The best remote control boat for kids provide hours of lake and poolside fun, offering a constructive way of understanding physics and motion. Our evaluation criteria focused primarily on an anti-tilt construction and capsize recovery ability for uninterrupted play, followed by range, charge time, and top speeds. If you want to check out other RC toys, you need to go to our best RC toys page.
After more than 10 hours of research and 10 hours of researching, our top pick goes to the SHARKOOL H106 Rc Self Righting Racing Boat. It has the highest rated durability with anti-tilt and layered, double-hitch construction for water resistance, a capsize recovery button, and 4-channel 2.4 GHz transmitter to race against other RC boats in the battle for supremacy.
Top 7 Best RC Boats for Kids Compared
#1 SHARKOOL H106 Rc Self Righting Racing Boat – Top Pick/15MPH Top Speed
WHY WE LIKE IT: This boat is our top pick, the most kid-friendly of all units we researched with its double-hatch design for improved water-resistance, capsize recovery mode, and a built-in navigation rudder with yaw auto-correction to prevent it from steering off course. All of these features allow the boat to cruise and not wobble or shift on choppier waters without overturning or stalling.
- Double-hatch design
- Capsize Recovery mode
- Built-in navigation rudder
- 20+ mile an hour speeds too much for some kids
- Flimsy battery slot
The SHARKOOL’s remote control emits a low signal when there is a low battery, mentally prepping kids for the next recharge. An Emergency Stop feature kills the motor at any cruising speed, critical when racing past rock jetties, pool liners, and swimmers. Another bonus is its rubber nose cover, which protects against hull damage. Our search for the best RC boat just got more interesting.
#2 SZJJX RC Boat – Honorable Mention/15+ MPH Top Speed
WHY WE LIKE IT: We love its impact-resistant construction, comprising of anti-tilt, hard ABS along with capsize recovery, a streamlined hull design, waterproof cover, and two-way left and right swing rudder that keeps the boat cruising straightaway by controlling its torque at top speeds. All of the features make it the perfect choice for kids performing sharper turns and flips off ramps in rougher waters.
- Water sensor prevent engine activating
- Anti-tilt modular design
- Excellent for choppy water
- Below average 120-140 minute recharge time
- Not for saltwater use
Like the SHARKOOL H106, the SZJJX RC Boat comes with a low battery warning at the 1-minute mark, giving kids enough time to prep themselves for the next race.
Bonus points for its throttle switch for left and right-hand modes and its built-in water sensor which only activates the motor upon sensing water, critical to preserving battery life for heavy-handed kids. Like the SHARKOOL H106, it also sports a water circulation cooling system engine tech to extend motor life. I picture myself playing with this while aboard the Wider 42 Transformer Yacht.
#3 Force1 Velocity RC Boat – Best Value/Fastest at 20 MPH
WHY WE LIKE IT: This boat is a freak of nature, splitting through water with a 20+ MPH top speed double-hatch design for water resistence, and an ergonomic remote controller with dual-throttle controls to hit tight corners and reversals in pools and lakes. This makes it perfect for older children with greater hand dexterity looking for more of a competitive thrill.
- Top speed of 20+ MPH
- Capsize Recovery button
- Ergonomic remote controller
- Some users reported propellers coming off
- Not for saltwater use
It is no Asap Electric Watercraft but… The Force1 Velocity RC Boat operates on a 2.4GhZ band, encouraging players running on the same frequency for some multiplayer action.
A capsize recovery button also uprights the boat when overturning and an Emergency Stop button produces a complete stop, ideal when racing in narrow or crowded areas. It also offers the best value with a middle of the pack cost in exchange for a top speed of 20 MPH, 120-meter range, and a 60-90 minute charge time – tops on our list. Another one of the remote control boats that can reach a high speed of 20 MPH is the Abco Tech RC Boat for kids, which you can check out on Amazon.com. It has multiple features, including radio control, capsize recovery mode, a double-hatch body for wave resistance, and more, making it a great option for RC racing. And if you love fun outdoor family activities, then you will love our review on the best nerf gun in 2020.
#4 INTEY RC Boat – 20+ MPH Top Speed
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WHY WE LIKE IT: The INTEY RC boat is a rock-solid choice for children ages 4 and up, sporting the same construction and navigation aids as the SHARKOOL and SZJJX. A two-way navigation rudder, double-hatch design, and a 180-degree flip feature using extended throttle presses makes it a solid choice for more sophisticated stunts using stunt ramps and other kid-made contraptions.
- 180-degree flip feature
- 2-year warranty
- Top speed of 20+ MPH
- Some users reported remote not pairing with boat
- Some users reported water leakage
The INTEY RC boat uses an anti-collision head design and an impact-resistant ABS plastic construction, making it an excellent choice for enclosed water areas such as pools or jacuzzis. A remote distance up to 150 meters and top speeds at 20+ MPH also makes it excellent for short to medium length races. If your younger kids want to sit on the sidelines, check out this list for the best swing set for toddlers.
