Free model boat plans: the MiniX, an easy-to-build radio-controlled sailboat

wooden rc sailboat plans

We set ourselves a challenge: to make a sailing model. In the end, after hours of reflection and work, we discovered that we took as much pleasure in designing and building as we did sailing our yachts. Here is the description of our project and the plans to download. Another article follows with the steps of the realization.

François-Xavier Ricardou

An easy-to-build, eye-catching, high-performance sailboat

Who hasn't dreamed of a little wooden sailboat with a beautiful canvas cover? The idea for this project is a child's dream.

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Sailing on a regular basis in "scale 1", we had the idea of having fun by sailing two boats to race in our "spare time". The boats had to meet the following specifications:

  • Easy to transport . Measuring just 50 cm, our MiniX doesn't take up much space in a trunk. However, the keel and mast can be dismantled. If need be, the MiniX can even be included in our vacation luggage.
  • Able to be thrown into the water "out the back of the car" without complicated implementation.
  • No investment that would jeopardize our homes. As this is not a one-off activity, we didn't want to invest in expensive radio controls (our boat's biggest expense). A basic radio control kit is powerful enough to handle "small" sail surfaces.
  • Resembling a sailboat at best, hence the presence of the deckhouse and cockpit. These two elements give a sense of scale without resorting to model-building. Above all, a sailboat must be beautiful. Don't we also sail for the pleasure of our eyes?

Modern construction

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To keep it light (ready to sail , the MiniX weighs just 800 g), the hull is an extruded polystyrene/epoxy resin sandwich (laminated Depron). While this process is not impact-resistant (though...), the structure and sandwich make it very rigid. Together with the deck, the whole thing forms a kind of egg whose strength is astonishing. It's impossible to apply the slightest twist to the hull, despite its lightness (the bare hull weighs just 260 g).

Our yacht has a chine hull. But this doesn't detract from the look, as the chines are largely rounded and, combined with the straight bow, give the illusion of a beautifully shaped hull. When sailing close-hauled, the stern of the MiniX lifts off, limiting drag in the water.

Technical data

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  • Overall length (with rudder): 56 cm
  • Hull length: 51 cm
  • Width: 17.6 cm
  • Draft: 25 cm (but this may change...)
  • Air draft: 92 cm (mast: 86 cm)
  • Operating weight (with sails, servos, batteries and keel ): 800 g
  • Bare hull weight (without servos and keel ): 260 g
  • Weight of ballast: 240 g (but may vary according to draught...)
  • Wing surfaces: Jib= 6 dm² GV= 15 dm²

MiniX drawings

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You can download the plans. They're simple and precise. We made our two boats by printing them on a basic A4 printer. Then we simply assembled the sheets by superimposing them and gluing them (repositionable spray glue ) to Depron. A sharp cutter is all it takes to build the MiniX with precision.

Just one thing: we've put a lot of heart and soul into building this yacht. We'd be delighted if our experience could be put to good use. Don't hesitate, help yourself! But be so kind as to let us know with a little comment. We'd love to hear from you.

Here you can download the first part of the plan in A4 PDF format .

With this you already have the complete boat. Based on the construction photos, there's not much missing to build the whole MiniX. But since we're taking care of you, here are the sail plans too:

  • Mainsail plan

Real sails with webs for their shape.

The construction budget

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MiniX doesn't have to be expensive. We've always tried to find a way of "diverting" objects to make our project a reality. So it's hard to come up with an exact budget . It will be higher for someone who doesn't even own the basic tools , and much lower for someone who does it in the back of his already well-stocked workshop.

  • 6 mm Depron sheet (2 sheets, 125 x 60 cm)
  • Epoxy resin + fillers
  • Glass fabric
  • 4 mm plywood (a small piece for the keel , keel shaft and rudder)
  • Carbon tubes (6 mm for the mast and 4 mm for the booms)
  • GV carbon batten (1/10 mm in kite stores)
  • Remote control servos kit ( first price: ?60)
  • Florist paper for the sails (a good opportunity to give pleasure...)
  • Blenderm (surgical tape), available from chemists, to join the sails. Cut the 20 mm roll in half to double its length.

In the end, we estimate a maximum budget of ?120 per boat (calculated in 2021).

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Because a construction project like MiniX is above all a team project... And in a team it's good to be complementary.

The MiniX project went through a long phase of gestation - reflection - intellectualization - drawings - exchanges - helping hands to get to this stage. Today, it's sailing thanks to this pooling of skills. We hope you'll enjoy this project as much as we have. And we look forward to hearing from you in the comments or on the forum. Enjoy!

Free model boat plans: the MiniX, an easy-to-build radio-controlled sailboat

Racing Sparrow Plans

Check out these plans and resources, ranging from a 375mm boat to a 1500mm yacht. Pair these with our eBook guide for a fast, easy, and affordable home build RC yacht.

 Racing Sparrow model yachts, orange rg65 and a black 750 in the background

RS-RG65 - 650mm plans, measures to international RG65 rules

A full forward hull and a straight stern. This boat has proven to be a very fast and competitive racer.

 Racing Sparrow model yacht tool set

Free Book Sample - PDF

A few pages from the eBook absolutely free

Racing Sparrow model yacht, red hull sailing upwind with a 45 degree heel angle. looks fast

Racing Sparrow 750 plans

The plans that come with the eBook.

Racing Sparrow model yacht - 1 meter

Racing Sparrow 1000 plans

A one metre version, scaled up lines. Bulkhead only plans. Look at the 750 for full schematics.

 Racing Sparrow model yacht RS1500

Racing Sparrow 1500 plans - A scaled up Racing Sparrow

A larger size model yacht. I haven't seen many of these surface. It's a good challenge to build.

 Racing Sparrow model yacht being held by a woman who is about to launch the boat for a sail

Racing Sparrow 375 plans - The smallest sparrow

A miniature RacingSparrow. A great introduction to building with balsa.

racing sparrow footy model yacht, strip planked

RacingSparrow Footy plans

A double diagonal design footy from RacingSparrow.

racing sparrow logo insignia

Logos & Sticker Sheet

Downloadable logos and an EPS file to be sent to a printer and printed out on navy blue cutout vinyl.

Common questions about the plans

What tools do i need to build a racingsparrow.

1. Chisel 2. Craft-knife 3. Drill Bit - 2mm (5/64in)bit 4. Drill Bit - 5mm (3/16in) bit 5. Electric Drill 6. Felt Marker 7. File 8. Hacksaw 9. Hammer 10. Hole Punch 11. Lighter 12. Pen 13. Pencil 14. Pins 15. Pliers 16. Ruler (steel) 17. Sanding Block 18. Scissors 19. Screwdriver 20. Spirit Level (optional) 21. Sponge Brush (several) 22. Vice Grips

Do I need the eBook to build this cool rc sailboat?

No you don't. The book is designed for the newcomer to model yacht building. The book does make it a much simpler process with every detail figured out and covered in the book. Seasoned builders can simply have a go with the free plans.

Are the plans really free?

Yes all the plans are free to download and use as you see fit. The most comprehensive plans are the RS750 A1 full size.

Are there CAD files or 3D files?

Yes there is a 3D dxf file inside a zip file that you can download for free and use how you want. Some people use this in CAD programs or in 3D modelling programmes to great effect. Look under Racing Sparrow 750 plans on this page. An STL file for 3D printing is in the pipelines. Email me if you want a copy.

