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Why remote control boats are worth taking up as a summer hobby

Your daily routine might be getting a bit boring, but you can shake things up by taking up remote control boats as a new summer hobby. Many adults collect them and participate in racing competitions.

Remote control boats vary in shape, size and specs as well as other features and functions. It’s up to you to determine what you want out of yours. Here’s a breakdown of the basics and what to keep an eye out for.

What should I know about remote control boats?

Motor type

Remote control boats typically have a brushed or brushless motor. Boats with brushed motors are more affordable than those with brushless motors but can only go 15 to 30 miles per hour and aren’t nearly as durable. Brushless motors are more powerful and offer speeds of up to 60 miles an hour.

Types of remote control boats

There are three kinds of remote control boats: sailboat, scale and power boats.

  • Sailboats look like lifesize sailboats and have simple radio transmitters that let you move the sails and rudders.
  • Scale boats are made with a focus on style and appearance over function. They’re ideal for collectors.
  • Racing boats are battery-powered and the fastest type of remote control boat.

Catamaran vs. monohull boats

Catamarans are more stable and the best boats for beginners. However, catamarans have a broader turning radius, unlike monohull boats. This makes them more challenging to maneuver. If you’re considering entering a racing competition, a monohull boat is the way to go. It’ll let you control it more precisely. However, there’s a greater risk of it flipping over than a catamaran.

What should I look for in a remote control boat?

Automatic recovery function

Nothing is as frustrating as seeing your boat flip over on the water, especially during a race. Fortunately, many remote control boats have an automatic recovery function. This helps the boats flip back over on their own. There are two recovery systems: a floodable chamber and a rotating propeller.   

  • Floodable chambers are usually located on the side of the boat. They fill with water when the boat is flipped, letting it revert to its upright position.
  • Rotating propellers alternate directions rapidly to raise the boat back to its proper position.

Battery life

Most remote control boats take a few hours to charge, but the best ones offer at least 20 minutes of battery life on a full charge. Twenty minutes may not seem like a lot, but it’s sufficient for most racing competitions. Most boats can travel at their maximum velocity for the entire duration.

Best remote control boats

Top RC boats for beginners

Force1 Velocity H102 Remote Control Boat

This boat can go over 20 mph and has a four-channel remote with a 120-foot range. The double-hatch body offers excellent control over turbulent waves, and the recovery mode turns the boat over if it’s been flipped.

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Acekid Two-Pack Remote Control Boats

These waterproof remote control boats can travel up to 10 mph and have an advanced engine that starts when water is detected. It uses rechargeable batteries and a 2.4 gigahertz smart control, and it is ideal for pool or lake use.

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DEERC H120 Remote Control Boat

This boat can go as fast as 20 mph and has a 150-meter signal range. The capsize recovery function and double hatch design allow for redirection, and the alarm built into the remote alerts you when the battery is low.

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Yezi Remote Control Boat

This boat has a flip recovery function, a large propeller and a high-speed motor. It is resistant to waves and can travel as fast as 20 mph. Additionally, you can use the remote to steer the boat in any direction.

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Other RC boats to consider

Cheerwing Remote Control Brushless Boat

This high-end remote control boat is perfect for enthusiasts. It has a durable, self-righting hull design that makes it ideal for racing and a poor signal alarm built into the remote that alerts you when you’re close to being out of range.

Sold by Amazon

Force1 Wave Speeder Remote Control Boat

This boat has powerful dual motors and a four-channel remote that lets you control several boats simultaneously without any interference. It has a 160-foot signal range and a high-capacity battery that offers 20 minutes of playing time on a full 90-minute charge.

Sold by Amazon

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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