- Our choice for the #1 Best Overall RC Boat for 2023 is the Cheerwing 25″ RC Brushless 30 MPH High-Speed Boat.
- Radio control boats are great hobby pursuits, but they also have some practical uses, especially for fishermen.
- RC boats come in all sizes, several styles, and at varying prices for different levels of boating enthusiasts.
- The criterion for selecting the best RC boats for use on lakes, saltwater, fishing, and pools includes size, weight, speed, capsize recovery, battery life, and type of hull.
What is it that draws us to the water? Even those who fear the water or have negative past experiences are still inexorably drawn to wind and wave. Remote control (RC) boats allow watercraft enthusiasts of all ages to enjoy the thrill of boating on a smaller scale and without leaving the shore. Miniature RC boats are exhilarating and easy to use on lakes or pools and in saltwater environments — they are even useful in fishing.
Operators can navigate and achieve high speeds with RC boats while learning precision handling and control techniques. Modern RC boats come in a wide variety of sizes, weights, and designs, mimicking numerous full-sized racing and pleasure boats. Advanced technology now makes enjoying a radio-controlled boat easier with perks like capsize recovery, distance and battery life warning signals, and even GPS navigation.
Are you ready to “dive in” and review the best RC boats of 2023 with us? Here are our selections for the Best RC Boats of 2023 for Lakes, Saltwater, Fishing, and Pools:
- Best Overall: Cheerwing 25” RC Brushless 30 MPH High-Speed Boat
- Best for Lakes: YEZI Remote Control Boat for Pools and Lakes
- Best for Saltwater: ALPHAREV R608 Brushless RC Boat
- Best Fishing Boat: CRESEAPRODUCTS JABOBOAT High-Speed RC Fishing Bait Boat
- Best for Pools: YEETFTC 2-Pack LED Light Remote Control Boat
#1 Best Overall RC Boat of 2023: Cheerwing 25” RC Brushless 30 MPH High-Speed Boat
- Double covers prevent water intrusion.
- 2.4GHz marine radio control system
- Capsize recovery feature and poor signal warning alarm
- 30mph maximum speed
- 492 feet maximum distance
Operators cutting to the chase and wanting the best of all RC boats will love the versatile Cheerwing 25″ RC Brushless 30 MPH High-Speed Boat. This is the ultimate choice for RC boat enthusiasts who want to use their boat in any environment. Available in carbon black, off-white, and red, this fully enclosed, high-speed model boat is perfect for lakes, rivers, pools, and the ocean. A double-enclosed hull prevents water intrusion for prolonged life.
An innovative brushless water-cooled motor powers this incredible radio-controlled boat up to 30 miles per hour across the water. Operators maintain tight control with a high-end 2.4GHz marine radio control system that prevents interference from other boats. Capsize recovery quickly rights the hull for continued operation without swimming after your boat.
This is the epitome of hobbyist or racer toy boats. This product weighs in at less than three pounds and measures 24.92 x 6.69 x 4.33 inches. Drop your Cheerwing 25-inch high-speed RC boat into the water at the beach, off the dock at the lake, or in the pool, and enjoy up to 10 minutes of uninterrupted sailing at distances up to 150 meters (492 feet) on a single charge.
|The double-locking cover prevents water intrusion.||Maximum battery life is only 10 minutes of continuous use.|
|This deep-V hull design allows the RC boat to right itself after capsizing.|
|Precise control is achieved with a 2.4GHz marine radio control system.|
|This unit weighs less than three pounds and measures 24.92 x 6.69 x 4.33 inches.|
|High speeds of up to 30mph are possible in various water conditions.|
Check out the Cheerwing 25” RC Brushless 30 MPH High-Speed Boat on Amazon.
Best Lake RC Boat: YEZI Remote Control Boat for Pools and Lakes
When you’re ready for fun on the lake while remaining on shore — the best of all lake RC boats is the YEZI Remote Control Boat for Pools and Lakes. The four-channel remote makes this boat easy to control at speeds up to 20mph. Race and play with other RC boats up to 120 meters (394 feet) from the shore.
