HydroPro Inception - RCGroups Review

RCGroups editor Matt Gunn tests the HydroPro Inception, a fast electric mono from Hobbyking.


An Affordable FE Mono With Plenty of Performance

Product:HydroPro Inception
Retail price:$272.90
Hull length:37"
Hull material:ABS
Motor:1000kv brushless watercooled
ESC:90A Sea King
Drive system:5mm flex shaft
Batteries used:2 x Turnigy Graphene 3s 5000mAh 45c
Included radio system:HK-GT2E
Available from:Hobbyking

Hobbyking recently announced the advent of the HydroPro line of high-performance boats, and with it comes the very first boat in that series, the Inception. This 37" (950mm) ABS plastic vee-hull sports a massive 1000kv outrunner, 90A watercooled esc, and some decent running gear hanging off the transom. Combined, they propel the Inception to speeds over 50 MPH with a pair of 3S batteries in series, and allow for tight and controlled turns with virtually no ill-handling characteristics.

In this review, I'll go over what's included, the overall fit and finish of the Inception, and we'll wrap it up with some performance testing at the lake at Joe Nall 2016, the world's largest model aircraft fly in. Let's get started!

HydroPro Inception From HobbyKing - RCGroups Video Review (5 min 3 sec)

What's Included. Fit and Finish

The Inception comes built from the factory and almost ready to make some hot laps on the water. All that's needed it to bolt on the rudder and turn fins - a painless ordeal with the included hex wrenches. Next, you'll need to chose which propeller to use, based on the battery setup you'll be running. If you're utilizing a pair of 3s LiPo batteries in series, use the propeller marked 6s. Use the 4s prop if your running a pair of 2s LiPo's in series. For this review, I'll be taking full advantage of the increased voltage of 6s, and using a pair of Turnigy Graphene 3s 5000mAh LiPo's.

Some boaters instantly turn their noses up at ABS hulls; after all, if they aren't fiberglass, they can't possibly be up for any serious high-performance driving, right? That's just not true. As a seasoned racer of large gas and fast electric boats, I can say with all honesty that the HydroPro Inception's ABS hull is quite capable, and actually stronger than some of the cheaper fiberglass hulls I've seen out there.

The graphics are applied to the bare hull, then the entire boat is clear-coated to give it a deep, glassy finish. Out back, the running gear is a mix of materials; the rudder and strut are anodized aluminum, the turn fins and trim tabs are steel, and all of the mounts are injection molded plastic. Plastic running gear components usually get a bad reputation but these mounts are strong and have shown no signs of fatigue or failure thus far.

The hull design is somewhere between a deep vee and a heat racing boat; the draft is not so shallow as to sacrifice rough water handling while still allowing for decent top speed and turning performance. The strakes along the bottom lend themselves more towards a deep vee; they are built into the bottom surface of the hull as steps, rather than protruding from the surface like a true heat racing hull.

Adjustment Points

The strut angle and the trim tab angle are the only adjustment points on the Inception. The angle of the strut has two effects on the Inception's performance: raising it brings the propeller out the water, reducing the load on the prop which in turn increases RPM and speed. It also raises the bow and can make for some loose handling in rough water and when turning. Lowering the strut pushes the bow down, puts more prop in the water, and increases turning authority, at the same time sacrificing speed. Small adjustments are key to fine tuning how the Inception rides in different water conditions. I ended up tilting the strut up about 1 degree since the water was relatively calm for the review. The battery mounting position is fixed, which means no tuning of the boat's center-of-gravity by sliding the batteries forward or aft. That's ok though, as the CG seems to be right on the money in their stock mounting location.

The trim tabs help fine tune how the hull rides and corners. I found that the stock setting of about 1 degree down helped with turning and prevented excessive hooking, or oversteer. This is because when running at full speed, the trim tabs are almost completely out of the water and have very little effect on handling. But when the boat is turning and leaned over to one side, the trim tabs are now in contact with the water; angled slightly down, they help to keep the hull from digging in and spinning out.

The hatch secures with a lever that connects three arms; together they hold the hatch firmly to the hull, pushing against the foam gasket to keep water out, even if it's sitting upside down in the water. It's a unique system that I've yet to see on another boat, and so far it works well.

Inside the hull is a plastic electronics tray that's epoxied in place. It holds a battery on each side, the steering servo and receiver, the watercooled esc, and the brushless motor. The motor mount attaches to the plastic tray with a pair of screws, and a watercooled plate between the motor and the motor mount helps to dissipate the heat generated inside the hull with no airflow.

The esc is a Sea King 90A and features a watercooled jacket. It uses a pair of XT90 connectors to handle the high amps with as least resistance as possible at the connectors.

The drive system utilizes a 5mm flex shaft and an aluminum shaft tube with a plastic inner sleeve. The collet attaches to the motor shaft with a hex head screw. Where the flex shaft exits the strut, a bearing is used to reduce drag and prevent excessive shaft vibration as it spins. The entire drive system is stout and up to the challenge of spinning the motor on 6s power, but keeping the drive lubricated with marine grease is imperative. Grease the shaft and bearing after every session, otherwise it will begin to rust, cause excessive wear, and ultimately fail.

Driving Performance

From the first pull of the throttle trigger, the HydroPro Inception had my undivided attention. The included propeller had no apparent cavitation, and throttle response was almost instantaneous out the hole. Once up on a plane, the Inception aired out all but the last few inches of the ride pad at full throttle with only the slightest hint of chine walking ever so often - chine walking is where the hull begins to rock side to side at full speed, due to the hull being on top of the water.