While we think 3D printing is great, we believe old-skool strip planking balsa is a wonderfully simple way to make a very lightweight boat with excellent longitudinal strength and beauty.

Builders eBook

Dive into the world of boat building with our eBook. Discover the craft of hull planking, fibreglass strengthening, and lead keel ballast casting.

Master the art of electrics installation, spray painting, sail making, and tuning of sails. Download a sample today and embark on a rewarding journey of boat construction.

internal structure - 3d model illustration

What the builders and sailors say:

Being a complete novice, I purchased your book a couple of years ago and built two racing sparrows. Building on this experience I then went on to build, from scratch, an IOM (Triple Crown design). I've since joined a local club and sail virtually every weekend. I would just like to thank you for your endeavours which have allowed me to enter a world I never thought was in my reach.

John Sterland, Australia

Coming upon your book, "Build your own Radio Controlled Yacht" in the Napier Public Library, I am hugely impressed. The combination of your superb photos and illustrations with your easy writing style make it a standout publication and I hope it does well for you.

Richard Spence, New Zealand

Thanks for an excellent design in your RG65. I trialled her again today in a solid 20 knots gusting higher. Even so in a steep chop and fingers off the rudder she drove upwind remarkably well, balanced perfectly. Very impressed that a model boat can handle that with a large rig. I found the book excellent. Ive built several big boats, plus a few skiffs and without that resource building such a good boat would have been impossible.

Mike Bennett

Look at all these cool boats folk have made at home

There is also a full gallery with a boat load of photos of Racing Sparrow's

Racing Sparrow 750 - Terry Plumridge , Vienna, Austria

Jan 26, 2018

wooden rc sailboat plans

Miss Sunshine, RS750 by Terry Plumridge from Vienna Austria. Built for his wife Gertraud. Terry writes " Firstly thanks for writing your book, it introduced me to building from plans, and plank on frame construction, both of which I enjoyed tremendously."

Bryn's fibreglass Racing Sparrow , Wellington, New Zealand

Sep 2, 2008

wooden rc sailboat plans

This red boat is the latest racing sparrow that we've built and put to the test. It has been built for wellington conditions. It has the maximum 1.3kg lead bulb. It has a basic deck structure, no plywood, 1 layer of balsa with a coat of resin-only to save on weight and budget. It uses the more basic hatch construction of plastic sheet taped on with ducktape, very effective and waterproof. The sails are maxed out, being cut very close to the plans, maybe a little bigger, there are no rules about max sail area in the class rules! Another difference on this boat is the mast has been painted black for a different look.

Bradley , Kaiapoi

Dec 29, 2007

wooden rc sailboat plans

Julian Anthony , Kohuwala, Sri Lanka

Jun 4, 2021

wooden rc sailboat plans

Sparkly , England

Apr 23, 2017

wooden rc sailboat plans

Jonathan Daniel

Oct 9, 2008

wooden rc sailboat plans

Bryn the Authors 750

Jan 19, 2006

wooden rc sailboat plans

80% RG65 , Auckland, New Zealand

Apr 25, 2015

wooden rc sailboat plans

Eric Rosenbaum , USA

May 4, 2009

wooden rc sailboat plans

Peter Knox , Canterbury, New Zealand

Apr 30, 2008

wooden rc sailboat plans

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Swell RC

Building and Racing Wooden RC Boats: A Beginner’s Guide

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  • By - Kyle Hilson
  • Posted on April 30, 2023 June 2, 2023
  • Posted in RC Boats

Wooden RC boats have grown in popularity as a hobby over the years, and for good reason. These miniature watercrafts are both aesthetically pleasing and provide a fun and challenging task for enthusiasts to complete. Whether you’re interested in building your own wooden RC boat from scratch or purchasing one that’s already been constructed, there’s a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with owning one. Unlike other RC boats made from plastic, wooden RC boats offer a level of authenticity and detail that cannot be replicated with man-made materials. Every piece of wood used in the construction process is unique in its coloring, texture, and grain, adding to the overall charm and personality of the boat. Plus, building and operating a wooden RC boat can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, making it an activity that can be shared among friends and family. In this article, we’ll explore the world of wooden RC boats, how they’re made, their different types and designs, and offer tips for maintaining and racing them.

Materials Used in Building Wooden RC Boats

Building a wooden RC boat from scratch requires choosing the right materials necessary for construction. There are different choices of wood to use, including:

  • Birch Plywood

Each of these types of wood has distinct properties, which makes them suitable for particular parts of the construction process. Balsa wood is an excellent choice for hulls or other parts that require soft and lightweight materials. Birch plywood and maple provide excellent strength, making them perfect for frames and decks. Meanwhile, cedar and redwood are waterproof and rot-resistant, making them a good choice for use in deck planking and other elements of the boat where sturdy, long-lasting construction is crucial. For those who want a comprehensive guide to building wooden RC boats, there are various resources available online, such as tutorials, plans, and product reviews. Some recommended websites include:

Wooden Boat Magazine

This website offers step-by-step guides and how-to plans for building wooden boats, along with a discussion forum where enthusiasts can discuss building techniques.

Modeler Central

Modeler Central provides tips, tools, and plans for building wooden RC boats of all kinds. There are also community forums where people can share and discuss their building experiences.

Sig Manufacturing

Sig Manufacturing is known for its high-quality model airplane kits but also offers a wide variety of wooden RC boat kits. Their website has a comprehensive section on building tips and instructions to help hobbyists get started.

What is the best wood to build a wooden boat?

There are several types of wood that can be used to build a wooden boat. The best wood to use will depend on the specific requirements of your boat, as well as your budget. Here are some of the most common types of wood used for boat building:

  • Marine-grade plywood

To learn more about the best wood to use for your boat building project, check out websites like Boat Design or Wooden Boat Magazine . These resources offer a wealth of information on boat building materials and techniques, as well as access to products and services that can help you get your project off the ground.

Building a Wooden RC Boat from Scratch

Building a wooden RC boat from scratch can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some of the key steps involved in the construction process:

There are many resources available online that can help hobbyists learn about the construction process and create their own wooden RC boats. For instance, the website RC Groups has a guide that provides visual and detailed tips on building a wooden RC boat from scratch. Another helpful resource is the book “Building Scale RC Boats” by Don Preul. The book includes step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and photographs to guide readers through each stage of the process.

How to Build a Boat Out of Wood?

Here are the basic steps to build a boat out of wood:

  • Choose the type of boat you want to build. You can find plenty of plans and designs online or in books.
  • Gather the necessary tools and materials. These may include saws, drills, screws, marine-grade plywood, epoxy, and paint.
  • Cut the plywood into the desired shapes and sizes using the saws.
  • Assemble the pieces together using the drill and screws.
  • Apply the epoxy to seal and waterproof the boat.
  • Sand and paint the boat to finish it off.

If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended to start with a simpler design and work your way up to more complex boats. You can find step-by-step guides and video tutorials on websites like WoodenBoat or on YouTube. Additionally, there are a variety of boat building kits available for purchase, which provide all the materials and instructions needed to build a specific design.

