In this guide we’ll look at the best RC boats.
We’ve compared power, speed, design and cost.
to give you our top recommendations.
What Are The Best RC Boats?
More Detailed RC Boat Reviews
First up we’ve got the Traxxas Catamaran. This slick and speedy model provides incredible stability across gentle waves and smooth water. With the right batteries, this boat will reach speeds of over 50mph.
Despite its speed, this model is easy to control. It has TSM stability control, although it will still need to be driven with care, and it’s not suitable for beginners.
This model has a water-cooled, waterproof marine ESC with low voltage protection, alongside a brushless motor with a high flow water-cooling jacket to keep it going for longer. Finally, the design is awesome; this bright red model is easy to spot as it zooms across the water.
Another catamaran, and it’s the turn of this bright yellow Pro Boat Zelos 36 which, like the Traxxas, reaches incredible speeds of over 60mph.
This model has a two incredibly powerful brushless motors, and comes with a brushless water-cooled ESC. It boasts some serious power, while the awesome yellow finish makes it easy to spot.
While not suitable for total beginners, this RC boat is easy to control, with a high-torque metal gear steering servo and a hand-laid fiberglass build that’s designed for out-of-this-world speeds. One of the quickest boats out there, and seriously fun.
Another from Pro Boat and it’s the UL-19 Hydroplane. This stunning model has waterproof electronics which provide exceptional power, and the body of the boat is specifically designed to glide across the water with ease.
The powerful brushless motor allows this boat to reach over 50mph, but the sleek design will help keep things smooth and controlled. The waterproof Spectrum 3kg servo allows you to tackle corners at high speeds with ease.
This boat comes equipped with all you need to get going, but if you fancy a little more zoom (which I doubt you’ll need!), it’s easy to upgrade. It’s definitely not for beginners due to high power.
The Pro Boat PRB Veles Catamaran is another speedy and powerful RC that’s well deserving of its place on this list. It’s made from hand-laid fiberglass and has a removable composite interior for great durability and speed.
This boat is intricate, great to look at and easy to control. It practically explodes in any direction you point it in thanks to the powerful marine motor, and Pro Boat have great customer service if you have any problems.
Batteries aren’t included, but for top speeds I’d recommend 3s Li-Pos. It’s not suitable for beginners due to the high speeds, but for more experienced hobbyists this awesome model will provide hours of fun.
The Traxxas Spartan Race Boat is a speed machine. It reaches speeds in excess of 30mph straight out the box, or if you opt for 3s Li-Po batteries, over 50mph.
Despite the speed, this model is easy to control, with Traxxas Stability Management for great predictability in the water.
The ESC is water-cooled and waterproof, with low-voltage protection, while the brushless motor has a high flow water-cooling jacket for extra power and safety.
Finally, the design is perfectly optimized for speed. It has a 36” deep-V hull to keep it stable as it zooms across the water. Overall, this awesome little model is practically unrivaled when it comes to speed and design.
Another boat that’s built to go fast, we’ve got the SOWOFA high speed boat, which is packed full of fun features. This beauty can reach speeds of 55-65kmh and is equipped with auto roll correct in case you lose control, as well a low power warning.
This RC has great circulation, with an auto water cool system to keep it going for longer. It’s not suitable for beginners due to the high speeds and large size.
Despite the speeds, safety is clearly a priority for this brand. This model performs well in any conditions and has anti-collision protection to help keep it, and others, safe. The body is durable and high quality.
Pro Boat are renowned for their high quality and excellent value RC boats, and the Stealthwake is no exception.
This model is made from durable ABS plastic and the streamlined deep-V hull makes this RC perfect for some high-speed fun.
Powered by the included Ni-Mh batteries with a 2.4ghz marine radio system, enjoy interference-free control and an extended range.
Finally, the motor is water cooled and the electronics are waterproof. Despite the high speeds it’s easy for beginners to use, and the great design lets you zoom across the water in style.
For the perfect budget RC boat, look no further than the Force1 RC boat which comes in a choice of either blue or green.
This boat has a brushless motor to help it pick up some speed across the water. While not the same level as others on this list, this boat can reach over 20mph with little interference. It’s perfect for the kids or a family day out.
This RC is electric and self-righting to keep the fun going for longer, and it’s easy to control making it suitable no matter what your experience.
Finally, this boat is equipped with a low-signal warning to let you know before you reach your max range. It arrives fully ready to get going.
