Used RC Boats for Sale: Tips and Precautions for Buying

Used RC Boats for Sale: Tips and Precautions for Buying

Radio controlled (RC) boats have become increasingly popular over the years as a fun and exciting hobby. These miniature boats are controlled remotely and can emulate the experience of piloting an actual watercraft. However, purchasing a brand new RC boat can be an expensive investment, especially for beginners who are just trying out the hobby. Thankfully, there are used RC boats for sale that might offer a more affordable option for those who are interested in trying out this exciting hobby. In this article, we will explore the advantages of buying used RC boats and provide tips on how to navigate the buying process. Whether you are looking to save some money or find a vintage model, buying a used RC boat can be a worthwhile venture. With the right information and approach, you can be on your way to owning a great RC boat without breaking the bank.

Advantages of buying used RC boats for sale

There are several advantages to purchasing a used RC boat. Let’s take a closer look at what makes buying a used RC boat a good option:

  • Cost: Used RC boats are generally much cheaper than new models, making it an affordable way to get started with the hobby.
  • Rare models: Sometimes you may come across rare or vintage RC boats that are no longer in production. These models can be valuable and difficult to find.
  • Customization: With a used RC boat, you have the potential to customize or upgrade the boat to your liking without worrying about the high cost of a new boat.
  • Easier to learn: It might be easier to learn the basics of boat piloting with a used boat rather than with a brand new and more expensive one.

In addition to the advantages mentioned above, buying a used RC boat can also be an environmentally conscious decision. By giving a new home to a used RC boat, resources are not being wasted on its production, ultimately reducing your carbon footprint. There are also websites and forums dedicated to connecting buyers and sellers of used RC boats, making it easier to find great deals and build a community of like-minded individuals.

How do you know if a boat is good?

There are several factors to consider when determining if a boat is good, including:

  • The boat’s use or intended purpose
  • The condition of the boat’s hull, deck, and rigging
  • The boat’s engine and mechanical systems
  • The boat’s overall build quality and reputation of the manufacturer
  • The boat’s age and maintenance history

To gather more information about a specific boat, it can be helpful to research online. Websites such as BoatUS, YachtWorld, and Boat Trader provide detailed information on boats for sale, including specifications, photos, and reviews from other boaters. Additionally, consulting with a marine surveyor can provide valuable insight into the condition and value of a boat.

Tips for inspecting used RC boats before buying

Before buying a used RC boat, it’s essential to inspect it thoroughly to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Here are some tips on what to look for when inspecting a used RC boat for sale:

  • Exterior and Interior: Inspect the exterior and interior of the boat for any scratches, cracks or other damages. Make sure the boat is free from water or other debris and ensure there are no leaks or water damage.
  • Electronic components: Check that all the electronic components of the boat, including the motor, battery, and radio receiver, are in good working condition. Look out for signs of rust in metal parts like the screws and shafts.
  • History: Ask the seller about the history of the boat and any modifications made to it. A well-maintained boat with regular checkups and servicing is desirable than one that has been left lying unused for a long time.

Knowing how to inspect an RC boat can save you money and headaches down the line. It’s good to keep in mind that used RC boats for sale can be up to 50% cheaper than new boats, making it worthwhile to spend a little extra time on looking before deciding to buy.

Here is an inspection checklist to make it easier when looking at a used RC boat for sale:

Item Inspection
Hull Look for any cracks or chips in the fiberglass or plastic. Make sure the boat sits level in the water.
Propeller Check that propeller is not bent or damaged. Spin the shaft and check for smooth rotation.
Battery Check for signs of wear, damage or leaks on the battery and make sure it charges and works efficiently.
Radio Confirm the remote control is working and can communicate with the boat’s receiver well.
Motor Check for signs of corrosion, and inspect the motor mount for damages.

How do you inspect an old fiberglass boat?

When inspecting an old fiberglass boat, here are some important things to check:

  • Check for any cracks or blisters on the hull
  • Inspect the deck for soft spots or cracks
  • Ensure the rigging and sails are in good condition
  • Test the engine and make sure it is running smoothly
  • Look for any evidence of water damage or mold
  • Check the electrical and plumbing systems
  • Inspect the fuel system for leaks or damage
  • Check the safety equipment on board

BoatUS provides a helpful checklist for inspecting a used boat, which can be found on their website. Additionally, products such as moisture meters and surveys can be useful in detecting potential issues with fiberglass boats.