Maintenance of Wooden RC Boats

Maintaining a wooden RC boat is essential for prolonging the lifespan and ensuring that it functions correctly. Here are some of the key maintenance tasks that you should perform:

  • Regularly inspect the boat’s components, such as the hull , rudder , and propeller , for any signs of damage or wear and tear.
  • Clean the boat thoroughly after each use, removing any dirt, grime or saltwater using a soft cloth or brush.
  • Apply a protective coat of wax or polish to the hull to maintain its shine and protect against UV radiation .
  • Routinely check the battery and electrical components to ensure that they are functioning correctly and have not suffered from any damage or corrosion.
  • If you store the boat for an extended period, make sure to drain the water and fully charge the battery before storage.
  • Regularly test the boat in the water to ensure that it functions smoothly and make any necessary adjustments to the components or controls.

There are also various maintenance resources available online that can help you maintain your wooden RC boat correctly. Websites such as RC Universe and Model Boat Mayhem provide helpful tips and guidelines on how to care for and maintain your wooden RC boat properly. It is essential to consult these resources regularly to ensure that your boat functions correctly and is always in tip-top condition.

Are wooden boats hard to maintain?

Maintaining a wooden boat requires regular attention and care, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some tips to help keep your wooden boat in good condition:

  • Keep the boat dry and well-ventilated to prevent rot and decay
  • Apply a fresh coat of marine varnish or paint every few years to protect the wood from UV damage and moisture
  • Regularly clean the boat to remove dirt, salt, and grime
  • Inspect the hull, deck, and rigging for damage or wear and make repairs as needed

There are many resources available to help you maintain your wooden boat, including online forums, books, and workshops. If you’re looking for products specifically designed for wooden boats, there are companies that offer marine paints, varnishes, and other coatings that are durable and long-lasting.

Different Types and Designs of Wooden RC Boats

Wooden RC boats come in a variety of designs to suit various preferences and applications. Here are some of the most common types of wooden RC boats :

  • Designed for speed and performance, these boats often feature sleek, aerodynamic designs.
  • Most commonly built in the hydroplane configuration with a stepped bottom to help with lift and increase speed.
  • May be powered by electric or gas engines, depending on the size and application.

Sailboats Designed with a focus on elegance and traditional design elements. Often feature intricate detailing and ornamental elements, such as brass fittings or handcrafted sails. May be powered by wind, electric, or gas engines, depending on the preference and application. Tug Boats

  • Designed for pulling or towing other boats or objects and require significant pulling power for their size.
  • Often built with twin screws or paddlewheel designs to assist with navigating tight areas.
  • May be powered by electric or gas engines with multiple motors.

There are plenty of resources available online to help you choose the perfect wooden RC boat design for your preferences, budget, and skill level. Websites such as RCGroups and Model Boat Tips provide plenty of information and reviews of the different types and brands of wooden RC boats available. It is essential to research, review and compare before making a purchase to ensure that you select the right type of boat for your needs, and that you will be happy with its performance over time.

What Are Wood Boats Called?

Wood boats are commonly known as wooden boats, or sometimes simply as “woodies.” They can also be referred to by their specific type or style, such as a wooden canoe, sailboat, or motorboat.

If you’re interested in learning more about wooden boats, there are a number of websites and resources available. The WoodenBoat Magazine website offers a wealth of information on wooden boats, including articles, forums, and a directory of builders and suppliers. Additionally, the Antique Boat Museum offers a collection of over 300 wooden boats and related artifacts, as well as educational programs and events.

Racing Wooden RC Boats

Racing wooden RC boats can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy your hobby. Here are some tips on how to get started:

Requirements and Regulations

  • Most races require that boats adhere to specific weight and size restrictions , or other criteria based on the type of boat, engine, and other factors.
  • Races may be divided into different classes, such as novice, intermediate, and advanced .
  • Rules vary from place to place so it is important to check with the organizers of the race before attending.

Preparing for a Race

  • Ensure that your boat is in good working order.
  • Ensure that your batteries (if applicable) are fully charged and ready to go.
  • Practice your maneuvering skills beforehand so you can navigate the course with ease.

Racing Strategies

  • Learn the course before racing, making note of any potential trouble spots or tight corners that may require adjustment in speed or direction.
  • Keep a close eye on your boat and monitor its performance during the race.
  • Be alert and responsive to changes in wind, water conditions and other factors that may affect your progress.

There are several websites with information on RC boat racing races, including APBA and IMBBA which are just a couple of many websites available. It is important to research and follow the guidelines and regulations established by the organizer of the event where the race is to minimize the risk of disqualification or injury to yourself or others.

In conclusion, wooden RC boats are a great hobby that can provide hours of entertainment and satisfaction. Building a wooden RC boat from scratch can be a challenging yet rewarding experience, and the variety of designs and types available makes it easy to find the perfect boat for your preferences. Racing your wooden RC boat can add another level of excitement to the hobby as well. Whatever your level of interest, there is a wealth of information available on the internet about wooden RC boats, including forums, blogs, and online stores that offer a wide range of products and accessories.

If you’re new to wooden RC boats, it may be helpful to start with a simpler and smaller design before moving on to something more complex. Whether you’re building, racing, or just enjoying the beauty of your wooden RC boat, make sure to follow safety guidelines and regulations to prevent damage to yourself and others. With the right tools, knowledge and enthusiasm, you’ll soon be able to enjoy the satisfaction of owning and operating your own wooden RC boat for years to come.

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Free Model Boat Plans

Free model boat plans - a compiled list to help you locate free model ship and boat plans for model building - static, scale, rc, power, gas, sailing, steam and submarines..

You can find free model boat plans on the internet. Here is what I've been able to locate so far of decent quality. I've tried really hard to filter out sites that seem suspicious in terms of copyright infringements – I’m trying to hold the standard high.

Free 18th Century Ship Plans from Chapmannet

The Architectura Navalis Mercatoria by Fredrik H. af Chapman is available online for free from the ChapmanNet . The ship plans are superb and is a great reference.

This is probably the best collection of 18th century ship plans anywhere. There is no rigging shown in this book, so you need to find that elsewhere. It should not pose much of a problem, as there are many specialized book on the subject.

The book consists of 62 plates (with a total of 145 ship plans) of 18th century ships, complete with sections and general arrangement views typical of the times.

Considering the value of the plans in this book, its content is great value even if you have to pay for it. Personally, I like to be able to flip through the pages, so I bought one of the many relatively recent editions.

There are a myriad of facsimile editions readily available. Many can be purchased through my Architectura Navalis Mercatoria page.

Free Ship Plans from

Orlogsbasen is a searchable, online ship plan database provided by the Danish National Archives and the Royal Danish Naval Museum. The subjects are original plans in the archives from the age of sail of Danish, Swedish, English and French ships - mostly from the 17th through 19th century. The database also contains photographs of period ship models that the involved institutions possess. The database is under construction.

Free Model Boat Plans from Czech

The Czech MoNaKo is also a hobby and model builder’s magazine. They offer three pages of plans – only two of which are currently accessible. The quality of the plans offered varies, so study them carefully and do your own due diligence.

The subjects range from battleships, destroyers, cruisers, submarines, sail boats, motorboats, tugs etc. Some show construction details, while others seem to be missing pages, some are clearly intended for RC, and it’s all in Czech. Enjoy!


Free Model PT Boat Plans from

If you want to build a planing hull scale model, consider a PT boat. The acronym stands for Patrol Torpedo and it was the US answer to what is otherwise known as a motor torpedo boat.

