One of the most exciting things about taking your RC boat out on the water is seeing how fast it can go. The streak of water it leaves behind as it zooms across the surface is something every RC boat enthusiast strives for. If you’re wondering how you can make your RC boat go as fast as possible, we’ve got you covered.
There are 7 things that you can do to make your RC boat go faster – consider upgrading to a bigger motor, change the stock propeller, swap out the batteries, install an efficient cooling system, avoid waxing the boat, scuff the bottom of the hull, and lastly, try installing a rear spoiler.
If you’re confused about how to proceed with each of these tips, or don’t quite understand how they’ll help your boat go faster, don’t worry. In this post, we’ll explain each of these in detail so that by the end, you’ll be an RC boat speed expert. Let’s get started!
7 Tips to Make Your RC Boat Go Faster
Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of the steps you can take to make your RC boat go faster.
- Upgrade To a Bigger Motor
This is perhaps the most obvious way to make your boat go faster. If you have a small motor, upgrading to a bigger one will give your boat the power it needs to reach higher speeds.
You’ll notice that most RC boats will have a standard .28 cubic-inch motor. You can easily upgrade this to at least a .35 motor without any major balance or handling issues.
Another advantage of having a bigger motor is that it will be more efficient, meaning that it won’t use as much battery power. This gives you more time to enjoy racing around on the water!
Things to keep in mind when upgrading your motor:
- Make sure that the new motor is compatible with your boat’s battery.
- Choose a motor that is waterproof.
- Consider the size of your boat when selecting a motor – if your boat is too small, a bigger motor might not fit or will make your boat difficult to control.
- Opt for a brushless motor over a brushed motor. (Check out our section on brushless motors vs brushed motors to learn more).
- Change The Stock Propeller
The propeller is what gives your boat the power to move forwards. If you want to make your RC boat go faster, one of the first things you should do is upgrade the propeller.
Most stock propellers are made from plastic and are not very efficient. You’ll see the biggest difference in speed by switching to a metal propeller. The size of the propeller and the number of blades will also affect the speed of your boat.
2 or 3 prop? What’s the difference?: Read on here
As a general rule of thumb, a larger propeller with more blades will provide more thrust and make your boat go faster. However, keep in mind that a propeller that is too large might cause your motor to overheat or put too much strain on the battery, so it’s important to strike a balance.
Here’s our recommendation for a great after-market propeller:
Graupner USA – https://www.graupner.com/PROPELLERS_c_177.html
A favorite among RC boat enthusiasts, Graupner propellers are perhaps one of the best and most affordable after-market propellers you can buy. They’re carbon-filled, which makes them a lot cheaper than metal propellers, but without compromise on quality. They’re also pretty durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
- Swap Out the Batteries
If there are any gas-powered RC boat speed demons out there, this tip isn’t for you. But for those of us who stick to electric RC boats, battery power is everything.
For more on gas powered RC boat speeds! Read on here
One way to make your boat go faster is by using higher voltage batteries. The reason? High voltage = higher power to the motor = more speed.
Most RC boats come with standard NiCad or NiMH batteries that have a voltage of around 1.2V per cell. You can easily swap these out for high-discharge LiPo (lithium polymer) batteries that have a voltage of around 3.7V. With more than 3 times the voltage of standard batteries, you’ll notice a significant increase in speed.
Just keep in mind that if you’re using high voltage batteries, you’ll also need to upgrade your ESC (electronic speed controller) to one that can handle the higher voltage.
We recommend these high-voltage batteries for your RC boat:
- Venom Power – Available at Amazon here
- Gens Ace – See the latest pricing on Amazon here
- Zeee Power – Check this out at Amazon here
- Install An Efficient Cooling System
So now you’ve upgraded your motor, propeller, and batteries, and you’re ready to race around the lake at breakneck speeds. But there’s one more thing you need to consider if you want your boat to go fast and stay fast – cooling.
Overheating is a common problem with RC boats, especially when they’re pushed to their limits. That’s why it’s important to have an efficient cooling system in place to keep your boat running at peak performance.
