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Best Overall/Best Range: GordVE Remote Control Boat at Amazon
"Easy to handle, thanks to a well-designed remote control featuring an LCD screen."
Best for Speed: H102 Velocity Remote Control Boat at Amazon
"It will cruise past other boats at 20mph and can be controlled from nearly 400 feet away."
Best Budget: Cheerwing RC Racing Boat at Amazon
"Don’t let the price fool you — this boat is chock full of features."
Best for Group Racing: UDI001 Venom Boat at Amazon
"It tops out at about 15mph and its rudder design makes maneuvering easy."
Best Design: Contixo T2 RC Speedboat at Amazon
"Features a High-Rev steering rudder that offers precise directional control."
Best Handling: SZJJX RC Boat 2.4GHz Boat at Amazon
"For an older child who enjoys doing flips and turns, this boat is the perfect pick."
Best for Beginners: Force1 H105 Velocity Boat at Amazon
"The capsize-recovery feature allows the boat to quickly reorient itself in choppy waters."
Best Splurge: Feilun RC Racing Boat at Amazon
"Backed by a powerful engine and motor...was made to impress and has a price to match."
Courtesy of Amazon
The GordVE Remote Control Boat reaches speeds of up to 18mph and has a control range of nearly 500 feet. It’s also easy to handle, thanks to well-designed remote control featuring an LCD screen that displays, among other things, speed and battery capacity. Speaking of battery, you’ll get about 6 to 8 minutes of playtime per charge, and charging time is around 45 minutes. Its build features a waterproof hull and anti-tilt modular design to prevent capsizing, and its impact-resistant ABS plastic body ensures this boat can stand up to rocks and waves.
If it’s speed you crave, spring for the H102 Velocity remote control boat. It will cruise past other boats at 20mph and can be controlled from nearly 400 feet away. Its double hatch design is built to keep water out and its remote has a recovery mode that will self-right the boat should it capsize. We especially love the remote control of this boat, which has an LCD screen, signal and power displays, trim adjustment and left/right throttle switch modes. It also has an Emergency Stop feature, which helps keep it in place better than other remote control boats. The box includes two 7.4v 1000mAh Li-Po batteries, each of which will last you about 10 to 15 minutes of playtime.
If you’re looking for RC fun on a budget, the Cheerwing racing boat is exactly what you’re after. Don’t let the price fool you — this boat is chock full of features. Connected to a 2.4GHz trigger controller, the boat can achieve a distance of around 300 feet. If the boat goes too far away, a poor signal alarm will activate alerting you to turn it around. As long as you’re within the appropriate range, the Cheerwing will help you steer safely. An auto-correcting yaw function ensures that you head in the right direction. In the event you navigate into unsafe waters, capsize recovery will self-right the hull so you can bring the boat back.
With a max speed of around 15mph, the boat is neither too fast nor too slow. While driving at top speed, the boat can sail for as long as eight minutes. Once the battery is empty, a full charge takes up to 80 minutes before you’re back on the water. As the battery runs low, a low battery alarm activates on the remote indicating you have limited time left.
When it comes to racing, the more the merrier! The UDI001 Venom features a four-channel 2.4GHz frequency controller that lets you race up to four boats at the same time without worrying that your signals will cross.
It tops out at about 15mph and its rudder design makes maneuvering easy. Its rugged ABS anti-tilt hull also strikes a perfect balance between style and speed. The boat comes with two 3.7v 600mAh Li-Ion batteries and has a low-battery warning feature that means the remote will beep when there’s one minute of power remaining. Inside the boat, you’ll also find a water-cooled, single-prop motor to max out power and prevent overheating.
The Contixo T2 is bound to turn heads — that is, if you can catch a glimpse of it. The boat’s sleek, aqua-dynamic design cuts through waves with ease and can reach speeds of over 20mph. It also features a High-Rev steering rudder that offers precise directional control, allowing you to make impressive maneuvers on a dime. Afraid of losing your cruiser to the waves? Never fear; the Contixo T2 comes equipped with a fail-safe that recovers quickly after capsizing. The battery-powered remote comes equipped with a 2.4GHz wireless connection, ensuring reliable, high-speed transmissions from up to 120 meters away (393 feet).
The Contixo T2 is perfect for racing enthusiasts and beginners alike. The user-friendly controls and capsize-recovery feature allow beginners to ease themselves into the sport. Experts, on the other hand, will appreciate the T2’s quality craftsmanship, making it faster and more durable than many of its competitors.
For an older child who enjoys doing flips and turns, this boat is the perfect pick. It can make sharp turns and even do 180-degree flips when it capsizes. The remote features a left- and right-hand throttle switch function, which lets you switch the throttle mode between mode 1 and 2 freely — especially convenient for lefties. (The controller takes four AA batteries, which are not included.) It hits speeds up to 15mph from a control distance of nearly 500 feet. Unfortunately, its 7.4V 600mAh lithium-ion battery only delivers about 7 to 8 minutes of playtime, after which the battery must be charged up for 40 to 50 minutes. Still, that’s nothing an additional battery can’t solve.
Speedboat racing takes some practice to master, but certain boats are more user-friendly than others. If you're just starting out or want to buy a boat that your child can learn to use, the Force1 H105 Velocity is a good option. The boat does most of the work for you: its auto-correcting rudder keeps you from veering off course during races, and the capsize-recovery feature allows the boat to quickly reorient itself in choppy waters.
The Force1 H105 is also one of the fastest remote control boats on the market, boasting 25mph top speeds. Just keep in mind that while the H105 is approved for freshwater sailing (perfect for camping and fishing trips), we wouldn’t recommend taking it out to the beach, since salt water can ruin the motor.
The Force1 H105 comes with two rechargeable batteries, an extra propeller, a nose guard, and a dry-dock stand for easy storage.
Backed by a powerful engine and motor, the Feilun RC racing boat was made to impress and has a price to match. Equipped with a 25A two-way speed controller and brushless motor, the Feilun impresses with its solid performance. The motor’s power enables the boat to reach a top speed of around 34mph and can travel for around 300 to 400 feet from the remote control. Working with a 2.4GHz radio channel, the signal fades as the boat journeys farther away.
Powering the boat is an 14.8V lithium battery while the remote includes six AA batteries. With a total charge time of around three hours, the Feilun can run for up to fifteen minutes. The time can vary depending on performance as slower speeds might boost runtime closer to seven minutes. Whether you’re an experienced driver or a beginner, the Feilun protects against mistakes. Built-in safety features assist with the boat with flipping upright automatically if the boat is capsized while driving.
Speed - Perhaps the single most important feature when considering which remote control boat to buy is speed. On the lower end, budget boats max out around 15 miles per hour, but the fancier models will max out around 27 miles per hour.
Range - The farther the range of your boat, the more of an aquatic playground you have. The top-tier boats boast about 400 to 500 feet, and some even have an alarm that sounds when you’re nearing the edge of your range.
Battery - It’s all fun and games until your battery dies, stranding your boat in the middle of a lake. The average boat will score you about 6 to 12 minutes of playtime, depending on speed. While that’s not a lot, many boats come with a second battery that you can swap out to keep the fun going. Also, check on how long it takes the battery to charge, as that can be another relevant factor that will affect your entertainment.