RC Boat Goes Brushless For Speed & Reliability

Remote control boats can be great fun, and come in all manner of forms. There are unpowered sailcraft, speedboats that scream under the power of internal combustion, and of course, those that move under electric power. The brushless motor revolution of the past 20 years in particular has proven capable of creating some exciting RC watercraft, and [Matt K] decided he wanted to get on board.

[Matt] had owned a Kyosho Jetstream 1000 for several years, but found the nitro engine to be temperamental and not the most fun for high-jinx down at the lake. An old-school brushed motor setup with mechanical speed control similarly failed to excite. However, after experiencing the power of brushless in RC planes, [Matt] knew what he had to do.

Using an online calculator, [Matt] determined that his earlier nitro powerplant was putting out roughly 900 watts. When it came to going brushless, he decided to spec a Turnigy powerplant with twice as much power, along with the requisite speed controller. There was some work to do to integrate the new motor with the original propeller driveshaft and water cooling system, but in the end [Matt] ended up with a much faster boat that is a lot less hassle to set up and run.

Perhaps though, your RC boat needs brains, over brawn? Perhaps it’s time to look at autonomy…

Video after the break.

17 thoughts on “RC Boat Goes Brushless For Speed & Reliability

  1. As a RC boat person myself, how is this even worthy of a post? Converting nitro boat hulls to brush-less is a walk in the park.
    No smarts needed to do that. Far to many off the shelf parts in just about every local RC hobby store.

    1. I knew there’d be at least one post like this, hackaday commenters are nothing if not predictable. You’re not wrong though, for serious RC folks it’s old hat. But the hackaday readership is pretty diverse, and it was a fun project with some iteration and problem solving, so here we are :)

      1. Yeah there are a lot of armchair quarterbacks here. I stopped cataloging my projects in the public sphere about 8 years ago due to HaD goons and a post they did off of one of my projects. Judging by the comments I have seen from builders that get scooped by HaD, it is not an uncommon feeling.
        I thought it turned out good and will have to look into the Turnigy power plant as I have a couple of older boats that could use a sprucing up. Enjoy and have fun :)

    1. Some people enjoy building and fiddling with their models, others enjoy driving them. Maybe they don’t have the time (or want to make the time) to deal w/ a nitro boat anymore.

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