Check out my related article on RC fans here
One way to do this is by installing a water-cooling system. This involves circulating water around the motor and ESC to help dissipate heat. You can buy pre-made kits or build your own, but either way, it’s a great way to keep your boat running cool and fast.
Another option is to use a fan to blow air over the motor and ESC. This is a simpler solution that doesn’t require as much maintenance, but it’s not quite as effective at cooling as water-cooling.
Note – As a standard rule of thumb, temperatures between 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit are considered safe for most RC boat motors. Anything above 150 degrees Fahrenheit is considered dangerous and can damage the motor, along with other components.
- Avoid Waxing the Boat
You just bought a fancy new RC boat, and you want to make sure it looks good on the water. So you give it a nice coat of wax to make it shine (and maybe also to show it off to your friends). We get it.
Unfortunately, did you know that wax can actually slow your boat down? It’s true! Wax creates a thin film on the hull of your boat which increases surface tension and makes it harder for the boat to move through the water. It also makes the hull more slippery, which can reduce traction and cause your boat to spin out.
If you’re looking to go fast, skip the wax and let your boat’s natural good looks shine through. Although the difference in speed may be small, every little bit counts when you’re trying to make your boat go as fast as it possibly can!
- Scuff The Bottom of The Hull
Although we’ve discussed some of the most common methods used for making RC boats go faster, we’re now going to let you in on a little secret tip used by pro racers – scuff the bottom of your boat’s hull!
Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? How is scratching up the bottom of your boat going to make it go faster?
Well, what really happens is that when you scuff the bottom of your boat, it creates tiny air bubbles. Now as you know, air has less resistance than water, so these tiny air bubbles help reduce drag and make your boat go faster.
Of course, you don’t want to go too crazy with this tip. Just a few light scratches should do the trick. You can use sandpaper or a hobby knife to scuff up the bottom of your boat’s hull. Just be careful not to damage the hull itself.
- Try Installing a Rear Spoiler
The last tip we’re going to share with you is to try installing a rear spoiler on your RC boat. Technically, this isn’t going to make your boat go any faster. But it will help keep it stable at high speeds, which is just as important. After all, you don’t want your boat to flip over or crash during a speed test!
For those of you that don’t know, a rear spoiler is a small piece of plastic or metal that’s mounted on the back of your boat. It creates downforce, which pushes the back of your boat down into the water during high-speed runs. This helps keep the boat stable and prevents it from flipping over.
You can usually buy rear spoilers at most hobby shops, or you can even make your own if you’re feeling creative. A bit of experimentation is often needed to find the perfect location for the spoiler on your boat. But once you’ve got it dialled in, you’ll be able to go faster and with more confidence knowing that your boat is less likely to flip over.
RC boat flips over? Read here so you know what to do!
Which is Faster for An RC Boat? – Brushed Motor vs Brushless Motor
When it comes to RC boats, there are two main types of motors – brushed and brushless. But which one is faster?
Take a look at the table below to see a comparison of the two types of motors.
|Brushed Motor||Brushless Motor|
|A brushed motor is an electric motor that uses carbon brushes to transfer electricity to the rotating armature.||A brushless motor is an electric motor that uses an electronic controller to create a rotating magnetic field. This field powers the rotor’s magnets and creates torque.|
|Cheaper, since they’re often mass produced. Can cost anywhere between $10-$20.||More expensive. Can cost anywhere from $20 to several hundred dollars.|
|Runs hotter, and has a lower lifespan. Most brushed motors have an average age of 1000-3000 hours.||Runs cooler, and has a longer lifespan. Most brushless motors have an average age of 20,000 hours, which is over 6x longer than a brushed motor.|
|Requires more maintenance.||Requires less maintenance.|
|Less complex to use, as there’s no need for any additional equipment.||More complex to use, as you need an electronic controller to run the motor.|
|Slower and less efficient, due to high friction because of the brushes.||Faster and more efficient, due to low friction because there are no brushes.|
As you can see, brushless motors are definitely the way to go if you’re looking for speed. They’re more efficient and produce less heat, which means they can handle higher speeds without overworking the motor.
There are loads of articles related to brushed and brushless motors. All here at goodiesrc.com
The only drawback is the price – brushless motors are more expensive than brushed motors. But trust us, the extra cost is definitely worth it in the long run as they’ll last longer and perform better.
