Boat ESC

ESC – Electronic Speed Control

What is an ESC?

An ESC regulates the power from the batteries to the motor. It must be properly selected in order to be able to handle the current draw demanded from the motor.

How to Select a Boat ESC

It is recommended to choose an ESC that will handle the current draw of the motor by at least 150%. The most common types of Boat ESC’s are the HV and LV ESC at different Amperage ratings. HV is understood as high voltage and is typically 8s LiPo or higher and LV is low voltage and is generally 6s LiPo or lower. Most high voltage ESC’s can operate on a lower voltage, however high voltage ESC’s typically do not come with a build in BEC to power the receiver. Be certain to check for this before hand if this is a concern for you.

Brushless Boat ESC

BEC for Greater than 4S LiPo

When using more than 4s LiPo, it may be necessary to disconnect the BEC on the ESC and use a 4 or 5 cell NiMh receiver pack or 2 cell LiPo with voltage regulator. Many newer ESC’s have a BEC that can handle higher voltages, however this will be specified in the ESC manual whether this is required or not. To disconnect the BEC remove the center wire on the ESC to RX lead. It can be pushed out with a pin and replaced later if needed.

Follow motor manufactures recommendations for motor timing. If unknown, keep low. For example Neu 1D motors must always be set for low timing.

Water vs a Boat ESC

With Brushless power running in wet conditions, the water vs ESC talk is real! Most ESC’s used in the past have only been water resistant. This means that a few drops of water is OK but anything more and there will be problems. It was important and still is important to completely seal off the hull so that no water may enter the boat while the boat is submerged.

Fortunately, newer ESC’s come with a special rating that you may encounter. THis rating is IP67. IP67 stands for totally protected against dust, and protected against the effect of immersion between 15cm and 1m. In this case the ESC is even that much more safe to operate in wet conditions where submerging the ESC will not result in total failure.
This should be something worth considering before you purchase an ESC.

Voltage Cutoff

Voltage cut off is standard at 3.0v per cell. However, it is recommended to raise this value higher in order to stop a run a bit earlier leaving some capacity in the pack.  In most cases many raise this cutoff to at least 3.2v per cell.

ESC Recommendations

It is highly recommended to purchase a waterproof ESC similar to the HOBBYWING Seaking 180A-V3. This will ensure operation during wet conditions. In addition, Radio Control Info highly recommends purchasing an ESC that is capable of at least 100 amps for boats larger then 25 inches / 625mm in length.