Radio Controlled Boats - How Fast Can You Go?
By Jason Lincoln

If you are looking for a fun filled sport where skill and speed are entirely under your control a radio controlled boat can certainly fill the ticket. Remote controlled vehicles are available in lots of different models including the ever popular monster trucks and made to scale helicopters. Undeniably one of the most fun filled RC's are radio controlled boats.

Operated on the same basis as other radio controlled vehicles, the remote controlled boat has a hand held controller that transmits a signal to a receiver on board the boat which, in turn, controls its speed and steering.

The most common remote control boats are Toy-grade models which are commonly used by beginners and youngsters. Toy grade rc boats are generally designed as colorful toys which often replicate popular movie characters or cartoons, yet they can provide hours of fun and relaxation to novice users.

Toy grade radio controlled boats are typically a lot less powerful and considerably slower than hobby grade models. Hobby grade remote controlled boats are often purchased as standard kits with optional upgrades available to enhance their function as collector items or competitive racing models. Usually equipped with advanced frequency options, hobby grade vehicles are typically faster, easier to control, stronger and more durable than toy grade models.

Radio controlled Hobby boats, which are generally used for racing, are designed to operate via electric, gas or nitro power motors. No matter which mode of power is used the general idea is to design a rc boat that optimizes speed and maneuverability.

Racing circuits are constructed on waterways with various shapes laid out and defined with buoys. These commonly consisting of a one-sixteenth mile oval with 330 feet straight sections and 70 feet diameter turns. Professional racing associations have explicit regulations and particular rules which address other variables such as racing formats, rules and course layout.

Other competitions employ the straight of way course rather than the oval design. On the straight of way (SAW) racing course timed events are held to highlight just how fast the remote control boat can go from a starting to an ending light. Speed is calculated by timing the difference from starting and stopping versus the distance between the lights.

Some boat races are conducted on the ocean with operators controlling their units from chase boats running parallel to the racing models. These race courses are generally a few miles in length with competitors judged against the clock for their predetermined classes, which are defined by engine type and size. Ocean and river going radio controlled boats are generally powered by internal combustion engines.

Calmer lake waters are usually home to sprint-type races and the radio controlled boats used generally have electric motors. They are often referred to as fast electric (FE) boats. Advances in technology have instigated a resurged interest in fast electric rc boat operation. The recent major improvements in brushless motors in tandem with higher capacity availability makes the high performance cells beneficial in transforming fast electric boating from the less glamorous forerunner of nitro based operation into the high speed pastime of today.

This superior product provides a low maintenance, high efficiency radio control boat that is capable of extremely high speeds and superior endurance. Due to their present day popularity and the potential for increased consumer in the future, brushless electric motor driven boats are now cheaper to run and have eclipsed the smaller brushed motors of the past.

Further advances in cell technology have had a major impact on radio controlled fast electric boat racing; however, they too will soon become obscure with the advances in lithium cell technology. This newer technology will not only significantly increase longer run times they will also be capable of releasing energy more rapidly. This, of course, translates into increased motor power and therefore higher speed on the water, which is exactly what enthusiastic remote controlled boat operators want.

With longer run times and increased speed capability of the newer and improved electric cell radio controlled boat aficionados can look forward to even more thrills and excitement in the pursuit of their hobby. In addition, because these remote controlled boats are designed for quiet operation and simplicity of use they are consistently gaining popularity as an accepted and fun sport on most local lakes and ponds.

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