A double hull prevents water intrusion while you enjoy piloting this toy for up to twenty minutes before charging is necessary. Some replaceable batteries are also required. The easy-grip controller and manageable weight/size (eight ounces and 13.07 x 10.47 x 3.94 inches) make this toy boat perfect for smaller hands and younger enthusiasts.
The YEZI Udi001 Venom Fast RC Boat is very affordable and includes a remote controller, USB charging cable, unit tool, large spare propeller, display stand, and user manual. It is the perfect tool for a fun afternoon at the lake.
|The YEZI Udi001 Venom Fast RC Boat is affordably priced.||It is not suitable for saltwater use.|
|This RC boat’s manageable size and weight suit smaller or younger users.||This product requires replaceable batteries in addition to the rechargeable battery.|
|Operators can enjoy this RC boat for up to twenty minutes on a single charge.|
|Race with other boats at up to 20 miles per hour for distances up to 120 meters.|
|The double-hull construction prevents water intrusion.|
Check out the YEZI Remote Control Boat for Pools and Lakes on Amazon.
Best Saltwater RC Boat: ALPHAREV R608 Brushless RC Boat
- Max speed approx. 30mph
- Control range up to 400 feet
- Poor signal and low battery warnings
- 180-degree capsize recovery functions
- For use in saltwater environments
If you live near the ocean and want to operate RC boats, you need our choice for the best saltwater RC boat, the ALPHAREV R608 Brushless RC Boat. Available in red or blue, this saltwater-capable speedster reaches speeds exceeding 30mph. Its high-end brushless motor is fired by an 11.1-volt 2000mAh high-capacity battery that provides up to 30 minutes of fun on a single charge.
Dual propellers and a self-righting hull design keep your ALPHAREV R608 ahead of other boats out to 400 feet. The unit is less than three pounds and measures 17.56 x 8.82 x 6.65 inches but still boasts an innovative water cooling system. Battery and distance warning systems keep you informed of the boat’s condition and let you know when it’s time to head to the shore.
This is one of the few RC boats specifically designed to withstand saltwater and the rigors of ocean waves. Operate it from the beach, a pier, or your own ocean-going boat for deep-sea adventures.
|The ALPHAREV R608 RC Boat is designed for saltwater use and operates well in wavy conditions.||The water cooling system outlet can cause burns from hot water.|
|The high-capacity rechargeable battery provides up to 30 minutes of operation on a single charge.|
|This product can achieve speeds beyond 30mph.|
|The water-cooled brushless motor facilitates prolonged high-speed use.|
|Battery and distance warning systems help prevent losing your RC boat away from shore.|
Take a look at the ALPHAREV R608 Brushless RC Boat on Amazon.
Best RC Fishing Boat: CRESEAPRODUCTS JABOBOAT High-Speed RC Fishing Bait Boat
- Can reach distances of over 1600 feet
- Supports loads of around ten pounds
- 10,000mAH high-capacity battery
- Set 16 GPS autopilot positions in a single lake for up to five lakes
- Rechargeable battery lasts up to two hours on the slower speed setting
RC boats are not just for fast fun — our selection for the Best Fishing RC Boat is the CRESEAPRODUCTS JABOBOAT High-Speed RC Fishing Bait Boat. Enjoy ocean or lake fishing with this incredible tool to increase your range and effectiveness. Send this versatile radio-controlled boat out to distances over 1600 feet carrying ten-pound loads. Transport and release chumming bait, place your lines in precise locations, or retrieve equipment from a distance.
The double-sealed hull resists waves and water intrusion. This unit weighs in at ten pounds and measures 26 x 12 x 9 inches but still carries your fishing tackle at over five miles per hour. Control the CRESEAPRODUCTS JABOBOAT High-Speed RC Fishing Boat with the full-color handheld display remote that allows you to release baits and line, set speed and direction, and navigate to over 80 different points on up to five lakes via GPS autopilot positioning.
