RC Boat Tuning Tips

Written by michelle course
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RC Boat Tuning Tips
Radio-controlled boats are a fun, high-speed way to experience the open water. (Handout/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Though not as complex as flying radio-controlled (RC) vehicles such as helicopters, RC boats offer a method of control that affords ultimate maneuverability in the water. Using a combination of customisable controls, the driver is capable of fine-tuning the RC boat for peak performance. Learning how to tune your RC boat will ensure you get the most from your vehicle in any type of conditions you find on the water.

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Propeller Angle

Adjust the angle of the propeller to match the temperament of the water; in other words, decrease the angle of the propeller -- known as trimming down -- to keep the nose lower to the water, which will result in a more stable ride. If the water is calm, increase the angle to lift the nose higher out of the water, which will decrease the drag of the hull, resulting in more stability and better performance.

Trim Tabs

Bend your trim tabs, which are two metallic fins located at the back of the boat. These horizontal tabs help control the ride height of the nose. If you want the nose to ride higher out of the water, bend the tab up; if you want the bow closer to the water, bend them down. Bending them far down can allow you to mount the propeller at a steep angle, which may enhance the overall stability in rough conditions.

Turning Fin

Check the turning fin, which is a vertically oriented metal tab, mounted to the right sponson of the boat. This tab is used to enhance the boat's ability to turn. Though you cannot adjust the turning fin to improve performance, it is important that you routinely check that it's perpendicular to the bow. A nice, straight turning fin will let the boat travel at higher speeds, while enabling it to turn efficiently to the left and right.

Propeller Height

The height of the propeller affects how much of the boat remains in the water while it moves across the water. If your vehicle is exhibiting a stuttering sort of movement as it gains speed, consider lowering the propeller further into the water. Raising the propeller will decrease the amount of the hull in the water, resulting in less drag and higher speeds; however, a propeller that is too high can be a detriment to performance, indicated by the stuttering behaviour described above.

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