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RC Sailboat – Getting Started

RC Sailboat in Calm Wind

RC Sailboat in Calm Wind – This is relaxing, but when that wind picks up….

An RC Sailboat (RC – Radio Control) as you may or may not expect, uses the exact same controls as a full size sailboat. If you’ve been lucky enough to pilot a full size sailboat, then you should have no problem with an RC Sailboat.

One of the unique characteristics of an RC Sailboat is it’s one of the few RC’s that operate using renewable energy for its main power source. This means you don’t need large, expensive batteries or gasoline to power it.

If you are completely new to RC Sailing, it is recommended to read through some of the terms at the bottom of the page, or if you are looking for a quick refresher. Once that is out of the way, we can look at the different options available in order to get hooked.  Or what we mean here is more involved, you get the idea.

Depending on either how much time you may have or your building skills may determine how you get more involved with RC Sailboats. First we will consider the easiest way to get in to the hobby.

There are many RTR (Ready to Run) RC Sailboat s available that makes it a very easy transition in to the hobby. Typically RTR includes everything you would need to start sailing except for maybe some disposable batteries. AA are the most common.

The boats are classed most commonly by Length where the general rule for  RC Sailboats is they come in lengths less than 30 inches, a length of one meter,  and larger lengths up to 2 meters. Due to being an all around performer the One meter class is the most popular, largely from the ability to perform very well on the water and look awesome from land. It is also large enough to see as you sail it 50-100 feet away.


RC Sailboat - Vela One from Aquacraft

RC Sailboat – Vela One from Aquacraft


The number one recommended RC Sailboat for someone new to the hobby yet desiring one that is both competitive, RTR and a larger size, being in the one meter class, for ease of visibility is most definitely the Aquacraft Vela One. This hull performs well, is super easy to get sailing and is large enough to sail from a good distance. Expect this hull to excel.

40″ Hull Length and a 79″ Mast Height, Wow! All control system components come included in the 2.4 GHz System.




If you desire a less expensive high performing hull the perfect beginner Sailboat is the Aquacraft Paradise Sailboat. This boat will teach you the basic skills of sailing your own boat and perfecting the skills to become profecient in sailing. The hull length is 26″ and the mast height is 50.” At this size, it is quite visible at close to medium distances away from the sailor. All radio equipment comes include with this RC Sailboat with very little Setup required to start sailing.

Aquacraft Paradise Sailboat

Aquacraft Paradise Sailboat

Common Parts of an RC Sailboat

There are 7 common components that are found on nearly all RC Sailboats. The 7 common parts consist of the hull, mainsail, mast, boom, jib, keel and rudder. The hull is the main structure of the boat that contains all the other parts within it. Typically found in the center of an RC Sailboat on the under side of the hull is the keel. The keel is responsible for holding the hull straight during forward motion. The difference between a full size boat and our RC Sailboat is that the keel you would find on an RC Sailboat contains a weighted bulb at the very bottom that assists in stabilizing the hull under heavy wind conditions. The mast is located relatively close to the center of the hull and points directly up from the boat. The boom is positioned 90 degrees from the mast and helps support the mainsail which is attached to the boom and the mast. The mainsail is responsible for capturing the majority of the wind energy to propel the boat forward whereas the jib is a smaller sail commonly near the front of the boat that serves the purpose of capturing extra power to propel the hull forward.

RC Sailboat - Common Parts

RC Sailboat – Common Parts

How an RC Sailboat works

An RC Sailboat works by either capturing or redirecting wind energy to propel the boat forward. This is accomplished by the Sailor of the boat placing the sail in the proper direction to catch the wind and at the same time providing a constant heading for the boat to travel in. Steering on the hull is accomplished by controlling the rudder. An input signal on the radio is sent to the Sailboat and this is converted into motion that operates the rudder. The Sailboat controls are powered by a small battery that only operates the control system. This is better explained in the RC Sailboat controls page and also the how to Sail page. (coming Soon)

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