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Why would you even want to buy a nitro or RC gas boat? They are expensive, right? Electric RC boats are much cheaper, and they are easier to run. So, why are gas and nitro watercraft even being sold? There is a simple answer to that: power, speed, and duration (well, three answers).
Gas and nitro boats can go faster. They have more power. They last longer on the water. Yes, they generally cost more than an electric vessel, but if you want an experience like no other, then they are the way to go. They give you the power that you crave, and they will stay out on the water for much longer than an electric vehicle. Want to recharge it? Simply, add more fuel. There is also nothing quite like working on the engine of your nitro or gas watercraft. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
RC Gas Boats
Gas RC boat engines usually have an engine in excess of 2hp, but you will find that many reach up to 5hp and beyond. Gas engines can be modified to be even more powerful. This is a big difference compared to electric engines. You have more modifications available to you with a gas engine. You will also need to purchase fuel for your engine. This is where you will find the main difference. With electric, you can recharge your boat. With gas, you need to refill, but the refill is instant. Most gas engines use the same gas which you would use in your car or another vehicle.
Most gas engines will use 87-octane fuel, with some being designed to use 91-octane. The difference between filling your car and filling your gas-powered vessel is that you need to mix in some oil. A two-stroke is an oil you will use for your boat, and the correct amount should be mixed into your gas as per the user guide.
A gas vehicle will either use a 2-blade or a 3-blade propeller. A 2-blade propeller will give you a higher top speed, while a 3-blade will give you better acceleration. 2-blade propellers are lighter, so they will not weigh your boat down as much, but do not offer as much stability as a 3-blade propeller. With gas, you will also have more maintenance compared to an electric watercraft. There are more moving parts, and it has more power and speed. If you take care of your gas-powered boat, you will keep it running for a long time.
RC Nitro Boats
The engine in a nitro vehicle is measured differently than the engine size of a gas-powered RC vessel. A gas engine is measured in HP, while a nitro boat is measured in CCs. A nitro engine is also mostly dependent on the size of the boat hull, with a longer hull requiring a more powerful engine. For example, a 20-27” hull will require a 2.5-3cc engine. At the other end of the spectrum, a 40”+ hull will require an engine of at least 13cc. Engines do not need to match the hull size exactly, but generally, that is how they are measured.
A higher quality or a more expensive engine will generally give you more power, but that is not always the case. The more powerful your motor, the larger a propeller it can drive, but the bulkier and heavier the engine will be. It is actually rather straightforward to get the propeller size right for a nitro engine, and there are accurate guides for prop sizes based on the size of the engine. It is actually easier to choose a replacement propeller for a nitro vehicle than it is for an electric one.
As you may have guessed, a nitro RC boat uses nitro as its fuel. The nitro fuel, however, needs to be mixed in specific quantities, and you need to ensure that you have components for power, lubrication, and anti-foaming. You can buy the ingredients separately and mix them yourself, but it is more common to buy the nitro fuel pre-mixed. A higher nitro content in the fuel mix will give you more power, with a lower mix giving you less power.
The disadvantage is that nitro can be expensive, so the more you use, the more you will have to spend. More nitro will also cause the engine to consume more of the fuel blend, meaning that you will have to buy more of the other ingredients too. It also requires more maintenance when you use a higher nitro content. Low nitro content is great for beginners or those who want to deal with fewer problems, while a higher content is beneficial to those who want pure speed.
Gas vs. Nitro
There are a few key differences between gas and nitro vessels. Gas vehicles are bigger than their RC nitro counterparts. Gas watercraft are easier to refill than nitro boats. While gas vehicles are a lot faster, if you want to go for pure speed, then nothing beats a nitro. The speed is great, but it does come at a cost. Nitro vessels will cost more to buy, and the fuel makes it more expensive to own. If you are serious about an RC boat, then you are not going to worry about that extra cost to get the speed, but if you are looking for something fun but more affordable, a gas boat will suit you better.
