|Retail Price:||$299.99 Rx-R, $349.99 2.4GHz RTR|
|Empty Weight:||3 lb 7 oz|
|Motor:||water-cooled 6-pole 1800kV brushless motor|
|ESC:||water-cooled 60A brushless controller|
|Battery Options:||(2) 2S 7.4V LiPo battery packs (4200mAh - 5000mAh), or (1) 4S 14.8V LiPo battery pack (4200mAh - 5000mAh)|
|Versions Available:||Receiver Ready (RxR) or Ready to Run (RTR)|
|Available from:||Tower Hobbies and local hobby stores|
|Distributed by:||Great Planes Model Distributors P.O. Box 9021, Champaign, IL 61826|
Aquacraft has finally stepped into uncharted waters with a true race-ready FE (fast electric) mono designed for competing in IMPBA and NAMBA's popular P-Mono class. The Revolt 30, an all-fiberglass hull with high quality GrimRacer hardware hanging off the transom, is the almost ready-to-run race boat we've all been waiting for. Mated with a water-cooled 1800kv motor, a water-cooled 60amp esc, and up to a 4 cells of LiPo power, this hull is capable of podium finishes right out the box. But if go-fast-turn-right isn't your thing, the Revolt 30 is more than willing to heat up your local pond without any buoys or checkered flags present. Let's take a look at this little speed machine and see what Aquacraft has put together.
The Revolt 30, like all Aquacraft boats I've had, was packaged well with no damage present and no quality control issues to speak of; styrofoam and cardboard spacers are used to keep the hull protected during it's long journey from the factory to your doorstep. Upon removing the hull, I noticed the hatch was secured with an evil tape that left quite a bit of residue as I peeled it away. You'll need some Goof-Off or similar spot/stain remover to get this stuff off. Aquacraft has taken note of it with an updated addendum to the manual, but I'm hoping they can address this with the factory and use something similar to standard hatch/radio box tape.
This all-fiberglass hull is outfitted with some great looking hardware from GrimRacer. The strut, turn fins, trim tabs, and rudder are comparable to any aftermarket hardware currently available, and there is no need to "upgrade" anything. All the hardware is adjustable; you can raise and lower the turn fins, adjust the trim tabs up or down (both inboard and outboard tabs), and angle the rudder forward or back to maximize your turning.
Even though the hardware was setup somewhat neutral, you will need to do a few adjustments to get the hull to run straight and not chine walk or drag the right side. We'll go over that in the setup and running section below.
With the hatch off, we can see the layout leaves plenty of room for either a pair of 7.4v lipos, or a single 4s lipo. Aquacraft gives you the option to run 4200mAh packs for racing, or bigger 5000mAh packs for a bit more endurance.
Aquacraft has fitted the Revolt 30 with a 6-pole 1800kv brushless inrunner motor that's installed inside an aluminum watercooling jacket. The motor and esc are watercooled because the hatch is taped shut to prevent water from entering, thus eliminating the option of air cooling. This motor is pretty hot, but not the most aggressive choice; most P-Mono racing boats will utilize a 2200kv motor. Aquacraft wisely chose a slightly less-aggressive motor to appeal to sport boaters and provide run times longer than a short heat race.
The plastic battery tray has 3 hook-and-loop straps to keep the battery(s) secured. In most cases, the black foam strip should be removed. This allows the recommended 2s packs or 4s pack to be mounted lower in the tray for a better center-of-gravity. Make sure to add some hook-and-loop material to the bottom of the tray and the batteries as well. This will keep them from moving around.
The Revolt 30 comes prewired with Deans connectors for a pair of 7.4v 2s lipos in series (increased voltage). If you want to run a single 4s pack, you will either need to remove the series connector and solder on a single deans connector, or solder together an adapter. The latter solution will allow you to switch between 4s and a pair of 2s packs quickly. Since I will only be using a single 4s 4200mAh lipo, I chose to remove the series connector and solder on a single connector. Detailed instructions with photos are shown in the Revolt 30's manual. If you aren't handy with a soldering iron, I would recommend asking for help.
