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 2020. 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:
Best RC Boats Table of Contents
- Altair AA102 RC Speed Boat
- The Wave RC Boat
- Traxxas Spartan RC Boat
- UDIRC Venom Boat
- Force1 H102 Velocity
- Pro Boat Recoil RC Boat
- SOWOFA FT011 Ultimate Racing Boat
- Cheerwing RC Racing Boat
- Babrit F1 Speed Boat
- Traxxas DCB M41 Catamaran Racing RC Boat
- Proboat Blackjack
- Flytec 3 Fishing Bait RC Boat
- HuntGold Electric Bait Fishing Ship
- Aquacraft Mini Alligator Tours RC Swamp Boat
- Mirarobot GV160 Amphibious Whoover RC Boat with Camera
- Best RC Boats Under 100
- Best RC Boats for Lakes
- Fastest RC Boats
- RC Boat FAQs
Best RC Boat for the Money – Dronethusiast #1 RC Boat
When you’re looking for the best RC boat for the money, you really need to look no further than the Altair AA102! This boat is super easy to manuever out on the water and can hit speeds of up to 20 mph! That’s the perfect speed for someone that’s new to RC boating, but will still give someone looking to go fast! Check out our video review of the AA102 below!
Top 5 Best RC Boats For Sale
Not sure what kind of boat you’re looking for? Don’t know the difference between a remote control pontoon boat 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.
#1. Altair AA102 – Best Remote Control Boat
The AA102 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 look in this price range. 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.
Check out this video from Altair for the AA102:
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!
They even have an Altair Video Tutorials page that helps you get started. Email Altair Inc at firstname.lastname@example.org
#2. The Wave – Great Budget RC Boat
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.
They even have an Altair Video Tutorials page that helps you get started. Email Altair Inc at email@example.com
The Aqua and the Wave are so easy to pilot that the whole family can get involved! Check out this video from Altair about the AA Wave:
#3. Traxxas Spartan – Best Professional Racing RC Boat
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.
#4. UDIRC Venom
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.
#5. Force1 H102 Velocity – Best Remote Control Boat for Lakes
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.
#6. 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.
#7. 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.
#8. 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.
#9. Babrit F1
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.)
#10. Traxxas DCB M41 Catamaran – Fastest RC Motor Boat
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.
The Traxxas DCB M41 Catamaran, however, is the fastest RC motor boat for sale today. This is the kind of boat that you can actually use for racing, if you feel so inclined!
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.
#11. Proboat Blackjack
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.
#12. Flytec 3 Fishing Bait RC Boat – Best RC Pontoon Boat
An RC pontoon boat is a flattish catamaran boat that floats on cylindrical tubes called “pontoons.” Pontoons are good RC boats for lakes and are mostly used for fishing because they can run longer on less battery.
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.
#13. 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.
#14. Aquacraft Mini Alligator Tours RC Swamp Boat Review – Best Remote Control Swamp Boat
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.
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.
#15. Mirarobot GV160 Amphibious Whoover – RC Boat with Camera
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 rc boat with a camera on this entire list. 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.
Best RC Boats Under 100
RC boats costing less than $100 are great budget-friendly options that can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels. Since these are cheap RC boats, you may be missing out on some features that you’d find in more expensive RC boats, but don’t let that turn you away. These affordable RC toys under $100 still give you a great boating experience and may just be exactly what you’re looking for.
Some features to look for when shopping for RC boats less than $100 are speed, range, size, and battery life. An affordable boat will probably travel at speeds around 10-15 mph. While this isn’t as fast as some more professional-grade RC boats, these speeds are great for kids and beginners who are just starting the RC hobby. Similarly, the RC boat may not have the farthest range but this is okay because it will help drivers stay in control without their boat getting out too far in the water.
An RC water toy at this price may also be quite a bit smaller than other boats costing more than $100. Again, a smaller size will be beginner and kid-friendly and help them get started learning how to drive RC toys. The battery life in your RC boat may only be about 10-15 minutes as well. However, one good thing about RC boats less than $100 is that some manufacturers will include an extra battery giving users double the driving time.
Altair AA102 – Best RC Boat Under $100
The AA102 from Altair is not only the best looking RC Boat on our list, but it’s also the best RC boat you can buy for less than 100 dollars.
Get this boat out on the water and enjoy speeds of up to 20 mph! This boat also comes with a very handy Anti-Capsize Hull System that can flip your boat back upright right from the controller on shore!
The Wave – #2 RC Boat Under 100
The AA Wave is a fantastic option for all ages if you’re looking to stay under a budget of 100 dollars. Just like it’s big brother the AA102, this boat features an Anti-Capsize Hull System that everyone will love. If you flip this boat out on the water, you can flip it back upright without having to chase the boat out in the water.
As a parent, you’ll love the safety features! This boat won’t even engage the propeller blade unless the entier hull is emerged in water. That means no cut fingers, no tears, just lots of playtime outdoors!
Best RC Boats for Lakes
One of the best places to drive an RC boat is at the lake. Some RC boats are better for driving in lakes than others for a number of reasons. Since lakes are often large bodies of water it’s important that you will be able to see your boat at all times and stay in control of it.