For plans and everything you need to know to build a model of one of these, go to

Free German Warship Plans from

The Dreadnought Project offers 300dpi scans of original plans from German warships from the Imperial era to WW2. Most are oddball ships that most have never heard of. The plans can be a single sheet to several deck layout, profiles and cross sections. To my knowledge, there are no lines plans. Nevertheless, an extremely valuable resource if this is your field of interest.

French Warship Plans from the French Department of Defense

I was never under the impression that the French Government was all that helpful to its citizens until I stumbled upon this website.

I've found two directories of plans useful to model ship builders:

  • Wooden warships, mostly French but also some foreign nations.
  • Iron and steel warships, late 19th century, both world wars, cold war etc.

The plan sets are not always complete, but most provide more than you'd expect for model boat building. They offer plans for all kinds of ships, such as Ships-of-the-line, Frigates, Battleships, Cruisers, Destroyers, Submarines, Carriers and Torpedo boats. Some surprises include tugs, minesweepers, landing crafts, steam frigates etc. The site as well as plans are in French, so be warned.

Note:  This service has been disrupted. I have no further information at this time. If anyone knows what is going on, please pass me a note  here  and I'll post it on this page. Thank you.

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A Voyage through RC Boat History

Since the earliest days of humankind, water vessels have captivated our imaginations. But in the last century, the thrill of sailing transitioned from vast open oceans to the comforts of our backyards with the evolution of Radio-Controlled (RC) boats . This shift marks an intriguing juncture in our maritime journey. Let’s embark on a voyage through the rich history of RC boats.

  • The Dawn of Radio Control: Before RC boats could set sail, radio control technology needed to be invented and refined. The early 20th century saw the emergence of basic remote-controlled devices. As technology advanced post World War II, the application of radio control in hobbyist models began to gain traction.
  • The 1950s – Birth of a Hobby:  By the 1950s, the basic principles of radio control were established, allowing enthusiasts to construct their transmitters, receivers, and servos. During this era, the first hobby-grade RC boats started to appear. These early models, often handcrafted from wood or metal, were powered by rudimentary electric or gas engines.
  • The 1970s – Commercial Rise: With technological advancements and increasing interest, the 1970s marked a boom in the commercial availability of RC boats. Companies started producing ready-to-run models, kits, and accessories, making it easier for hobbyists to dive into RC boating.
  • The 1980s and 90s The Golden Age: With the miniaturization of electronics and improvements in battery technology, the late 20th century was truly the golden age of RC boating. Boats became faster, more durable and even began to mimic real-life counterparts with astonishing accuracy. Racing competitions became popular, further fuelling the growth and innovation in the industry.
  • 21st Century – Technological Renaissance: The turn of the century saw increased RC boat diversity. There was an RC model for every maritime enthusiast, from jet boats to sailboats, submarines to hovercrafts. Digital technology allowed for more precise controls, brushless motors offered greater power, and lithium batteries extended run times. Moreover, the advent of 3D printing has given hobbyists the freedom to craft custom parts, further pushing the boundaries of design and functionality.
  • Today – A Community Afloat: RC boating is more than just a hobby—it’s a thriving community. Online forums, social media groups, and real-world meet-ups provide enthusiasts platforms to share designs and trade tips and celebrate the joy of sailing on a miniature scale.

In conclusion, the journey of RC boats mirrors the journey of human innovation. From humble beginnings to today’s sophisticated models, RC boats are a testament to our enduring fascination with water and our relentless pursuit of technological progress. As we look to the future, one can only imagine where the tides of innovation will take this beloved hobby next.

Crafting Your RC Boat: Beyond the Purchase

There’s an unmistakable charm in holding a sleek, miniature boat, knowing that you’ve created it. While the market is brimming with ready-to-sail RC boats , crafting your own has a deeper allure. Building an RC boat isn’t just about assembling parts; it’s about imprinting yourself in the creation. Let’s craft an RC boat, moving beyond just purchasing one off the shelf.

  • The Thrill of Personal Touch: When you craft your RC boat, every curve, every paint stroke, and every tiny detail becomes an extension of your personality. It’s not merely an object; it’s a testament to your vision, patience, and craftsmanship. Manufacturers’ designs or color schemes do not limit you. Your boat, your rules.
  • The Learning Curve: Beyond the allure of customization lies the rewarding challenge of the build. Understanding buoyancy dynamics, propulsion systems’ intricacies, or weight distribution nuances offers a hands-on educational experience. Every challenge faced and overcome adds to your repertoire of skills and knowledge.
  • Economics of DIY: While investing in tools and materials might seem costly upfront compared to a ready-to-run model, DIY can be more economical in the long run. With the know-how, repairs, upgrades, or even fleet building becomes significantly cheaper.
  • Unraveling Creativity: Crafting your boat gives you the canvas to experiment. Want a hybrid of a speedboat and a yacht? Or perhaps a unique paint job that’s never been seen before? When you’re the builder, the only limit is your imagination.
  • Sustainability and Upcycling: DIY allows for sustainable choices. Old materials can find new life in your creations. That discarded piece of wood? It could be your boat’s deck. An old plastic container? It’s your boat’s hull waiting to be shaped.
  • Emotional Bonding: The bond you share with something you’ve created from scratch is unparalleled. Every trial and error, every success and setback in the building process, weaves a unique story. The result is not just a boat; it’s a chronicle of your journey.
  • Community Engagement: Building your RC boat opens doors to a vibrant community of like-minded enthusiasts. Sharing build logs, seeking advice, and showcasing your creation fosters connections, camaraderie, and collective growth.

While buying an RC boat offers instant gratification, building one provides a deeper, more enriching experience. It’s an endeavor that transcends the act of mere assembly. Crafting your RC boat is about embracing challenges, exploring creativity, and ultimately, basking in the unparalleled satisfaction of watching your vision come to life on the water. So, are you ready to set sail on this crafting adventure?

The Role of a Detailed Plan

A dream without a plan is just a wish. Understand the importance of a meticulous RC boat plan that serves as a roadmap, guiding hobbyists through every twist and turn of the boat-building journey, ensuring a masterpiece upon completion.

Understanding the Basics of RC Boats

Every journey begins with understanding the basics, and the world of RC boats is no different. Before delving into the complexities of RC boat plans , it’s essential to grasp what makes these miniature marvels tick.

The Essence of an RC Boat

Radio Controlled boats are more than just toys; they are a culmination of engineering, design, and passion. These miniature boats operated remotely offer hobbyists a chance to sail, race, and even perform stunts on water surfaces without actually being on the boat.

Core Components: From Hull to Rudder

The beauty of an RC boat lies in its components, each playing a pivotal role:

  • Hull: The boat’s body design can vary based on the boat type, affecting its speed, stability, and overall performance.
  • Motor: The heart of the RC boat. Depending on the model, it could be electric, nitro-powered, or gas-powered.
  • Rudder: This steering device helps in navigating the boat. Positioned at the boat’s stern, it directs the water flow, guiding the boat’s direction.
  • Propeller: Transforms the motor’s power into thrust, propelling the boat forward.
  • Radio Transmitter and Receiver: The primary tools for communication. The transmitter sends signals, which the receiver on the boat catches, leading to action.
  • Battery: Powers the motor and other electronic components. It determines the boat’s runtime.

