A Beginner's Guide to RC Boats
Remote control boats have become a very popular hobby with guys of all ages. The ability to start small and simple, and gradually progress to faster, more competitive boats is one of the attractions to this hobby. A hobby that can easily be shared between father and son or between adult friends is another reason for its popularity.
Radio controlled boats or RC boats, as they are referred to, begin at the toy level. These smaller, less expensive models are excellent for kids and operating in the backyard pool or a small pond. They come fully assembled and are battery operated. Beginner rated boats can be as small as twelve to sixteen inches, and many of them are considered simple enough for a five to eight year old child to operate. In spite of the ease of operation, they are still very quick on the water, and great fun to operate, especially when racing with other similar RC boats. The 12 inch Mosquito boats and cyclone racers are some of the most popular in these beginner level boats. When they get up to their max speed levels of 5 to 7 miles per hour, these little boats are zipping pretty fast. Unfortunately, their 9 volt battery will only last for 5 to 10 minutes before it needs to be recharged again. For a little longer run time of 10 to 20 minutes and speeds between 10 and 20 miles per hour, you may want to purchase a little bigger boat. These will cost a bit more than the 12 inch RC boats, but the extra run time and speed will make it worth it and their ease of operation is still rated in the 5 to 8 year old range. You will also find a much wider range of remote controlled boat styles to choose from. There will be racing boats, battleships and police boats, and these radio controlled boats will range in length from 16 to 32 inches. You will also find that you can operate these bigger boats from a greater distance than the smaller boats.
You take quite a jump in both performance and price when you move to the next level up in the radio controlled boats. With retail prices of over $200.00, these remote controlled boats are the ones used by the true RC boat enthusiast. These boats will reach speeds in excess of 30 miles per hour and are generally, around 3 feet in length. You will find them constructed of fiberglass or stainless steel. You will also have different options when it comes to your power source for these RC boats. In addition, electrical battery powered boats, you will have RC boats that are powered by nitro gas. The nitro gas powered RC boats are quick to refuel, but the fuel is going to be more expensive than the rechargeable batteries for the RC electric boats. As you move up to this higher level of radio controlled boats, you will be able to purchase RC boat parts as necessary to do repairs or perform upgrades, something that is not always available on the less expensive models. Replacement propellers, fins and even full motor replacements are available in the lists of RC boat parts available from vendors that list RC control boats for sale.
You will find two-cycle gasoline powered RC boats in this category. Their engines operate like other small gas engines using a gas/oil mix for their fuel. These gas powered RC boats will be even more expensive to purchase than the nitro gas boats, but their fuel will make them less expensive to operate. RC boat enthusiasts who also enjoy the mechanics of two-cycle engines enjoy tinkering with these boats and showing off their power on the water in competitions. These top of line remote controlled boats will come with a whole line of RC boat parts available from their dealers, as well.
RC Boat Kits
For the RC boat enthusiast who wants to have more involvement with his boat than simply speed on the water, hobby shops and dealers who have RC boats for sale, will also have RC boat kits available, which allow the owner to construct the boat. These kits are often available for some of the fine wood crafted boats like runabouts, trawlers and tugboats. The kits do not always contain a motor for the boat; you may need to buy this separately. A RC boat dealer or hobby shop will generally stock these electrical boat motors in their supply of RC boat parts.
For beginners, a smaller, less expensive RC electric boat is a good choice, although the short run time provided by the batteries of these boats is a definite disappointment to many who purchase them. They are still the best choice when purchasing a remote controlled boat for a child. The larger the boat, the greater the run time and the greater speeds you will get from your remote controlled boat. The 16 to 32 inch RC electric boats can provide up to 20 minutes in run time and between 10 and 20 miles per hour speeds. The three foot long, intermediate level boats will give you even higher speeds and the ability to refuel with nitro gas or larger battery packs, but they will require quite a bit more of a financial investment from you. You'll also want a lake or river for the bigger boats, to provide ample room for their size and higher speeds. When you're ready to move up to the 'big leagues' in radio controlled boats, the gas engine boats are the top of the line. And, finally, for some extra challenge and fun, there are the RC boat kits that allow you to assemble the whole boat yourself; a great winter project that will be fun to test out in the spring. Now that you're fully armed with the knowledge you need, begin shopping for that RC boat that fits what you're looking for in speed and looks.