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Feb 10, 2011, 01:27 PM
Boomer1's Avatar
Thread OP

Hobby Engine 1/36 RC Southampton Tug Boat vs. Aquacraft Atlantic Harbor Tug

A fellow forum member has gotten me interested in these little boats. The Southhampton is a 22" model, single motor, nicely detailed and in videos I have seen is very manuverable. The lowest I have seen the Southampton go for was on the internet for $160 USD. I can't find that price since seeing it last Christmas, now they are on e-bay at $260 plus shipping from the UK. Hobbytron shows it for $199.95 but they don't have any.

There is another similar tug offered by AquaCraft that is a little bigger at 30.3", with a single motor, again nicely detailed. The Southhampton with the twin counter rotationg motors and double rudders is likely to handle better. The Atlantic Tug RTR sells for $249 from Tower hobbies with a membership it would be a little less. So if price were only criteria, the choice would be simple.

Atlantic Tug
Stock Number: AQUB59**
Length: 30.3 in (770 mm)
Beam: 9.8 in (250 mm)
Height: 19 in (485 mm)
Requires: 6-7 cell NiCd or NiMH battery, charger and 10 "AA" batteries

•Dimensions: Length 22" Width 8" Height 11"
•Twin Counter Rotating Propellers and Drive

My purpose in starting this thread is to ask you guys for any information you can share on either or both boats, any suggestions on a good place to get one without paying full price plus. Thank you
Last edited by Boomer1; Feb 10, 2011 at 03:21 PM.
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Feb 10, 2011, 05:28 PM
no wings any more, just dust!
Ghost 2501's Avatar
heya boomer,

I have one of the southampton tugs, and yes it would be the one i would go for! it also works well when you re wire it to independent motor control, and gives more options for upgrades!
Feb 10, 2011, 06:26 PM
Boomer1's Avatar
Thread OP
Are you talking about something like the items in the pictures below. A close friend has installed the system shown in the photos in his motor life boat, along with many more trick things -

I would love to do something like this, but the cost of this set up is pretty pricey. I am not sure if all that would fit inside the boat - 22" is pretty small to get ones fingers into.

The MLB is about 30" long and wide open, much like the Atlantic tug. I really like the looks and twin motor aspect of the Southhampton.

Can you take pictures of your set up and post them for us to see?

Thank you
Feb 10, 2011, 08:53 PM
rctugger's Avatar
Rick...good talking to you tonight about boats and my Southampton. I will em you a couple of pixs. I agree with Ghost above...I bought the Southampton vs the Atlantic. They both have their plus's and minus's....dave
Feb 11, 2011, 07:58 AM
Capt.Crash's Avatar
We have both in our club...depends what you want to do with the tug. If you need it to be a buoy setting/rescue workhorse....the Atlantic is better suited. Call me biased, but the Hampton is too small for much upgrading and as you can see....the Atlantic has potential.

Here are action videos:
(1 min 55 sec)

(2 min 52 sec)

(4 min 12 sec)

Oh...let me add I run a pair of 6000mah NiMh 7.2v packs for a total of 1200mah...all day dependable power.
Last edited by Capt.Crash; Feb 11, 2011 at 09:37 AM.
Feb 11, 2011, 09:16 AM
GILL RC's Avatar
Polks sold the South Hamton for a while. I got rid of the 2 ch radio that come with it. Put 2 Pro 100 speed controls (seperat throttles) in with a Seeker 6 6ch receiver. I run her on a 7.2 volt 2800ma pack. Lots of power and control. I will be adding lights and sound.
Feb 11, 2011, 11:08 AM
Boomer1's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for the video!! I now have more questions. How did you release the buoy? Is it possible to see some photos of the tug and the sound system?
I luv it! I know Kmot installed one in his MLB and that it is very cool.

It looks like the tug in the video has been modified to look older and more realistic than the pristine appearance of a new one.

I chatted with Dave (rctugger) last night at length about these boats. He has a Southampton, but like your club, there are both boats. He feels the Southampton is better built/engineered boat and very water tight. He shared that the Altantic Harbor Tug turns better. He reported that the Atlantic Tugs in his club have issues with taking on water via the prop shaft, and feels they are not as well sealed.

My pal CHIDAGO/John had the Atlantic, which he did his magic on, and is a strong advocate for that boat.

To my taste the Southampton is a better looking boat and more to scale. I guess" beauty is in the eye".... for sure the larger tug has the room inside to make addtions and modifications.

I really like the sound systems, and would like to know more about what is involved.

Thank you
Feb 11, 2011, 11:51 AM
Capt.Crash's Avatar
There are a number of threads about the Atlantic tugs and all the upgrades and is the one I started with all the pics of the upgrades. As for the water leaking....a little grease in the shaft tube is needed to prevent the leaking and lubing the shaft on a regular basis is required on all power boats....same with the rudder tube.