Charting Different Waters: Types of RC Boat Plans

Just as in the real world, RC boats come in a variety of designs, each tailored for specific activities:

  • Sailboats: Powered primarily by sails, they require a deep understanding of wind patterns.
  • Racing Boats: Built for speed. They boast streamlined designs and powerful motors.
  • Scale Boats: Miniature replicas of real-world boats, focusing on intricate details and aesthetics.
  • Submarines: Yes, there are RC submarines too! Designed to dive and resurface, offering a unique experience.
  • Tug Boats: Strong and sturdy, often used for pulling or pushing other boats.

By understanding these basics, you’re not just one step closer to building your own RC boat but also appreciating the intricate marvels of these miniature vessels.

Why Choose DIY RC Boat Plans?

While there’s no shortage of ready-to-sail RC boats on the market, the allure of crafting one from scratch is an unmatched experience. Let’s examine why   boat plans  are an irresistible choice for enthusiasts.

Crafting with Passion and Precision

Building an RC boat from a plan is not just assembling parts; it’s an artistic endeavor. It’s about:

  • Involvement: Every cut, every screw, every adjustment—you’re involved in each step, understanding the nuances and intricacies of your boat.
  • Learning Curve: With each challenge you face and overcome, you learn. Be it understanding materials, aerodynamics, or electronics, the learning never stops.
  • Satisfaction: The sense of accomplishment when your handcrafted boat first hits the water is unparalleled. It’s a testament to your dedication and hard work.

The Uniqueness of Customization

When you choose a DIY approach:

  • Personal Touch: Your boat will never be just another model. From color choices to design tweaks, it’ll reflect your personality.
  • Modifications: Want a faster motor? A sleeker design? With DIY, you’re the master of modifications, not restricted by pre-made designs.
  • Innovations: As you grow as a hobbyist, you can incorporate new technologies or features, making your boat a continuous creation project.

Saving Bucks: DIY vs. Pre-made Models

Beyond the passion and customization, there’s a practical advantage:

  • Cost-Effective: Building from scratch can be more wallet-friendly. You decide where to splurge and where to save.
  • Maintenance: Understanding your boat inside-out means you’re better equipped to handle repairs, potentially saving on maintenance costs.
  • Upgrade Path: Instead of buying a new model for an upgrade, you can make incremental changes to your boat, spreading out costs and getting what you want.

In closing, choosing a DIY RC boat plan isn’t just about building a boat; it’s about creating an experience, memories, and skills that last a lifetime.

Essential Tools and Materials for Your RC Boat Blueprint

Crafting an RC boat from a blueprint isn’t just an exercise in creativity; it requires a precise set of tools and the right materials. Let’s break down what you’ll need to make your dream RC boat a reality.

Assembling Your Toolkit: Must-haves for Hobbyists

Before you embark on your boat-building journey, ensure you have these tools at your disposal:

  • Cutting Tools: Precision knives, saws, and scissors are essential for detailed cuts.
  • Measuring Tools: Rulers, calipers, and protractors to ensure exact dimensions.
  • Soldering Kit : For connecting electronic components securely.
  • Sandpaper : Different grits for smoothing surfaces.
  • Clamps and Vices : To hold components securely during assembly or drying.
  • Glues and Adhesives : Wood glue, epoxy, and super glue cater to bonding needs.
  • Screwdrivers and Pliers : For those tiny screws and intricate fittings.
  • Paint Brushes and Sprayers : For that impeccable finish.

Wood vs. Plastic: What Suits Your Vision?

The primary material you choose will define your boat’s aesthetics, performance, and durability:

  • Pros: Offers a classic, authentic look. It’s also easy to shape and modify.
  • Cons: Requires more maintenance to prevent water damage.
  • Popular Choices: Balsa, plywood, and mahogany are among the favorites.
  • Pros: Durable and resistant to water damage. Lightweight and versatile.
  • Cons: It might lack the “authentic” feel of wood.
  • Types: ABS plastic and polystyrene are commonly used.

Powering Your Craft: Motors and Electronics

The heart and brain of your RC boat:

  • Motors: Choose based on desired speed and performance.
  • Electric: Quiet and efficient, great for general use.
  • Nitro: High-speed performance but requires fuel.
  • Gas: Suitable for larger models, offers extended run time.
  • Batteries: Capacity and type determine run time. LiPo batteries are famous for their power-to-weight ratio.
  • Radio System: Consists of a transmitter (the remote) and a receiver (on the boat). Ensure they’re compatible.
  • Servos: These convert radio signals into motion, controlling rudders and sails.

Safety First: Gearing Up Right

Safety is paramount, both during the building process and while sailing:

  • Goggles: Protect your eyes from flying debris.
  • Gloves: Safeguard against cuts and chemical exposures.
  • Ventilation: When using adhesives or paint, ensure good airflow.
  • Fire Safety: Especially important when soldering or working with electronics.
  • First Aid Kit: For any minor injuries during the crafting process.
  • Water Safety: Always retrieve your boat safely. Consider a retrieval boat or a fishing line.

Remember, while the right tools and materials are pivotal, your passion and commitment are crucial in building an RC boat. 

Dive into Popular RC Boat Plans for Hobbyists

Whether you’re just starting or have spent years mastering the art, an RC boat plan is tailored for you. Let’s explore options based on skill level, ensuring every hobbyist finds their perfect match.

Plans Tailored to Your Expertise

It’s essential to choose a plan that aligns with your expertise. Doing so not only ensures a smoother building process but also helps in mastering skills progressively.

Setting Sail: Beginner-Friendly Designs

Just dipping your toes in the RC boat world ? Here are designs tailored for newcomers:

  • Simple Tugboats: Their sturdy design makes them forgiving for novices. They focus more on buoyancy and balance rather than speed.
  • Basic Sailboats: Have a sail, a rudder, and a hull. These help beginners understand wind dynamics without the complexities of motors.
  • Monohull Speedboats: While speed might be in the name, beginner versions are more about straight-line stability than breaking records.

Tip: Look for plans that prioritize minimal parts and straightforward assembly instructions.

Navigating Deeper Waters: Intermediate Plans

Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to challenge yourself a bit:

  • Dual-Hull Catamarans: With two hulls, these boats offer better stability at higher speeds—a balance between complexity and performance.
  • Scale Models: Replicas of real-world boats. While they might be simple in mechanics, the attention to detail can be a fun challenge.
  • Nitro-powered Speedboats: Introducing a nitro engine adds complexity in both assembly and maintenance, perfect for hobbyists looking to level up.

Tip: At this stage, focus on plans that offer customization options, allowing you to tweak based on personal preferences.

The Captain’s Challenge: Advanced Blueprints

For those who’ve conquered the seas and are looking for their next big challenge:

  • Detailed Warships: Not only do these require intricate detailing, but they also incorporate advanced features like firing cannons or rotating turrets.
  • Submarines: The challenge here is not just in the build but also in mastering buoyancy and underwater navigation.
  • Hydroplane Racers: These boats sit atop the water, making their dynamics and balance a real test for builders.

Tip: Advanced plans often assume a certain level of expertise.  Ensure you’re comfortable with terminology and techniques before diving in.

Choosing the right plan is crucial, but remember, the journey of building an RC boat is as rewarding as the destination. So, pick a blueprint that excites you and set sail on your boat-building adventure!


Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Dream RC Boat

Building your RC boat is a journey; like all great journeys, it requires a roadmap. Here’s your step-by-step guide to ensure smooth sailing from start to finish.

Deciphering Your RC Boat Plan

Every great build starts with understanding the blueprint.

