Radio-controlled models are more evolved than ever before, and when it comes to RC boats, there’s an extensive number of products in the market for every taste and budget. Today, for less than $100 you have many choices with excellent features like anti-capsizing function and quality 2.4GHz radio systems.

Almost all of them will perform greatly in pools and lakes giving you many hours of fun with no issues and minimum maintenance needed. Let’s have a look at the best boats costing less than $100.

ImageProduct 
Fully Waterproof
Cheerwing UDI Rapid 9 review
Cheerwing UDI Rapid 9
  • 390 Motor
  • Speed: 18 mph
  • Battery 1500 mAh

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High Quality
Altair Aqua review
Altair Aqua
  • single-prop motor
  • Speed: 20 mph
  • 2 x 3.7V 1500mAH Li-ion

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Fun Boat
Force1 Velocity RC Boat review
Force1 Velocity RC Boat
  • single-prop motor
  • Speed: 20+ mph
  • Battery 1100mAh

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Perfect Gift
Contixo T2 RC Boat review
Contixo T2 RC Boat
  • 390 Motor
  • Speed: 25 mph
  • Battery 1500 mAh

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Warship
Battleship Bismarck 1/360 review
Battleship Bismarck 1/360
  • 280 Motor
  • Speed: 5-10 mph
  • Battery 600 mAh

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Birght Body
GizmoVine T04 review
GizmoVine T04
  • single-prop motor
  • Speed: 15 mph
  • Battery 650mAh

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Aggressive look
USA Toyz review
USA Toyz
  • Sturdy Design
  • Speed: 15+ mph
  • 2 x 3.7v 600mAh Li-Ion Battery

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Longruner Pentium review
Longruner Pentium
  • 390 Motor
  • Speed: 20 mph
  • Battery 600 mAh

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Easy to control
Costzon H100 review
Costzon H100
  • 390 Motor
  • Speed: 20 mph
  • Battery 600 mAh

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Manoeuvrable
GizmoVine RC Boat review
GizmoVine RC Boat
  • 390 Motor
  • Speed: 20 mph
  • Battery 600 mAh

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1. Cheerwing UDI Rapid 9

One of the best cheap RC boats in the market, the Rapid is a flashy 17” speedboat in red and black. Under the hood, a classic 390 brushed motor takes care of propulsion and a 1500mAh battery provides the power.

Even though the capacity is big, because of the energy-hungry motor and the size of the Rapid, it doesn’t last more than 10 minutes. The rudder is located to the right of the stern giving Rapid a better turning radius to that side like a racing boat.

In the water, the Rapid handles like a charm and due to the bigger size can cope with small waves better than most boats of this category. Maneuverability is excellent and the double hatch system works fine, keeping most of the water out.

You may find some drops from time to time but nothing major. The pistol grip controller is also very good and its range is more than enough even for bigger lakes. It’s a nice boat, I would like a second battery but it still provides great value for the money.

Technical Features:

  • Anti-capsize recovery
  • Trigger grip 2.4 GHz transmitter
  • Double cover sealed hatch
  • 1500mAh LiPo Battery

Pros

  • Fast
  • Good Handling

Cons

  • Battery time is not great

2. Altair Aqua

An awesome RC boat with a racing-styled aerodynamic body and a deep V hull which can cut through the water with ease. Under the red and black body, there is a brushed motor, cooled with water, and a big 1500mAh battery that powers it.

With a top speed of almost 20mph and battery time 8 to 10 minutes, the Aqua is one of the best RC boats for the money.

The receiver is a 2.4GHz with a pistol grip, long range, and trims for both channels. It also features alarms for battery and low signal which are always useful. The double hatch system comes with a good five lock mechanism and I have to say that is one of the best I’ve seen, keeping the interior dry even after some rough dives.

The Altair Aqua may be on the expensive side of this list but the quality is evident on all aspects of this speed boat. Highly recommended.

Technical Features:

  • Anti-capsize recovery
  • Trigger grip 2.4 GHz transmitter
  • Double cover sealed hatch
  • Two 1500mAh LiPo batteries

Pros

  • Fast
  • Great Quality
  • Good battery run time

Cons

  • None

3. Force 1 Velocity H102

Force 1 is a cheap and fast all-rounder suitable for lakes and pools alike. The white and blue hull is fast, and thanks to a big rudder, it can take some pretty tight corners. Like all offset rudder boats, it turns tighter to the right than it does to the left, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

The boat has a brushed water-cooled motor powered by an 1100 mAh Li-Ion battery giving Force 1 a playtime of around 15 minutes which is great for a 14” vessel. The stick radio controller has 400ft of range and an LCD with a battery indicator, among others.

