Best RC Gas Boat Engines (+ Installation Tips)

Whether it’s an RC car, a boat, or even an airplane, there’s one thing that’s always needed to make them go: an engine. It is without a doubt the most important part of any RC vehicle, and the same goes for remote control boats as well. But with so many different types and sizes of engines out there, how do you know which one is right for your RC boat?

If you’re a complete beginner, the best RC gas boat engine that you can get is a stock Zenoah G26 Marine engine. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. However, for intermediate to experienced users, you can go for models like the Rovan Baja 45cc, VXP 27cc, King Motor 29cc Air-Cooled engine, or the Toyan FS-S100WG. 

Best RC Gas Boat Engine
Title with a gas-powered RC boat powering through the water

So many options, right? But don’t worry, we’re here to help you make the best decision for your boat. We’ll take you through the pros and cons of each engine, and by the end of this article, you’ll know exactly which one is the right fit for you. So put on your captain’s hat and let’s get started!

Top 5 RC Gas Boat Engines

Here’s an in-depth look at the top five RC gas boat engines that you can buy right now:

1) Zenoah G26 Marine Engine

Price: $383.99

The Zenoah G26 is one of the most popular gas engines out there, and for good reason. Since its inception, Zenoah has been known for making high-quality RC engines that are easy to use, adjust, and maintain. This makes them the perfect choice for beginners. 

Coming to the G26, this beauty is a two-stroke engine with a 26cc displacement. It’s air-cooled and has a Magneto-driven CDI ignition system, making it easy to start up. It’s also the same size as the G23, but with 20% more horsepower. Another advantage is that if you ever need to replace any parts, they’re readily available and relatively inexpensive.

Overall, a great bang for your buck!

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2) Rovan Baja 45cc

Price: $349.99

The Rovan Baja 45cc is a great choice for those who are looking for more power without breaking the bank. It’s a powerful two-stroke engine with a 45cc displacement and tons of low-end torque, making it one of the most powerful options on this list. 

It’s also air-cooled and has a Special HD Design Heavy Duty pull start with a nice, big handle – simply starting this engine is a pleasure in itself! And the best part is that you can use it for more than just your RC Boats! In fact, this engine will fit most 1/5th scale buggies, truggies, and trucks as well.

A great choice for those who want a versatile engine that packs a punch!

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3) VXP 27cc

Price: $349.99

The VXP 27cc is a great choice for those looking for a powerful and reliable engine. It’s a 27cc two-stroke engine with an impressive power output of 18,800 RPM (ideal for the racer in you!). The parts for this engine are manufactured directly in Japan, which is a testament to its quality. 

Check out my related article: How Fast Do Gas Powered RC Boats Go? (+ Tips To Go Faster)

It also comes with a water cooling head to keep things cool, even when you’re pushing it to the limit. Plus, it has a Walbro WT-998 carburetor with an acceleration pump, so you can be sure that this engine will perform flawlessly. Personally, we’re also fans of the VXP’s trick throttle which is undisputed as the best throttle assembly on the market.

Overall, a pretty sweet RC gas boat engine with decent power and some really cool features!

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4) King Motor 29cc Air-Cooled Engine

Price: $109.99

Although one of the least expensive options on this list, the King Motor 29cc Air-Cooled Engine is by no means a slouch. It’s a powerful four-stroke engine with a 29cc displacement and an impressive power output of 8000 RPM. Even in its stock form, this engine is capable of pumping out over four horsepower – and that’s without a high-performance pipe! 

Another advantage is that it has an improved pull starter with smaller intakes, which greatly reduces the risk of damaging your flywheel. And most of its parts are interchangeable with CY and Zenoah engines as well!

How’s that for value?

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5) Toyan FS-S100WG

Price: $389.99

When you hear of Chinese-manufactured engines, the first thing that probably comes to mind is “cheap and short-lived”. However, the Toyan FS-S100WG is here to prove that Chinese engines can be just as good – if not better! – than their Japanese counterparts. 

The Toyan FS-S100WG is a single-cylinder four-stroke engine with max speeds of up to 13,500 RPM. It’s also water cooled, which is great for those who want to push their engines to the limit without worrying about overheating. Another cool feature is that you get much more precise ignitions due to a synchronous timing belt drive!