Its controller is one of the most sophisticated we’re tested, with a large LCD screen, dual throttle sticks for forward/backward/left/right steering, signal strength and battery indicators. A low battery alarm also beeps when its time for a recharge. Recovery times are also solid, taking roughly 90 minutes for a full charge. I’m going to play with this until I can afford 6 of the craziest watercrafts.
#5 INLAIER RC Boat – Best Budget/Best for Beginner
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WHY WE LIKE IT: This RC boat is a solid choice for younger children, offering a snail-like top speed of 6 MPH, 50m remote distance, and a generous 20 minute run time. A tighter distance and slower speeds make this the perfect pool racer with an emphasis on leisure and learning, not competition and stunts.
- List-topping 20 minute run time
- Average 90-minute charge
- Water sensor for better battery life
- Top speed of 6 MPH best reserved for smaller children
- 50m remote distance
- Flimsy construction
The INLAIER is further child-proofed with a respectable 90-minute charge , a waterproof cover to prevent water from flooding the cabin, and a sensor that revs the motor upon detection to preserve battery life for overzealous hands. Like most of the picks on our list, it includes a 2.4G 4-Channel frequency to race multiple RC boats at the same time with no interference. This thing has as many special features as best robot toys for kids these days.
#6 Gizmovine RC Boat – Easiest to Use Remote/Top Speed 10 MPH
WHY WE LIKE IT: This boat is the perfect beginner’s boat for small children, providing 15-20 minutes of playing time and left/right control switch mode for uncoordinated hands. Although it also carries a 2.4GHz frequency and a modest 500-foot remote distance to race multiple RC boats at the same time, the Gizmovine limited specs are better suited for cursory, “secondary” play for toddlers while other activities are taking place.
- Best for toddlers
- 15-20 minutes of playing time
- Runs on 2.4GHz frequency
- Below average 500-foot remote distance
- 2 to 3 hour charge time
The Gizmovine is built solid with capsize recovery and self-righting hull design, along with an auto-safety mode to activate its propellers only when it senses water. It also wades into toddler only territory with a paltry 2 to 3-hour charge time. However, it may be worth the trade-off for its extended play, up to 10 minutes longer than the SHARKOOL H106 (our #1 pick) and the SZJJX. This is great for kids to experience their first taste of boating and water sports.
#7 TOYEN RC Boat – Great for Under 5
WHY WE LIKE IT: Toying (no pun intended) at 7th place on our list, the TOYEN rips the tide with a top speed of 12 MPH, 12 minutes of playing time, self-balanced construction and basic throttle controls for forward/backward and left/right steering. It offers smooth sailing with long rounded cornering, missing sharper turns entirely, making it a good pick for supervised toddlers up to 2 years of age who will not be spooked by sudden, more dynamic movements.
- 12 minutes of playing time
- Self-balanced construction
- Top speed of 12 MPH
- Limited movement
- 3-hour charging time
The TOYEN has a list-worst 3-hour charging time and a 30-50 remote distance using a stand up signal receiver. However, this makes it a great and obvious choice for non time-sensitive toddlers in enclosed areas such as pools or larger jacuzzis Its remote controller offers basic functions for forward/backward/left/right steering with a warning beep when battery is low. But if you prefer helicopters to boats, you’ll want to read our best rc helicopters list. For car lovers, you want to check out the best remote control car.
How We Decided
Kids are a rambunctious bunch, so we emphasized simplified steering controls, slower top speeds, and an anti-tilt construction to prevent interrupted play due to a steeper operator learning curve or capsized boat. Our evaluation criteria did not prioritize advanced features for stunt or race-inspired RC boaters needing longer remote distances (120+ meters), 20+ MPH top speeds, double-hatch design for improved water resistance, and advanced steering controls requiring trickier throttle stick manipulation to right a capsized boat.
Product Category Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Anti-tilt/Capsize Recovery
Anti-tilt hulls and capsize recovery features self right your RC boat when it capsizes with a quick button press or long presses of the throttle switch, making it easier to execute sharp turns and riskier maneuvers. Bonus points for auto-correcting rudders on the back underside of each boat preventing it from veering.
- Construction and Design
The greater the build quality, the longer the RC boat can last. Our preferred features are anti-tilt hulls, capsize recovery functions, and a watertight, double hatch design to improve sailing power. A streamlined hill design with tight bottom center creases also reduces water resistance and make the boat sail faster. Lastly, water detection also allows the RC boat to start when it senses water, extending the motor and preserving battery life.
- Battery Life and Recharge Time
The longer the battery life, the more time you will be able to play with the boat. Look for a minimum of 7 minute playing time, max of 90-minute charge for a 4 to 7-year old, and a max 140-minute charge for a 1 to 3-year old who is not as time-sensitive.
Our recommended speed for 6+ MPH for toddlers and 10+MPH for 4+ year olds, which should provide the appropriate amount of simulation and steering controls for their age levels and cognitive abilities.