ElectricJust like RC cars and trucks, electric RC boats operate with brushed or the more powerful brushless motors. Electric RC boats come in all shapes and sizes and are generally less expensive to purchase, less expensive to operate, and easier to maintain than fuel-powered engines.
Traxxas Blast (Buy Direct) is a ready-to-run electric and the AquaCraft SuperVee 27 (Buy Direct) is an entry-level electric with a brushless motor.
NitroThe nitro or glow engine provides an extra boost of power and speed for RC boating. The standard nitro engine differs slightly from the nitro engine on RC cars and planes because it is water-cooled instead of air-cooled. Water enters through a tube beneath the boat, passes through a cooling head on the cylinder and back out the boat, taking heat from the engine with it. There are also a couple of other configurations that use the nitro engine and additional hardware to create an outboard motor or a jet drive system -- popular on some racing models.
The AquaCraft SuperVee 27 Nitro (Buy Direct) is nitro-powered RC sport boat.
GasThe gas engine in an RC boat is a gasoline-powered 2-cyle engine similiar to the engine in a gas-powered leaf blower or weed trimmer. Much larger than your typical nitro engine, the gas engine goes into much bigger RC boats -- so you'll probably not want a gas powered boat to play with in your swimming pool. Although the initial cost is usually higher and the maintenance more complicated, gasoline costs less than nitro fuel, making gas engines less expensive to operate.
AquaCraft V24 One-Design (Buy Direct) is a 4 1/2 foot gasoline-powered RC boat.
Next, choose a hull style for your RC boat.
The RC boat models named and linked to from this article are intended as examples of the different RC boat options, not as endorsements for any specific model or RC boat manufacturer.