The only drawback to this engine is that few of the parts require DIY assembly by the user, so it may not be suitable for those who are not mechanically inclined. However, most experienced RC enthusiasts definitely get a kick out of it and will absolutely love this engine!

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What To Look Out for When Buying an RC Gas Boat Engine?

RC boat speeding through the water

When looking for the best gas RC boat engine, there are several factors you need to take into account. Here are some of the most important ones:

  1. Displacement (cc): This is the total volume of air/fuel mixture an engine can draw in during one complete operating cycle. The higher the displacement, the more power an engine can produce.
  1. Bore x Stroke: This is the diameter of the cylinder bore and stroke length. A larger bore size will increase the power output but may also result in increased fuel consumption. On the other hand, a longer stroke will result in increased torque but may sacrifice some top speed.
  1. Max RPM: This is the maximum rotational speed an engine can achieve without damaging itself. The higher the RPM, the more power an engine can produce. However, you also need to make sure that your propeller can handle the increased speed!
  1. Carburetor: This is a device that meters and mixes air and fuel in the correct ratio for combustion. A good carburetor will help your engine run more efficiently and produce more power.
  1. Ignition system: This is what provides the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture in the cylinders. A good ignition system will ensure that your engine starts quickly and runs smoothly.
  1. Cooling system: This is what keeps your engine from overheating, especially during extended use. A good cooling system will help extend the life of your engine.
  1. Weight: This is an important factor to consider if you want to win races! A lighter engine will result in a faster boat. However, you need to make sure that the engine is still durable enough to withstand the rigors of racing.
  1. Price: This is obviously a major factor to consider when making any purchase. However, you need to remember that a gas RC boat engine is a long-term investment. You don’t want to cheap out and end up with an engine that doesn’t last or doesn’t perform well.

The next time you’re in the market for a gas RC boat engine, keep these factors in mind and you’re sure to find the best engine for your needs!

See my related article: How To Size An RC Boat Motor: A Helpful Guide

How To Install a New Gas RC Boat Engine?

While it is advised that most beginners start out with a fully assembled RC boat, there will come a time when you’ll want to upgrade your engine, and you’ll want to know how to do it yourself. 

Here’s a quick guide on how to install a new gas RC boat engine: (luckily, it’s not as complicated as it might seem!)

Tools needed:

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Socket wrench set
  • Pliers


  • Step One: Remove the old engine. This is usually just a matter of unscrewing a few screws and disconnecting the fuel line. If you’re not sure how to do this, consult your owner’s manual.
  • Step Two: Install the new engine. Start by attaching the mount to the hull of the boat using screws or bolts (depending on what type of mount your engine has). Then, connect the fuel line and any other wires or cables that need to be attached. Again, consult your owner’s manual if you’re not sure how to do this.
  • Step Three: Test the new engine. Make sure everything is securely fastened and there are no leaks in the fuel line. Then, start the engine and let it warm up for a few minutes. Take the boat out for a test drive in a calm body of water to make sure everything is working properly.

And that’s it! With just a few simple tools and a little bit of know-how, you can install a new gas RC boat engine like a pro! 

What Are the Different Speeds for A Stock, Mid-Modified, and Fully-Modified RC Gas Boat Engine?

Close-up of a speedometer needle

Let’s face it, gas RC boats are absolute beasts when it comes to speed. But just how fast can they really go? 

We’ve created a quick guide to the different speeds you can expect from a stock, mid-modified, and fully-modified RC gas boat engine. We’ve taken the example of the Zenoah G26 Marine Engine, one of the most popular engines on the market.

But first, let’s see what we really mean by stock, mid-modified, and fully-modified.

  • Stock – A stock engine is one that has not been modified in any way. It is the engine that comes standard with your RC boat. 
  • Mid-Modified – A mid-modified engine is one that has had some modifications made to it, but nothing too drastic. These modifications could include a higher compression ratio, porting and polishing, or a different carburetor. 
  • Fully-Modified – A fully-modified engine is one that has been significantly modified from its stock form. These modifications could include all of the modifications mentioned above, along with an aftermarket exhaust system, and/or a higher-performance ignition system. 