If you’re still using a brushed motor in your RC boat, go ahead and make the switch to brushless today! You’ll see a noticeable difference in every metric, and your boat will be able to reach higher speeds than ever before.
Things To Keep in Mind When Buying Your First RC Boat
After reading this article, we’re sure that many of you will no doubt be eager to go out and get your hands on the fastest RC boat possible. But before you make your purchase, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Expertise Level
The first thing you need to consider is your expertise level. If you’re a beginner, it’s probably not a good idea to get the fastest RC boat on the market. Not only will it be hard to control, but you’re also more likely to crash and damage it.
It’s always better to start slow and work your way up as you gain more experience. As the age old saying goes – slow and steady wins the race!
- Type Of RC Boat
The next thing you need to consider is the type of RC boat you want. When you walk into a hobby shop, you’ll see that there are a variety of different RC boats to choose from. There are single-hulled mono boats, double-hulled catamarans, and even dedicated speedboats for racing.
So, which one should you get?
Well, it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you want an RC boat that’s fast and agile, a mono boat is probably the way to go. But if you’re more interested in stability and durability, a catamaran might be a better option. Lastly, if speed is your only concern, a racing speedboat is the best choice.
No matter what type of RC boat you choose, just make sure that it’s something you’re going to enjoy driving. After all, this is supposed to be a fun hobby!
- Boat Specifications
This includes details such as the type of motor (brushed or brushless), the size of the boat, the materials it’s made from, and so on.
While you might be tempted to find the boat with the most powerful brushless motor, keep in mind that this isn’t always the best option. The size of the boat is also an important consideration, as a smaller boat will be more agile and easier to control than a larger one.
As for the materials, most RC boats are made from either ABS plastic or fiberglass. ABS plastic is the cheaper option, but it’s not as durable as fiberglass. Fiberglass boats are more expensive, but they’re much more durable and can take a beating without breaking.
- Availability Of Spare Parts
This is one area that most newbies overlook, but it’s actually very important.
See, no matter how careful you are, there’s always a chance that you’ll crash your RC boat. And when that happens, you’re going to need spare parts to fix it.
So before you make your purchase, take a look online and see if the boat you’re interested in has spare parts readily available. If the spare parts are rare or are too expensive, it’s wise to look for another boat.
After all, you don’t want to be stuck with an RC boat that you can’t fix!
Can RC boats be used in salt water? See my related article here
- Completion Level
The last thing you need to consider is the completion level of the boat. There are three different levels to choose from.
- RTR (Ready-To-Run) – These boats are the ones that have been pre-assembled and don’t require any additional work on your part. They are great for beginners, as they allow you to get started right away without having to worry about putting the boat together.
- PNP (Plug-and-Play) – These boats do not contain any batteries, controllers, or motors. You’ll need to purchase these separately and then install them yourself. These are great for experienced RC boat enthusiasts who want more of a challenge.
- KIT (Do-It-Yourself) – These boats come as a kit that you’ll need to put together yourself. This is the most challenging option, but it’s also the most rewarding. If you’re up for a challenge and have the patience to put the boat together, this is the way to go.
Now that you know what to look for, you’re ready to start shopping for your new RC boat!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about RC boats.
Q.1. How fast do RC boats go?
A. The speed of an RC boat depends on a few factors, such as the type of motor, the size of the boat, and the weight of the batteries. In general, however, most RC boats can reach speeds between 20 and 30mph.
Q.2. Which is faster – gas RC boats or electric RC boats?
A. Gas-powered RC boats are typically faster than electric-powered boats. However, they’re also more expensive (due to fuel prices) and require more maintenance. Electric-powered boats are cheaper and easier to maintain, but they’re not as fast as gas-powered boats.
Q.3. What is the range of a normal RC boat?
A. Although RC boats are designed to travel as far as you can see them, obstacles such as trees, islands, and other boats can impede their progress. As such, most RC boats have an average range of about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers).
These are just a few of the many ways you can make your RC boat go faster. With a little bit of tweaking, you can turn your slow boat into a speed demon that leaves the competition in the dust (or mist!). So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start racing!