Boats might be the simplest form of motorized radio-controlled models, but they do offer hobbyists high speeds and big thrills. No race tracks, no RC airfields, any lake or big body of water is more than enough for some of these beasts to reach speeds beyond 60mph. Sounds tempting? This is a list of the best remote control boats for lake use.

ImageProduct 
Fast
Pro Boat Stealthwake 23” review
Pro Boat Stealthwake 23”
  • 550 Motor
  • Speed: 20 mph
  • Battery 2400 mAh

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Vivid design
Sharkool H106 review
Sharkool H106
  • 370 Motor
  • Speed: 18 mph
  • Battery 600 mAh

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Fully Waterproof
Cheerwing Arrow review
Cheerwing Arrow
  • 390 Motor
  • Speed: 18 mph
  • Battery 1500 mAh

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Extremely Fast
Funtech SR-65 (PNP) review
Funtech SR-65 (PNP)
  • 2000KV Motor
  • Speed: 40 mph
  • Battery 2600 mAh

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Stotoy Gallop review
Stotoy Gallop
  • 280 Motor
  • Speed: 15 mph
  • Battery 800 mAh

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Traxxas quality
Traxxas Blast review
Traxxas Blast
  • Stinger 20-Turn Electric Motor
  • Speed: 30 mph
  • Battery 3000 mAh

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Racing design
Pro Boat Blackjack 24” review
Pro Boat Blackjack 24”
  • 2000KV Motor
  • Speed: 30 mph
  • Battery 2400 mAh

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Aggressive look
Black Marlin (Brushless Edition) review
Black Marlin (Brushless Edition)
  • 390 Motor
  • Speed: 18 mph
  • Battery 1500Mah

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Top Race TR-1200 review
Top Race TR-1200
  • 2000KV Motor
  • Speed: 30 mph
  • Battery 1800mAh

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Best for beginners
HappyGrill Vector 30 review
HappyGrill Vector 30
  • 180 brushed
  • Speed: 20 mph
  • Battery 360mAh

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1. Pro Boat Stealthwake 23” - The best RC boat for a lake

Stealthwake is a deep-V powerboat with a great ability to ride waves, which makes it one of the best RC boats for lakes.

It has a brushed motor, something you don’t expect on this price range but it actually performs well, even paired with the old technology 2400mAh NiMh battery.

The latter can be replaced with a 4S LiPo battery, something that would upgrade Stealthwake’s performance significantly.

On the water, Stealthwake performs like a much bigger boat and is extremely fun on rippled surfaces, thanks to its height.

Because of the high center of gravity, it does tend to roll a bit, always remaining under control though. The Stealthwake comes ready to run and includes a 2-channel pistol-grip transmitter.

Overall, for this money, it’s one of the most complete boats out there.

Technical Features:

  • Deep-V ABS hull
  • 60A LiPo ready ESC
  • 550 Brushed motor
  • 2.4 GHz Transmitter

Pros

  • Price
  • Great for choppy water

Cons

  • The hatch could be designed better

2. Sharkool H106

A nimble little RC boat from Sharkool, the H106 may be on the small side, but it’s much more capable than it looks.

The distinguishable lime green hull is visible from a long distance, and the 2.4 GHz transmitter guarantees that you will never run out of range.

The quality of the stick controller is excellent and the LCD is always a welcome feature.

Naturally, at this price range, the H106 doesn’t come with a brushless motor, but it’s still fast enough and has a decent top speed of 15mph.

In the case of capsizing, the hull can flip back to its keel by simply moving the left stick forth and back. It’s a great little boat, especially if you don’t want to break the bank.

Technical Features:

  • 370 Water-cooled motor
  • Capsize recovery
  • 2.4 GHz Transmitter with LCD screen
  • Double Hatch
  • 2 Li-Ion 600mAh Batteries

Pros

  • Price
  • Agile

Cons

  • None

3. Cheerwing Arrow

One more 25” long hull with a brushless motor, the Arrow is a speed boat that doesn’t excel in any category but is pretty good all-around.

