Best Beginner RC Boats for True Fun – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

beginner boats reviews

Remote control boats are a boatload of fun, so of course, you want one! However, with a ton of things to consider and even more options to choose from, picking the right one is no easy feat.

While your initial instincts may be to go with the fastest and biggest RC boat or one loaded with advanced features, your bubble will soon burst if you can’t control it and keep it from crashing into the shore, or worse yet, other boats.

If you’re new to the fun-filled world of RC boats, it’s best to choose one more in tune with your experience and comfort level. After all, there’s nothing worse than spending a pretty penny on a boat you can’t even operate.

Best RC Boat for Beginners in 2019 – Comparison

ImageProductDetails
editor's choice

H102

Force1 H102

  • Top Speed: 20+ MPH
  • Run Time: 10 minutes
  • Weight: 2.25 pounds

Read our Review

GoolRC GC001

GoolRC GC001

  • Top Speed: 18+ MPH
  • Run Time: 5-10 minutes minutes
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds

Read our Review

UDI001

USA Toyz UDI001

  • Top Speed: 15+ MPH
  • Run Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

Read our Review

Cheerwing RC Racing Boat for Adults - High Speed Electronic Remote Control Boat for Kids, Black

Cheerwing RC Racing Boat

  • Top Speed: 15 MPH
  • Run Time: 6-8 minutes
  • Weight: 1.45 pounds

Read our Review

We believe everyone should be able to have fun from day one. So, we’ve put together this handy buying guide that’s chock full of valuable info and unbiased reviews of some great beginner-friendly RC boats. Enjoy!

Force1 H102 Velocity – Best RC Boat for Speed

Force1 H102 Velocity review

You may be new to RC boats, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the thrill of going fast and skimming across the water at 20+ mph.

While there are plenty of RC boats capable of hitting these speeds and going even faster, as far as fast beginner-friendly boats go, the Force1 H102 Velocity is tough to beat.

Fast and Feature-Packed

In addition to reaching 20+ mph, which is pretty impressive for an RC boat in this category, this lightning-quick RC boat is easy to maneuver as well. Not only does it have an LCD display remote with left and right throttle switch modes, but it also has digital trim adjustment and a handy emergency stop function.

With a double hatch to keep water out and a self-righting recovery mode as well, it’s easy to see why the Force1 H102 Velocity is such a popular choice for today’s novice and intermediate RC boat drivers.
Pros
  • Super speedy
  • Easy-to-use LCD remote
  • Emergency stop and self-righting features
  • Extra battery included
Cons
  • May be a little too fast for some beginners
  • Could be a bit more water tight

GoolRC GC001 – Best Beginner Boat for Maneuverability

GoolRC GC001

Designed for slightly more advanced users, the GoolRC GC001 RC Boat is propelled by a robust 7.4-volt lithium ion battery, allowing it to hold a massive 1500mAh charge and cruise along on the open water at up to 18 mph.

A Focus on Maneuverability

Nonetheless, the GC001 truly shines in the maneuverability department. It’s small, nimble, and thanks to its optional “Headless Mode,” which is able to navigate a variety of obstacles simply by moving the remote.

While it can take some getting used to, this is an awesome feature. The boat will literally go wherever you point the remote.

Of course, like many battery-powered RC boats, it only has a runtime of 10 minutes per charge. However, thanks to its affordable price, you can easily stock up on a few extra batteries to really hone your driving skills and enjoy hours of fun out on the water.

Pros
  • Very maneuverable
  • Powerful battery
  • Unique Headless Mode
  • Capsize protection
Cons
  • Limited battery life
  • Headless Mode can take some getting used to

USA Toyz UDI001 Venom RC Boat – Best RC Boat under $100

Venom RC Boat

When it comes to racing against others, there’s no better beginner RC boat out there than the Venom by USA Toyz. If you want to hone your skills and have a blast experiencing the thrill of competition, it might just be RC boat for you.

What makes the Venom so great for competition? Well, for starters its water-cooled motor can allow it to reach speeds of up to 15 mph.

It also features an easy-to-steer servo to handle turns like a pro and an anti-tilt hull for added stability. Plus, like other quality RC boats on this list, it has a self-righting feature to combat against capsizing.

On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!

The Venom’s four-channel 2.4GHz remote controller is designed to allow you to race against up to four boats without any worry of interference from signals crossing. It also features a low-battery warning and comes with an extra battery so you can stay out of the pits and on the water where the Venom belongs.

