RC Boats – Getting Started – Build, Run or Race RC Boats

There is no better way to make use of that local pond or lake by throwing a few RC Boats in the water and spraying 10 feet of rooster tail. Or dropping in an RC Sailboat to fine tune your sailing skills while racing a demanding course.

Radio Control Info was started to introduce you to RC Boats and teach you everything you need to build your own RC Boats. If you are looking to learn more about this water bound hobby, you have come to the right place.   Some RC Boats hand built by some serious boating enthusiasts travel in excess of 120km/h (70mph) quite comfortably.  Build, run or race RC Boats by learning the different types offered and choosing which is right for you.  Let’s get started!

How to get Started in RC Boats?

Getting started in RC Boats is easy when you know the best path to take.

The best way to get started is to purchase a relatively inexpensive (according to your budget) RC Boat and begin to test the “waters.” What is meant by this, is to see if you get the amount of enjoyment you expected from this hobby before you get too involved financially. Just like most other hobbies, there is a extremely large range in terms of cost that you can sink in to this hobby.  You can visit the best RC Boat for your money page to view some of the options out there to enter the hobby with.

Purchasing a RTR boat first rather than building one of your own will allow you to gauge your interest in the hobby and work on your hull setup skills while being able to run a boat.

A key understanding of component power systems is required If you are the craftier type that must build your own hull for your first RC Boat. This is entirely possible, however it is strongly recommended to get help in order to make certain that you are selecting RC Boat power system components (if electric is your choice of power) that can work well with each other without any catastrophic failures. Failures such as these are the number one reason many people leave the hobby. Don’t let this be you! Spend more time on this Site and learn as much as you can.

Where to Buy RC Boats?

There are many places you may buy RC Boats.  It is highly recommended to visit and support your local hobby shop. Purchasing local will make certain that you have the chance to get parts quickly if and when you should need them. Other options may include purchasing online such as below at Amazon. Clicking the link below and making a purchase directly supports this website and keeps the content flowing.

Building RC Boats

Building is definitely one of the more satisfying things you can do in any hobby. In RC boats there is no exception to this thought. Building up a boat hull from either a kit or from plans is a lot of fun in many ways. But on the other side of things it can be frustrating if the wrong approach is used. Much like the point above, research in component selection can save time money and a great deal of hassle.

If building an RC boat from a kit or scratch is for you there are several areas of this website that will help you through this process. More specifically for the component selection. If you are new to RC boats, the electric power source as described in the next topic is most recommended.

For electric RC boat info, click this link to get started.

Power Source – RC Boats

Your RC Boat can be powered by 4 main power sources. The power sources available include Electric, Gas, Nitro and Wind Power. For someone new to RC Boats or looking to get their first dose of RC fun on the water Electric or a Sail Boat would be the best friendly power source to start off with. Electric has advantages that outweigh the others for someone who is relatively new to the hobby. But that does not mean that a gas powered boat should not be your first boat as long as you are made aware of the difference or advantages/disadvantages. (Clicking the link below will bring you to the part of the website with more information about that specific power source)

Electric RC Boats – Advantages include very low maintenance, nearly plug in play for a Ready to Run Boat, (RTR) low startup cost in comparison to gas power, and no tuning required. Electric RC Boats have the highest reliability in comparison to the fuel powered boats.

Nitro Powered RC Boats – This power source offers a quick way to get on the water wih a large range in terms of hull length. To be honest, it is quite difficult providing advantages for a Nitro powered hull. Those who want high RPM internal combustion adrenaline will often choose this power source.

Gas Powered RC Boats – Advantages include a rather large hull size required which tends to be very appealing for most RC boaters, Long run times using a stock Gas Tank. More easily tuned with higher reliability then nitro powered boats.

Wind Powered RC Boats – Let’s face it, in order to get in to Sailboats you have one option – The Wind. Luckily the setup for RC Sailboats is relatively simple, with low maintenance and high reliability.

Hull Types for Fast RC Boats – “Speed Boats”

The type of hull that best suits your needs depends on a few different parameters. You may visit this calculator, select a few parameters to see which hull type best suits you. These parameters are loosely based on Speed, Handling as in cornering, Rough Water Handling and experience level. The type of RC Boat can not be suitable for all 4 parameters. (Clicking the link below will bring you to the part of the website with more information about that specific hull type)

Mono Hull – The monohull is the type of hull that everyone recognizes as it is the most popular. This hull type handles rough water the best and also is best suited for a new boater.

Catamaran – The catamaran is the second most popular hull type. Rough water handling is fairly good with an improvement in potential top speed. This hull type is beginner friendly.

Tunnel Hull – The tunnel hull offers good top speed but does not handle rough water that well. Cornering on this hull type is much improved in comparison to the other hull types.

Hydroplane – The hydroplane has excellent top speed potential and corners like the hull is on rails.

Outrigger Hydroplane – The outrigger hull offers best top speed performance and also best cornering performance. This hull is not easy to setup for those who are new to the hobby.

As you can see from the simple list above, as you go from the Mono Hull to the Outrigger, complexity of the hull increases. This makes it more difficult to setup and less suited for a new boater. However, on the flip side the potential top speed of the hull increases and the cornering ability also increases.

If you are looking for the fastest ultimate RC Boat, the outrigger hull just may be for you!

RC Boat Racing

For those that enjoy the competitive nature, racing could be your boat thing to do! Oval racing is accomplished by piloting your RC Boat around a circuit that produces an oval course. The beginning of a race starts by all the boats driving around the oval. Once a timer counts down to zero, racers begin the race by timing this count down and crossing the start/finish line as close as possible without being over the line before the timer runs out. This is known as a mill start. The remaining part of the race is done by either counting laps or how many laps are completed in a set amount of time.  This type of racing test the handling/cornering performance of your hull and the maximum average speed that you can squeeze out of the hull.

For a 1/3 mile course you must complete 6 laps. For a 1/4 mile course, 8 laps are to be completed and for a 1/5 mile course 10 laps are required to be completed for all classes of RC boat racing.

The other type of boat racing is known as SAW:

RC Boat Straight Away (SAW) racing

This type of racing is very straight forward to understand. A boat makes 2 passes at 180 degrees from each other and typically consecutive. The average top speed, measured by traveling through a time trap is the result of the race. Speeds of over 140km/h or 80mph is not uncommon. At these speeds its also not uncommon to see some RC Boat power system components self destruct under the intense stress that they face. For this reason, a lot of experience helps to get the setups tuned correctly and be able to not push components to their ultimate immediate destruction.


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