RC boats are becoming one of the most popular categories of remote control vehicle. From serious professional racers to hobbyists, everyone with access to water can enjoy a radio controlled boat for sale. The gear available today is nothing like the old-fashioned versions that you saw at amusement parks during yesteryear, and the designs are very sleek.
But with so many awesome RC boat models on the market today, and so few reliable sources of reviews out there, how can you seperate the best from the rest? Well, we at Dronethusiast are experts in autonomous remote control vehicles, and we’ve decided to write remote control boat reviews for the best RC boats of 2019. Big and small, fast and leisurely, stylish and practical – there’s something here for everyone, and we’ve broken out the most fun RC boat reviews down by category as you can see below:
Our #1 Choice – Check out the Altair Aqua & Wave
These boats are super easy to pilot and great for the whole family, you can see them in action here in this video from Altair.
Top 5 Best RC Boats For Sale
Not sure what kind of boat you’re looking for? Don’t know the difference between a pontoon and a drag boat? Not to worry – this section is dedicated to our top 5 overall picks for the best RC boats for sale. These new remote control boats are great for adults and kids alike, and are a great choice for anyone looking to find the best RC boat for the money and get into the radio control hobby.saf
Best RC Boat for the Money
Altair AA Aqua
They even have an Altair Video Tutorials page that helps you get started. Email Altair Inc at email@example.com
The AA Aqua is a fantastic looking RC boat that really has some performance numbers to go with it. This release from Altair can reach speeds of up to 30 km/h at a range of up to 100 meters which is fantastic when you think about the price ($80). The boat comes loaded with features that include an Anti-Capsize Hull System that ensures if your boat flips over it will right itself in the water for you. There also is a low battery alarm and an out of range alarm just in case you lose track of how much fun you’re having.
The one drawback that I found on this boat is that the battery life isn’t what I would want it to be (only 7 minutes), but they do include 2 batteries in the package so you do get almost 15 minutes of runtime before you need to re-charge both batteries.
Pair that kind of performance and top notch features with the Altair brand that is known for releasing high quality products and you have a rc boat that is one of the best bang for your buck remote control boats on the market today!
Altair AA Wave – #2 Budget RC Boat
They even have an Altair Video Tutorials page that helps you get started. Email Altair Inc at firstname.lastname@example.org
The AA Wave is Altair’s other boat to release this year and it stands a close second on our list the the AA Aqua though it’s tough to go wrong with either boat. Just like the AA Aqua, the Altair Wave features an Anti-Capsize Hull System that can self correct any time your boat flips upside down in the water.
While this boat does go slightly slower (25 km/h) than the AA Aqua, the features on the two boats remain practically identical. Again, we wish that the battery life on this product was slightly longer, but they do send an extra battery with the product and at $70 you really are going to have a hard time finding a better buy.
Traxxas is one of the most well-respected RC boat and car manufacturers working today. They’ve knocked it out of the park once again with their 57076 Spartan, which is one of the fastest remote control boats for sale thanks to an incredible top speed of 50 miles per hour!
How does it move so fast? Well, this is one of the new wave of brushless RC boats. Brushless motors operate more efficiently and can give the boat more power, and Traxxas’ Velineon motor is one of the best models around. Innovative design is the hallmark of every piece of this large RC speedboat, which also includes Traxxas stability management and a much better wireless connection than most other remote control boats.
There’s no denying that this is the most advanced and overall best RC boat we’ve reviewed, especially for rough waters. However, some of our readers will be turned away by the price, which is $421 before batteries and charger (which have to be purchased separately.) Still, if you have the money for it, this is a perfect boat for beginners and advanced pilots alike.
This is a faster RC speedboat model that is really made for those that want to experience higher speeds and a lot of excitement. This cool RC boat is about a foot long and represents what people usually want most out of a modern, sleek remote control boat in the cheap price range. Some even consider it the best remote control speedboat for sale, although it’s only #2 on our list.