  • Study the Plan: Before anything else, familiarize yourself with the overall design, components, and terminology.
  • List Materials and Tools: List all materials you’ll need based on the plan. Ensure you also have the right tools.
  • Understand the Sequence: Some plans have a specific sequence for better efficiency. It’s always good to follow the recommended order.

Crafting the Perfect Hull

It’s crucial to get this part right.

  • Select Your Material: Be it wood or plastic, ensure it aligns with your vision and the boat’s purpose.
  • Cutting and Shaping: Using the dimensions from your plan, begin cutting out the hull shape. Sand down edges for a smooth finish.
  • Assembling the Hull: If your boat has multiple hull pieces, now’s the time to assemble. Use clamps to hold parts together while the adhesive dries.
  • Reinforcing: Depending on the design, you might need to support the hull with internal ribs or bulkheads for added strength.

Power Dynamics: Motor and Electronics Installation

Your boat’s heart and brain come to life in this step.

  • Selecting a Motor : Choose based on your boat’s size and desired speed. Electric motors are standard, but nitro and gas are options for speed enthusiasts.
  • Mounting the Motor : Securely attach the motor to the hull, ensuring it aligns perfectly with the propeller’s location.
  • Installing the Electronics : Place the receiver, ensuring it’s well-protected from water. Connect it to the motor and, if applicable, to the rudder servo.
  • Testing : Before sealing everything up, run a quick test. Ensure the motor runs smoothly and that the rudder responds to the transmitter.

The Final Touch: Paint and Finish

It is where your boat truly comes to life aesthetically.

  • Priming: Before painting, apply a primer. It ensures better paint adherence and offers additional protection to the hull.
  • Painting: Choose paints suitable for your material. Consider using bright colors for visibility. Multiple thin coats often work best.
  • Decorative Details: If you’re creating a scale model or want added flair, now’s the time to add decals or any other decorative details.
  • Sealing: Once everything’s dry, apply a sealant to protect against water and UV damage. It enhances durability and ensures longevity.

With these steps, your dream RC boat should be ready to make waves. Remember, patience and precision are essential.

The success of your RC boat build lies not only in the core steps of the process but also in the finer details and approaches you adopt. Here are some tips to ensure your blueprint turns into a successful RC boat.

Tips to Ensure Your RC Boat Blueprint’s Success

While passion drives the creation of your RC boat, a few guiding principles can make the difference between a good boat and a great one.

Precision and Patience: Keys to Perfection

The meticulousness you put into your project defines its outcome:

  • Double Check Measurements: Always measure twice and cut once. This age-old adage holds especially true for intricate builds like RC boats.
  • Avoid Rushing: While eagerness to see the finished product is natural, rushing can lead to mistakes. Take your time, especially during crucial steps like gluing or electronics installation.
  • Invest in Quality Tools: Quality tools lead to quality work. Ensure your tools are sharp, clean, and well-maintained.
  • Seek Feedback: If you’re part of an RC hobbyist community, don’t hesitate to share your progress and ask for feedback. Fresh eyes can spot potential issues.

Testing the Waters: Functional and Buoyant Checks

Before you officially launch, a few tests can prevent potential mishaps:

  • Dry Run:  Test all electronics outside of the water first. Ensure motors run and that the rudder responds to commands.
  • Buoyancy Test:  Place the boat in shallow water to check its buoyancy. Ensure there are no leaks and it sits on the water as intended.
  • Control Range Test: With your boat in water, test the range of your transmitter. Ensure you maintain control even at farther distances.
  • Safety Check: Especially for speedboats, ensure all components are firmly attached, and there’s no risk of parts coming loose during operation.

Long Journeys: Maintenance for Longevity

Your boat’s lifespan depends on the care it receives:

  • Regular Cleaning: After each use, clean your boat. Remove any debris, especially from the propeller and rudder.
  • Dry Thoroughly: Ensure your boat is dry before storage to prevent mold or structural damage.
  • Battery Care: If using rechargeable batteries, store them partially charged. Avoid over-discharging, and check for damage regularly.
  • Inspect and Repair: Inspect your boat for damage, especially after accidents. Address any issues promptly.
  • Update Components: As technology advances, consider updating parts of your boat, like the motor or radio system, for enhanced performance.

By following these tips and keeping a meticulous approach, your RC boat blueprint will come to life and sail smoothly for years. Enjoy the journey and the destination!

RC boat building can be as much about navigating through challenges as it is about the joy of the finished product. Let’s delve into some common issues hobbyists face and how to address them:

rc boat

Navigating Challenges in RC Boat Building

Every project has its fair share of hurdles. Recognizing potential pitfalls and knowing how to overcome them can make your boat-building journey smoother.

Common Hiccups and Their Solutions

  • Warped Materials: Especially with wood, warping can occur by storing materials flat and in a controlled environment. Gentle bending or weighting can help straighten things if you encounter minor distortion.
  • Drying Delays: Sometimes, adhesives or paints take longer to dry. Always check manufacturer recommendations and be patient. If in a humid environment, consider using a dehumidifier.
  • Electronics Failure: Always test electronics before integrating. Ensure there’s no water infiltration and connections are secure.

Mistakes in Plan Interpretation and Corrections

  • Misreading Dimensions: Double-check all measurements against the plan before making cuts. If a piece is cut wrong, it’s often best to replace it rather than try to adapt it.
  • Incorrect Sequence : If you realize you’ve missed a step or done things out of order, evaluate if it’s possible to revert. Sometimes, working backward can resolve the error without starting over.
  • Overlooking Details: Always cross off steps as you go. If a detail needs to be included, see if it can be added later without disrupting the already-completed work.

Overcoming Assembly Bottlenecks

  • Alignment Issues : If elements don’t align, check for warping or mistakes in cuts.
  • Component Integration: Commercial components (like motors) may sometimes need a better fit. Consider slight modifications, but ensure you don’t compromise the component’s function.
  • Difficulty in Securing Parts: Use clamps or weights to hold pieces in place as glues dry. Always ensure the workspace is level.

Troubleshooting 101: Addressing RC Boat Glitches

  • Boat Doesn’t Respond: First, check the transmitter’s battery. Then, ensure the boat’s battery is charged, and connections are secure.
  • Motor Runs but Boat Doesn’t Move:  Check the connection between the motor and propeller. Ensure there’s no debris caught in the propeller.
  • Boat Lists or Sinks: Check for water in the hull. If there’s a leak, dry the boat and identify the source. Seal any gaps or holes.
  • Loss of Signal at Short Distance: Ensure the receiver’s antenna isn’t damaged or submerged. Sometimes, interference from other electronics can be the culprit.

Remember, every challenge offers a learning opportunity. By methodically troubleshooting issues and seeking advice when needed, you’ll have a functional RC boat and gain a wealth of experience to apply in future projects. 

Building an RC boat is much more than just following instructions—it’s an artistic endeavor that marries precision, patience, and passion. Like every journey, it’s marked by challenges and joys. So, as we dock at the conclusion harbor, let’s reflect on what we’ve explored.

The Harbor of Satisfaction: Reflecting on Your Build

Completing an RC boat is an achievement that mirrors the countless hours spent refining, understanding, and creating. Your finished boat is a testament to your craftsmanship and your learning journey. Mistakes made along the way have transformed into invaluable lessons, and triumphs have become cherished memories.

