How to Build an RC Jet Boat: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Build an RC Jet Boat: A Step-by-Step Guide

Remote-controlled (RC) boats are often a source of enjoyment for hobbyists looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience. If you’re one of these individuals, you may have considered building your own RC jet boat. Not only does this give you a sense of ownership and control over the final product, but you will also learn valuable skills from the process. Building an RC jet boat may seem like a daunting task at first, but with the right materials, tools, and knowledge, it’s a manageable undertaking. In this article, we’ll go through the steps involved in building an RC jet boat, from selecting the right materials to the final customization and launch. Whether you’re a seasoned builder or a newcomer to the hobby, building your own RC jet boat is sure to provide a thrilling and rewarding experience.

Selecting the Right Materials and Tools

Before starting the building process, it’s crucial to select the appropriate materials and tools. This will ensure that your RC jet boat not only looks good but also performs well on the water. Here are some considerations when choosing materials and tools:

  • Wood can provide a traditional look and feel to your RC jet boat. However, it’s crucial to pick the right wood that can handle being in the water for an extended period. Some popular options include cedar, balsa, and plywoods.
  • PVC is one of the most commonly used materials for building RC boats. It’s durable, budget-friendly and easy to work with. PVC can be molded to any shape or size, making it ideal for customization.
  • Fiberglass is another popular option for building RC boats. This material has the added benefit of being strong enough to handle high-speed runs on the water. However, it may require additional tools and skills to work with.

These are just a few options you can use to create your RC jet boat. Once you’ve chosen the right materials, you’ll need to assemble the right tools that will make the building process more manageable. Some of these tools include:

  • Jigsaw to cut through wood or plastic
  • Drill for drilling holes and creating shapes as required
  • Sandpaper for smoothing out rough edges or surfaces
  • Epoxy for bonding parts together

Some online stores offer packages such as RC boat building kits to make things easier for builders.

What are the things to consider when selecting the right material?

When selecting a material for a project, it’s crucial to carefully consider the following factors:

  • Purpose: What will the material be used for?
  • Strength: Does the material have the necessary strength and durability to withstand the demands of the project?
  • Cost: Is the material cost-effective for the project?
  • Availability: Can the material be easily sourced? Is it readily available?
  • Appearance: Does the material fit with the aesthetic of the project?

Overall, selecting the right material requires a thoughtful evaluation of a variety of factors to ensure the project is successful.

If you are looking for more information on materials, consult websites such as Material Bank, which offers a curated collection of materials for architecture and design professionals, or Materialicious, which features a selection of innovative and sustainable materials for building and design.

Design and Building Process

Now that you have your materials and tools sorted, it’s time to start the building process. While every builder has their preferred method, here are some steps you can follow to create an RC jet boat from scratch:

Steps Actions
Step 1: Sketch the plan: Draw the plan of the RC jet boat with length, width, and height measurements.
Step 2: Creating a template: Based on your plan, create a template to lay out the parts of the boat.
Step 3: Building the hull: Cut out the pieces for the hull and glue them together using epoxy.
Step 4: Sanding the surface: Use sandpaper to smooth out rough edges and surfaces after gluing.
Step 5: Adding the jet engine: Install the jet engine and align it correctly.
Step 6: Painting and customization: Use waterproof paint to give the boat a suitable color and add some customized decals or strips for style.
Step 7: Landing: Once everything is set up, it’s time to test it on the water and make any necessary adjustments for stability and speed.

It’s important to note that the process might differ based on the materials used or the type of boat being built. It’s always a good idea to research and find designs or guides that can help you with building your RC jet boat. Model Boats Magazine provides readers with guides, tutorials and inspiring stories to make the RC boat building journey enjoyable.

How to design a RC jet?

Designing an RC jet requires a good understanding of aerodynamics and a basic knowledge of electronics. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  • Research different designs and decide on a model to base your design on.
  • Create a design plan including measurements, materials needed, and a budget.
  • Construct a prototype using foam or other lightweight materials to test the design’s feasibility.
  • Make adjustments to the prototype based on testing results.
  • Build the final model using durable materials such as carbon fiber or balsa wood.
  • Install the electronics such as the motor, receiver, and servos.
  • Test and make adjustments to ensure optimal performance.

For more information and tips on designing an RC jet, visit or check out the book “The Complete Guide to RC Jets” by Roger N. Darlington.

Adding the Jet Engine

Adding a jet engine to an RC boat is what sets it apart from other boats on the water. Here are some tips and things to consider:

  • Choosing the right engine: Select one that fits both the size of the boat and the desired speed.
  • Mounting brackets: Use bolts and mounting brackets to secure the engine in place, as it will produce significant amounts of power.
  • Fuel source: Determine if you want to use electric or gas-powered engines, and ensure you have the appropriate fuel source and a fuel tank.
  • Alignment: Align the engine with the boat’s center of gravity to ensure stability while operating.
  • Testing: Before heading out to the water, test the engine and make sure everything is working smoothly.