The high-capacity 10,000mAh rechargeable battery lasts up to two hours on the slower speed setting. Both the boat and the remote control are fully rechargeable. Serious fishermen will extend their effective range and time on the water without extensive travel with this durable, long-lasting RC boat in their tackle kit.
|The CRESEAPRODUCTS JABOBOAT High-Speed RC Fishing Boat can last up to two hours on a single charge.||The CRESEAPRODUCTS JABOBOAT High-Speed RC Fishing Boat is quite pricey.|
|This unit can travel up to 1600 feet away and carry loads weighing up to ten pounds.|
|Versatile load and line deploying capabilities make this RC boat the ultimate fishing tool.|
|Program up to 80 GPS waypoints for convenient autopilot positioning on up to five different bodies of water.|
|This RC fishing boat is suitable for lake and ocean fishing.|
Take a look at the CRESEAPRODUCTS JABOBOAT High-Speed RC Fishing Bait Boat on Amazon.
Best Pool RC Boat: YEETFTC 2-Pack LED Light Remote Control Boat
- Separate 2.4Ghz frequencies so you can race with friends
- Up to 20 minutes on a single charge
- Max distance around 164 feet
- Top speeds around 7mph
- Low-battery alarm
Enjoy fun watersports right in your swimming pool with the YEETFTC 2-Pack LED Light Remote Control Boat, our choice for the best RC Boat. These light-up boats with transparent shells are extremely bright for nighttime water fun. Race your twin RC boats side by side on separate 2.4Ghz frequencies for up to 20 minutes on a single charge. The low-battery alarm tells you when it’s time to recharge.
These waterproof RC boats are well-protected against water damage for extended fun at speeds up to seven miles per hour. Cross the pool in an instant and race around and around without worrying about damaging your toys. Each boat weighs about two pounds and measures 9 x 2.7 x 2.7 inches, making them perfect for kids.
Recharge each unit in about one hour and enjoy them out to 164 feet. Only two directional buttons and variable speeds make the YEETFTC 2-Pack LED Light Remote Control Boat for Pools the perfect gift for summertime fun in the backyard pool. These units are also suitable for lake play.
|This product includes two boats, controllers, batteries, charging cables, and one screwdriver.||They are not suitable for rough waters or saltwater use.|
|Each YEETFTC 2-Pack LED Light Remote Control Boat for Pools unit has 10 LED bulbs for bright waterproof internal lighting.|
|Separate 2.4 Ghz frequencies allow users to play with both RC boats side by side without interference.|
|These rechargeable boats can last up to 20 minutes, plus travel up to 164 feet at speeds of up to seven miles per hour.|
|This two-pack of RC boats is priced affordably.|
Check out the YEETFTC 2-Pack LED Light Remote Control Boat on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best RC Boats of 2023 for Lakes, Saltwater, Fishing, and Pools: Step by Step
Radio-controlled boats are wildly popular and come in many different styles for varying users. When choosing the best RC boats for your particular application, there are six main considerations for most buyers:
- Size and Weight
- Capsize Recovery
- Battery Life
- Hull Type
Let’s review each of these criteria in more detail.
Size and Weight
RC boats are capable of many speeds and functions and the best size and weight considerations depend on how you plan to use your unit. For example, larger models are ideal in rougher waters like lakes, rivers, or the ocean, but not necessarily for your backyard swimming pool.
Packing along your favorite radio-controlled boat also makes size and weight a concern. The available space in your car and how far you must carry your units to the water are critical factors. Some products include a handy carrying case to make this easier.
Also, heavier boats are designed for high speeds and better control, so they are harder to capsize. Lighter and smaller boats can be at the mercy of wind and waves, restricting their use.