Users really love the low-battery alarm, which makes it so that you don’t have to worry about getting stranded way out in the middle of the body of water. It’s not recommended for use in an area that has huge waves, but the hull is overall very durable. And it controls very well, especially considering that most electric RC boats under $50…well, to put it politely, do NOT control very well.
One of the Venom’s unique features is the fact that it automatically cools its motor and prevents it from overheating using the water it sails on. This helps the boat last longer and also improves its battery life, which is among the best in its price range.
All-around, this is one of the best RC boats under $100.
Best Remote Control Boat for Lakes
Force1 H102 Velocity
The Force1 H102 Velocity is a very popular remote control boat for sale – a regular Amazon best-seller with good reviews to back it up. So it’s probably no surprise that the Velocity ended up so high on our list. There’s a lot to love with this new remote control boat – it’s easy to sail, costs less than 100 dollars, and moves at a fast 20 MPH top speed.
One of the best features of the Velocity is that it’s one of the new self-righting remote control boats that are becoming more popular. This means that if it capsizes, it can automatically right itself in most circumstances. This is a great feature for beginners who are more likely to capsize, and it’s also a great RC boat for lakes! A lot of experts like this sort of feature too, because it makes it easier to recover your property and means you can use it outside of shallow water.
Pro Boat Recoil
The Recoil is another self-righting remote control boat for sale by Pro Boat, a company with a good reputation for customer service. It combines a lot of things we liked about other boats higher up on this list: it’s a fast boat, it’s large, and it’s a self righting RC boat. In fact, many would consider it the best beginner boat for sale. It also uses a 2950Kv brushless motor.
So what’s the catch? Well, first is the price. $180 isn’t beyond the pale, but it’s not exactly cheap, and some of these features are available in RC boats under 100. The second problem is the battery life – the Recoil only lasts 10 minutes on a single battery charge and doesn’t come with a spare.
Still, if you don’t mind springing for a few extra batteries, this is a great radio controlled boat for somebody who wants all of the latest features in a single, somewhat cheap package.
SOWOFA FT011 Ultimate Racing Boat
The SOWOFA FT011, also known as the Ultimate Racing Boat, doesn’t quite live up to its name. In particular, it wouldn’t be right to mention this boat without explaining that the company behind it is a little less than ethical – the top image of this product on their Amazon page, for example, is blatantly misleading.
However, there’s still a lot to love about the FT011, which is one of the fastest and most fun remote control boats for sale. It has an incredible top speed, especially considering its large hull size. It operates on powerful brushless motors that don’t need cleaning and can self-right itself after a capsize. It also has a solid internal cooling mechanism that keeps the electronics running longer, and it’s a good thing too, because the battery life is only about 10-15 minutes. However, you can pay for a better battery and charger to upgrade this boat for not too much extra money.
In all, this is an excellent large RC boat for sale that will please hobbyists and experienced racers alike with its speed and ability. Just don’t expect a lot of post-sale customer support.
Cheerwing RC Racing Boat
The Cheerwing RC Racing Boat is a popular radio controlled boat because of its small size and excellent controls. Its streamlined hull and compact shape are actually specifically designed for use in smaller bodies of water such as a pond or lake.
And despite the Cheerwing’s low price it actually has decent specs, with a top speed of 15 MPH and a sailing time of 8 minutes off of only 80 minutes of charge. You might want to buy a couple spare batteries, but at least you won’t have to wait long to sail again after they’ve been spent.
This awesome RC boat for lakes is especially good for beginners, because it has self-righting capsize recovery features built right into the hull, auto-corrects its own tilt, is water-cooled, and has built-in alarms for low battery or weak signal connection. So if you’re looking for a great small RC boat that can be used in any conditions, the Cheerwing RC Racing Boat is an excellent choice.
