shut off when it comes in contact with land or a hard surface, you will likely damage the motor and will need to purchase a new one to replace inside your RC boat. Unless you have an RC boat with an awesome hull that you want to continue using, you would probably have to replace the RC boat altogether, which can be costly.
We have placed accessories at the bottom of the list because they shouldn’t be considered a requirement in choosing a boat, but we understand that they can influence the overall decision in which remote control boat to buy; especially if it is neck and neck between two options.
Remote control boats that have additional accessories may include upgraded battery packs, smartphone application, or additional propellers. These accessories can help take your boat from ordinary to extraordinary and should only be considered if the RC boat has met the other requirements you need for the water in which it will be used.
For example, a smartphone application won’t do you any good if the boat you have chosen is not equipped to power through strong currents or waves. This is why the body of water where the boat will be located is so important.
Remote control boats don’t have to break the bank. There are many affordable options for you to unbox and go. Just make sure the remote control boat you choose can work in the type of water you will be putting it in.
Outdoors, I’m in my element, especially in the water. I know the importance of being geared up for anything. I do the deep digital dive, researching gear, boats and knowhow and love keeping my readership at the helm of their passions.