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Speed, Detail And Control: RC Power Boats


Looking for fun and maybe something more? Try RC power boats. RC boating is a hobby and a sport. Models of life size power boats, sometimes scaled down to an exact copy, are linked up to a radio control – hence the RC in their name -and run or raced on the water. They can be as slow as tugs and cabin cruisers or as fast as speed boats. The power lies in the engine, the basic types being electric, gasoline and nitro-powered.

Electric RC power boats are powered by 6 to 12 cell NiCad battery packs. Quieter and cleaner than their nitro and gasoline counterparts they are more easily accepted in urban areas where people may not want their peace.

Nitro RC power boats use nitro-methane as their power source and are faster than electric boats with more run time. As a result, they also cost more

Gasoline fuelled RC power boats are usually large. Powered by “weed whacker” engines, they have a longer run time and are less expensive to refuel than the options.

Depending upon the hull shape and engine size, as well as who is at the controls, these little or not so little – some RC power boats are as big as three feet in length – models can obtain speeds as high as 55 to 65 mph. In fact, there are organizations all across the globe who hold not only regattas but also racing championships.

The International Model Power Boat association or IMBA was founded in 1949. An American organization, it focuses mainly on racing nitro and electric RC power boats. Entries are based on IMPBA classifications. Its counterparts include the Model Power Boat Association in the United Kingdom (MPBA), but it is allied with the North American Model boat Association (NAMBA) which promotes model boat building in both the United States and Canada. There are also model boat clubs and organizations around the world. The World organization for model ship building is Naviga, but there are interested bodies located in Denmark, Holland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. RC power boats are a very popular hobby/sport worldwide.

RC power boats are designed to attract. They are fully functional and usually assembled. Their size determines whether to sail them in a pond, your backyard pool or on a larger body of water such as a lake. They are known for their manoeuvrability and, of course, speed. Some come with two high speed motors and dual propellers; others have twin fan-cooled engines or water cooled engines. There are models with three speed gear change, even going into reverse.

In addition there are all the accessories to repair and increase the speed of your RC power boat. There are propeller balancers, cable grease, fibreglass tape to reinforce the joints, steel flex cables and wedge rudders. This is to say nothing of the odds-and-ends you can for your radio control remote. All in all it is an absorbing hobby.


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