REMOTE CONTROL BOATS FOR KIDS
If you are looking for something a little more nautical than aviation related then perhaps you should take a look at our round up of the best RC boats right here…
Best RC Boats For Kids
When it comes to radio controlled vehicles there is more to choose from than just the aerial variety. You may well be considering purchasing a radio control boat either for yourself or for the kids, but before you do you should make sure you are fully up to speed on the latest knowhow.
If you are looking for the best radio control boats for kids then you are in the right place – but before we give you our top 6 options it is probably a good idea to get to the bottom of the technical language – as it is somewhat different to our usual tech talk – we have added our RC boat FAQ’s at the bottom of the page so if you do get stuck feel free to take a look.
Top 6 Toy RC Boats
Depending on how much you are looking to spend, there are plenty of toy RC boats to choose from. We have whittled it down to the best 6 boats to help you narrow down your search. All of these will make for excellent options but your exact criteria and budget will determine which one is right for you and your child.
1. Helifar RC Boat
Great for speed
The Helifar RC boat is a great all rounder and is suitable for use on ponds and lakes or any other body of relatively still water. This is a great RC boat for beginners, kids and adults alike and comes as a well bundled package that includes two batteries.
Capable of reaching speeds of up to 20MPH, the Helifar is a joy to control thanks to the 2.4GHz remote controller. The controller has four trim buttons, throttle control and direction control as well as an LCD screen that provides you with a battery voltage indicator. There are four channels that the boat and receiver can use so you can use up to four of these RC boats at the same time.
For the kids (and the thrill seeking adults of course) there are a range of flips that the Helifar can perform which make for some very impressive stunts. If you are worried about your boat capsizing out on the water then there really is no need as the Helifar RC will automatically flip itself back the right way up – again making it super accessible for beginners.
The manufacturer states that this boat is to be used by 12 year olds and over and does specify that adult supervision is required. This boat is a lot faster than your standard RC boat and will manage around 8 minutes of sailing time per charge. The control distance is around 150m so that should be plenty for most users and this is the sort of RC boat that will keep you coming back for more.
- Great design
- 3x faster than most RC boats
- Comes with two batteries
- Auto flip incase of capsize
- Is not completely waterproof
2. TopRace TR800 Boat
Great all round value
TopRace are well known within the radio controlled vehicle industry and they have a fair few nautical vehicles to go along with their land and air based ones. The TR800 is one of their most accessible RC boats which makes it perfect for kids – not least as it is priced fairly cheaply compared to some other models on the market.
There are two different models available and if you want to use more than one you will need to buy one of each model. The TR800 is the blue model and operates on a 27MHz frequency whereas the TR800B red model operates on a 49MHz channel. This does mean that you can only use two of these at a time so if you are looking for a mass boat race you will need to invest in some other manufacturers’ boats.
The TR800 looks great in either colour and works well in fairly still water. The controller resembles that of an old Scalextric controller with throttle and rudder controls that are fairly easy to use and can be used one handed.
You will get around 6 minutes of juice from a single battery and overall the TR800 and TR800B are a joy to use.
- Looks great
- Easy to use controller
- Cheap price
- Shallow learning curve
- Spare batteries not easy to find
3. FPVRC Boat
Best Cheap Radio Controlled Boat
This 4 channel 2.4GHz radio controlled boat is ridiculously cheap considering how well it performs and has to be considered one of the best radio control boats for kids. This is a proper stocking filler kind of price but has the wow factor of something much more expensive (not that price is everything). With 4 channels to operate within you could buy four of these, still have plenty of change from £100 and get the whole family out on the water at the same time.
Unlike some of the boats featured on this page, the FPVRC has a completely watertight hull and has an anti-roll feature that prevents it from capsizing. With two powerful motors to the rear of the boat you get a sense of the power of this boat from the first unboxing. ABS plastic is used for the main body of the boat and it is claimed to be impact resistant and extremely durable. We had one or two collisions during testing and found almost no signs of damage to our boat and it certainly continued to function as normal.
The controller is shaped like a speed boat steering wheel to match the speedboat design of the main unit and although it is quite simplistic in its use it is actually a joy to control. You actually feel like you are at the helm of a real speedboat!
The FPVRC is capable of speeds around 10MPH which is pretty decent for the price, will hold its own in light currents and has a range of around 50m. The battery lasts around 6 minutes and comes included along with a boat holder, USB charging cable and the remote controller. Available in red, blue or black, this is one of our favourite toy RC speedboats on the market for kids.
- Dual motors
- Easy to use
- Very cheap
- 3 colours
- Range more limited than some
4. SGILE RC Boat
Best Mid-Priced Boat
There is no getting away from the fact the SGILE RC Boat is a stunner to look at. If this was a life sized boat then it would turn heads and it will probably still capture a fair bit of attention despite its diminutive size. Measuring up at 35.2cm in length, this Lithium Ion powered RC beast is capable of top speeds of around 20MPH and comes in two different trims – red or black.
Kids and adults alike will find hours of fun playing with this RC boat thanks to its ease of use and range of features. Capable of performing 180 degree flips at the touch of a button and with a range of fine tuning controls within the smart black controller – this has to be the perfect mix of fun and ease of use. Auto yaw correction and manual fine turning for trimming means you will be in full control at a level or precision not generally found at this price point whilst an auto capsizing mechanism will kick in to place should you find your boat in trouble – essentially flipping it back upright so you can be on your way.