Both options will require you to regularly maintain them to get the best out of them, and also to ensure they last for a long time, but nitro vehicles do require more maintenance, and the engines can be trickier to work on. When it comes to the amount of power you get out of a small engine, then the nitro wins hands down.
RC Watercraft Reviews
1. Pro Boat Rockstar Catamaran Gas RC Boat
There is no doubt about it; this boat is fast. It is officially licensed by Rockstar Energy and has been specially designed to make you feel like a bona fide rock star. One great thing about this gas-powered RC boat is that you can have it up and running in seconds. Once you are ready to go, all you have to do is push a button, and the vehicle will start up.
There are many other great things about this boat which make it easy to use an maintain. There is a composite radio tray which is completely removable. This makes it easy to get into the engine and other components for maintenance. You will need to maintain your vessel, and Rockstar has made it easy to do.
The width of the dual hulls makes this catamaran steady and stable in the water. Catamarans are built for speed, and with the gas engine, you will get a lot of it. However, they can begin to vibrate and move at high speeds. With the extra width, it will stay true and straight in the water, and you will not have to worry about it tipping or flipping. The extra width also makes it great for turning sharply in the water. The durable rudder also means the watercraft will turn sharply and quickly in either direction. Race against your friends and watch how angry they get as you blow them out of the water.
With this catamaran, you can reach speeds of up to 40 mph. The propeller really gets spinning fast, and one safety feature which we like is the clutch. When the motor is idling, the propeller will not spin. This means that you can stop the boat in the water, and you can also protect your fingers when you are handling it, and the engine is running.
This is a great product for someone who is looking for speed and maneuverability.
2. Aquacraft Rio Gas RC Boat
This vessel looks great. The sleek white design is highlighted with the red down the sides and back. The yellow and black checkered flag design on the rear of the boat gives it a racing feel, which is exactly what this boat is. The hull has been crafted from high-quality fiberglass. This makes the boat durable and tough. If you do hit any rocks or other hard surfaces, then the boat will hold up. As well as being tough, the fiberglass helps to keep the boat light, which is great for hitting those top speeds when you are out on the water.
The engine itself is also made from high-quality materials, including a self-oiling drive system. Over time, your drive system will begin to wear down, and parts will rub against each other. The self-oiling system will keep the engine running for a long time, making the maintenance easier for you. The flex cable and anodized aluminum also make the motor durable and tough.
The engine is easy to start, and when it is up and running, the vessel will be propelled through the water at high-speeds and without a lot of noise. For the money, the engine is more powerful than many rivals on the market. It is hard to find a vehicle which compares in price, and you will be hard pressed to build as powerful a boat for anywhere near this price.
One thing we love is how it handles in rougher waters. We are not saying that you should take this boat out in the biggest ocean waves, but it will handle as well in choppy waters as it will in calm water. This is a great entry-level toy for someone who is wanting to get into gas-powered watercraft. It is affordable, handles well, and has a great top speed.
3. Aquacraft Nitro Hydroplane RC Boat
When you first see your boat, you will not be quite sure if it should be flying through the water or flying through the air. It has a quality about it that makes it seem out of this world, and when you see it perform in the water, you may think that it is out of this world. When you get your item, the fiberglass hull will come complete and assembled. All you have to do is add some embellishment in the form of the included decals. The engine will be set up and ready to go, with a Quiet Pipe to reduce the noise and boost the power, and water-cooling technology to keep the engine cool and running for longer than competitors.
The inclusion of GrimRacer technology means it can take punishment from the water, other vehicles, and objects in the water, with our breaking its stride (if boats do, in fact, stride). This makes it a great for racing. You do not have to worry about it being knocked to the side or being interrupted. That is a part of racing, and it is designed to stand up to any test which comes its way.
This is a boat which will dazzle you with its performance, and one which is great for an RC racer who wants to go even faster. The ease of use also makes it great for the recreational user who wants to have a toy which can go fast. The inclusion of a large fuel tank means that you can complete those long races without having to worry about your fuel levels, and if you want your vehicle to spend a long time out on the water – it will. This is an easy product to use and maintain, and one which you can upgrade when you need to.
Last update on 2020-02-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API