HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale

Pro Boat RC Retrieval Decoy Review: Great for a Child's First RC Boat

I bought the RC Retrieval Duck as a Christmas present for my wife, but I have discovered that little kids love it too!

Splash

Introduction


Length:13"
Width:6.5"
Height:7.25"
ESC:Waterproof 30 Amp with reverse
Motor:380-size water cooled
Transmitter:Pro Boat 2.4GHz Marine pistol grip
Receiver:Spektrum MR200 2 channel
Battery:7.2V 1200mAh 2/3A NiMH
Charger:110-230V AC 2-Hour
Manufacturer:Pro Boats
Available From:Horizon Hobby
Price:$159.99

Horizon Hobby and Pro Boat are promoting this electric duck's decoy retrieving capabilities. But I bought one for my wife to give her something RC to operate when I operate my RC boats in our pool, on a lake or the California Delta, and also as a "Rescue Duck" for them. However, what I have learned with the duck is just how much children love to watch and operate it. Thanks to its slow speed, they can safely and easily learn to operate it under adult supervision. (Never leave children alone near or in the water!) The duck does not have an exposed propeller so it is safe for them to operate and handle. With its slow speed, they can learn the basics of how to operate an electric boat/duck and safely operate their own vessel. If dad crashes his race boat or gets in trouble the child can rescue dad's boat with the duck and the baby duck gaff.

Kit Contents

Included Items

  • RC Duck with motor, ESC, on/off switch, steering servo, propulsion unit and receiver
  • 4 cell NiMH battery power pack
  • Wall charger for power pack
  • Pro Boat Marine Transmitter
  • Two instruction manuals
  • Plastic screwdriver
  • Baby duck gaff with line to connect to "mother" duck




Additional Items Required:

  • I had to supply 4 AA Alkaline batteries to power the transmitter.
  • Otherwise everything needed came with the duck.

Promoted Key Features:

  • Highly detailed Mallard duck body
  • Retrieval gaff (included) used to recover downed waterfowl or RC boats
  • Comes ready to run with everything you need to get started. (minus 4 AA batteries for the transmitter)
  • Spektrum 2.4GHz marine technology provides interference-free operation and extended range
  • Rechargeable long-life battery with charger (included)
  • Magnetic hatch provides easy access to radio compartment and electronics
  • Sealed inner hull protects electronics from getting wet
  • Fully proportional throttle and steering control
  • Works great in conjunction with standard decoys
  • Interference-free operation and extended range provides the ability to maintain positioning in your duck blind while safely operating your decoy
  • Once the downed waterfowl hits the water, the decoy can safely tow waterfowl back to shore while not disturbing your hunting area. This allows you to retrieve your query without being seen by incoming flocks.
  • Actively attracts mallards while staying out of sight and inherently improving your overall hunting experience.
  • The powerful 380 size motor allows for operation in most current conditions.

Assembly

The duck requires no assembly! Just get out the battery pack and the wall charger, and plug the charger into a wall outlet and the battery pack into the charger, then read the instructions while the battery is charging. Stop charging if the battery pack gets warm or after two hours.

Hull

All of the operating components for the duck came installed in the hull. The hull has a plastic cover to keep all of the components dry. The top portion of the duck's body covers the protective plastic cover and is held onto the hull by magnets. When the battery pack was charged I secured it to the bottom inside of the hull with a piece of self-sticking Velcro with the matching piece of Velcro on the battery pack. If the duck doesn't rest upright in the water, move the battery pack around until it does. The receiver has an antenna that comes out through the middle of the duck's body to help with the receiver's range. I always make sure the plastic cover is properly on the hull to keep water out of the inside of the duck/hull.

Activating The ESC

With the battery pack plugged in and the transmitter turned on, I moved the switch inside the hull to the "on" position. The radio activated, and the steering servo worked. To activate the motor control, I turned the boat back off and quickly back on, and as the ESC beeped, I squeezed the throttle all the way in and let it back out to neutral. The ESC was armed, and the 380 motor operated.

How the Duck is Powered

The duck has a water cooled 380 motor. When the duck is operating, water is forced around the motor and back out of the duck. This water cools the motor to allow for long life and operation. The drive system, powered by the motor, conducts water into the duck and out of the nozzle at the back of the duck. The servo controls the nozzle direction to steer the duck. Keep clear of the screen where the water is drawn in and keep it free from obstructions for proper operation.

Radio Range

With the antenna up and sticking out of the duck's back, the range is 400 yards or more. That is about three complete football fields. I can't imagine ever having the duck that far away. I have operated the duck in a pond with the antenna inside the boat on top of the cover plate, and I had range of at least 200 feet, which was maximum for the pond. Since we like the looks better without the antenna, that is how we will normally operate the duck.

Operation

My wife was surprised when she turned the steering wheel to the right (looking at the duck from behind) it went to the left. Fortunately, there is a switch on the transmitter that reverses that. To power the duck forward just pull the trigger on the transmitter back toward the handle. Push the trigger out, and the duck will go slightly backwards. The duck is designed to go forward; the backward movement is to get out of trouble and not for normal movement.

The Gaffe or Baby Duck

Dead ducks, stalled boats and assorted floating items can be retrieved using the duck to pull the baby duck by and around the object to be retrieved. There are three hooks under the gaffe to hopefully snag something and let the duck bring it home. When duck hunting, the hunter can retrieve downed ducks without showing himself or using a dog. Ducks flying by might still come down and land on the water during the retrieval process. The baby duck looks cool following the "mother" duck and makes the scene more realistic. I have used it to retrieve a stalled boat, and it worked well. There is a video below of the gaffe retrieving one of my boats.

Is This For a Beginner?

YES! That is why I wrote this review. Even little children do well with this slow moving duck with direct supervision.

