Remote control boats can provide hours of entertainment for kids and adults. They offer boatloads of fun and allow you to soak in the sun and spend time with friends and family at the lake, pond or a pool. However, with so many different shapes, sizes and types to choose from, purchasing the best remote control boat can prove difficult. Many of the boats on our list are geared toward children and are ready-to-run right out of the box. However, some are more advanced and better suited for teens and even adults. If you are a hobbyist or looking to become one, you may prefer boats that require additional assembly and the purchase of separate parts.
Here you'll find articles about remote control boats and their myriad features. To help you find the perfect RC boat, take a look at our top three products: the Pro Boat Impulse, the Radio Ranger and the Atomik Barbwire Boat.
When considering RC boats you have a handful of options and features to choose from. We sought out remote control boats that are fun, fast and perform well and still come with the essential accessories such as a transmitter, battery and stand.
Here are the criteria we considered to evaluate the best RC boats.
Remote controlled boats are fun for both kids and adults who still are kids at heart. The perfect RC boat depends on the person who will be using it, so it is imperative that you consider how the boat will be used. Are you going to be racing the boat? If so, you'll want a sleek speedboat. Are you a hobbyist with some spare time and an inkling about boats or radios? If so, you may be interested in getting a sailboat. Is the boat for a child who doesn't really care about speed? Then your best bet may be a battleship or a boat that allows you to hook up a fishing line to catch a fish.
After you factor who will use the boat, consider the speed and range you're looking for. Although speed isn't imperative, faster is generally better and more fun. RC boat speeds vary from around 10 to 30 miles per hour. Range will affect your boat's overall functionality. If it doesn't have a far range, your boat could become stranded, forcing you to retrieve it or potentially lose it. The remote control range of the boats we reviewed is between 100 to 400 feet. You'll also want to take a look at a boat's run time. This is how long it will last before the battery dies. On average, expect a boat to have a run time of around 12 minutes.
Think about what size of boat you want, and also consider whether the model's design accuracy is important to you. Do you want it to have attention to detail, like a battleship with a helicopter pad and gun torrents? Are you more in the market for a speedboat and don't care whether it lacks of seat and a steering wheel?
Some RC boats are ready to run and don't just require a charged battery to hit the water. Others require you to select a motor or pick out a battery or receiver, and some alert you when the battery is about to die. Also, if you are shopping for a child, you'll want to check and see if the boat has safety features that prevent the propellers from spinning when it is removed from the water.
Accessories & Supplies
Some models are ready to go right out of the box. If you plan to start using your purchase immediately, make sure it includes all the necessary accessories, like a transmitter, display stand, wall charger and boat battery. Some boat manufacturers throw in extra propellers, too. If those accessories are not included, be aware that you'll need to purchase them separately.
Also look for models with available decals. Even if color or details don't matter to you, decals and color accents can help you differentiate your boat from others at the race in the pond. Not only that, if the wind picks up and you go a little off course you can see your brightly colored boat from farther away.
Help & Support
Like with a new television or video game system, having a long warranty is a huge benefit and safety net. It eliminates the worry of something going wrong, such as a part like a propeller malfunctioning. We looked for products that include a warranty so you can have some peace of mind. We also looked for products with customer reviews so it's possible to read how others would rate their overall experience with the RC boat. Lastly, many manufacturers include some YouTube videos of the boats in action, which is extremely helpful when selecting the perfect boat for you or a child.
After considering these factors, you should be able to choose a remote control boat that is ideal for the kind of experience you have in mind. So jump on board, or set sail, and find the RC boat you're looking for.