The controller has an impressive 150m range and we found it to be super responsive and was perhaps our favourite controller of all those we tested. The included 600mAh 7.4V battery provides you with around 10 minutes of battery life and you actually get two included in the package we have linked to below meaning it is one of the best for battery life of all those we tested. This boat is also completely waterproof and ships with a handy boat stand.
If you can stretch your budget to around the £50 mark then this is one of the best boats on the market and is certainly a great all-rounder that will keep beginners and experienced skippers very happy indeed.
- Stunning looks
- Two batteries
- Great controller
- Good range
- A little more expensive
TopRace TR1200 Boat
Best Overall (but also most expensive)
The TopRace TR1200 is beyond any doubt our favourite toy boat that we tested. In fact, to call it a toy seems a little harsh given the specs of this thing and TopRace actually class it is part of their ‘professional series’. So, now we have piqued your interest, let’s take a look at what has got us so excited.
The first thing to point out is the speed that this boat is capable of. It can reach a top speed of around 30MPH thanks to its high powered brushless motor and lightweight design. On top of this, the TR1200 has the most powerful battery on board of all those we have tested with an 1800mAh battery that provides up to 15 minutes of boating time. It also equals the greatest range of all our boats reviewed on this page with a maximum control range of 150m.
The controller is pretty much the same as the TR800 TopRace model but it has a different feel thanks to the power you have when you are out on the water. If you pit a TR800 up against the TR1200 there is only one winner in terms of pure speed. Should you flip this boat over there is no need to panic as it has an auto flip to recover from capsizing.
This boat is larger than some of the others shown on this page with a length of 46cm and it will certainly get you noticed when you take it out on your local pool or lake.
If you want an RC boat with a bit more pep or you want something that will impress a demanding older teenager then this could be a great option.
- Super fast
- Best overall by a distance
- Auto-capsize recovery
- Excellent battery life
- Most expensive
Duck Toys FT007
As far as we are concerned, anything with 007 in the title has to be pretty cool and while on first look this RC boats seems to be a little expensive you soon see why it has a more premium price tag when you peel back beyond the brash yellow design. Available in red (which we much prefer) as well as yellow, the DuckToys FT007 is actually a pretty powerful radio controlled boat, not least due to the powerful 370 type racing motor that is attached to the rear of the vessel. Twin propellors are provided to give that extra thrust as you hurtle towards top speeds of around 15-20MPH.
Featuring a very similar controller to that of the TopRace models the FT007 features a water cooling function that helps keep the motor cool and prevent burnout from prolonged use – thus improving the lifespan of the motor and the boat.
The 700mAH battery will provide around 7-9 minutes of usage from a single charge although charging time is around 2 hours which is slightly disappointing.
At 35cm in length, this is a toy that packs a decent punch and although it was not our favourite of the boats tested it still performed pretty admirably.
- Good for speed
- Decent battery life
- Great controller
- Yellow model doesn’t appeal
Radio Controlled Boats FAQ’s
What is a remote controlled boat?
A remote controlled boat (also known as an RC boat) is one that is controlled remotely. Similar to how a drone is classed as an unmanned aerial vehicle an RC boat could be classed as a UNV – an unmanned aerial vehicle. They will usually be much smaller than a life sized boat and will be operated via a remote controller that is hand held.
Why do the number of channels matter?
Radio controlled vehicles operate on a radio frequency which is usually measured by MHz. Each channel is used as means of communicating signals back and forth between the controller and the boat. The number of channels is only really important to you if you want to use more than one boat in the same range as one another. You will need one channel for each boat you wish to use. If you are using your boat in an area where there are lots of other remote controlled boats then it may be advantageous to be able to operate your boat on different channels to avoid interference.
Can I replace the batteries on an RC boat?
Most boats featured on this page will have replaceable batteries. They are similar in the main to those found on budget drones and are often available to buy as extras for anything between £5 and £15.
Can I used an RC boat anywhere?
You will be subject to local laws as to where you can use your boat. Public pools and lakes should generally be fine but you should always check with your local council to see if there are restrictions in place. For privately owned land you will need to seek the land owners permission before using your boat on their water unless there is information expressly permitting it.
You should also be mindful of other users of the water including those that might be bathing or fishing.
Do you need a licence for an RC Boat?
At the time of writing you do not need a licence to use an RC boat in the UK. We always suggest you check local laws with your local council to be 100% sure.
How old do kids need to be to use a motorised boat?
Most manufacturers will give you a guideline of the age kids need to be to use a motorised boat. 14+ seems to be the standard but some manufacturers do suggest younger children should be fine. We would always recommend there being some level of adult supervision when using a toy boat, although for the most part the worst damage they can cause is to the boat itself.
The Helifar is our number one choice of RC boat for kids overall. It has enough to keep everyone entertained with its tricks and stunts and is relatively easy to use. It comes at a reasonable price that will be affordable to most and should provide plenty of fun for anyone who is lucky enough to get their hands on one.
- Ease of use
- Value for money