Radio controlled boats are incredibly popular. They come in a huge array of shapes, styles and sizes and their popularity continues to grow. But why? “Toy boats” are not new so what has caused this hobby to keep growing in popularity regardless of age or skill set? What gives?
The mystique of radio controlled boats is not simply their performance on the water, but also the allure of putting them together. Prizes for winning races are all well and good but you’ll find that radio controlled boats operators are intensely proud of the skill that went into making their nautical masterpieces. Radio controlled boat makers took advantage of this intensity and passion and have produced a large selection of radio controlled boat kits that meet the varying levels of skills and motivation. Broadly, there are three different types of packages; RTR kits, ARTR kits, and Assembly kits. Let’s look at each in turn.
RTR or ready-to-run. These need little or no assembly. Some small adjustments may be needed depending on the make of boat e.g. batteries in the boat and transmitter and fuel but they are essentially ready-to-run. They are perfect for the novice enthusiasts. A great example of an RTR boat would be the Megatech Caribbean Cruiser II MTC6909-1. It is a completely pre-assembled RC boat with all the batteries needed and the control set. It is totally plug and play. An alternative would be the Traxxas Blast Electric Race Boat RTR.
ARTR or almost-ready-to-run. These involve partial assembly by a person who is either familiar with radio controlled boats or willing to dig into the manuals and videos about the product. In these boats the body of the boat is almost completely constructed, but parts of the motor and power source need to be pieced together before the boat can be put on the water and letting it run.
Assembly kits. These are obviously more advanced. They come with all the parts needed to prep the boat for running but they must be assembled. The level of assembly varies but generally you need to be pretty advanced to be able to do this. Even if you are good at mechanics, the parts and layout will take some getting to know and often requires special tools to work on the smaller engines and fittings. Given the level of challenge these are normally not recommended for the first time user. An example would be the Azimut Atlantic Challenger 1:20 Scale.
Whatever your skill level, there’s a radio controlled boat out there for you. Read my articles and be sure that you grasp what is required of you before you buy a radio controlled boat for yourself or anyone. After any assembly is complete, my bet is that you’ll not wait for a sunny day! You’ll head out rain or shine to the nearest water and let it loose! It’s amazing and thrilling and you will be hooked!