Rc boats 101 - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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General RC Boat Discussion Discuss RC Boats, submarines & hovercrafts in electric or nitro.

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Old 03-26-2013, 11:24 PM   #1
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I am: Luc White
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Rc boats 101

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While RC airplanes and cars tend to get the majority of modelersí attention, there is another area of RC that can be just as much, if not even more fun than both. RC boats provide a totally different experience than flying a plane or driving a car on many different levels. There are boats for everyone from performance enthusiasts, casual sailing fans, those who love the detailed runabouts of years gone by and more. Besides the aesthetics of individual boats, there are other considerations to think about such as battery or fuel power, to build or buy a Ready-To-Run boat and more.
Hull StylesWhen talking about the performance and handling of a particular boat, the configuration of the hull will have enormous impact on the overall performance and handling of a boat on the water. When talking about the different types of hulls, there are five main configurations for RC boats: Deep-V's, catamarans, hydroplanes, sailboats and Mini's.

Deep-Vs are by far the most popular hull style for boats and are capable of tremendously high speeds. A Deep-V gets its name after the look and profile of the hull's distinctive V-shape. This hull configuration relies on hull strakes for improved stability and cornering ability, and its Deep-V design helps the boat absorb the impact of bigger waves on rough water. In addition, the V-shape causes the boat to bank in the turns to assist turning. When you jump on the throttle with a Deep-V, the nose will typically come out of the water and as the boat gets on plane, it will ride on the rear 1/3 of the hull.

Catamarans have been modeled after off-shore race boats and, due to their wider hull footprint acting as 2 sponsons, provide additional positive stability when compared to a Deep-V. While it is more stable, the fact that a catamaran has more of its hull in the water translates into increased drag and slightly reduced top speed.

When you're talking about speed and performance on the water, youíre clearly talking about Unlimited Hydroplanes. Hydroplanes skim across the top of the water at tremendous speeds capturing the look and feel of their full scale counterparts, even down to the huge turbine exhaust ports at the back of the hull and gorgeous sponsor decals. Hydroplanes are designed primarily for oval racing and feature a turning fin on the backside of one of the sponsons to aid in cutting the tightest lines possible around a racecourse. RC hydroplanes can be considered to be the "Formula One of RC Boating," due to their high speeds and performance-driven designs.

For the best in relaxation, sailboats offer the lowest maintenance and are very fulfilling in regards to boat-handling skills. With no power other than the wind, skills must be honed to learn how to adjust the sails to take best advantage of wind currents. There is nothing like tacking into the wind, seemingly defying the wind direction.

When you want to drive a boat but you donít have access to a huge piece of open water, a mini boat is the perfect option. Minis are smaller than other boats, but they feature similar handling and performance characteristics of their larger cousins. Minis are available as RTRs that require very little preparation time to get on the water and provide an inexpensive and economical way for someone to get their feet wet in the world of RC boating. Some mini boats can even be driven in swimming pools if you need to get your boating fix in a snap.

Power Systems
Electric Systems
Where you plan on driving your boat can weigh heavily on whether to go with a fuel-powered boat or an electric-powered one. Some communities have noise ordinances that would prevent you from being able to use a fuel-powered boat. In an instance such as this, an electric boat will allow you to still enjoy model boating without creating excessive noise. Electric boats also provide simple, plug-and-play operation. When you want to drive your boat, all you need to do is charge up the battery pack, plug it in, and youíre ready to go. Brushless motor systems have also upped the ante in terms of speed and performance in electric boats. With brushless motor systems you'll see an increase in acceleration and top speed while also being more efficient than their brushed counterparts.

Glow-Fuel Powered
Nitro-powered boats run off of a specific type of fuel available through hobby dealers. Nitro fuel tends to be more costly per gallon, but it's also safer than gasoline. Nitro fuel has key oils and lubricants blended into it, eliminating the need to mix your fuel with oil as you would with gasoline-powered boats. The power-to-weight ratio of a glow-fuel powered boat is greater than what you would find in gas-powered models, making them a more popular option. Additionally the smaller size of a glow-powered boat makes it easier to run in more areas than their larger 2-cycle cousins.

2-Cycle Gasoline Powered
Gasoline-powered boats use basically the same gasoline that your full-size car uses, making refueling relatively inexpensive and easy. There is one difference between what your car runs on and what an RC boat utilizes for fuel. RC boats run off of a gasoline and oil mixture, very similar to what you might use in a gas leaf blower or string trimmer. Boats that run off of gasoline engines are larger and use a larger displacement engine than their nitro-powered cousins. Regardless of whether you decide to go with a nitro- or gasoline-powered boat, you will find that, generally speaking, fuel-powered boats offer extended run times when compared to battery-powered boats. Fuel-powered boats also offer the intangible sensation of the realistic sound produced by the engine as it rips across the water's surface, adding to the experience and excitement. The engine noise could possibly eliminate some ponds and streams from consideration as areas to drive in.

Drive Systems and Propellers
Most entry-level boats use a direct drive system with a submerged propeller. This system is easy to run, as cavitation concerns are minimal. Because the entire prop is under water along with the drive shaft, there is more drag and speeds aren't as fast. Surface drive systems operate with only half of the prop under water, allowing for larger diameter and pitch choices and lessening water resistance. These systems sometimes incorporate a flexible drive system that requires periodic lubrication. To optimize performance, propellers should be balanced and sharpened. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines regarding the area of the prop to remove. Propellers have very sensitive angles, similar to the airfoil of an airplane, so modifying the wrong area can compromise its efficiency.

I hope this gives you a good idea about us boat guys
got to love the water.
IMPBA# 20380 S CD

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