With regards to choosing your battery packs, Aquacraft gives you four options:
The 4200mAh packs are a bit lighter than the 5000mAh packs, so they are more suited for racing. The 5000mAh packs will give you longer run times and are more suited for sport boating. All packs are rated at 20c discharge rates. Whether you choose a pair of 7.4v packs or a single 14.8v pack is your personal preference. It should be noted that the hull will handle better with a single 14.8v pack that puts the cg low in the center of the boat.
The Revolt 30 comes as either a receiver-ready version requiring a transmitter and receiver, or a ready-to-run version complete with a Tactic 2.4GHz TTX240 radio system. Neither options come with batteries, which must be purchased separately. With the RTR setup, I was able to install 4 AA batteries in the transmitter, charge my lipos, adjust the hardware, and I was ready to hit the water.
The Tactic TTX240 radio system worked as expected, and had no problems with radio range. This is a base-level transmitter with trim knobs, reversing switches, and a steering rate knob only. For boating you really don't need much more, but I would prefer a battery pack instead of the four AA's if I were to use this for competition.
As stated above, the Revolt 30's hardware is setup somewhat neutral from the factory. However, it's not ready to run without making a few adjustments. The first thing to do is to remove the flex shaft and give it a good coating of grease. This is not a shameless plug for Aquacraft, but I swear by GrimRacer Speed Grease ; I've used it for years on the flex shafts of my large gas boats. The bottom line is that the flex shaft spins at very high rpm's inside the stuffing tube (brass tube that exits out the bottom of the transom) and must be lubricated every few runs. If you fail to keep it lubricated it will eventually break and send your prop to the bottom of the lake. When you reinsert the shaft, make sure there is a 5mm gap between the drivedog (the piece that holds the propeller on the shaft) and the bushing. Flex cables contract when under load from the motor and prop; a 5mm gap will prevent the drivedog from contacting the bushing under load.
Next, let's take a look at the Grimracer hardware. Make sure the rudder isn't tilted back from 90-degrees straight down coming off of the standoff bracket. It's best to have it tilted a few degrees forward, which helps plant the bow in the turns. Loosen the screws holding the rudder to the bracket, and give it a very slight forward angle, then retighten. This should be a good starting point.
| Sharpening and Balancing Your Prop
Just like an airplane or helicopter, the blades on a boat prop need to be balanced to reduce excessive vibrations that can rob you of performance and cause premature wear. You can use an airplane prop balancer for the Revolt 30's prop as well. But before you balance the prop, it's advisable to sharpen the blades and gain a nice little performance increase in the process. Invest in a set of fine hobby or jeweler's files and begin to sharpen the edge of the blades from the back side only (the side of the blade facing the transom). Your goal is to take the dull edge to a nice sharp edge that will cut through the water with greater efficiency. After you have the blades evenly sharpened, then you can put the prop on the balancer.
Speaking of sharpening, the turn fins and rudder on a boat should also be sharpened to cut down on drag. The turn fins on the Revolt 30 were nicely sharpened from the factory; I didn't feel the need to work them further. The rudder is quite dull and could use some filing if your goal is to make your Revolt 30 as fast as possible. While you are working on the rudder, you can increase your cooling performance by extending the water pickup opening forward to the rudder's leading edge. Just use a diamond bit on a Dremel and open the intake up a little. If you don't have a Dremel or jeweler's files you can still operate the Revolt 30, but if you really want to squeeze every ounce of performance out of this hull, get some tools and get to work!
| Initial Note On Hatch Tape
The Revolt 30 requires a waterproof tape to attach the hatch to the hull and completely seal it from outside water. The hatch tape is not included and will need to be purchased separately. Don't even think of using anything except a waterproof tape, such as GrimRacer Pro Radio Box Tape. As a required item for operation, I think a small "starter roll" should be included with the Revolt 30.
Lets start with steering; the boat goes wherever you point it, and doesn't hesitate. This can take some getting used to if you've never run a mono with a shallow draft and turn fins; if you turn the wheel to full lock, it will carve the turn almost within it's own length, and you can switch directions in an instant at any speed. With such precise steering, it's quite easy to overcontrol the boat, and this is where your steering rate adjustment knob (on the RTR's included transmitter) comes into play. If you are using your own transmitter, dial some expo into the steering and that should tame it a little. Now, the above statement is true with flat and glassy water conditions. Introduce some chop, and the Revolt 30 can easily catch and flip over if you push the turn too hard and too fast. If you are running fast in rough waters, make wider turns to prevent it from rolling over.