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a look at the different speeds you can expect from each type of engine.

Different Speeds of a Zenoah G26 Marine engine
(in mph)
 StockMid-ModifiedFully Modified
Mono Hull35-4040-6060+
Hydro Hull5050-7070+
Table showing the speed comparisons of a mono hull and hydro hull Zenoah G26 marine engine

Tips To Maintain Your RC Gas Boat Engine

Just like any other engine, your RC gas boat engine will need some regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Here are a few tips to help you keep your engine in tip-top shape:

1) Using An After Run Oil

There will often be times where you won’t be taking your RC boat out for a spin for a while. Maybe it’s because you’re taking a break from the hobby, or maybe the weather isn’t cooperating. Whatever be the reason, if you know that your RC gas boat engine is not going to run for 5+ days, it’s a good idea to use an after run oil. 

An after run oil is a type of lubricant that helps prevent corrosion and rust in your engine while it’s not being used. 

How To Use:

Step 1 – Remove the glow plug and insert the after run oil into the glow plug hole (a few drips is more than enough!).

Step 2 – Pull the starter a couple of times to make sure the oil gets distributed evenly throughout the engine.

Step 3 – Reinstall the glow plug and you’re all done!

2) Proper Lubrication

It’s important to make sure that all of the moving parts in your engine are properly lubricated. It is especially important that you lubricate the shafts, gears, and other moving parts in your engine before each use. This will help prolong the life of your engine and prevent any unnecessary wear and tear. 

Here are the steps on how to lubricate the driveline on your RC gas boat:

Step 1 – Loosen the flex coupler at the rear of the engine.

Step 2 – Remove the assembly by pulling it straight off the rear end of the boat from the prop shaft.

Step 3 – Use a good quality grease and apply it generously to the flex shaft and other moving parts in the assembly.

Step 4 – Reattach the assembly and tighten the flex coupling.

3) Tightening All Screws & Bolts

Another important maintenance tip is to make sure all of the screws and bolts on your engine are tightened properly. Over time, these screws and bolts can become loose and fall out, which can lead to serious problems. 

A good rule of thumb is to check all of the screws and bolts on your engine before each use, and tighten them if necessary. This will help ensure that your engine stays in one piece and runs smoothly.

4) Keeping The Engine Clean

Last but not least, it’s important to keep your engine clean. This means cleaning the outside of the engine as well as the inside. 

Cleaning the outside of the engine is relatively easy – just use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or debris that has accumulated on the surface. 

Cleaning the inside of the engine is a bit more difficult, but it’s still important. The best way to clean the inside of your engine is to remove it from the boat and disassemble it. Then, use a brush and some cleaning solution to scrub away any dirt or grime that has built up on the parts. 

Once you’re finished cleaning, be sure to dry all of the parts completely before reassembling the engine and putting it back in the boat. 

Following these maintenance tips will help ensure that your RC gas boat engine stays in good condition and lasts for many years to come. So be sure to keep them in mind the next time you’re out on the water!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about RC gas boat engines:

Q.1. Are RC boat gas engines more powerful than electric ones? 

A. Yes, RC boat gas engines are more powerful than electric ones, and will give you faster top-speeds. But they also require more maintenance.

Q.2. Where can I buy an RC boat gas engine and its related accessories? 

A. You can buy a RC boat gas engine from many hobby stores or online retailers. We personally recommend Bonzi Sports ( They have a huge collection of RC boat gas engines and related accessories at great prices!

Q.3. What fuel should I use in my RC gas boat engine?

A. Interesting question! Because the fuel for your RC gas boat engine is the same unleaded gasoline you would use for your car as well! Just make sure that you mix in the correct ratio of oil to fuel, and you’re good to go.

Final Thoughts

Gas engines are not for everyone – they’re more expensive and require more maintenance than electric ones. But if you’re up for the challenge and are looking for raw, unadulterated power, then a gas engine is the way to go! Just be sure to follow the tips in this article to keep your engine in good condition. And most importantly, have fun! Happy Boating!

Do you have an electric RC boat? Please check out my article covering the best brushless RC boat motors

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

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