Some features to look for when buying an RC toy for lakes are it’s size, speed, range, and battery life. Plus, it also helps if your boat is a bright color like red or yellow so you can always spot it on the water. You will also want a boat that is big enough as well for these reasons. A smaller sized boat may be harder to spot if it’s far away from you.
One great thing about driving RC boats on lakes is that you can reach some serious speeds without interfering with other people that may be on the water. Boats that go about 20-30 mph would be great for racing across the lake. You can also find an RC boat that has a bit farther of a range to allow to drive across the lake. However, you don’t want to drive too far and lose your boat. Because of this, you should find a boat with an out-of-range alarm so you will be able to know when it’s time to reel in your boat a little bit.
Also look for RC boats that have a low-battery alarm as well. While driving a boat on a lake will allow you find a boat that has a longer battery life, you won’t want the battery to run out while it’s far away from you. These features help you keep control of RC lake boat so you can have an enjoyable driving experience.
Altair AA102 – Best Remote Control Boat for Lakes
The Altair AA102 is one of our favorite new boats available on the market today and it’s the perfect boat for riding around on a lake. With the ability to reach speads of up to 25 mph, I’ve found that the AA102 can even handle some turbulance out on the water as well.
There is a ton of power available to you when you need it and the Anti-Capsize Hull System makes it so any time you flip the boat over you can right it quickly and be on your way.
Proboat Blackjack – Best RC Speed Boat for Lakes
The Proboat Blackjack will really excel out on the open water of a lake. Featuring a brushless 2000Kv water-cooled motor and with the ability to reach speeds of up tih 30 mph, you’re going to love how this catamaran looks as it skips across the water surface.
While this boat doesn’t handle with quite the ease that the AA102 does, if you’re looking for something that can really zip I think this boat might be for you
Fastest RC Boats
Some RC boat drivers may have a need for speed. If this is you and you’re looking for an RC speed boat, there are certain things to look for.
The fastest RC boats will have brushless motors. A brushless RC boat will have more power as opposed to a brushed model, which means it can go faster and reach some serious speeds on the water.
Because you’ll be going faster in the water, it may be more difficult to stay in control of the boat. Because of this, an anti-capsize hull system will help you tremendously. If your boat gets flipped over in the water, its hull system will help you get it back upright and racing again.
Since fast RC boats can be more advanced, kids should be careful if they are driving them. Always be sure an adult is present when a child is driving an RC boat or wait until they are older before they start driving one. Similarly, beginners may struggle at first. RC speed boats are best for experienced RC hobbyists.
Safety is a huge thing to consider when looking at fast RC boats. That’s why we recommend that only older or experienced drivers use them. Other things to look for to help anyone driving stay safe are low-battery and out-of-range alarms to help you know when it’s time to bring the boat in. Another good tip is to always keep your RC speed boat in site to minimize your chances of losing control of it.
The fastest speed you’ll find on an RC speed boat is around 35-50 mph. These are impressive speeds to reach on the water and are great for racing. Be sure to put your fast RC boat to the test by racing up against other hobbyists and show off those driving skills.
Traxxas DCB M41 – Fastest Professional RC Boat
If you’re looking for just pure, unaldulterated speed, you’re definitely going to want to check out the Traxxas DCB M41.
This boat is one of the fastest boats available on the market today and can EASILY reach its top speed of 50 mph. The Traxxas Velineon brusless motors operate more efficiently than others and the hull’s unique design gives this boat an extra edge out on the water.
At a price over $400, some people will pass, but there is no doubt about the Traxxas quality and brand name. You will love this RC boat.
Altair AA102 – Fastest Budget RC Speed Boat
Now, let’s be honest here, most of us are not going to have $400+ floating around out there for a new RC Boat no matter how fast it goes. And even if we did, who are we going to end up racing with?
No, for most of us, we want speed and we want it to be affordable! Enter, the AA102. This boat from Altair is sharp looking, but it can really move on the water too reaching speeds up to 20 mph at a fraction of the cost (around $80).
The AA102 also comes with two batteries that are good for around 10 minutes each, so you can really have a good time out on the water. I loved getting this thing out on the lake by my parents house. No matter how choppy the water got, I was still able to plow through.
Types of RC Boats
There are many types of RC boats available and all come with different features and specs depending on what you’re looking for. Whether you’re searching for an RC boat for you, your outdoorsy brother or your young child, there is definitely a boat out there that’s perfect.
RC boats with Camera
One type of RC boat are those that come with built in or attachable cameras. These boats are great for anyone who wants to capture some great first-person view action shots with their boat while racing across the water.
Remote Control Pontoon Boats
If you’re looking for a toy to take along with you on relaxing days at the lake, an RC pontoon boat might be great for you. These slower moving boats are a ton fun
Saltwater RC boats
Not all boats can be driven in saltwater, but if you’re hoping to take an RC boat with you to the beach you can luckily find some great and exciting ones to take along. When searching just make sure the package is safe for saltwater so you can assure no damage will be done as you’re busy racing through the waves.
Miniature RC Boat
Miniature RC boats are smaller than your standard boat and are great for kids. Since they aren’t too big, kids can easily control them on pools, ponds, and lakes and have a blast while driving them. Plus, they are great for traveling because they don’t take up nearly as much space and are a great toy to have on weekend getaways and vacations.
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.
Finding the Best RC Boat for You
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!