Do RC Boats Have Reverse?

Do RC Boats Have Reverse?

If you are new to RC boats, you might be curious about their steering operation. RC boats are fun to drive and they are super cool. While driving an RC boat, you might have noticed that it’s prone to get stuck in the mud and rocks a lot. So it’s not a crime to ask, do RC boats have reverse?

A few RC boats, like the Vector30 Mini RC Boat, have the reverse system. Some RC boats, like the Traxxas Villain 4, have a semi-reverse system and some RC boats don’t have it at all. It really depends on your RC boat’s model whether it has a reverse system or not. Its Very important to check if the model has reverse capabilities before buying one. In most cases modifying your RC boats ESC, or buying a new one with reverse capabilities, will allow you to add reverse to your RC boat.

So now you know that you can reverse with some RC boats and cannot in some cases. That does not tell the whole story of the reverse system. There could be a reverse paddle in your RC boat you don’t know about. To know everything about your RC Boat’s reverse gear, consider reading the whole article. 

Can You Reverse Your RC Boat?

In most cases, you should be able to reverse your RC boat. There are some models that have a limited amount of reverse available, some don’t. The user might want to add a reverse motor themselves if the boat is customizable.

While buying an RC boat, you should check the description, manual, and customer reviews to know whether it has reverse control or not. For example, the Traxxas electric Villain IV has an option for reverse. Although the reverse control of that RC boat is very limited, you can use it for getting out of really tough spots. 

Check the remote control of your RC boat, you should find an adjustment on that. The adjustment should allow you to change the percentage of the split from reverse and forward. You might want to try fine-tuning using a computer radio. If you know how to program an ESC, Using a programmable ESC is another option.

If you buy an RC boat with a fully enabled reverse option, reversing the boat should not be an issue. An example could be the Vector30 Mini RC Boat. It can fully reverse while running on water, so you should be fine with a boat like that. These are some expensive RC boats that feature reverse control.

The Vector

But you should remember that most of the RC boats do not have a reverse option. It is just what it is, and the best you can do is to add a reverse option yourself. A few boats have full reverse control, and you will find that written in the features section of that RC boat.

Can You Add Reverse Control to Your RC Boat?

Yes, you can add reverse control in your RC boat. For doing that, you need to learn how to program the ESC of your RC boat. Once you learn that, you will be able to add reverse control in your RC boat.

ESC is the short form of Electronic Speed Control. In every RC boat, there is an ESC that has three components. The components are BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuit), the switching, and a processor. ESC performs the movement commands in the RC boat. In order to reverse the control, you just need to switch any two of the movement wires.

If you are an RC enthusiast, I am guessing that you already know how to open and customize an RC boat. If you are familiar with your RC boat, you should be able to modify the ESC yourself. It does not take much time nor expertise. 

Once you open the RC boat, you need to disconnect the three wires from the ESC to the motor. Then you can switch the wires and test if the motor runs in reverse. If it does, you know your work is done. However, it may not allow the boat to go straight. You need to test and interchange the wires until it’s working correctly.

Having a stock ESC on your RC boat can be a little frustrating at times. The stock ESC often does not have enough controls and they are not user-friendly. It’s always better to program the ESC yourself. If you are unsure or don’t know how to do it, just buy another ESC with reverse controls. I am sure that I will be able to solve your reverse issue. 

Building an RC Boat with Reverse Control

If you are a DIY type of guy, you might think of building an RC boat with reverse control. As ready-made RC boats often do not have reverse control, it’s better to build one yourself. Here are two ways you can build an RC Boat.

For beginners, I suggest buying a boat kit so that you can build it easily by yourself. Here is a tip, if you have a 3D printer, you can try printing the body of the boat by yourself.

In your DIY kit, first, you will receive a boat structure or the body. You will notice the layout of the basic components in the instruction manual of your DIY boat. As you are supplied with an ESC with the DIY kit, that’s where you need to do the trick. I have talked about how to modify the ESC for adding reverse control. It’s time to implement that.

Actually, if you are an enthusiast, you may want to try an RC boat in kit form. RTR boats are more suited for beginners who do not want to take the risk of building a boat by themselves. Although if you are reading this article, whether you are a newbie or an enthusiast, try the DIY kit because you have to start somewhere.

There should be a clear instruction manual for building your DIY RC boat. If that seems a bit unclear, you can talk with your RC enthusiast friends, watch a YouTube video or get some advice from your local hobby shop. With a little help, it should not be that hard.

If you are not buying a DIY kit, you can buy the parts one by one. But the body will be an issue because you can’t get a perfect body that will fit the electronics inside. Remember the tip I gave you in the previous section? Yes, you can print a body by yourself or from a shop where they make custom 3D prints.

You will need a servo, a battery, a radio receiver and ESC, and a waterproof case for storing the electronics inside. The waterproof case is important as your boat will run in water, and water can be dangerous for electric components. Also, do not forget the controller, which you will program by yourself for the reverse function. 

The point is, when you are building an RC boat by yourself, you can easily add the reverse control. Buy a programmable ESC that allows you to change the axis of the controller for reversing the boat’s direction. Also, when you are buying the parts one by one, buying a reverse-enabled ESC should not be an issue.

RC Boats That Come With Reverse Function

Are you thinking of buying an RC boat that comes with reverse function? With so many models out there, it can be hard to make the right decision.

I have comprised the following list of RC boats that come with reverse function to help you in making a decision and save you a little time with searching:

(All link to Amazon)


Now, you know whether or not if RC boats have reverse. Some RC boats do come with reverse function. But some don’t. To be honest, most of the cheaper ones do not come with this feature. And that can be quite troublesome when your RC boat gets stuck somewhere. 

So, if this is a feature that you would really like then I recommend you study up on the RC boat of your choice before buying and check thoroughly for a reverse movement feature. Thanks for reading till the end.

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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