Pros
  • Ready to run right out of the box
  • Great for racing
  • Interference-free controller
  • Simple operation
Cons
  • Can only be used in fresh water
  • Could be more watertight

Cheerwing RC Racing Boat – Good Choice Under $50

Cheerwing RC Racing Boat review

If you’re looking to break into the fun-filled world of RC boats but want to keep your budget in check, the Cheerwing may be right up your alley. However, despite its low price, it’s loaded with features and a ton of fun.

Same Great Features – Surprisingly Low Price

With its 2.4Ghz trigger controller, the Cheerwing can cruise the water up to 300 feet away before losing a signal. If it strays too far away, the remote’s poor signal alarm will activate and alert you to turn it around.

When in range, the Cheerwing’s auto-correcting yaw feature will help you steer safely and head in the right direction. Meanwhile, if you stray too far off course into rough waters, its capsize recovery function will allow it to self-right itself.

Apart from these great features, which we were surprised to find on a boat in this price range, it has a max speed of 15 mph and runtime of eight minutes. While both of these figures are a little lower than some of the other beginner-friendly RC boats on this list, they’re more than serviceable, especially considering the Cheerwing’s budget-friendly price.

Pros
  • Great value
  • Easy to use
  • Good steering and maneuverability
Cons
  • Lacks a bit of speed
  • Runtime could be longer

Best RC Boat for Beginners in 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the right RC boat, especially if you’re a beginner, is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sure, you could purchase an RC boat based on looks and a few user reviews, but there’s a lot more to consider if you want to pick the very best option for your budget, needs, and skill level.

How to Choose the Right RC Boat

  • Cost:

It may seem obvious, but unless you’re fortunate enough to have an unlimited budget, cost is likely a major consideration. Generally, the more powerful and fast an RC boat is, the more it cost.

Fortunately, as you can see from the list above, beginner RC boats are relatively similar in terms of both speed and cost. So, while the cost is important unless you’re really pinching your pennies, it shouldn’t play a major role in your decision process.

  • Type of Boat:

Next, it’s time to think about the type of RC boat you want and what you’ll be using it for. If you simply want to use the boat in your backyard pool, then a toy-grade boat might be the perfect solution in terms of control and price.

However, if you want to fly over the water at lightning-fast speeds, a top-end RC sports boat with a gas or nitro engine may be a better fit. More into leisurely cruises than high speeds? Then, perhaps an RC sailboat is the way to go. Like playing naval war games, then you may want to consider an RC battleship or submarine.

When it comes to RC boats, the options are endless, but electric RC boats are by far the most beginner-friendly. With an electric RC boat, like the ones we reviewed above, you simply turn it on, put it in the water, and have fun. Not only are they easy to handle and maneuver, but there’s virtually no maintenance involved.

rc-racing-boat

  • Maneuverability:

The best beginner RC boats are extremely maneuverable and easy to handle. While double-hull boats are great for speed, single-hull designs are easier to steer and maneuver around the water.

  • Speed:

When shopping for a beginner RC boat, or any RC boat for that matter, speed is another important consideration. Although some gas and nitro RC boats can reach speeds in excess of 40 mph, electric beginner RC boats typically top out at 20 mph, which is more than fast enough for some serious fun. Just remember, the faster an RC boat goes, the harder it is to handle.

  • Motor:

Most beginner RC boats utilize brushed or brushless electric motors. Brushed motors are less expensive, but they also produce less power and are prone to overheating. Brushless motors, on the other hand, generate less friction and higher speeds.

  • Self-Righting Feature:

This is an important feature found on many beginner RC boats. It allows the boat to flip back over upright all by itself, so there’s no need to run out in the water each time it capsizes.

Conclusion

RC boats are a ton of fun, but getting the wrong boat for your needs and skill level can turn a fun experience into frustration in no time at all. Once you feel comfortable controlling a beginner RC boat, you can upgrade to quench your thirst for power and speed.

That being said, many RC boat enthusiasts find basic beginner boats just as fun as more expensive and finicky high-end models. So, now that you know what to look for in a beginner RC boat and a little about some of today’s top options, it’s time to pick one out and take your freshwater fun to a whole new level!

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Tom
Tom/ author of the article
Hi! My name is Tom. I'm a fan of RC tech for almost 15 years. Being a professional engineer, I started this blog to help people to choose the best RC gadgets from thousands on the market.
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