Every time your boat slices through the water, it’s not just propelling forward; it’s carrying the weight of your dedication, echoing your problem-solving grit, and reflecting the beauty of your vision. It’s a piece of art, a science project, and a toy; all melded into one.

The Ever-evolving World of RC Boat Plans

The world of RC boats is ever-dynamic. With advancing technology and evolving design philosophies, new plans and models continually emerge, offering hobbyists endless avenues to explore. It ensures that the world of RC boat building remains fresh, exciting, and continuously challenging.

Whether you’re a beginner setting sail on your first project or a seasoned hobbyist who’s navigated many waters, there’s always a new horizon waiting. And with every new plan comes a fresh wave of learning, creativity, and satisfaction.

In essence, RC boat building is a confluence of art, science, and emotion. It’s not just about the destination but also the journey. As you stand at the shore, watching your creation glide seamlessly, remember it’s not just the boat that’s set sail but also a piece of your heart. Here’s to many more builds, many more sails, and many more stories! Safe and happy sailing!

Join Our Fleet of Passionate Boat Builders!

Your boat-building journey doesn’t have to end here. The most beautiful part of this hobby is the community we build around it. So, why sail solo when we can navigate the waters together?

  • Share Your Blueprints : Have an RC boat plan that you’re proud of? A unique design or an innovative approach? Please share it with us! We’d love to see the diverse range of creative genius our readers bring.
  • Chronicle Your Experiences: Whether it’s a challenging hiccup you overcame or a triumphant first sail, your stories can inspire, educate, and entertain fellow hobbyists.
  • Personal Hacks and Tips: Discovered a shortcut? Found a unique material or method? Please share your hacks, and let’s all benefit from collective wisdom.

Engage, Discuss, Connect

The true essence of any hobby lies in its community. Let’s spark discussions, ask questions, seek advice, and celebrate achievements. Whether you’re an RC boat rookie or a seasoned sailor, your insights and inquiries add value.

Set Sail Together in Our Passionate Community

Remember, every boat tells a story, and every builder has the wisdom to share. By creating a space where we can collectively share our journeys, we’re not just building boats but making connections.

Click below to join our vibrant community, share your story, and embark on new adventures with fellow enthusiasts!

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Remote Control Boat

14+ DIY Remote Control (RC) Boat Plans [FREE]

My nephew and I had been wanting to build a remote control boat for a while. We finally got around to it one weekend, and it was a lot of fun.

Table of Contents

We started by choosing the right boat. We wanted something small and easy to control, so we went with a basic monohull design. We also chose an electric motor, since they’re less powerful but easier to use and maintain.

The next step was to choose the right battery. We went with a sealed lead acid battery, since they’re cheap but have shorter run times.

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Once we had the boat assembled, we took it out for a test run on our local lake. The boat performed well, and my nephew had a blast steering it around.

We’ll definitely be going out again soon to enjoy some more time on the water.

Making remote control boats is a fun and rewarding hobby. The boat and its remote controls can be quickly built as a single project. This DIY project can be done by almost all people, even those that do not have any building experience.

To turn this project into something extraordinary, the internals of the watercraft need to be mechanically designed and built with care to ensure durability.

DIY Remote Control Boat Ideas & Designs

1. home-made remote control boat.

Home Made Remote Control Boat

If you’re thinking of making a remote control boat, there are a few things you need to consider. The first is the size of the boat. You’ll need to take into account the dimensions of your pond or lake, as well as the wind conditions. If you’re going to be sailing in open water, you’ll need a larger boat that can handle choppy conditions.

2. Remote Control Boat With Fusion360

Remote Control Boat With Fusion360

The second factor is the type of motor. There are two main types of motors for remote control boats: electric and gasoline. Gasoline motors are more powerful, but they’re also more expensive and require more maintenance. Electric motors are less powerful but easier to use and maintain. 

3. Remote Control Knex Boat

Remote Control Knex Boat

The third factor is the type of battery. Again, there are two main types: sealed lead acid (SLA) and lithium ion (Li-ion). SLA batteries are cheaper but have shorter run times, while Li-ion batteries are more expensive but have longer run times. When choosing a battery, you’ll need to take into account how long you want to be able to run your boat for.

4. Remote Control Airboats for Kids

Remote Control Airboats for Kids

Finally, you need to consider the type of controller you’ll use. There are two main types: radio controlled (RC) and infrared (IR). RC controllers use radio waves to communicate with the boat, while IR controllers use infrared light. IR controllers are typically cheaper, but they have shorter range than RC controllers.

5. Building a Self-Driving Boat

Building a Self-Driving Boat

Radio-controlled (RC) boats are a fun and exciting hobby for people of all ages. Whether you’re interested in racing or simply exploring the waterways, there’s an RC boat out there that’s perfect for you. But with so many different types and models to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your needs?

6. DIY Arduino Catamaran

DIY Arduino Catamaran

One of the most important things to consider is the size of the boat. RC boats come in a variety of sizes, from small bathtub toys to full-sized racing hulls. If you’re just starting out, it’s probably best to choose a smaller boat that you can easily control. As you become more experienced, you can move up to larger boats with more powerful motors.

7. How to Make a DIY Remote Control Airboat

How to Make a DIY Remote Control Airboat

Another important factor to consider is the type of hull. The two most common hull types are monohulls and catamarans. Monohulls are traditional boats with a single hull, while catamarans have two separate hulls connected by a platform. Catamarans are generally faster and more stable than monohulls, making them ideal for racing. However, they can be more difficult to control, so they may not be the best choice for beginners.

8. How To Make Remote Control Boat at Home

When choosing an RC boat, it’s important to think about what you want to use it for. Are you interested in racing? Or do you simply want to cruise around your local lake? Once you know how you want to use your RC boat, it will be much easier to narrow down your choices and find the perfect one for your needs.

9. How To Make a Mini RC Boat

RC boats are a great way to have fun on the water. Whether you’re racing against friends or just exploring your local lake, these little boats can provide hours of enjoyment. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your RC boat:

Choose the right boat. There are a variety of RC boats on the market, from simple dinghies to high-speed racers. Pick one that suits your needs and Preferences.

10. How to Make a Remote Control Boat

Get familiar with the controls. Before you take your boat out on the water, make sure you understand how to operate the controls. This will help you avoid collisions and other accidents.

Practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your boat in different conditions. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at handling it.

11. How To Make a Fast RC Boat

4. Have fun! Ultimately, that’s what RC boating is all about. So relax and enjoy yourself!

How to make a remote control boat

1. design and prepare the shape of the boat.

Design and prepare the shape of your boat. The design needs to be planned before any building can take place. Deciding on the design early can ensure that it will be built correctly. Work on a plan for at least one week to get your ideas together.

The simplest way to design the design is to draw on paper using pencils or markers. A more professional method would use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software which can help with the design process.

2. Design the electronics

Now that the boat’s shape is done, it is time to design the electronics. Please list all your components and decide the best way to put them together. Remember, this task does not have to be complicated and can be completed with ease by following these easy steps:

3) Design & install the onboard controls

Now that you have designed your electronics, it is time to work on the onboard controls. Again, design your electronics to serve the purpose that you want them to.

4) Assemble the electronics for testing and troubleshooting.

Once you have designed all of your electronics, it’s time to sell them together so you can test them before you do any soldering on the boat itself. This step is essential to prevent unexpected problems while building the boat itself.