Modern RC boats are powerful and mighty fast! However, high-speed engines running flat out seriously drain battery power. Hull designs can also contribute to better speed, turning, and capsize recovery. Some of the hottest remote control boats can exceed 50 miles per hour, but controlling them at these speeds is tricky.
Consider how much speed you need or want alongside how much you want to spend. High-speed toy boats can quickly go out of control and crash, destroying your unit and wasting your investment. Why blow hundreds of dollars on a speedy RC boat only to destroy it on your first outing?
Novice operators should start small with relatively inexpensive, moderate-speed RC boats until they learn better control techniques. Operate any toy boat slowly until you get accustomed to how it handles and performs.
This technology can come in two forms: boat design and remote control features. Many RC boats include capsize recovery features because they are so easy to flip over in waves or at high speed. Even heaver RC boats can be upended in the right conditions. Inexperienced operators will find this feature extremely useful, preventing many swims out to recover errant boats.
Research which RC boats feature anti-capsize hull designs or remote capsize recovery options (or both) and be sure you choose the best one for where you will operate your boat. Windy, wave-ridden conditions and high-speed boat racing make capsize recovery systems a must-have on your list of potential features.
How long you can use your RC boat depends on several factors. Speed, conditions, loads, boat weight, and how you handle the boat impact battery life. Most high-speed RC boats include modern lithium-ion batteries, but they only last about 20 minutes before they need recharging. So battery life equals how much fun you can have with RC boats.
Remote control boats with low-battery warnings can prevent you from losing your boat at a distance and having to swim to recover it. Pay attention to how long a charge takes — some high-end boats require several hours to charge less than a half hour of use time. You should plan accordingly, as these units are not the best to take into remote locations.
Your boat’s hull can reflect almost any popular watercraft design, but aesthetics are not the primary consideration. Hull type determines damage resistance, contributes to speed, and facilitates stability and capsize recovery. The best RC boats are made of durable, high-quality plastic and they are double-encased for improved water penetration protection.
Sailing your RC boat in rough waters or near obstacles raises the risk of a crash, so durable high-impact hull materials are critical. Look for the best combination of durability, speed, and capsize recovery over aesthetic concerns in your RC boat’s hull design.
As with almost everything else, your budget will determine the best RC boats for you. Beginners and kids should choose affordable models that are easier to control. Experience brings better reflexes and know-how for piloting a boat on the water. As you gain experience, upgrade to higher-priced units.
Affordable RC boats are everywhere; buyers can quickly find great options with desirable features for under $75. Serious toy boaters can also find larger, faster, more competitive models or utilitarian boats for fishing for under $500.
What to Know Before Buying RC Boats for Lakes, Saltwater, Fishing, and Pools
RC boats can be hard to control. Plan to lose control in turns or at speed, especially in rougher waters. Select a relatively open space free of obstacles to learn how to use your boat. Practice makes perfect and the more practice you can get in calm surroundings, the better you will become and the more you will enjoy your boat.
Remote control boats come in many different shapes and sizes, so match your possible choices to your planned use. Models used in fishing require specific features not included in other types of pleasure or racing boats. Little beginner boats will not survive long in rough conditions on open waters.
Using RC Boats: What It’s Like
Remote control boats are ideal platforms for entertainment, learning, skill development, and utilitarian purposes. Each use requires skill, knowledge, flexibility, and awareness of your surroundings. Simple decisions can often have immediate consequences. The weather and water conditions will seriously affect your boat’s performance and battery life.
RC boats are ideal for teaching hand-eye coordination, navigation, fast decision-making, weather forecasting, and other useful skills. Plus, remote control boating is great for fun, competition, and special events. Models exist for novices and hobbyists, professional fishermen, and competitive users.
Review our selections for the best RC boats of 2023 and find your best option for fun on local lakes, nearby ocean settings, or your family swimming pool.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©ShDrohnenFly/Shutterstock.com.