Read reviews and shop for the Babrit F1 Here
The Babrit F1 is a small boat that can move in any direction: forward, left, right, and reverse. Not many boats can move in reverse, and that advanced versatility makes the F1 one of the best remote control boats for lakes, because it’s easy to back away from the edge if you find yourself getting into a dangerous situation. Precise port position and self balancing sailing also keep this boat stable and upright in any condition.
The Babrit F1 is also just a good boat all around – it moves fast (but not so fast that it’s unusable in a smaller space), has a decent battery life, doesn’t cost too much and never loses signal connection. The only downside is that the transmitter range is a little short, but that really doesn’t matter in a small lake or pond. All in all, this is a great RC boat for beginners and experts (though it may find more favor with the former.)
Fastest RC Motor Boats
Now, someone’s almost certainly going to point out that technically ALL the boats we’ve reviewed so far have been remote control motor boats. That’s because all remote control boats (and remote control vehicles in general) require a motor to operate.
These, however, are the fastest RC motor boats for sale today – the kind you can actually use for racing, if you feel so inclined.
Traxxas DCB M41 Catamaran
When you’re looking for cool RC motor boats with pure speed, there’s just no beating Traxxas. The DCB M41 twin-hull Catamaran (a term which refers to the boat’s unique shape) can go faster than 50 miles per hour thanks to a water-cooled, waterproof VXL-6s marine ESC with low-voltage protection and a Velineon 540XL brushless rc boat motor.
If that sounds like gibberish to you, here’s what you need to know: it’s fast, it’s tough (with an aluminum and stainless steel body), it has fine-tuned controls, and it moves great across smooth water. The only downside with this boat is that it’s fairly expensive and doesn’t come with batteries. But for anyone looking for one of the fastest RC motor boats around, money should be no object.
If you’re interested in fast remote control motor boats but can’t afford any of the best Traxxas models, the Proboat Blackjack is a great $200 substitute. It still moves at a good speed of 30+ miles per hour thanks to a powerful brushless 2000Kv water-cooled motor and 30A Li-Po compatible ESC. An off-set rudder system provides decent stability, and the red and black design just looks great cruising along a lake or pond.
A strongly recommended motor boat for the intermediate RC boat user.
RC Boat for lakes: Best RC Pontoon Boat
An RC pontoon boat is a flattish catamaran boat that floats on cylindrical tubes called “pontoons.” These are good RC boats for lakes and are mostly used for fishing because they can run longer on less battery.
Flytec 3 Fishing Bait RC Boat
Read reviews and shop for the Flytec 3 Fishing Bait RC Boat Here
This classical pontoon boat works well as a tool for bait fishing. It has about 20 hours of battery life according to the manufacturer, and though you can’t always trust those claims, we can tell you from experience that this RC pontoon boat lasts about as long as you could possibly want it to. It also moves at a steady 1.5 miles per hour, which is typical of this kind of vehicle.
It also has a solid motor, two large bait containers, a quiet operation, and good durability, all for less than 150 dollars. This is one of the most consistently well-reviewed radio controlled pontoon boats for sale, and we think you’ll love it too.
HuntGold Electric Bait Fishing Ship
This is definitely not what you think of when you think of a typical RC pontoon boat, because it only has a single large buoyancy pontoon instead of two smaller ones. However, the HuntGold Electric Bait Fishing Ship is one of the very best RC boats for lakes in its class.
It lasts for 8 hours of continuous usage (according to the manufacturer, at least – we’ve never had cause to use it for quite that long) and the large pontoon helps keep it stable in the water and gives it better wind resistance than some of its competitors. Plus, it can be used at night thanks to LED lights, and it’s nearly silent, which is ideal for when you’re chumming the water with bait.
This RC boat may not be the most exciting looking, but it’s a great choice for serious fishing enthusiasts.
Best RC Swamp Boat Reviews
RC swamp boats are becoming more popular, as they’re more equipped to traverse stagnant waters and more rough natural areas. Most RC swamp boats are also RC airboats – some consider the terms interchangeable.