Finally, we’ve got the USA Toyz Remote Control Boat. This model is designed for pools and lakes, comes in a beautiful bright red. It reaches speeds of 15mph or faster, more than fast enough for the kids in the pool.
This boat is electric powered and self-righting. It’s easy to control and comes with an extra rechargeable battery.
This is the perfect boat for beginners. It arrives ready to run and has a powerful water-cooled motor to keep it going for longer, as well as an anti-tilt ABS hull. The perfect addition to your camping trip!
RC Boat Buyer’s Guide
Sailing the high seas with the sun on your face is easy with an RC boat, and there’s hundreds of fun and fast RC boats out there to give you that thrill. But from enormous, intricately detailed scale boats to the fast and furious catamarans, knowing which one to go for can be tricky.
The best thing about RC boats is that it’s a hobby that suits anyone and everyone. If you’re on a budget, smaller boats can easily be found, and these still can provide hours of fun. If you have more money to play with and you’re interested in speed, then there’s many fantastic options for you!
Advice for Buying for a Child
RC boats can be too powerful and even dangerous in the wrong hands, so buying an RC boat for a child or beginner requires some consideration.
Electric powered boats are best for children as they can be used in swimming pools, ponds and lakes. They are easier to drive but still fun and speedy, and they’re also quiet which makes them ideal for use in public areas.
Ready-made kits are also ideal for beginners as they can get going straight away. These require few extra parts, and are normally easy to maintain and drive.
What to Expect at Different Price Points
Small, electric RC boats suitable for the local pond will of course be cheaper than fuel powered boats. The cheapest options will be ‘toy-like’ electric boats. They can be used in swimming pools and ponds. These boats are unlikely to get up to much speed but will have simple controls and be great for the kids!
At the other end of the scale are fuel-powered speed boats. These are ideal for racing and can often reach speeds of over 60mph. They’ll be specifically designed to go fast, although it’s still unlikely they will withstand tough conditions at that speed. These boats will require a lot more maintenance but, provided you learn to control them, they can provide some serious thrills.
The features that affect the price will be durability, and any extra safety features you are after. Those that can be used in choppy water or on windy days will also cost more, while fail safe devices or low battery alerts will also add to the price tag.
Traxxas is far and away one of the most popular RC boat brands, and for good reason! They have a range of RCs to suit practically any level of experience, and all their boats are good quality and arrive in great condition. You’ll pay more for the Traxxas RCs, but if you’re after something speedy, sturdy and reliable, they should be your go-to.
Pro Boat is another immensely popular brand for RCs. Their boats usually have an awesome design and they include great extra features. These boats are easy to upgrade and good for racing.
The final brand worth mentioning is USA Toyz. They produce a range of toys and RC boats is one of them. Their boats are great value but suited more for beginners and kids. Their customer service is usually excellent.
What Features do you Want?
RC boats can be as complicated or as simple as you like. Advanced features will add to the cost of your RC, but they will certainly add to the fun factor too!
RC boats are available in a range of sizes and designs. Beginner RC boats are normally around 17 inches and these are great for swimming pools and small ponds. Larger boats will have more power and are designed for larger bodies of water.
A fuel-powered boat with a brushless motor will provide the most power, but these will also be the most expensive! Remember that it’s easy to overdo it and the result might be more power than you can handle.
Losing control of your boat can be costly and even dangerous. If you are upgrading for more power, do it in stages so you don’t end up with too much to control.
Where you are planning on driving your RC boat will depend on the design you opt for. Catamarans are fantastic for speed but can topple over in the wind, while hydroplanes are equally fast but can be difficult to turn at speed.
Whichever design you opt for, ensure the color is bright so that your boat is easy to spot at a distance.
Inexperienced RC hobbyists often prioritize speed, opting for boats that reach speeds in excess of 60mph. What many people don’t realize, is that even 20mph is still fast! It’s far better, as a beginner, to get something you are able to control.
If you do fancy that extra thrill, go for something fast but stable and, if you’re in a public place, stay away from other people or animals in the water.
Powerful, water-cooled motors will help your boat to last longer in the water. The majority of RC boats will come with this feature.
The self-righting feature helps you keep your boat safe if you capsize. Losing your boat in lakes or rivers can be costly, but self-righting features will get your boat up and running again with little hassle.
Low Battery Alert
A low battery alert will warn you when you’re losing battery so you can bring your RC back to shore. This’ll save you losing power in the middle of a lake!
Some boats come equipped with safety features, such as a propeller that won’t spin until the boat is submerged. Propellers can be dangerous, so this is a welcome add-on if you’re buying for kids.