Ultimate Guide to RC Gas Outboard Motors: Pros, Cons, and Choosing the Right Motor

Ultimate Guide to RC Gas Outboard Motors: Pros, Cons, and Choosing the Right Motor

Remote-controlled (RC) boats have become increasingly popular among hobbyists and enthusiasts alike. These miniature boats are equipped with engines that power their movement and are controlled remotely through a transmitter. One of the most popular engines used in RC boats is the gas outboard motor, known for its power and performance capabilities. Unlike electric motors, gas outboard motors run on gasoline and are commonly seen in competitive racing events due to their exceptional speed. They come in different sizes and power ranges to suit different boat models and sizes. RC gas outboard motors have become a favorite among hobbyists who enjoy pushing the limits of their boats and exploring rougher waters. While they do require more maintenance than their electric counterparts, the performance and endurance of gas outboard motors make them a worthwhile investment for anyone who enjoys the excitement of RC boating. In this article, we will explore what an RC gas outboard motor is, how to choose the right one, the pros and cons of this type of engine and more.

RC gas outboard motors are one of the most popular types of engines used in RC boats. They offer a range of features and benefits, including:

  • Speed: Gas outboard motors are known for their exceptional speed and acceleration capabilities, making them a popular choice for racing events or high-speed cruising.
  • Power: These engines offer more power and torque than electric motors, allowing the boat to handle more challenging waters and maneuver more confidently.
  • Durability: Gas outboard motors are built to withstand heavy use and rough conditions, making them long-lasting and reliable.
  • Realistic performance: Due to their similarities with actual boat engines, gas-powered RC boats provide a more realistic experience and sound similar to real boats.
  • Potential for customization: These motors can be tuned and modified for higher performance levels to match the boat’s specific needs and preferences.

Some common brands that offer quality RC gas outboard motors include Zenoah, Sikk, and RCMK. These brands offer a range of engine sizes and power levels, suitable for small to large boats. Additionally, websites like Horizon Hobby, Tower Hobbies, and RC Planet offer various options for RC gas outboard motors. In the next paragraph, we’ll discuss some factors to consider when choosing an RC gas outboard motor.

What is the best gas for outboard motor?

The best gas for an outboard motor is a minimum of 87 octane, with 89 octane being preferred. It is not recommended to use higher-octane fuels as they may cause hard starting conditions in hot weather. No website or product information is relevant to this question.

How to choose the right RC gas outboard motor?

Selecting the right RC gas outboard motor for your boat is an essential decision to make. Here are some factors to consider before choosing the right one:

  • Boat size: The size of the boat determines the size and power of the engine required. Larger boats will require a more potent engine.
  • Engine power: The power ratings can vary from 23cc to 30cc engines, each with its own strength and mobility.
  • Compatibility: Not all engines work with every boat. Ensure that the engine chosen is compatible with your RC boat.
  • Brand reliability: Choose a reputable brand that guarantees quality and reliability to prevent future issues.
  • Maintenance requirements: Consider the time, effort, and costs involved in maintaining the engine regularly.

Once you’ve considered these factors, there are several popular RC gas outboard motors you can choose from.

Brand Engine Size Power Compatibility Price
Zenoah 26cc 2.75HP Compatible with most boats $350-$500
Sikk 29cc 4HP Compatible with most boats $550-$700
RCMK 30.5cc 5.2HP Compatible with most boats $650-$800

Some online forums like rcracingboat.com, rcgroups.com and rcuniverse.com are excellent sources to get additional information and opinions on RC gas outboard motors.

How do I choose the right size outboard motor?

When choosing the right size outboard motor, the general guideline is to have one horsepower for every 25-40 pounds of weight. For example, if your vessel weighs 800 pounds, you’ll need a minimum of 30-40 HP outboard strength. A 5,000-pound boat would require an outboard between 125-200 HP depending on its exact use and weight. It’s essential to consider these factors before making a final decision.

Pros and Cons of an RC gas outboard motor

Like any other power source, RC gas outboard motors come with their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

  • Pros:
    • Speed: Gas-powered engines offer unparalleled speed that may not be achievable with electric motors.
    • Performance: Gas engines can handle rough waters better than electric motors, making them ideal for racing and competitions.
    • Durability: Gas engines have a longer lifespan and can handle high temperatures and other extreme conditions.
  • Cons:
    • Costs: Gas-powered engines are more expensive than electric motors, and the fuel costs may add up over time.
    • Maintenance needs: Gas engines need regular maintenance and checkups for optimal performance, which can be time-consuming and costly.
    • Noise: Gas engines tend to be louder and may cause disturbance to other boaters and nature.

Despite the drawbacks, gas-powered RC boats remain popular due to their performance and speed. Companies such as O.S. Engines, Traxxas, and HPI Racing offer a wide range of gas-powered engines for RC boats. Some online retailers such as nitrorcx.com, towerhobbies.com, and rchobbyexplosion.com offer a variety of gas-powered RC boats, engines, and related products.

Are gas or electric RC cars better?

Electric RC cars are generally better than Gas RC cars due to their faster speed. The LiPo batteries and brushless motors in electric cars make them capable of reaching over 100 mph. However, Gas or nitro RC cars are better if you prioritize a more authentic driving experience. Check out websites like Horizon Hobby or Hobbypark for a wide variety of RC cars and their parts.


In conclusion, RC gas outboard motors are a popular choice for RC boaters due to their speed, performance, and durability. While they may come with some drawbacks like higher costs and maintenance needs, the benefits outweigh the cons for many enthusiasts. When choosing an RC gas outboard motor, it’s essential to consider factors like the boat size and weight, engine power, and compatibility. Investing in quality brands and regular maintenance can ensure a longer lifespan for the engine. Lastly, gas-powered RC boats are fun and engaging marine hobbies that can offer a rewarding experience for enthusiasts. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more powerful and efficient gas-powered engines in the future.