It features a 2.4GHz system that controls interferences, giving you the ability to run more than one Force 1 at the same time with no problem. Overall, it’s a great little boat; fun to use and well-priced.

Technical Features:

  • Water cooling system
  • Anti-capsize function
  • 1100 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • LCD with power indicator and range alarm

Pros

  • Good speed
  • Maneuverable
  • Good battery time

Cons

  • Might take a few drops in the hull

4. Contixo T2


Contixo T2 is an 18” RC speed boat with a 390 brushed motor and a double hatch that actually works, sealing the boat successfully. Like most boats of the category, it features an anti-capsize function and a 2.4 GHz receiver with adequate range.

It fairs well with rippled water and small waves, but it’s not suitable for the sea and should be kept away from salty water.

The T2 is very responsive to the controls retaining most of its snappiness even at top speed which is around 20mph. The battery is Li-Ion but at 600 mAh it doesn’t yield more than 10 minutes of playtime.

A bigger unit or a second battery (which can be bought separately) would definitely be welcome, other than that the Contixo ticks most of the boxes. It comes with an extra propeller, a plastic stand, and some lube for the shaft.

Technical Features:

  • Double Hatch
  • Capsize recovery
  • 600 mAh Li-Ion
  • ABS body
  • 2.4GHz Transmitter

Pros

  • Fast
  • Snappy
  • Overall quality

Cons

  • Moderate battery time
  • Bigger battery would be nice

5. Battleship Bismarck 1/360

A great radio controlled ship modeled after the mighty German Bismarck battleship which measures an ample 28” in length. This boat has an accurate shape and an abundance of details that make it look like the real thing. The gun turrets are pretty detailed and so are the rest of the guns, antennas, and funnel.

The battery is in a small compartment inside the hull, under all these guns, and the power switch is located next to the stern gun turret. The stick radio transmitter is good enough, providing 120ft of range which is more than you would ever need for a model boat like this.

On the water, the Bismarck sails like a real ship. It looks and feels heavy, has a high center of gravity, and is meant to be cruised around calm waters, so don’t expect it to turn on a dime or go fast over waves.

One thing I didn’t like is that it has one of those flimsy wire antennas that RC boats used to have years ago, I would prefer something more discreet.

Technical Features:

  • 1/360 Scale
  • 800mAh Battery
  • Two-channel radio controller
  • 120ft Range

Pros

  • Realistic scale
  • Good detail
  • Great for kids

Cons

  • Old style antenna

6.GizmoVine T04

A tiny little boat, more suitable for kids than adults, with good quality, and above all, safety sensor for the propellers which is crucial for this kind of toy. The T04 comes with double motors and two propellers but no rudder.

In order to turn, it uses propulsion control which doesn’t give great maneuverability by for this category is OK. The battery is a 650mAh unit which is huge for this boat, with a runtime of almost 20 minutes.

The T04 is suitable for bathtubs and pools only, it should be never used in bigger bodies of water. It’s just too small and underpowered for that. The remote is 2.4GHz making it possible to buy multiple T04s and run them simultaneously in case you have many kids or just want race with friends.

It’s a quality toy, and if you’re looking for something to buy for younger kids this should be an obvious choice, especially for the price.

Technical Features:

  • Waterproof design
  • 650mAh Li-Ion
  • Propeller safety sensor
  • 2.4 GHz Remote control

Pros

  • Great for smaller spaces
  • Great battery time

Cons

  • No rudder

7. USA TOYZ UDI 001 Venom

The Venom might be a measly 12” in length but can spin around lakes and ponds in a strikingly fast pace. The small motor is more than enough to push this little speed boat to 15 mph and at the same time the hull is nimble enough to take some pretty tight corners thanks to the Venom’s big rudder and lack of mass.