The lively brushless motor responds well to the throttle and gives the Arrow a 30mph top speed. The 2200mAh battery has enough juice too and can keep it running for around 6 minutes.

The radio controller is a classic pistol grip with sound warnings for low battery and poor signal.

As for the white ABS hull, it’s sturdy, featuring a double hatch and can even recover from capsizing making sure that you won’t have to get your feet wet.

A few drops of water may find their way to the inside occasionally, but nothing extreme. Overall, a good boat at a very good price.

Technical Features:

  • 3554A Brushless motor
  • ABS Hull
  • 2.4 GHz Radio transmitter
  • 11.1V 2200mAh LiPo Battery

Pros

  • Good Speed
  • Attractive Design

Cons

  • The sealing is not perfect

4. Funtech SR-65 (PNP)

This is a great RC boat from Funtech with a 25-inch long body and a vivid 2600KV brushless motor.

The SR-65 is at home in lakes where it will amaze you with its stability and a top speed of almost 35mph.

This plug n’ play edition has everything except for a  two-channel radio transmitter and battery (up to 4S) that you have to provide.

The battery position is in front of the motor, giving the SR-65 a perfect balance. It’s a fun lake boat, its only drawback being the rather steep price considering it’s a PNP edition.

Technical Features:

  • 2600KV Brushless motor with 20A ESC
  • ABS Hull
  • Water-cooling system
  • Anti-capsize

Pros

  • Fast
  • Good Balance

Cons

  • Steep Price

5. Stotoy Gallop

One of the cheapest RC boats with a brushless motor, the Gallop is a great little performer and comes at a very good price.

The bright hull stands out immediately with its sleek lines and the double hatch system keeps water away from the interior and electronics effectively.

It is not the fastest boat around, but it sure is one of the most agile. The 2-channel pistol grip transmitter is excellent with great feel and acoustic alarms for low battery and out-of-range warnings.

The 600mAh battery is more than enough for the size of the Gallop, giving it a running time of about ten minutes, which is very good.

Technical Features:

  • Anti-capsize hull
  • Collision bumper
  • Brushless motor
  • 2.4 GHz Pistol grip transmitter

Pros

  • Very Agile
  • Price

Cons

  • None

6. Traxxas Blast

This is, by far, the most beautiful boat of this review. Traxxas has gotten us used to amazing designs but the livery on this thing is nothing short of amazing.

The length of this powerboat is near 24” which I think is the sweet spot in lake boats. Not too big, not too small.

The brushless motor is good enough, but the 6-cell NiMh battery could be better.

It can keep the Blast going for twelve minutes but it lucks the kick of a good LiPo, and I don’t think that the boat’s ESC can take one.

The classic 2-channel TQ pistol controller is flawless.

Now, in the water, the Blast moves in a very steady and composed manner. It won’t set any records with its 20mph top speed, but it’s still very fun and suitable for beginners and younger users.

Technical Features:

  • Brushless motor
  • Nautica waterproof ESC
  • Waterproof Servos
  • Water Cooling System
  • TQ 2.4GHz Transmitter

Pros

  • Jaw-dropping design
  • Stable

Cons

  • The battery lags behind

7. Pro Boat Blackjack 24”

This is an awesome catamaran from Pro Boat, with beautiful bulbous lines and striking red color. Let me say from the beginning that this thing really goes fast.

Actually, it is so fast that keeping its bow down and preventing the boat from flying at full speed is rather challenging. Fortunately, this little problem can be solved with a bit of ballast at the front of the hull.

The Spektrum STX radio system is not fancy but works like a charm, and provides enough range for the Blackjack to unfold its top speed which is around 30mph.

The receiver is waterproof and so are the servos. The only thing that you will need to add is four AA batteries for the controller and a 3S LiPo for the boat.

Overall, this boat is one of the best remote control boats available on the market and isn’t going to let you down.

