Are you looking for a fun way to spend time outside this summer? Maybe you love the lake but can’t quite afford that ski boat of your dreams. Whatever the case, RC boats are a blast for individuals or even a whole family to share. Peruse our list of the best RC boats in our section below.
10 Best RC Boats: Comparison Table
Here are all of our picks for the best RC Boats of 2018 in one easy to browse place. We’ve put them in price range order from lowest to highest, so you can easily compare features and benefits of RC Boats within your budget. The review section below is in this same order.
|Image||RC Buggy||Power||Weight||Max Speed||Cost||Popularity|
|GordVE Finder RC Boat||7.4V 800mah Battery||10.6lbs||15mph|
|USA Toyz UPower Venom RC Boat||2 x 3.7v 600mAh Li-Ion Battery||2.2lbs||15mph|
|SGOTA RC Boat||7.4V 18350 600mAh Li-ion Battery||2.1lbs||18.6mph|
|USS Wasp Navy Amphibious Assault RC Ship||Unlisted||6.25lbs||5mph|
|Force1 RC Boat||2 x 7.4v 600mAh Li-Po Battery||2.5lbs||20mph|
|USA Toyz Voyager Remote Control Boat||2 x 3.7v 1500mAh Li-Ion Battery||1.4lbs||18mph|
|TR RC Boat||11.1V 1800mAh 25C LiPo Battery||3.6lbs||30mph|
|POCO DIVO RC Sail Boat||4pcs AA Battery (Not Included)||8lbs||Unlisted|
|Traxxas DCB M41 Brushless Catamaran Boat||6S LiPo (Battery Not Included)||11.8lbs||50+mph|
|Pro Boat Zelos 36 Twin Catamaran||6S LiPo Batteries||17.55||60mph|
The Best RC Boats of 2018
Even though you know all the info is out there, there is still an ocean of RC boats to sort through. How do you survive the rough waters to find the one that suits you best? Luckily, there are a lot of great products out there so it’s just a matter of jumping right in. Check out our list below for our top picks you can’t go wrong with. No matter your style preference, we’ve got a little something for everyone.
The GordVE Finder RC Boat is one is a great all around boat for beginners and kids alike. It also features a water cooled system and has gotten top notch reviews from consumers. The 10 minute play time, 7.4V 800mAh battery, easy to use vector push controller, and 370 type racing motor offers a top notch alternative to USA Toyz models. This boat in our opinion is the best RC boat under 100.
We found this RC boat to be one of the most durable on our list and when it does break when they so often do, easy to fix as well. The PC propeller, 100% metal actuating mechanism, and tough hull are built to last. No matter what running of the gauntlet your kids decide to put it through, it’s going to come out rocking and rolling. Kids will love this little boat, and adults will get a kick out of it too!
The Power Venom Remote Control Boat is an excellent mid priced option. As USA Toyz says, the Power Venom takes a bit out of the competition! The torpedo design, 3.7V 600mAh lithium ion battery, and single-prop motor afford this RC boat with a top speed of 15 MPH. USA Toyz included an extra rechargeable battery in this kit, so if you run out of juice with the first battery, simply swap to the fresh battery and recharge the other.
It can make extremely sharp turns and if you do lose control, it automatically flips itself back over by utilizing the Capsize Recovery Feature.
The 2.4GHz frequency controller maintains excellent communication between the craft and the 4 channel (left/right, forward/backward) controller. The boat’s remote will beep at you if the battery starts to get low on juice. This beauty also comes with a water cooling system to help insure the motor never overheats and leaves you stranded.
Measuring just 14.8 x 11 x 5.5 inches, this little guy even fits great in a backyard pool.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the SGOTA RC Racing Boat can reach amazing speeds of up to 18.6mph. No worries if you take a corner to sharp- it features and automatic flip that will rotate your capsized boat. It’s easy to control, with the remote featuring an LCD screen that lets you keep track of what you need.
One thing we suggest is investing in additional batteries or at least one that will hold a better charge, because the included power will only give you about 10 minutes of continuous use which is not great at all. However, for the cost, you have some wiggle room to invest in additional pieces. The great thing about the 2.4GHz frequency radio controller, is that it will let you take your boat as far as 150M out on the the water.