It comes with two Li-Ion 600mAh batteries that last 10 minutes each and a 2.4GHz pistol-grip controller which is ergonomic and performs well in every aspect. The single hatch cover is sealed, but it’s not beefy enough to keep the water out. It can be easily corrected with a new seal or by taping the hatch with waterproof tape though. All in all, it’s a great little boat with good performance.

Technical Features:

  • Two Li-Ion batteries (600mAh)
  • Anti-capsize recovery
  • Water-cooled motor
  • 2.4 GHz Radio transmitter

Pros

  • Great for smaller pools and ponds
  • Light and nimble
  • Price

Cons

  • Hatch sealing

8. Longruner Pentium

The Pentium is an entry-level budget-friendly speedboat and one of the best cheap RC boats in the market. The vivid red hull hosts a brushed motor that sits between the receiver and the battery. This layout gives Pentium a good balance by keeping the keel in the water and the bow down.

The receiver is a simple pistol grip controller with a foam wheel grip, trims for both channels, and a low battery alarm. It takes 2 AA batteries and works fine except that it’s on the small side and can be uncomfortable for people with bigger hands. On the bright side though, it is great for kids.

The two 600mAh batteries give the Pentium a run time of 7-8 minutes which is not bad. The boat is pretty fast on the water, and as long as there are no big ripples, it goes straight and corners like it’s on rails. Not bad at all for an RC boat of this price.

Technical Features:

  • Anti-capsize recovery
  • Trigger grip 2.4 GHz transmitter
  • ABS body
  • Two 600mAh LiPo batteries

Pros

  • Good price
  • Excellent speed and handling

Cons

  • The controller grip is a bit small

9. Costzon H100

This little RC boat packs a powerful motor that pushes it to almost 20mph in no time. The rudder is huge compared to its 14” long hull and can change directions rapidly no matter the speed, giving the H100 unparalleled maneuverability.

As for the well-designed hull, it absorbs water ripples and small waves efficiently.

The H100 is controlled by a classic stick transmitter that features an LCD, 2.4GHz technology, and a range of around 500ft. The battery lasts for 10 minutes max and there is no second one. Not surprising when you consider how low this boat is priced.

Overall, it’s tons of fun and for the money, you will find it difficult to come with a better choice. A minor problem is the hatch which, like many boats of this category, is not 100% waterproof and needs some attention.

Technical Features:

  • Water-cooled motor
  • Capsize recovery
  • ABS Hull
  • 600mAh Li-Ion battery
  • 2.4 GHz Controller with LCD

Pros

  • Low price
  • Agile
  • Compact

Cons

  • Water sealing could be better

10. GizmoVine H106 (2019 Edition)

The H106 is an RC boat that has proven itself over the years. The new version features a lively 390 brushed motor which gives better acceleration and improved top speed. The beautiful body, water cooling system, and two-channel 2.4GHz transmitter have remained as they were, which is fine since they were performing great.

Gizmovine provides two LiPo batteries that yield a good 12-15 minutes of playtime; one of the best in this price range. The double hatch conforms to the H106s body, giving it a very streamlined aerodynamic shape and leaving no gaps for the water to paddle and potentially enter the hull.

On the water, the GizmoVine is a tight turner and even though it won’t win any races, it’s swift enough to give lots of fun to its user. It’s a great boat for the price and the quality is good enough to make sure that the H106 will last you a long time with proper maintenance.

Technical Features:

  • 390 Water-cooled motor
  • Capsize recovery
  • Two 600mAh LiPo batteries
  • Double Hatch
  • 2.4 GHz Transmitter with LCD

Pros

  • Can turn tight
  • Good Price
  • Two Batteries

Cons

  • None

Which is the right RC boat for you?

Depending on your needs there is probably more than one answer to this question. Bigger boats are great for lakes but won’t be much fun in your tub. In the same way, smaller boats are great for kids and small pools but you might lose them in a lake.

If you want something to have fun here and there, most boats in the $100 price range should more than good enough. The vast majority has a capsize-recovery function and is waterproof (some more, others less).

Most of them also feature a 2.4GHz radio system that takes care of frequency control automatically, avoiding interferences and making sure that your boat won’t end up unresponsive in the middle of a lake, like a dead duck.

Most boats come with Li-Ion batteries and a water-cooling system that ensures reliability. If you choose one of these speedboats, chances are that you will play with it for many years to come. So why wait? Grab one and have a blast!

About the author

EdwardSimpson

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