You might have always dreamed of sailing the forbidden seas to remote lands all over the world. You might enjoy the adrenaline rush of a fast and furious RC boat speed competition. Or you might enjoy the tranquility of sailing in your local pond. Whatever the reason that first motivated you to get started with this fantastic hobby, welcome to RC boat lovers’ big crew.
Before RC boats can bring you hours of fun, you first need to get over the initial learning curve. How are you supposed to pick an RC boat as a beginner? How can you move your boat around without destroying it on the first sail?
Whether you are looking for a new RC boat to get started or want to refresh your knowledge, check out this ultimate beginner’s guide, containing all you need to know about RC boats.
What Makes RC Boats So Special?
RC boating is a one-of-a-kind hobby for having some outdoor fun, either with other like-minded people or with your entire family. Online you can find a wide range of boats available to suit an array of budgets and preferences. There’s basically no way you can’t find something that suits you.
We’re used to tight schedules and always in a rush. RC boating allows you to spend a few hours outdoors and feel like a child again. This hobby enables you to get out of your head and back to having fun. Being by the water is innately calming, and driving an RC boat on your local pond or lake provides a new way to experience nature.
There are various degrees of complexity in the mechanics of an RC boat. Simple electronic devices are perfect for some family fun. You can otherwise build and show off your powerful RC boat during races and regattas.
Where Can You Use an RC Boat?
RC boats don’t provide the same freedom as RC cars and trucks, which can be used practically anywhere. However, RC boats also don’t have the same rigid restrictions on their use like RC planes and helicopters, which can be dangerous in crowded areas.
The only side note to RC boats is that powerful gas-powered models can be quite noisy. Always make sure to check noise restrictions when using RC boats in public places.
Other than that, here’s a list of places where you can use your beloved RC boat:
- Ponds: ponds are perfect for beginners, considering that there’s little chance of the boat getting lost. Even if it runs out of battery or capsizes, you can easily get it back. With ponds being so calm and quiet, controlling your RC boat will be much easier;
- Rivers: rivers are a great option if you have slightly more experience. Make sure to judge the flow of the water and to have adequate control, especially if the river flows out to the sea;
- Swimming pools: swimming pools are ideal for beginners and kids. You can either use your pool or ask a friendly neighbor. There is no chance of losing your RC boat in a swimming pool, making it perfect for kids.
- Lakes: lakes are usually very calm, but they are large. This means that it’s more likely that you’ll lose your boat than in a pond. However, lakes are great for racing and for having lots of boats together at once. In other words, lakes are perfect for more powerful and noisy boats;
Should You Build Your RC Boat Or Build One?
Like with most RCs, you can opt for building your RC boat or purchase one ready-made. Several factors will define the right answer to this question: your experience, interest in creating your RC work, your budget, and whether you want to have a customized boat.
- Ready-Made RC Boats: they can be used straight out of the box and can be bought for a range of experiences. Electric ready-made RC boats are more suitable for beginners than their gas-powered counterparts;
- Build Your Own: when building your RC boat, you can customize every inch of it. This option is perfect if you want to get creative, and you are interested in understanding how your boat actually works. You can find a series of helpful tutorials online to get started;
What Hull Type Should You Pick?
The best hull type depends on your experience and the body of water you will be driving on. But first, let’s review a few of the most common options:
- Hydroplanes: this fast hull works best on calm and flat water. However, hydroplanes can only turn well in one direction;
- Monoplanes (also called “V hulls”): they are good on rough water and can turn well in two directions. The side note is that they aren’t as fast as hydroplanes;
- Catamarans: they are incredibly fast and can turn well in both directions. They look impressive and work best for choppy waters;
Tunnel Hulls: this is one of the slowest hull types, but it works well in shallow water. Tunnel hulls can handle turns well in both directions. They are also easy to build and maintain;
Should You Go for Gas or Electric RC Boats?
- Electric: electric RC boats are more suitable for beginners, considering that they are quite easy to maintain and control. They are also quiet, making them perfect for public areas. They are also cheaper, which means that they are an ideal first model;
- Gas: gas models tend to be more powerful but also very noisy. Before opting for a gas RC boat, you should check the noise restrictions in your area. Gas-powered boats tend to be more expensive, and they can be difficult to maintain;
With RC boats, make sure to purchase right what you can handle. There’s nothing wrong with being a beginner, especially if you are willing to learn.
Buying an expensive RC boat for then seeing it sink during your first sail is not exactly what you’d call a wise investment. You’d be better purchasing a high-quality RC boat on a budget, like one of the many ones you can find on Teknistore. Start small and build up, keeping an eye on our blog section if you need help.
We hope this first part of our beginner RC boat guide helped shed some light on how to pick the best model for your needs. Stay tuned for the second part coming up soon and follow us on Facebook!