So, you’ve got a fancy RC boat and finally decided to get your feet wet and try the relaxing hobby. However, if you don’t choose the right location, you can end up with a lost or damaged boat, ruining the entire experience. So, you should first ask, “where can I drive my RC boat?”
You can drive your RC boat in your bathroom, swimming pool, a nearby lake, pond, river, and even the ocean. Consider the size, power, and construction of your boat because not every boat is suitable for anybody of water. Joining a boating club is also a good idea.
We will explain different locations where you can run your RC boat. We will also give you some tips on rules and safety considerations regarding RC boat operation.
Where Can I Drive RC Boats?
When choosing where to run your boat, you should consider two things:
- Locations specified by the manufacturer. Many RC boat manufacturers specify the places where you can drive their boats. For example, they say if the boat is operable in saltwater or how deep the water can be.
- Whether the body of water permits RC boats. When you find a place to run your RC boat, you should look at the local rules and regulations. Look for signs or talk to park rangers to tell you if you can drive your RC boat in the water.
The type of RC boat also determines where you can operate it. For example, large and strong boats can handle rivers or saltwater, while smaller boats are better for pools and ponds.
Finally, take the weather conditions into account. For example, you may need to run your RC sailboat in a windy area, or your RC submarine might not perform well in a pond covered in Lilypad.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are the best places where you can have fun with your little boat:
1. Your Bathtub
I know running your boat in your bathroom looks nothing like the cool RC boat experience you’ve seen in your neighboring park. But it can be a great experience for your kids and their toy boats.
You don’t need to look for any outdoor lake or pond, and your kids can run the boat anytime they want. If you’re a busy parent, you can safely give your children some time to play for themselves and have fun.
2. Public or Private Swimming Pools
If you’re a complete beginner with no boating skills or have a kid who wants to play with the RC boat, a swimming pool is the best option. You have complete control over your RC boat, and you don’t even need to worry about it sinking or getting lost. It doesn’t go very far, and the water is static.
Plus, you don’t need to worry about other boats crashing into yours because you’ll likely be the only one riding your boat in the pool.
NOTE: If you don’t have a private swimming pool, you may have permission to use public swimming pools. However, you may need to follow specific rules and won’t have that much privacy.
3. A Nearby Pond
Ponds are perfect for beginners because they’re typically small and calm. So, you’ll have ample control over your boat regardless of your skills.
In addition, you can control any type of toy in these ponds because there are no waves or extreme movements. As a result, it’s nearly impossible to lose sight of your boats, and you can easily retrieve the boat if it stops working for any reason.
The only catch is that the smaller the lake, the less area of action you have if it’s a popular space with RC boaters. This way, there will be higher chances of collisions between the boats.
Just like ponds, lakes are calm and stagnant in a limited space. They give you better control over your boat while offering a bigger space for larger numbers of people.
TIP: If the lake is big enough, you can use it for racing and playing in large groups. Since the boat can go a long way in the lakes, it’s better to have a boat that can hold power for a longer time.
Rivers can take the highest level of skill in controlling the RC boat. That’s especially the case if they flow into the sea or ocean because you may end up losing your boat. The best RC boats for rivers are catamarans, which are more stable in choppy waters.
If the river flows into dry land, it will likely flow more slowly, and you don’t need to worry about having high navigation skills.
KEEP IN MIND: The biggest advantage of driving your RC boat in a river is that there may be fewer limitations regarding contamination or noise pollution if it’s in a more remote area of nature.
6. Sea or Ocean
Many RC boats can run in saltwater as long as you can control them and run them in a calm portion of water. In this case, there’s little difference between the sea and a lake.
However, since saltwater is highly corrosive, you shouldn’t run your boat in the ocean unless the manufacturer allows it. Otherwise, you’ll void the warranty in many cases.
NOTE: If you choose to run your RC boat in the ocean, make sure to prepare it so that all the screws are tight. This way, you’ll stop the water from getting into the motor. Then, after getting the boat out of the water, wash every part thoroughly to remove the saltwater, dry them, and re-lubricate the components. Read More in my post on how to waterproof your RC boat.
7. Local Race Club
If you don’t want to play your boat in local lakes and ponds, you have the option to join RC boat race clubs. These clubs allow you to race with other boating enthusiasts and use their locally designated lakes or rivers.
This way, you don’t need to worry about looking for a proper place, can meet many like-minded people, and learn new skills and tips while having more fun and excitement by racing.
TIP: Just google RC boating clubs near you and find the best ones that match your conditions.
Tips To Operate Your RC Boat Safely
No matter where you choose to run your RC boat, you’ll probably have to follow specific rules. As I said before, you can talk to the park rangers and look for signs around the lake or river or on the park’s website.
For example, some parks don’t allow gas or nitro RC boats because they’re noisy and contaminate the water. You should also check if the park allows you to run the boat at night or have other time restrictions. Some parks have speed restrictions and don’t sanction boats over a specific speed capacity.
They may also have some rules or guidelines to avoid collisions with other boats. So, make sure to ask in advance.
Here are some general rules that may always apply:
- You must always be careful and pay attention when operating your boat. Avoid distractions like speaking to other people or talking on your phone while running the boat.
- No matter how skilled you are, the hobbyists next to you may not be as good. So, always be careful.
- Before running your boat, always inspect it thoroughly. For example, check the batteries or the fuel and make sure there’s no leak or other damages.
- If there are full-size vessels on a lake, they have the right of way. So, try to steer clear of these vessels to avoid accidents.
- If an accident happens because you lost control of your boat, you’ll be responsible.
- Never swim into the lake to retrieve your dead boat. It’s not worth it, given the high cases of deaths reported in such conditions. Instead, you can use another vessel, a rescue boat, or a fishing pole to bring back your RC boat.ž