The 8 Best Remote Control Boats to Buy in 2018

Cruise the waterways with these awesome toys

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When buying a remote control boat, you’ll want to consider several factors including top speed, battery capacity, handling power, and ability to right itself after (inevitably) capsizing. Of course, if you’re planning to race against other boats, you’ll want one that operates on multiple frequencies so signals don’t get crossed. And remember, these boats are all designed to be used in fresh water, so, unfortunately, cruises on the ocean are a no-go. Read on to see which boats we think you should captain.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall/Best Range: GordVE Remote Control Boat

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.

Best for Speed: H102 Velocity Remote Control Boat

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.

Best Budget: Cheerwing RC Racing Boat

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. 

Best for Group Racing: UDI001 Venom Remote Control Boat

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.​

Best Battery Life: KingPow-DeXop Remote Control Boat

Most boats on this list will land you about 10 to 15 minutes of playtime on a single charge, but sometimes that doesn’t cut it. This boat scores you almost double that, so you don’t have to stop to recharge as frequently. It comes with a 4.8V 700mah Ni-CD battery that charges to full capacity in about three hours via a USB cable. On other measures, this boat is pretty standard, maxing out at about 15mph and listing a control range of about 100 feet.

Its remote fits the hand well and has a long antenna to maximize signal communications. Its impact-resistant ABS plastic parts make it highly durable, but unfortunately, it can only support one boat racing at a time.

Best Handling: SZJJX RC Boat 2.4GHz 4 Channels Remote Control Racing Boat

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.

Best Design: UDI007 Voyager Remote Control Boat

The UDI 007 Voyager RC Boat looks fast, and that’s because it is. Its sleek and streamlined design lets you make sharp twists and turns at up to 18mph from nearly 300 feet. Water circulates in and out of the engine to keep it cooled during racing, ultimately extending the single-prop 370-size motor life, and its waterproof hull with anti-tilt design keeps it safe and sturdy. The bilateral navigation rudder design corrects the yaw so to prevent capsizing. Battery life is fairly standard at about 10 to 15 minutes, and a low-power warning signal on the remote control will let you know when it’s time to head to shore.

Best Splurge: Feilun RC Racing Boat

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 27mph. At that speed, the boat 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 11.1V lithium battery while the remote includes six AA batteries. With a total charge time of around two hours, the Feilun can run for a total of six 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.