For those new to the world of RC boat engines, resources like HobbyKing provide engines in a variety of sizes and power levels. It is also worth checking out forums and groups such as RCGroups Electric Boating Forum to ask questions and gain advice from experienced boat builders and RC enthusiasts.

How to Make a Homemade RC Boat?

If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to spend your time, building a homemade RC boat can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Here are the basic steps you need to follow to make your own homemade RC boat:

  1. Choose the type of boat you want to build.
  2. Gather all the necessary materials and tools.
  3. Design your boat using software or sketching it down.
  4. Cut out your boat’s components based on your design.
  5. Attach the necessary components to the boat’s body.
  6. Install the RC equipment and test it before adding the final touches.

You can find more detailed guides and tutorials online that provide step-by-step instructions and video demonstrations. There are also websites and products that offer RC boat kits and plans if you want to follow a particular model design.

Painting and Customization

Once the boat is built, adding some customization can make it truly stand out on the water. Here are some tips for painting and customizing your RC jet boat:

  • Choose waterproof paint: This will prevent any water damage and rusting.
  • Make it your own: Add decals or strips to make your boat unique and eye-catching.
  • Smooth application: Use a high-quality spray gun or brush to ensure a smooth application and prevent clumps or imperfections.
  • Rust prevention: Before applying the paint, apply a layer of primer to prevent rust from forming.
  • Drying time: Allow ample time for the paint to fully dry before putting your boat into the water.

For those who want to take their customization even further, websites such as StickerShoppe provide custom boat decals and stickers to make your boat truly one-of-a-kind. Additionally, some RC enthusiasts may want to experiment with LED light strips or other special effects to make their boat stand out even more.

How do you put decals on a boat?

To put decals on a boat, you will need:

  • Water and soap
  • Adhesive remover
  • Clean rag or towel
  • Decals
  • Squeegee or credit card

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Clean the surface where you want to put the decal with soap and water
  2. If there is any adhesive glue left, use adhesive remover to clean it off
  3. Wipe the area dry with a clean rag or towel
  4. Peel the backing off the decal slowly and carefully
  5. Position the decal where you want it on the boat
  6. Use a squeegee or credit card to smooth out any air bubbles

Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and take your time to ensure the decal is positioned correctly. If you need more help or want to purchase boat decals, check out websites such as BoatUS or Overton’s.

Launching the Boat and Tips for a Successful Experience

Now that your RC jet boat is complete, it’s time to take it out for a spin. Here are some tips for launching your boat and ensuring a successful experience:

  • Choose a good location: Find a suitable body of water that is large enough to handle your boat and far away from any potential hazards such as rocks and other boats.
  • Test the boat beforehand: Run the boat in shallow water to ensure that it runs smoothly and is properly balanced.
  • Follow local laws and regulations: Make sure that you are following any local laws and regulations regarding operating RC boats. Wear a life jacket if required.
  • Use a capable transmitter and receiver: Make sure your transmitter has the range needed to control the boat, and that your receiver can handle the amount of power the jet engine delivers.
  • Maintain the boat: After each use, thoroughly clean and dry the boat to prevent any damage.

For those interested in finding additional tips and best practices, websites such as RC Universe provide a wealth of information and forums for enthusiasts to share their experiences and ask questions.

What is the most important thing to check before launching your boat?

Before launching your boat, it is crucial to perform a safety check to ensure the safety of everyone on board, as well as the boat’s mechanical well-being. The most important thing to check before launching your boat is the following:

  • Make sure there are enough life jackets on board for all passengers
  • Check the fuel levels and fill up if necessary
  • Verify that all navigational equipment is working properly
  • Inspect the hull for any damages or cracks
  • Check the weather forecast to avoid any unexpected storms or wind

Taking these steps will help prevent accidents and ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience. For more information and helpful tips on boating safety, check out the National Safe Boating Council website.


Building and operating an RC jet boat is a fun and exciting hobby that combines the joy of building and crafting with the thrill of remote-controlled watercraft. By selecting the right materials, designing and building a well-structured hull, adding a powerful jet engine, and personalizing the boat with paint and other customizations, you can create an incredible RC jet boat that you will be proud to show off on the water.

Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the sight and sound of a roaring RC boat as it speeds across the water’s surface. By following the tips and best practices shared in this article and other resources, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable experience.

So why wait? Dive right in and start building your RC jet boat today!