How Fast Do Gas Powered RC Boats Go? (+ Tips To Go Faster)

Gas-powered RC boats are a lot of fun! They can go really fast, and they’re perfect for racing around in ponds or lakes. But before you take your new boat out for a spin, you need to be sure of exactly how fast it can go. That way, you’ll be able to stay safe and also have a blast while you’re taking it for a spin!

Most gas-powered RC boats can reach speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour. That might not sound like much on land, but it’s actually pretty fast when you’re out on the water. There are even some high-powered boats that can go up to 100 miles per hour, but those are very expensive and usually reserved for experienced RC boat enthusiasts.

Now that you know how fast gas-powered RC boats can go, you might just be tempted to flip the switch and make your boat go as fast as it can – but wait! There are a few things that you need to keep in mind before you do that. In this post, I’ll cover everything that you need to know about gas-powered RC boats and how to safely operate them. So, let’s get started!

How Fast Do Gas Powered RC Boats Go?
RC boat speeding across the water

How Fast Should You Drive Your Gas-Powered RC Boat?

As we mentioned before, most gas-powered RC boats can reach speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour. However, that doesn’t mean that you should always drive your boat at top speed. 

In fact, many experienced RC boat enthusiasts recommend that the best speed to drive your boat at is around 15 miles per hour, over a long period of time. This is fast enough to have a lot of fun, but not so fast that you’ll lose control of your boat or put yourself in danger.

Here are four main advantages to driving your gas-powered RC boat at this particular speed:

  1. Drive For Longer Periods of Time

If you’re driving your boat at a moderate speed, you won’t use up all of your gas as quickly. That means that you can drive for longer periods of time without having to refuel. Isn’t it more fun to spend a whole afternoon racing around the lake than to run out of gas after just a few minutes?

  1. Save Money on Gas

Not only will you be able to drive for longer periods of time, but you’ll also save money on gas. If you’re driving at high speeds, you’ll use up a lot of gas very quickly. However, if you’re driving at moderate speeds, you’ll use up less gas and save money in the long run.

  1. Requires Less Engine Maintenance in the Long Run

When you’re driving at high speeds, your engine has to work harder and this can cause more wear and tear. Soon, you might have to start paying for expensive repairs. If you drive at moderate speeds, however, your engine will last longer and require less maintenance.

  1. More Control of Your Boat

At high speeds, it can be difficult to make sharp turns or avoid obstacles. By driving at a slower speed, you’ll have more control over your boat and be able to navigate through tight spaces more easily. It also reduces the chances of you flipping your boat over!

Check out my post: Can RC boats go in salt water?

Which Is Faster – Gas Powered RC Boats or Electric RC Boats?

This is a question that I get asked a lot, and it’s definitely a valid one. After all, if you’re looking for speed, you want to know which type of boat is going to be the fastest. So, which is it? Are gas-powered RC boats faster than electric RC boats?

In short, gas-powered RC boats are definitely faster than electric RC boats. Although electric RC boats can initially accelerate faster than gas-powered RC boats, gas-powered RC boats can reach higher top speeds, while also maintaining those speeds for longer periods of time.

Take a look at the table below for some more differences between gas-powered and electric RC boats:

Gas-Powered RC BoatsElectric RC Boats
Powered by 2-cycle gasoline engines, similar to the ones found on leaf blowers.Powered by rechargeable batteries.
Larger, heavier engines, which fit in larger boats.Smaller and lighter.
Can reach higher top speeds.Can accelerate faster, but have less top speed.
Can go for longer periods of time before refueling.Needs frequent recharging.
More expensive to run.Less expensive to run.
Requires more maintenance.Requires little maintenance.
Some water bodies have laws against running gas-powered RC boats.No such restrictions for electric-powered RC boats.
Table of differences between gas-powered and electric RC boats

As you can see, there are some definite advantages and disadvantages to both gas-powered and electric RC boats. It really comes down to personal preference in the end. But if speed is what you’re after, gas-powered RC boats are the way to go!

How Can I Make My Gas-Powered RC Boat Go Faster?

Yes, I know that I previously said that you shouldn’t always drive your gas-powered RC boat at top speed. But on some days, you might just want to let loose and see how fast your boat can actually go! I get it.