In the turns, the Inception exhibited no ill-handling characteristics. Gentle sweeping turns were uneventful and very little speed was scrubbed. As I began to push it harder into the turns, the Inception only succeeded in impressing me further as it quickly changed directions without hooking or swapping ends. Only after I turned hard at wide-open throttle did the HydroPro Inception finally dig in and flip over, proving that the hull can turn very hard but only up to a certain point. Granted, this was in smooth water, so choppy conditions will require much smoother throttle and steering finesse.

Using the Hobbico Big 5 GPS meter, I clocked a top speed of 52mph during the video review. I could probably squeeze another 2 mph out of the hull with more strut adjustment, but I'm completely satisfied with that number. After a hard run, the motor, esc, and batteries were quite warm to the touch, with notable heat at the connectors; this is par for the course with a fast electric boat that has no ventilation and a high amp draw. However, the next step up from the XT90 connectors could be XT150 or similar bullet connectors. Using larger battery connectors would reduce the heat and resistance, and maybe free up a mph or two in the process.

Video Review

HydroPro Inception From HobbyKing - RCGroups Video Review (5 min 3 sec)

Action Photos


The HydroPro Inception is the answer for any marine hobbyist wanting to go fast on a budget. But not only does the Inception haul the proverbial mail, it also handles well and turns even better; for under $300 you'll be hard pressed to beat that! After extensive testing, I've yet to find any glaring issues with this hull. It's ABS construction is strong and light, and the running gear has held up to some intense go-fast-turn-right abuse. If you're in the market for speed on the water, I highly recommend taking a look at the HydroPro Inception from Hobbyking.

A big thanks goes out to RCGroups Editor Jason Cole for your help during the photo and video shoot.

Last edited by Matt Gunn; May 24, 2016 at 01:46 PM..
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May 24, 2016, 04:29 PM
Registered User
Nice review - thanks
May 24, 2016, 05:23 PM
Registered User
ApexpredatorGT's Avatar
Thank you for sharing and nice write up, I've been waiting for you to review this one since it was announced and you hinted towards getting one. The hull might be plastic but at 250$ for the pnp and 272$ for the rtr it's pretty hard to beat this deal. I believe HK has free shipping on this one was well.
May 24, 2016, 07:20 PM
If it's R/C, I LIKE IT!
Nikolei Zinsli's Avatar
Nice job Matt! Glad I got to take this one for a spin while I was there!
Latest blog entry: 93" AJ Laser 230z
May 26, 2016, 10:20 AM
Registered User
Mean Joe Vermillion's Avatar
Man I cant stop watching this video! Daddy gonna need one of dem!!!!
May 26, 2016, 10:35 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
It was insanely fast! I had a blast driving it around at Nall as well. Thanks Matt!
May 27, 2016, 01:26 AM
Registered User
s1eeper's Avatar
i just received one and had about a 2 minute run on a pond

i couldnt buy the hobbyking lipos so i`m running 2x 3c 5000 30/60`s.

on the first run the esc and batteries came adrift but i`ve sorted that now.

thanks for the revue, and yes its QUICK.

theyre a bit dearer in australia $440 AU delivered and thats for the lite version (no TX or RX), i dont think u can buy the full version from the australian warehouse.

all in all it feels pretty solid.

cant wait to get it really wet
May 30, 2016, 01:29 PM
Registered User
SJ's Avatar
Fantastic boat

Realy pleased with mine.
It is actualy set up quite well out of the box, and rides realy well in the water.

I tried to use my old 25C 2x 3S 5000`s but they are not up to the task.

Low voltage cutout happens when I go full throttle for more than a 2 seconds or so :-)
But the 2 seconds are realy fast

A little annoying that once it cuts in, the boat can not go more than half throttle, until you dissconnect the batteries, and connect them again.......but it is a good feature, so you dont destroy your batteries.

Will order som +40C batts soon.
May 30, 2016, 04:10 PM
Registered User
ApexpredatorGT's Avatar
Looks really great!! Glad to see a relatively low cost, large fast boat on the market. Would you guys recommend them so far?
May 30, 2016, 11:16 PM
I Like Coffee ^_^
PokkaGold's Avatar
Anyone done any replacements/upgrades on this boat? I yes, what did you do?
May 31, 2016, 12:49 AM
Registered User
SJ's Avatar
Well, with the 5 times I have been on the water, Im very satisfied. Will see how it holds up with time ��
May 31, 2016, 07:15 PM
I Like Coffee ^_^
PokkaGold's Avatar
SJ, what lipo are you using?
Jun 01, 2016, 01:14 AM
Registered User
SJ's Avatar
Some old Turnigy 25c and zippy flightmax 25 c both 6s (2x3s)

But forget about them. You need some good 40c + batteries for this boat. :-)

I wouldnt upgrade anyrhing on this boat. If you give it more power, you will be flipping it all the time :-)
Jun 01, 2016, 10:58 AM
Registered User
SJ's Avatar
Was out on the water again today, and its still great

Set the steering servo to 140% travel to the left, and 100% to the right, to make it turn evenly both sides. 30% expo also realy smoothes it out making you look like a pro even at high speeds :-)

Saw that the cooling water flow out of the outlet was pretty low and inconsistant. So I decided to lower the intake pipe a little to get it deeper in the water........and that made a huge difference. Now lots of cooling water flows out ad it is supposed to. So check yours :-)
Jun 05, 2016, 04:35 PM
Registered User
I dont own one but have owned well over 100 FE boats.... first thing i would do is put 5.5mm bullet on batt side and 6.5mm on motor side.... those are just smart upgrades that will keep everything happy i think i may buy one just to see how good it really is... tbe cheap relentlesz v2 i bought forcthe misses runs real well and stays bone dry even if flipped with no tape being used... the stout hatches these hk marine boats are using are a huge upgrade from many rtr boats for sure!

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