So what do you look for when buying a Remote Control Boat?
It's not as easy question to answer as it may appear as there are many factors in play that all add their own little bit to the equation. Firstly, you have to consider what type of boat you'll be buying. For instance, buying a fast and speedy remote control boat over a more leisurely sailboat needs a different initial set of considerations. Do you just go for out-right speed? Maybe manoeuvrability is more important to you? Or do you only want something that looks fast, sleek and sexy?
Once you know what type of boat you're looking to get, then you can start to think about the more technical aspects of your remote control boat such as how many motors it has propelling it, battery life, the controller range and other such things that are listed below.
Naturally, if you're just want a boat. Any boat. Then little of what's on this page will matter, but some of it is still important and worth thinking about. Also, if you're a beginner to the hobby, don't try and distract yourself too much with the detail - just get yourself a cheap small boat, find some water and go out and enjoy yourself. If you find it fun and want a bigger / better boat, then start to look at the details the other remote control boats offer.
- Controller Range. There you are zipping around the pond with your new snazzy speed boat and see an.. ermm, otter.. emerge from the water. Quickly, you go to turn away on your remote control and.. nothing happens. Your boat has gone out of range. And you've just rammed an otter. You want as much range as your money can buy, although need to be mindful that the weather can have an impact on the maximum range. Also you need to be aware that too much range could mean your remote control boat goes out of sight - no, not because of the curvature of the earth, but simply your eyes could struggle to pick out a small 2 foot boat at 500 feet.
- Number of motors. Debate rages on whether to settle for one or two motors on your remote control boat. There are some motors out there that are extremely powerful and can spit enough fire into your boats propeller to shoot it across the water at great speed. However, two is always better than one, isn't it? Not always - two motors require more juice from the battery and will lessen the already short life span of it. In addition, if you're a beginner as it takes great skill to control a boat in turns when it's flat out. Make sure you research your boat before buying and check what motor is on board, how many of them there are and what the battery life between charges is.
- The boats rudder. Since the waters of the world are full of evil creatures wanting to eat your remote control boat (see Controller Range above!), the last thing you need is for your rudder to fail at the worst possible time. Check what material it's made of and think about what type of boat you're looking at purchasing. A sailboat isn't going to be needing a titanium lined super rudder, whereas, a super-fast racer which is going to be making fast and hard turns will need something sturdy.
- Charge-Time vs. Play-Time ratio. Seriously, you're going to spend more time charging the batteries of your remote control boat than you are using it on the water depending on its type and how hard you push it. Some boats need a 5 hour battery charge for 15 minutes of fame when being pushed to the limit. Like in your real-life car, the more you hammer it, the quicker you burn through the gas. A decent ratio will be in the 1:4 range, so if spending a decent amount of cash, make sure you research the types of batteries that come with your boat
- Channels. Don't get starry-eyed when this remote control boat or another talks about having 6 channels for this, or 8 for that. Anything more than 3 is over-kill if you ask me unless there some extra feature on the boat like a camera or crane, for instance. Each channel controls one function of the boat, so you'll have one channel for the throttle and another for the rudder. Having more than 3 separate channels just isn't worth it - you're not controlling a RC Helicopter which needs forward, hover, strafe, rotate, up / down etc. You're using a boat which can only go in 2 dimensions - hopefully, unless it's a RC Submarine, you won't need to travel in the 3rd dimension.
Remote Control Boating is an immensely fun hobby to be involved in and it's important you get the right boat for the water. Naturally, if you just want a bit of fun and nothing serious, you can overlook the above tips, but as you get more serious about the hobby, you'll want to take more and more of them on board.