So here are my tips to really give your gas-powered RC boat a boost: 

  • Upgrade Your Engine: One of the best ways to make your gas-powered RC boat go faster is to upgrade the engine. A bigger and more powerful engine will obviously make your boat go faster. But make sure you keep the size of your boat in mind – a bigger engine might make your boat too heavy to float! See a selection here on Amazon. Make sure the one you choose is compatible with your boat before purchasing!
  • Change Your Propeller: Another way to improve the speed of your gas-powered RC boat is to change the propeller. Many aftermarket propellers are designed with lightweight, durable materials that make them spin faster, and thus make your boat go faster. A large selection can be seen here on Amazon.
  • Scuff The Bottom of The Hull: Many expert RC boat builders recommend scuffing the bottom of the hull with sandpaper to make your boat go faster. This removes the layer of gloss underneath your boat, allowing the water to flow smoothly over the hull and reducing drag.
  • Do Not Wax Your Boat: Everybody wants their boat to shine when it’s out there on the water, but did you know that a layer of wax can actually make your boat go slower? That’s because the wax creates a barrier between the water and the hull, which increases drag. So, if you want to go fast, skip the wax!
  • Consider Installing a Cooling System: If you’re really serious about making your gas-powered RC boat go fast, you might want to consider installing a cooling system. This will help to keep your engine cool and prevent it from overheating – both of which are essential for maintaining high speeds.
  • Invest In a Rear Spoiler: If you want your boat to be fast for a long period of time, then you should invest in a rear spoiler. When your boat starts reaching high speeds, there are chances that it might start to lift off the water. A rear spoiler can create downforce, thus helping keep your boat grounded and stable, even at really high speeds.

With these tips, you should be able to make your gas-powered RC boat go as fast as you want it to! Just remember – always be aware of your surroundings. You don’t want to accidentally crash your boat into something!

Which Fuel Should I Use in My Gas-Powered RC Boat?

When you get your first gas-powered RC boat, you might be wondering which fuel you should use. After all, there are so many different types of fuel out there – how are you supposed to know which one is the best for your boat?

Well, the answer is actually pretty simple. The vast majority of gas-powered RC boats run on unleaded gasoline, the same stuff that you put in your car. You can find unleaded gasoline at just about any gas station, so it’s easy to get your hands on.

Here’s the kicker though – along with gasoline, you’re also going to need to add oil to your fuel mixture. This is because gas-powered RC engines are two-stroke engines, which means that they require a mixture of gas and oil in order to run properly. If you use just gasoline, it will result in engine failure.

Here are my recommendations for the types of gasoline and oil you should use in your gas-powered RC boat: 

Gasoline: I recommend using unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87. Higher octane ratings such as 91, or other premium fuels are fine too, but they’re usually used for modified engines. Check your engine’s owner’s manual to see what octane rating is recommended.

Oil: For the oil, you’ll want to use a good quality, synthetic two-stroke oil. If you’re on a budget, you can go for the Mercury Quicksilver Premium Plus. If you want to use something a little higher quality, I recommend the Maxima Castor 927.

Once you have your oil and gasoline, mix them in the ratio that is recommended by your engine’s manufacturer. For most engines, this will be in the range of 15:1 – 35:1. 

That’s it! Once you have your fuel mixture, you’re ready to start powering your way across the water.

What Are the Different Types of Gas-Powered RC Boats? (And How Fast Are They?)

When it comes to gas-powered RC boats, there are a few different types that you can choose from, depending on speed and stability. 

Here’s a quick overview of the most popular types of gas-powered RC boats:

  • Speedboats – Speedboats are designed for one thing and one thing only – speed. They typically have a low profile and a long, narrow hull, which makes them incredibly fast in the water. However, this also means that they’re not very stable, and can be difficult to control if you’re not an experienced driver.
  • Catamarans – Catamarans are a type of boat that has two hulls, or pontoons. This gives them much more stability than a traditional speedboat, which makes them easier to control. However, they’re not quite as fast as a speedboat, although they can still reach high speeds.

Here’s what to do when your RC Boat flips over

  • Hydroplanes – Also called ‘thunderboats’, these powerful boats are designed to glide across the water at incredibly high speeds. They have a unique hull design that allows them to ‘plane’ across the surface of the water, which gives them their name. Hydroplanes are some of the fastest gas-powered RC boats you can buy, but they can be difficult to control if you’re not experienced.
  • Sailboats – Sailboats are a type of boat that’s powered by both wind and an engine. They have a large sail on the front, which catches the wind and propels the boat forward. Sailboats are typically very stable boats, although they’re not as fast as some of the other types of gas-powered RC boats. To learn more, check out this guide about how to sail an RC sailboat.