Make way for big daddy! This replica of the USS Wasp (1/350th scale) is incredibly detailed and a beauty to watch glide through the water. The deck superstructure and vehicle/aircraft action figures are on point with their realistic details by company POCO DIVO. The gloss exterior paint is absolutely beautiful. It comes fully assembled and is ready to run out of the box.
Out of all the battleship remote control boats, this is our favorite. It is a fully functional RC boat with forward, backward, left, and right turning capabilities. Be forewarned, these types of RC boats aren’t build for speed but more for show. This has a maximum top speed of 5 MPH. They are ideal for cruising around small ponds, calm lakes, pools and the like.
The dimensions of this warship are 29.5 x 5 x 8.3 inches (L x W x H). The 2.4GHz spread spectrum tech ensures you won’t mess with anyone else’s signal and they won’t mess with yours. Another thing we like about this model is that you get about 25 minutes of cruising time on one charge, a bit better than some of the smaller crafts mentioned in this list.
One of our favorite picks for beginners and kids is the Force1 RC Boat. It comes in at well under $100, and can still pick up decent speeds on minimal power. Even though it’s a budget RC boat, it has plenty of awesome features. It’s self correcting, has a 4-channel remote, and an emergency stop feature if you need it. However, one thing that’s important to note is to keep these out of saltwater. The remote control features a decent LCD Screen, so you can easily track your vehicle.
The UDI007 Voyager is built to take on whatever body of water you throw at it. From pools to lakes, this bad boy slices through rough waters with ease. It operates on the 2.4Ghz anti interference spectrum making it easier to race more than one boat at a time. Not that it will be much of a race because with a 18 miles per hour top speed, you will leave the other boats in your dust (or should we say spray).
The UDI007 Voyager is also made by USA Toyz and is a step up from the Power Venom RC Boat. For the extra dough, you get a higher top speed with the single prop 370 size motor (18 MPH as mentioned) and a bigger battery with longer life (7.4V 1500mAh). The design elements are just about the same here, though the ABS anti-tilt hull in this one is less prone to tipping and loss of control.
While the battery life is a little better, it’s not great. Between the two batteries you’ll get around 15-20 minutes of adventure time and frankly we wish they’d pack these with a bit more juice.
Again, you don’t have to worry about running out of power in the middle of the water since it comes equipped with a low battery alarm. The one downside is that this boat cannot be used in saltwater. The Voyager is considered ideal for captains age 14 years or older. It measures 16.7 x 11.9 x 11.4 in. and tips the scales at 3 lbs. We think it is the best RC boat for under 200.
With a top speed of 30mph, the TR RC Boat is a step up from some of our budget buys on the list. Powered by a high functioning brushless motor, and an 11.1V 1800mAh 25C LiPo Battery, this particular RC Boat is ready to go straight out of the box. The control range of the remote transmitter is about 300ft, which isn’t what we consider top notch.
Though it’s not jet boat or speed racer on the water, this amazing RC Sail Boat had to make our list for those who are approaching the best rc boats from a more leisurely perspective- rather than just for speed. It’s a great option for competitions that involve more accuracy and ability to outwit the wind! The remote allows more than 20 boats to be racing nearby without transmission confusions.
The assembly is going to take you a little bit longer, so make sure you take it out of the box long before taking it down for a day at the lake or pond.
If you’re looking for the best RC boat, Traxxas is hard to beat. Their catamaran is our pick for the best RC boat regardless of cost. This is our favorite of their RC boat models, but their Spartan race boats are pretty sweet as well. It is a scaled down replica of the Widebody catamaran designed by DCB (Dave’s Custom Boats) that is recognized for speeding across waters at 175mph.
It is spendy, but you’re getting a superior craft that’s going to make other RC boats look like their standing still when it flies by. Its speed and maneuverability is unmatched by any remote control vessel out there.
The Traxxas M41 requires two 11.1V lithium polymer batteries for the boat and four AA batteries for the transmitter. Unfortunately, the batteries do not come with this package. So you’re going to need to shell out twice to get this powerful RC boat moving. It’s worth the trouble though. The robust Velineon 540XL motor offers extreme 50+ mph speeds.
This motor utilizes the top tech in RC engine cooling, water flows directly against the motor via the unique sealed motor jacket. This design optimizes heat transfer and allows the controller to have all day fun without wait periods. You’re not just getting a perfectly designed craft and remote control, you get a piece of art. This RC boat is over 40 inches long and has the wild, snazzy style that turns heads out on the lake.