5) Assemble and install electronics into the boat hull.

Before wiring can be done inside the boat, the electrical tape should be wrapped around all exposed wire connections. This keeps wires from shorting out because they are touching each other while assembled in the boat’s hull.

6) Wire the electronics to their respective locations.

Now that the electronics have been assembled, connected, and wrapped in electrical tape, it is time to wire them into the boat. Begin wiring by starting with a power source of some sort, typically a battery pack. These are easily installed later, so do not worry if your boat will not have one.

7) Assemble the motor, wiring, and electronics onto the boat hull.

Next, it is time to assemble the motor and wiring onto the boat. This is a simple process. The size of your boat will determine how difficult this will be for you. Use your hands to firmly push the motor into place with the wires running through it to ensure that it does not fall off during this process or any after-step.

8) Install float switch and ignition circuit.

The next step is to install the float switch and ignition circuit. The float switch should be placed on top of the motor, as seen in the picture, so that a slight current can pass through it from one side to the other.

9) Install steering controls and electronics onto the boat hull.

It is time to install the steering controls and electronics onto the boat. This step is not a complicated process but will require some force as you push parts into place.

Apply electrical tape to any electrical connections as needed during this step. Once all connections have been made and secured, you can begin wiring inside the boat.

10) Install propeller into boat hull and wiring.

The next step is to install a propeller onto your craft, with wires running through it to prevent any accidental shorts or touching of wires causing damage during use.

Next, wire your electronics for remote operation before proceeding with this step due to potential battery issues that may arise later on in the operation of your watercraft.

Tips for keeping your remote control boat in good condition

Remote control boats are a great way to enjoy the water and have some fun, but they require some basic maintenance to keep them in good condition. Here are a few tips:

  • Rinse off your boat after every use. This will help to remove any salt or other chemicals that could damage the paint or other parts of the boat.
  • Store your boat in a dry place when not in use. This will help to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Check the batteries regularly and replace them as needed. This will ensure that your boat has enough power to run properly.
  • Inspect the hull of your boat regularly for cracks or other damage. This will help you to identify any potential problems before they become serious.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your remote control boat in good condition and enjoy it for many years to come.

So there you have it, the basics of building your remote control boat from scratch. It is not as complicated as it may seem and can be easily accomplished by anyone who decides to build one of these boats.

These are just some basic steps in making a remote control boat, and there are many more ways to make your unique model that others will recognize for years to come.

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Hi, my name’s Elena Coolidge. I’m a DIY enthusiast who loves building fun woodworking plans. These DIY plans are fun hobby projects for enthusiasts or even more advanced builders that want to build things like bunk beds, end tables or even a duck box!


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ML Boatworks offers a wide variety of RC options!

Laser cut wood rc boat kits.

Our Laser Cut Boat kits are probably why you are here. We have been designing and advancing RC Boating since 2010. Our Laser cut kits are sold world wide and regarded as the best available.

Composite Fiberglass and Carbon Fiber Hulls

In 2017, ML Boatworks expanded from laser cut wood boat kits, to composite hulls. Today, we carry several hulls for sport boating, or racing. Our gas mono is one of the best running vee bottom hulls on the market, not to mention best looking! We use the best resins and carbon fiber fabrics to ensure a quality build that will give you years of service.

Custom Boat Stand Kits

Have an ML Boatworks rc boat? We have several stand kits and scale hydroplane trailer kits to help you transport your finished boats! We also have a line of custom designed and universal stands.

Building Materials

We carry Birch Aircraft Ply, Lite Ply and Basswood Sticks to help you start your own project, or  finish off one of our laser cut framing kits.

Premium Dinogy and Giant Power Lipoly Batteries

We are proud to have expanded in 2023. We are now the US Distributor for Dinogy and Giant Power Lipoly Batteries. ML Boatworks carries the full lineup, and if you need more information, visit our information website,

Theta Brushless Servos

We are now a Theta Servo Authorized Dealer. Their brushless servos have excellent centering, top of class torque, and feature brushless motors delivering precise motion. A water proof lineup is on the way soon as well! 

ML Boatworks is a Proud Authorized US Dealer for Theta Brushless Servos!

Ml boatworks is your us distributor and dealer for dinogy - giant power lipo batteries for more information, visit the

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The Model Shipwright

How to build first-class ship models from kits or from scratch using actual ship plans, free downloadable high-resolution ship plans, starting point for scratch-built ship model building.

All the the plans offered on The Model Shipwright  and The Model Shipwright blog are available on this site in high-resolution files. The images on the blog posting are linked directly to the page here with the downloadable files, or you can search from this page by ship type, ship name, or the historical period in which it was built. We put a lot of work in tracking down these plans, and in some cases digitized them ourselves and put in time cleaning up and repairing the images to make them more useful. Feel free to use them for your modeling projects, but please don’t just take them to repost on your site. We have digitally watermarked them to identify them as coming from this site.

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Vessels for which the primary motive of propulsion is sails

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We offer plans of U.S. Coast Guard vessels ranging from early sailing cutters of the revenue service to modern motor vessels such as the buoy tender White Sumac.

Ships whose primary purpose is warfare are cross referenced on this page, whether motor, sail, or oar-powered vessels

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Ships whose primary purpose is cargo transport are cross referenced on this page, whether motor, sail, or oar-powered vessels

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Utility Vessels

Ships whose primary purpose is to serve the maritime industry, such as pilot vessels, tugboats, or lighters are cross referenced on this page, whether motor, sail, or oar-powered vessels



How detailed are your plans? Can you email me one page showing it?

You can download the plans directly from the website. Go to the page of plans you want, and left-click on the plan image to open the image file. Then right-click on the image and choose “save image as” to download it to your computer. The plans can be opened with any image-editing or preview software. Save it to a removable drive and you can take the drive to a local copy shop to be printed on their large-format printer.

Do you accept donated paper plans? I may thin out my collection.

Send us a message on our contact page, we’re always looking for submissions!

WAGB -10 or WAGB-11 Looking for plans. Can anyone help? Thx

I have a set of some 200+ plans for WAGB-10, what are you looking for?

I am looking for drawings of below main deck layouts of 1700-1800 “Man of War” ships. Do you have any?

Check out our page on the French Man of War Montebello It has several views of the below decks.

does anyone know where I could get plans for a VLCC oil tanker /?

I have some GA plans for some tankers, what are you looking for?

I am looking for the typical or average hull ratios: beam/lenght, beam/keel, beam/depth, beam/draught, tonnage, displacement, and burthen of the various types of Ships during the age of sail. Any recomendations?

One of the best experts on the subject was Howard Chapelle. He probably answers the question in one of his many books on sailing ships.

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Anyone know of a source for plans for the Steamer Eastland, that capsized in the Chicago River in 1915?

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On Wooden RC Sailboats & Other Fun Thoughts to Think...

Occasional ruminations, experimentations, and observations on the art and nonsense of building wooden radio control sailboats. Thanks for visiting!

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Presenting the corbie 5 wooden iom r/c sailboat.

Corbie 5 IOM R/C wooden sailboat

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    7) Assemble the motor, wiring, and electronics onto the boat hull. 8) Install float switch and ignition circuit. 9) Install steering controls and electronics onto the boat hull. 10) Install propeller into boat hull and wiring. Tips for keeping your remote control boat in good condition. Conclusion.

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