The Atlantic can deal with the water over the sides with the addition of a raised combing around the cabin hole...which is my next upgrade soon. She can take pretty rough water, but once it's on deck the lack of proper drainage allows it to end up in the bilge.

I've had to rescue the South Hampton in our club on numerous occasions due to shaft flooding, leakage after breaking the seals to add things inside and power failures. She is a good looking tug, but not the workhorse that the Atlantic is.

As for the sound mod...the one on my tug is no longer available, but I put one from Harbor Models on my latest build and it sounds great. Only drawback is it is a 12v system...not you would need to adjust for that. I'm using a pair of cutdown Nimh 6 packs (two 5 packs in series) for my solution to get a 12v system. You could easily go with a 12v gel cell in the will handle the weight.

Read through the thread, and if you have any questions I'll be glad to help...

Feb 12, 2011, 03:56 AM
The sky is my playground.
Dora Nine's Avatar
I'm working on a South Hampton as we "speak." For me, the two boats are vastly different. I think the question, "What do you want to do with you tug?" should be asked. For me, I want a tug that'll handle a barge in all three modes of towing, on the wire, alongside and in the push.

Here are some pics and quick write-up on my progress.
Dec 04, 2011, 08:07 AM
Registered User

new to RC boats

ZauzI'm new to this so please help.

I'm still considering the Atlantic Harbor Aquacraft or the Southampton.

Currently leaning to the Atlantic Harbor because it looks like the Edward M. Cotter fire boat in Buffalo. This boat in the oldest fire boat in the world and a National Monument. This boat also does ice breaking on the Buffalo River.

Is the boat a good choice? You can see the Cotter on Utube.

Can I repaint to the Atlantic Harbor red like the real boat?

Dec 04, 2011, 10:22 AM
Boomer1's Avatar
Thread OP
These are both really nice tugs! The Atlantic Tug is a bit larger - which may give it a slight advantage. The Atlantic is a single screw vs. the South Hampton Tug which is a twin screw.

I think it comes down to personal tastes. I like them both and think the solution is to have both!

Full-Function Digital Proportional
Length 560mm = 22.0472441 inches.
Width 195mm
Height 285mm
Scale 1/36

Length: 30.3" (770mm)
Width: 9.8" (250mm)
Height: 19" (483mm)
Dec 04, 2011, 12:50 PM
Old wreck in Milwaukee
Prins Willem's Avatar
My brother has the Atlantic and likes it. It's a good starter boat for a new R/C'er. Not very complicated and comes ready to go less batteries. As a scratch builder and tug fan I could pick the boat apart on several fronts for design issues and how some aspects of it were made. Still the materials are good quality with the fiberglass hull and substantial superstructure.

The point which may decide it for you is the Southampton is difficult to near impossible to find in the US. The mfg requires the models be bought by the container load and no US distributor will do this. I found this out through our local hobby shop owner because he checked on getting them at the NY Toy & Hobby show a couple of years ago. I don't think we have a Southampton in our club (51 members). Didn't this boat also come out with another name?

Edward M Cotter, the boat can be repainted. Take a look at the great job Capt. Crash did redoing his Atlantic into the Belinda. If you search the forum you'll find other rebuilds. I seam to recall somebody installing a monitor on one. She would make a decent fireboat, with her looks better than a tug IMHO.

Found an answer to the name question. ebay had the same boat with the name Atlantic. So Boomer1 can choose between the Atlantic and Atlantic.
Last edited by Prins Willem; Dec 04, 2011 at 08:08 PM.
Dec 04, 2011, 01:15 PM
Boomer1's Avatar
Thread OP

E-bay list a few for sale

This is a link to a US seller that has Southhampton Tugs for sale.
Dec 04, 2011, 08:00 PM
Old wreck in Milwaukee
Prins Willem's Avatar
Originally Posted by Boomer1
This is a link to a US seller that has Southhampton Tugs for sale.
Boomer1 the way I read the ebay listing is somebody selling off their NIB boat, not somebody importing them for resale. Doesn't matter with a new in box though as long as the box and contents are intact.

The only US dealer I'm aware of is Hobbytron and if you search them on the forum you won't want to buy from them. I wasn't thrilled with my Hobbytron experience but I eventually did get my order.

Since there is a Southampton available at what appears to be a decent price your back to trying to decide which boat.
Dec 04, 2011, 08:30 PM
Registered User
Boomer Check out the Chinese supplier on EBay With them available in the $160 range. He has it and the Atlantic version (in white finish)on hand, good service too. Open up the boat, convert to twin esc(Viper 10's) and install a full size 6 cell just forward of the motor/gearbox and it will be real working tug. If you want to gain bollard pull buy the K1720 Prop Shop propellers and go for it. They are pricey but double the numbers on pull. Mine is being used for twin screw training, but it is nice enough that the real dream tug may never get built. Move a 50 lb barge with authority.

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