Newbie Just Getting my feet wet - boat question. - RC Groups
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Jan 20, 2010, 11:47 PM
Registered User

Newbie Just Getting my feet wet - boat question.

Hello. I just joined and I have a simply question about getting an entry level electric rc boat.

I have always wanted a rc boat, but I have always seen them as a lot of money. - $2-300 +... (Out of my pastime budget) Over Christmas I started looking on search engines and found a few websites selling $50-$60 descent looking boats.

Can you give me advice (pro /cons) on these 2 I'm picking from to be my first (Sport) boat. Water cooled vs fan cooled, 1 motor vs 2 smaller motors, pistol radio vs older style, etc. I know the quality is relevant to price but I just want something to tinker with. Do you think these would be up-gradable?

I have only found this on a couple of websites....:

I have found this 1 on a lot of websites :

Thank you for your help.
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Jan 21, 2010, 01:23 PM
3 Blades to the Wind
Shaun Hendricks's Avatar

There is no substitute for quality. You have to pay for it. Both those boats are in the 'toy' category and no, that second one would never embarass a real nitro boat. Sales pitches like that are actually warning bells.

Take it from someone with a 'project' NQD boat that is being 'upgraded', it is more effective to start with the real thing and then build it up if you are looking for a money over time solution.

For example, those boats are $60-$90 plus S&H, etc. You would be better served to save up a few months and get a $180 hobby grade boat that you could upgrade in place and not have to mod the boat much.

If you are of the model builder mindset, you can buy a $50-$75 fiberglass hull on ebay and start installing hobby grade gear into it over a few months. You might be at about $200 by the time you finish but you'll have a great moving boat that you built up yourself and you likely won't need to upgrade unless you really want to go for big power which an inexpensive hull might or might not perform well on.

If you really want to start with a toy and work to upgrade it, know what you are getting into...

Overpowered NQD hull

Conversion of similar hull, attempted inexpensive, isn't, wasn't, can't be.

If I were just starting out and needed a decent, inexpensive, go quick boat, try these:**&P=0

I've seen the CEN racing 550 powered one on ebay from time to time at under $100.
Jan 21, 2010, 03:19 PM
CG Bob's Avatar

As Shaun has said, it's better to invest in hobby grade models and equipment. Both of the boats you referenced claim to have a 300 foot radio range. Hobby grade radio equipment has a range of 300-550 yards (300 - 500 meters). Most of the time our boats are operated within 300 feet of our location on the shore. However some of us like to go a little farther offshore, I've had my 51" long USCGC TAMAROA as far out as 250 yards with full control. I've also had a 27" tug out as far as 150 yards in the same lake.

Another suggestion is to see if there's a local rc boat club in your area, join them and see what they're running.
Jan 22, 2010, 07:26 AM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
The vac-u-tug junior kit ($77) is complete, except for radio gear, motor esc, glue, and paint. It has great instructions, and I have enjoyed building 2 of them. Add a $100 radio (including 2 servos) and a $30 esc, and you will have a great boat for about $200. Hard to see how you could get a decent RC boat for less. My friend and I enjoy ours a lot. The nice thing about getting hobby grade radio equipment is that it can be moved to a new boat if you desire. The toy boat stuff is not as transferable, meaning that your toy would be sort of a dead-end toy, with no expansion possibilities as you gain experience or change your modeling/running goals.

If you are budget limited, how about building a non-RC boat - freesailing sailboats are a lot of fun (My 4-masted barque started out as a freesailor, and I have a couple others). I've run freemotoring boats from Seaworthy Small ships, and they are fun too.

Last edited by Brooks; Jan 22, 2010 at 07:37 PM.
Jun 06, 2010, 01:43 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by CG Bob

Another suggestion is to see if there's a local rc boat club in your area, join them and see what they're running.
You are kind of in my area....I am South West of Akron - between Massillon and Wooster, OH. Is there are race in Seville next week?

Thank you all for your help. I did end getting a boat and this is what it is. The Tower Hobby Turbo Vee 3
And of course, just after I got it T.H. came out with a slightly better model!!!
Jun 06, 2010, 05:30 PM
no wings any more, just dust!
Ghost 2501's Avatar
having seen many NQD highwinds come to westport lake, I have found that they all seem to have one thing in common, they're all pretty naff. the sea twister, yes it has potential, But, you have proportional rudder, but NO reverse and only FULL power forwards, so its best to swap out radio as soon as you get it.

you could go for the hobby engine saint tropez, it has a proportional radio, and standard servo and esc, so upgrades are easy
Jun 06, 2010, 11:08 PM
Registered User
This boat that I got has reverse and a full range of speed ranges. The only problem that I am having is that after about 7 minutes of motoring around, the motor just cuts out. I wait about 1 minute of it just floating in the water (still with rudder response) and I pull the trigger and it has just as much power as a full powered battery (and it never shows signs of power loss during this time). When the boat becomes active again it works great for about 3 minutes then it happens again. This happens over and over again. What could it be?
Some side notes:
Battery: brand new - bought with boat - Duratrax Onyx 3000 NiMH
Motor: water-cooled - I do notice water coming out of the tube.
When the battery does die, the power slows quit a bit.
Jun 06, 2010, 11:14 PM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
Sounds like the ESC is heating up and shutting down. It cools a bit and comes back on-line. Is the ESC hot when you come back in? Another thing, is the motor and prop shaft turning freely with no binding?
Jun 06, 2010, 11:19 PM
Registered User
The ESC is in a water tight box and have never seen it. So, I cant answer that question. I believe the prop spins freely. I just looked at it just now and it is fine.
Jun 06, 2010, 11:22 PM
Registered User
I do believe there is a red wire caught in between the lid of the water tight box. I have been unable to take the screws out because they started to strip out - so I stopped.
Jun 07, 2010, 05:24 PM
no wings any more, just dust!
Ghost 2501's Avatar
kent, get a drill and drill the screws out
Jun 07, 2010, 10:56 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Ghost 2501
kent, get a drill and drill the screws out
Thanks, That was my next plan but I think I am sending it in for warranty work. Its only 2 months old and driven it - maybe 10 times. The first few weeks I owned it, she sat on the 'dock' because the plastic prop and rudder were broken out of the box. Tower Hobby replaced them - at this point they should have replaced the entire vessel.
Jun 08, 2010, 01:45 AM
Registered User
Predreadnut's Avatar
If its the esc heating up like Greenboat said, it probably will happen with the new boat also. When you run a motor under load, you creat heat. That heat is going to go somewhere. If the motor is cooled, then its quite possible that the battery and esc will get hot. Thats why they make cooling kits for esc's.

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