Chine walking is a term that describes the side-to-side rocking motion of a high-performance mono under power. As the boat goes faster, there is less hull in the water. It gets to a point where the hull is only riding on the edge of the vee at the very aft portion of the hull. With such little hull area in the water, it can't balance itself and begins falling or rocking from side to side. Torque from the motor, turn fins hanging down too far, and poorly adjusted trim tabs can all contribute to chine walking and general leaning of the hull when going straight at high speeds. I found the Revolt 30 to chine walk and lean to the right on its maiden run. I corrected this handling issue by pulling the turn fins up and angling them back slightly, and adjusting the right outboard trim tab down about 2 degrees. The hull still leans a little to the right due to the extreme torque from the motor on such a small hull, but this is normal for any fast-electric race boat.
Adjusting your center of gravity (cg) is a trial and error process, much like adjusting the hardware. A cg that is too far back will cause the hull to air out, flip over, porpoise (bounce up and down at high speeds) and be very loose in the water. A hull with the cg too far forward will have too much of the hull in contact with the water, resulting in slower speeds but will be more stable and less prone to flipping over. The idea is to find a happy medium where the hull is on the edge of flipping back, but isn't overly loose. Changing the position of your battery is the easiest way to adjust the cg. I found that with a GrimRacer 4s 4200mAh pack, the end of the pack should touch the aft hook-and-loop strap, but not be under it. In other words, the front two straps are the only ones holding the pack down. Your results could vary depending on what pack(s) you use.
The Revolt 30 is fast and agile out the box with the stock 42mm x 55mm prop, and even faster with the optional Aquacraft 45mm x 68mm lifter prop. I tested the boat with both props to get an accurate picture of it's performance and handling capabilities. With the stock prop, the Revolt 30 is a fast sport boat, capable of meeting the needs of most radio-controlled boat enthusiasts. After I got a few cycles on the battery with the stock prop, I noted the overall run time with mixed throttle was around 6.5 minutes and the 4s 4200mAh battery was warm to the touch, but not hot. The stock prop is perfect for anyone that's not planning on oval racing. With the optional 45mm x 68mm prop, the Revolt 30 transforms into a true FE race boat capable of holding its own against most purpose-built P-Mono race boats. The optional prop has a larger diameter and more pitch, so with it's speed increase comes shorter run times and more heat generated at the electronics. With a 4s 4200mAh pack, you can expect to get 4 minutes at wide open throttle... enough time to finish a heat race. My pack was pretty hot as well; the 30c rating is just barely enough for this aggressive propeller, in my opinion.
Aquacraft has finally introduced an FE mono that's ready for competitive racing straight from the factory. With the stock propeller, the Revolt 30 is a capable fast-electric boat that provides decent run times and a very acceptable top-speed. With the optional prop, it's race-ready in both IMPBA and NAMBA P-Mono classes. Having multiple battery options is a big plus; the larger mAh packs will give you increased run time, while the smaller mAh packs are lighter and are more suited for oval competition.
If you've been waiting for a FE race boat that's ready-to-run, and doesn't require parts from multiple vendors in order to be worthy of real competition, then Aquacraft's Revolt 30 is the hull to get.
A big thanks goes out to Andrew Farmer (andrews421) for piloting the Revolt during the video and photography shoot.
I've been racing IMPBA gas boats for over 4 years. During that time, I've collected quite a few trophies, including winning the IMPBA District 13 Championship in Open Offshore. I've raced everything from gas catamaran, monos, hydros, crackerbox, and gas tunnels, but never fast electrics. I plan on racing the Revolt 30 in the fall, and I'll report back on how she holds up against the competition.Last edited by Matt Gunn; Oct 08, 2015 at 08:45 PM..
Excellent write up! Thanks for taking the time to do it. Fantastic tips for a new boater such as myself.
My brand new, out of the box, Silver/white Revolt 30 has been shipped back to Towerhobbies due to the motor and flex shaft/stuffing tube being out of alignment. It looks (from the pictures) that your boat was fine.
I am waiting on an exchange for the blue/white version. I didn't care for the bubbles under the stickers on the silver version. I really hope the motor and flex shaft alignment is better on the next one
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