If you’re looking for something with real guts, look no further than than the Pro Boat Zelos 36 Twin Catamaran. It comes equipped with two rotating brushless 2000Kv motors. Accompanying these motors are two 120-AMP Brushless water-cooled ESCs. These are powered best by 6S LiPo batteries which will help you reach speeds over 60mph. Yep, you read that right, and the remote will make sure you keep control even at these crazy high speeds.
The canopy is made from fiberglass, and the propellers are stainless steel. You’re certainly getting what you pay for between speed, power, and construction.
Why Spending a Little Extra for a Quality RC Boat Makes Sense
A good RC boat does require an upfront l investment but it is completely worth it. Kids absolutely love anything remote controlled and boats are no exception. Heck, even full grown adults are having lots of fun racing these around. Some of the fastest RC boats can go over 50 MPH. Now that takes some skill to maneuver properly.
This is very definitely a hobby where you get what you pay for. We highly suggest paying extra for one of the best remote control boats. No one wants to be the one with the tiny boat that is always flipping over, losing its battery, or even worse sinking in the pond and requiring someone to wade in to rescue it. That’s embarrassing! There is a stark difference between the cheap toy RC boats and those that are engineered to perform.
Make sure you look at the operating frequency of your selected RC boat. Ideally you want something that runs on the 2.4GHz spectrum. That allows up to 20 boats to be running nearby each other simultaneously without losing control.
Nobody has fun when they can’t control and captain their ship with their controller and you’ll get some nasty looks from your fellow captains if you ruin a perfectly good day. Heck we’ve heard of individuals going to fisticuffs over such matters! The 2.4Ghz control is worth it, hands down.
If you cut a lot of the bells and whistles in the initial purchase, you will always spend more in the end as you either start making upgrades to your basic model. More likely, you’ll have to count the whole first boat as a loss and start from square one. It really does save time and money to get a quality remote control boat in the first place.
Other Tips for Picking Out the Best RC Boat for You
Now that you know a little more about radio controlled AKA RC boats, you need to decide on the right RC boat to begin your journey. A good way to do this is to look at a handful of the most important features and weigh those against the cost of each boat. The best RC boats are going to check most of the boxes and only compromise on a few of the features below.
While smaller models may be okay with a 600mAh lithium ion battery, you don’t want to try and run a heavier model with such a pack. If you really start to get into RC boats as a hobby (or any RC craft for that matter) you will find that making modifications and upgrades to your remote control vehicle is all part of the fun.
Truth be told, most batteries that are included with the RC boat itself are pretty lousy. You may get 10-15 minutes of run time off of them but usually not much more than that. Some of the better models include a second battery backup so when one runs out you can simply swap it out. Ultimately, this is one of the key things you want to keep an eye on:
- battery capacity
- and charge time
It makes a difference between minutes and hours of enjoyment.
If you’ve got a need for speed and you go for a cheap model, you will be greatly disappointed. We think flying around is more than half the fun, and the top speed of each craft is a true measure of its abilities. Our word of caution is this: if you’re a beginner to RC and go for the fastest model out there, you’re probably going to end up crashing it and having to shell out for expensive repairs. On the other hand, if you have the skill to handle a fast RC boat, it is a joy to watch and even more fun to control.
No matter the controller, it should be designed to be as user friendly as possible. Furthermore, you want to look for 2.4GHz transmission, which will avoid interfering with other people’s signals. You can actually have 20 boats nearby to each other all using 2.4GHz without any interference.
Each and every RC boat is going to have a different feel and turning radius. Torpedo, battleship, or catamaran all have their own unique characteristics. Just don’t expect to turn a long battleship half as fast as a well designed torpedo vessel.
Typically, as you reach into premium models you’re going to get some thoughtful construction behind each RC boat and hence performance will increase.
This is a really big issue in the RC space and so many of these vehicles and boats break way to easily. Some models are known for their longevity, but others you need to keep a close eye on reviews and RC hobbyist boards to really know what you’re getting yourself into.
For many of us, we have budget restrictions and can’t just splurge on a $500 RC boat willy-nilly. On the other hand, we highly suggest staying away from models in the sub $40 price territory as most RC boats there are notorious for breaking.
Hand in hand with cost is your experience level. If you are just starting out with your first RC boat, don’t go all out, get a mid priced model to start with and see how much you enjoy the hobby. If you really dig it, you can look at doing some upgrades or getting one of the top models.