BUMP IT BACK. If you’re
boating with a friend, just
have him gently push
your boat to shore with
WAIT ON THE WIND.
You’d be surprised how
quickly even a light breeze
will bring your boat back
to shore. If you have a
choice, drive your boat
from the downwind side
of the pond so that you
won’t have to walk all the
way around if you do need
to wait on the wind.
HOOK IT. A fishing pole
and hook can be used
to snag an edge on your
boat and reel it back to
shore (it can also be used
to catch fish). To make
hooking your boat easier,
put five or six (or more)
hooks on the line, spaced
about 6 inches apart.
TENNIS, ANYONE? You
can also use a tennis ball
and string to get your
boat back without putting
a toe in the water. Huck it
like an outfielder, or use
your fishing pole.
When it comes to powerboats, there are three di;erent
systems that you can choose from: electric, nitro,
ELEC TRIC. Just like with the car scene, electric power is
the most popular when it comes to boats. Some small to
midsize boats use brushed motors, but the majority
use sensorless brushless power. In the boat
world, torque is king, and it’s not uncommon
to find 6-pole motors being used. Amp draw
in a brushless electric boat is high, so good-
quality batteries are recommended;
oftentimes, the motor and controller
will have water jackets on them
to help keep them cool.
Electric power is the best
option for the beginner
boater because it’s a
Unlike RC cars, boats don’t have a gearbox to connect the motor to the prop; they use instead
a direct-drive system to make it happen. “Gearing” is done through the prop, and using ones
with a di;erent pitch and/or diameter will a;ect how the boat launches and how fast it will go.
Some small boats use a straight shaft with a coupler to connect the prop to the motor. ;is
is a durable setup, but it takes away the possibility to adjust the prop angle to optimize the
performance. Most boats use a flex shaft, which is basically like a thick guitar string that can
be curved and allows the shaft to connect to an angled motor or engine in the hull and then
gradually flatten out to allow the prop to sit at the proper angle. ;e flex shaft runs inside a
“stu;ng tube,” which is a brass tube usually lined with Teflon. ;e brass is typically bonded or
molded into the hull bottom, but the Teflon liner is simply slipped inside, making it an easy-to-replace part. ;e ends of either type of shaft spin in bushings on the prop end, and marine-grade grease reduces wear.
HOW TO BUILD A BOAT RETRIEVER
If you do not have a rowboat or a raft, another good way to retrieve your stranded
boat is to use a tennis ball and a rod and reel.
S TEP 1
Carefully pierce two holes in
the ball using a ream or nail.
S TEP 2
Feed a zip-tie through the
ball and tie fishing line to it.
;row or cast the ball beyond
your stranded boat.
Drag the string over your
boat to snag it and reel it in.
NI TRO. Ready-to-run boats will generally use a .18- or
.21-size engine, and they can be run on 30 to 40 percent
nitro. Most of these boats don’t use a clutch, so they move
along the water at all times. ;is forces water into the cooling
system and keeps the engine’s operating temperature down.
It also means that you’ll need someone to help you launch
the boat; one person needs to throttle up the boat, and the
other throws it into the water while being careful around the
spinning prop. Engines in RTR boats typically use a pull or
shaft starter to fire them up, and they use rotary carburetors,
which provide smooth power and allow the throttle servo
to be mounted along the center of the hull. Tuned pipes add
power to the engine but make them loud, so you may want
to consider where you’re going to be running a boat like this
and see if there are any noise regulations. A receiver pack is
needed to power up the
throttle and steering
servos. Nitro power
is finicky, so it’s not
who is just
getting started in
No Swimming Allowed!
If your boat flips over or otherwise gets stranded on the water, never swim for it. Just
don’t do it! There are far safer ways to get your boat back. Here’s how:
Gearing for a boat is done through the
prop. Size and pitch will alter how the boat
launches and how fast it will go.
GASOLINE. Many boats that use gasoline power have
23cc or 26cc engines, and they work just like your weed
whacker or leaf blower. ;ey’re pretty easy to start, and
they will usually run with no issues until the fuel tank is
empty. Some boats use a mu;er on the exhaust, which
makes them quiet but doesn’t do much to help the engine’s
power. Boats that have a tuned pipe will have increased
horsepower, but they can be
loud; you’ll want to take
that into consideration
depending on where
you’re going to run it.
Just like a nitro boat,
boat requires a
to power up the
A flex shaft is just that: a flexible
shaft that connects the motor to the
prop and allows you to adjust prop
angle and height.