Water Video/Photo Gallery










Downloads

Downloads

Conclusion

The duck comes ready to operate. Just charge the battery pack and put 4 AAs in the transmitter. The duck's speed is controlled by a trigger on the transmitter but it can be dialed down with a blade screwdriver by a control on the bottom of the transmitter for operation by really young children. The duck does make an operational noise that was off-putting to real ducks; that is, they moved away as my duck approached. The range with the antenna up really is excellent. The duck is extremely small looking at 100 yards, but that is as far as I went in my range check. In a small pond or pool the duck was very enjoyable for children as young as 4 to operate. On a large lake or the delta, the slow speed setting really seemed slow. The baby duck does snag lots of things in the water including sticks and seaweed, and it should be able to do its stated job or retrieving decoys.

Pluses:

  • Easy to operate
  • No assembly required
  • Looks like a duck
  • Speed can be modified slower for young operators

Minuses:

  • Slow is really slow for adults
  • There is duck tail but no rooster tail
Last edited by Angela H; Sep 14, 2011 at 10:39 AM..

Discussion

Reply
Thread Tools
Old Sep 14, 2011, 06:47 AM
Registered User
mrmj2u's Avatar
United States, DC, Washington
Joined Mar 2011
250 Posts
I think I would buy this just to mess around with other ducks at the local ponds... lol
mrmj2u is offline Find More Posts by mrmj2u
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 2011, 07:28 AM
Registered User
Florida
Joined Dec 2001
371 Posts
Will there be an unlimited race version? Maybe a good .91 with a pipe? Would be extra cool if the .91 had a transmission to scale flippers.
CafeenMan is offline Find More Posts by CafeenMan
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 2011, 08:43 AM
Registered User
Ireland
Joined Apr 2001
4,031 Posts
Lest start with changing the motor E.S.C. to brushless and the battery to a lipo pack.
Add red led to the eyes. a smoke generator and a sound module .

Hmm the possibilities
cmulder is offline Find More Posts by cmulder
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 2011, 09:17 AM
Registered User
hunters43's Avatar
Junction City Or.
Joined Sep 2004
336 Posts
I only see one thing wrong here , Its a Daddy duck and not a mommy
hunters43 is offline Find More Posts by hunters43
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 2011, 09:57 AM
Air, Ground & Water
freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
23,814 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunters43 View Post
I only see one thing wrong here , Its a Daddy duck and not a mommy
And I see another more important issue and that's with the TITTLE of this thread/review.
Quote:
Pro Boat RC Retrieval Decoy Review: Great for a Child's First RC Boat
Child?? Should read
Quote:
Great for retreival boat for your gasser.
freechip is online now Find More Posts by freechip
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 2011, 11:44 AM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
PDX, OR
Joined Dec 2002
10,271 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by CafeenMan View Post
Will there be an unlimited race version? Maybe a good .91 with a pipe? ....
Aaah, you mean superduck... built by dirtysouth31 back in 2007

SuperDee27 Part2 (2 min 31 sec)



Umi_Ryuzuki is offline Find More Posts by Umi_Ryuzuki
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 2011, 01:57 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,431 Posts
If they made it more powerful there would be too many quack ups.
Michael Heer is offline Find More Posts by Michael Heer
RCG Plus Member
Old Sep 14, 2011, 03:15 PM
Registered User
United States, NC, Charlotte
Joined Jun 2011
36 Posts
Another thing wrong with it is baby mallard ducks are supposed to be brown, not the same color as the adult mallard.
benadryl is offline Find More Posts by benadryl
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 2011, 03:58 PM
Registered User
United States, ID, Rexburg
Joined Sep 2008
6,449 Posts
Now that is punny!
Foo
fooman2008 is offline Find More Posts by fooman2008
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 2011, 04:50 PM
Registered User
Vancouver, BC
Joined Aug 2009
2,015 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umi_Ryuzuki View Post
Haha! I think he needs to move the batteries forward, and maybe add some trim tabs! lol
Firehawk989 is offline Find More Posts by Firehawk989
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 2011, 05:27 AM
Registered User
Usta Bee's Avatar
Joined Jul 2004
3,771 Posts
Is it fast enough for a squirrel to waterski behind it ?.


Waterskiing Squirrel (0 min 45 sec)
Usta Bee is online now Find More Posts by Usta Bee
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 2011, 09:40 AM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,431 Posts
Hi Usta:
I think it can handle the water skiing squirrel... as long as he doesn't push down too hard with the back leg to generate a rooster tail.
Michael Heer is offline Find More Posts by Michael Heer
RCG Plus Member
Last edited by Michael Heer; Sep 15, 2011 at 12:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 16, 2011, 01:23 PM
Intermediate Multi
Trisquire's Avatar
Columbus, OH
Joined Mar 2005
3,268 Posts
Interesting RC model.
Trisquire is offline Find More Posts by Trisquire
Last edited by Trisquire; Sep 19, 2011 at 06:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 18, 2011, 07:53 AM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,431 Posts
My duck is going to a church picnic today held by a small lake. If it isn't needed to rescue an RC speed boat I am sure the kids will have fun with it. Mike H
Michael Heer is offline Find More Posts by Michael Heer
RCG Plus Member
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question Good retrieval boat dale4040 Waterplanes 13 Jul 11, 2011 06:55 AM
Discussion Pro Boat's new Retrieval Duck Decoy Michael Heer Dock Talk 4 Oct 22, 2010 06:53 PM
Discussion Pro Boat's 30" RC Coast Guard Rescure Boat Boomer1 Scale Boats 12 May 23, 2010 01:59 PM
Idea boat/decoy envoy Scale Boats 9 Oct 21, 2007 09:08 AM