Technical Features:

  • Brushless motor
  • Catamaran hull
  • Spektrum STX Radio system
  • Waterproof servo and receiver

Pros

  • Fast
  • Agile

Cons

  • The bow tends to lift

8. Black Marlin (Brushless Edition)

This is a very economical 28” brushless boat with excellent performance. The long and narrow ABS hull cuts through the water like a razor and the stainless smart tabs and wings at the stern help the boat to balance and keep the bow where it is supposed to be.

The included pistol grip controller is nothing special, but does the job right and provides adequate range to control the Black Marlin around a lake.

The brushless motor is good although the top speed of 30mph might be a bit optimistic.

The included 3S battery pack is more than enough to power the Black Marlin for 6 minutes and the cooling system with the rudder intake keeps everything cool.

All around, it’s a very competitive boat and for the money, you can’t go wrong.

Technical Features:

  • 3500KV Brushless Motor
  • 20A ESC
  • 3S LiPo Battery 1800mAh
  • Water-cooling system
  • Stainless steel tabs and fins

Pros

  • Price
  • Overall performance

Cons

  • None

9. Top Race TR-1200

The TR-1200 packs a motor and battery similar to other boats in this review but with one difference—it’s just 18 inches long.

This means that it’s really fast and can run for a longer time because it’s light. On the other hand, it is not as stable as some of the bigger boats, especially when the surface of the water is a bit rippled.

It comes with a pistol-grip 2.4GHz transmitter and a LiPo 1800mAh with battery time being around 10 minutes.

The TR-1200 can recover from capsizing and features a double, sealed hatch to make it watertight.

Technical Features:

  • Brushless motor
  • 2.4 GHz transmitter
  • Capsize Recovery
  • 1800 mAh 3S LiPo battery

Pros

  • Good top speed
  • Price
  • Ideal size

Cons

  • None

10. HappyGrill Vector 30

The smallest RC boat of this review might be a measly 12” in length but it surely is fast. The small brushed motor and 360mAh LiPo battery might not look impressive on paper, but they’re more than adequate to give the Vector 30 a fast rhythm.

The radio controller is very good and the range is more than 300ft; more than enough considering the size of this thing.

Like most boats in this category, the Vector can flip back to its keel in case of capsizing and is cheap enough for you to buy two of them and host a small race in a nearby pond or lake.

Technical Features:

  • Auto flip recovery function
  • Water-cooling system
  • 2.4 GHz Transmitter
  • 360mAh LiPo battery

Pros

  • Price
  • Overall performance

Cons

  • Can’t cope with wavy water

Buying Guide

What Size?

Lake boats start from 12 inches long and go all the way to 36”. The bigger they are, the faster they go. Also, they tend to be more stable and unfortunately more expensive.

If you’re a beginner, starting with a huge racer is usually not a good idea. Something around 23”-24” is a better choice for those who want to dip a toe in the water without breaking the bank.

For kids, a boat between 12” and 18” would be more suitable and can be used in a swimming pool.

By the way, we've made a deep research and found the best RC boats for playing in the pool. We hope you'll enjoy it!

Brushed Vs Brushless motor

If budget is not an issue then a brushless motor will beat a brushed one, on any given day.

They are more efficient, more reliable, and in the long term, more economical since they will keep working for much more time without any kind of maintenance.

They are more expensive though, and to work, they need an electronic speed control (ESC) that adds to the cost.

Having said that, there are brushed-motor boats like the Pro Boat Stealthwake, that are just too good to pass by and at a great price too.

Capsize Recovery

Another spec that you have to pay attention to is the capsizing recovery function. Many times, bigger boats don’t have that.

True, they are more difficult to flip over, but if they do, you have to go and recover them, and nobody likes a cold bath in the middle of the winter.

So, if this is a problem, you may have to choose something else.

RC boats are amazing, and there’s nothing better than a day at the lake. Always be considerate of the local wildlife and other people enjoying the lake with you though.

These little rascals can be quite noisy and intrusive. Other than that, “full speed ahead”!

About the author

Chris Kamberis

I started with the first cars and boats at the age of 9 and have remained an RC enthusiast since then. I loved every part of the process. The construction, tuning, and naturally racing. Later I moved to small helicopters and finally drones, which is what I fly most of these days.

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