5 Best RC Boats On the Market Today

Now that you know almost everything there is to know about RC boats, it’s time to take a look at some of the best RC boats on the market today.

I’ve put together a list of my five favorite RC boats, some are electric, so you can find the perfect one for your needs:

#1 – Altair AA102 Remote Control Boat

Last update on 2024-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top Speed: 18.5mph

The Altair AA102 is an amazing RC boat for beginners. It’s easy to use and comes with everything you need to get started. There are a few great features that make this boat stand out, including the fact that it’s self-righting, so if you capsize, it will right itself. Plus, there’s an out-of-range alarm, so you’ll never lose track of your boat.

Check the latest pricing here on Amazon.

#2 – Force1 Velocity RC Boat 

Last update on 2024-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top Speed: 20mph

How can I make My RC boat faster? See my related article here

A little more suited for moderately-experienced RC boat drivers, the Force Velocity is a great choice if you’re looking for something fast and fun. It’s made from durable materials, so it can withstand being bashed around, and it comes with a waterproof hull. It also has one of the most sophisticated controllers on the market, with a large LCD screen, comprehensive power displays, and more.

Check out the Force1 Velocity here, on Amazon

#3 – ED HJ806 RC Boat

Last update on 2024-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top Speed: 22mph

This is one of those boats that are great for kids as well as adults. It’s easy to use, but it’s also really fast and a lot of fun. The ED HJ806 comes with a durable hull and a motor that’s twice as powerful as most other RC boat motors. Other unique features include reverse sailing (which is perfect when you need to get out of tight spots) and an automatic shut-off when the ship leaves the water.

Check the HJ806 pricing here, on Amazon.

#4 – Pro Boat BlackJack Catamaran RC Boat

Last update on 2024-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top Speed: 32mph

Modeled after full-scale catamarans, the Pro Boat BlackJack is a great choice for experienced RC boat drivers. It’s one of the fastest RC boats on the market, and it comes with a ton of features that make it fun to drive. These include an offset rudder system for improved handling, a built-in drain plug, and a hull-mounted waterproof steering servo. Just take this boat out on the open water and see what it can do!

Check the latest pricing for this model here, on Amazon.

Batteries and charger not included!

I recommend 2x 14.8V 5000 mAh 4S lipo batteries and charger, see pricing here for the bundle on Amazon.

The above bundle is recommended so you can get the top speed and performance from your blackjack!

#5 – Zelos G 48″ Gas Powered Catamaran RTR

Price: $1109

Top Speed: 55mph

This 48″ monster is one of the biggest and baddest RC boats on the market. If you want a boat that’s fast, powerful, and looks great doing it, the Zelos G is the boat for you. It comes with a huge gas-powered engine that can propel it to really high top speeds, a sturdy fiberglass canopy for streamlined movement, and a Spektrum SLT3 Transmitter with Dual Protocol for the ultimate in control. Just be careful when driving this beast – it’s not for beginners!

Check out the latest pricing for this model here, at Walmart

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding gas-powered RC boats. 

Q.1. Which is the fastest RC boat ever?

A. The fastest RC boat ever is the Traxxas DCB M41 Catamaran, which has a top speed of 175+ mph or 281+ kmph. That’s faster than most full-size cars!

Q.2. What is a nitro RC boat?

A. A nitro RC boat is a boat powered by a small internal combustion engine that runs on a mixture of methanol, nitromethane, and oil. These engines are usually more powerful than gas motors, which makes nitro boats some of the fastest RC boats around.

Q.3. Can I build my own RC boat?

A. Absolutely! In fact, many people enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of building their own RC boats from scratch. Of course, it takes a lot of time, effort, and knowledge to build a boat that’s both fast and reliable, so it’s not for everyone. Here are some resources to help you out –,, and

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has helped you understand a little more about gas-powered RC boats. These boats are fast, fun, and perfect for anyone who loves a challenge. There are also various opportunities for modification and customization, so you can really make your RC boat your own. Just be sure to do your research and find a boat that’s right for your skill level and budget. Happy boating!

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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