Aquacraft Mini Alligator Tours Swamp Boat
This popular remote control swamp boat emphasizes safety and stabilitly over everything else, which is often what you want from a swamp boat. It has a very impressive 500 foot range, a sailing time of up to 14 minutes, and a decent speed. It’s modeled after real-life swamp boats, only scaled down, giving it a unique look that fans of aesthetics are sure to appreciate.
All in all there’s not much to say – this is just an incredibly solid, consistently well-reviewed RC swamp boat and easily one of the best for sale.
Mirarobot GV160 Amphibious Whoover
This boat is something truly special. The first thing you’ll notice is the unique four-propeller design and the amphibious undercarriage that allows this swamp boat to travel on land or water. The second thing you’ll notice is how small it is – only 8 inches in length!
But one of the best things about the Mirarobot GV160 Amphibious Whoover is that it’s the only remote control boat on this entire list with a camera. That’s right – there’s a 600TVL camera built right into the boat itself, allowing you to stream FPV video to the controller or even record it to share later. If you’re an amateur photographer who’s also interested in RC swamp boats, this isn’t just your best choice – it’s basically your ONLY choice.
All that, plus good specs, for less than $70. A clear winner in its category.
Radio Controlled Boat FAQs
What’s the best RC boat to buy?
We consider the Traxxas Spartan the best remote control boat of 2019. However, there’s really no objective answer to this question. While the Spartan is the most powerful boat and easily one of the fastest, it’s also very expensive and may not have as much appeal to beginners, who may want a boat with self-righting capsize recovery technology.
That’s why we have broken this list of best electric RC boats into several categories – it lets you, the reader, find the boat that works best for you specifically.
How do RC boats work?
The transmitter or mobile device being used to control the boat sends a radio signal to a receiver on the boat itself. The receiver then interprets the signal and uses the boat’s motor to go forward, turn, or reverse. RC boats have been around for several years now and are a very popular. There are even a selection of RC boats for kids that make a great gift
Can RC boats go in saltwater?
Most remote control boats should not be used in saltwater. Unlike freshwater, saltwater can cause rust and other forms of damage to the delicate electronic parts inside your vehicle. However, RC boats that are designed to be used in saltwater do exist – so as long as you make sure to buy something that says it’s “saltwater safe”, you should be able to use it anywhere.
What’s the fastest RC boat?
The fastest RC boat ever recorded is the Munich SAW, which was recorded at speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour (a little under 200 mph.) However, this world record setter was a custom build and is not available for commercial sale.
The fastest RC boat that you can buy is probably the Traxxas DCB M41 Catamaran. It regularly moves at speeds of 50-60 miles per hour, and with the right battery it can even go much faster than that.
What is the best RC boat for rough water?
The Force1 Velocity, UDIRC Venom, and anything made by Traxxas are great RC boats for rough water.
Where to buy RC boats?
RC boats can sometimes be found in a store, but are most commonly purchased from Amazon or directly from a manufacturer’s website in the modern age. We’ve included Amazon links to every product on this list to make finding the perfect RC boat more convenient for our readers.
RC racing is one way to get some great enjoyment out of your day off, time spent with kids, and learning the ropes of a new hobby. These days it’s exciting that there are submarines popping up on the market, as many will love to explore under the surface instead of racing on top of it.
The best RC boats are only going to become more exciting and more technologically advanced as we head into 2019 and beyond. We hope this article has helped you find something that’s perfect for you. And if you’ve got a great RC boat we missed, be sure to let us (and our readers) know all about it in the comments below!
Justin is a certified Drone Enthusiast with several years experience piloting as many UAV aircraft as he can get his hands on. While shooting footage as a hobby has now become more of a full time job, Justin still enjoys the peaceful feeling of getting a birds eye view while hiking or on vacation with his family. Reach out to Justin by using the Dronethusiast Contact Page or email at email@example.com.