Where to find used RC boats for sale

Finding used RC boats for sale can be easy if you know where to look. Here are some places to find used RC boats:

  • Online marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great places to find used RC boats.
  • Local hobby stores: Visit your local hobby store to see if they have any used RC boats for sale or ask if they have connections with RC boat enthusiasts in the area that can provide leads.
  • RC clubs: Join an RC boat club or community to connect with other hobbyists who may be interested in buying or selling used RC boats.
  • Classes and workshops: Some classes or workshops that teach how to build or repair RC boats may also sell used boats to their students as an added opportunity.
  • Classified ads: Check classified ads in RC magazines or forums to see if anyone is selling a used RC boat you may be interested in buying.

There are also some websites that sell new and used RC boats, including:

  • Horizon Hobby: An online store that sells a wide range of RC boats, including new and used models.
  • Tower Hobbies: A popular website for buying and selling RC boats among enthusiasts.
  • RC Universe: An online community of RC enthusiasts where members buy and sell used RC boats and other RC equipment.
  • Boats for sale: A classified ads website specifically for boats and ships including RC boats.

However, it is important to keep in mind that buying from unverified or sketchy sellers can be risky, so always do your research and inspect the boat before committing to a purchase.

What does RC mean in boats?

RC in boats stands for Radio Control. It means that the boat is operated using a remote control with radio signals. This technology has become popular among hobbyists and enthusiasts who enjoy controlling their boats from a distance. RC boats are available in various types such as electric, gas-powered, and sailboats. For more information about RC boats, visit websites such as or

How to negotiate the price of a used RC boat

Just like any other item you buy, it’s always a good idea to negotiate the price of used RC boats. Here are some tips to help you get the best possible deal:

  • Do your research: Look up the market value of the specific model you’re interested in purchasing to get an idea of what a fair price range is.
  • Check for damages and flaws: During the inspection, be sure to take note of any damages or flaws that can help lower the price further.
  • Offer a reasonable price: Based on the condition and age of the boat, offer a price that is fair and reasonable. Don’t lowball the seller, but also don’t go over budget.

Remember that the seller may also be willing to negotiate if they are eager to get rid of the boat and clear up space. If you’re unsure about how to make an offer, you can always ask the seller if they’re open to offers or what their best price is.

If you’re buying a used RC boat from an online marketplace or forum, be sure to check the seller’s history and ratings before making any purchase. This will give you a good idea of their reputation and how reliable they are when it comes to buying and selling RC boats for sale.

Some websites also offer buyer protection programs and return policies to make the online buying process safer and more secure, so consider using these services if available.

How do you determine the price of a boat?

Determining the price of a boat requires considering various factors such as the boat’s age, condition, size, features, and location. Here are some common ways to estimate a boat’s value:

  • Use online resources such as NADA Guides, BUCValu, or Boat Trader to find the average value of similar boats in the market.
  • Consult with professional boat appraisers or marine surveyors to assess the boat’s condition and determine its value.
  • Consider the boat’s brand, model, and year of manufacture, as well as its maintenance history, upgrades, and repairs.
  • Factor in the boat’s location, as local market demand can affect its price.

It’s essential to research and compare prices from multiple sources before settling on a final price. Ultimately, the price of a boat is negotiable, and the willing buyer and seller would determine its final value.

Precautions to take when buying used RC boats for sale

While buying a used RC boat can be a great way to save money, there are some precautions you should take to avoid scams or poor-quality boats. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and successful purchase:

  • Avoid purchasing from unverified sellers: Stick to buying from reputable sellers with a good track record. Check the seller’s history, reviews and ratings before making any purchase.
  • Request detailed photos and videos: Before arranging a meetup or making a purchase online, request detailed photos or video of the boat from different angles. This will give you a better idea of any damages or flaws that may not be immediately visible.
  • Consider getting a trial run: If possible, ask the seller if you can test the boat before buying it. This can help you confirm that all electronic components are in good working condition.

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that some sellers may try to sell a boat that has been stolen, damaged or poorly maintained. If you notice any red flags during the buying process, trust your gut and walk away from the deal.

Some websites and marketplaces also offer buyer protection programs and return policies to ensure a safe and secure buying experience. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of these services before making any purchases to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.

What to look for when buying a remote control boat?

If you’re looking to buy a remote control boat, here are a few things to consider:

  • Size: Think about where you plan to use the boat and how much space you have available. A smaller boat may be more suitable for a backyard pool while a larger boat may be required for a lake or river.
  • Type: There are different types of remote control boats available, including racing boats, fishing boats, and sailboats. Choose a type based on your intended use.
  • Power source: Remote control boats can be powered by electric or gas engines. Electric boats are generally quieter and easier to maintain, while gas boats offer more power and faster speeds.
  • Speed: Consider the speed of the boat and whether it aligns with your preferences and intended use. If you’re buying a boat for a child, a slower speed may be more appropriate than a faster speed for an experienced boater.
  • Control: Check the range of the remote control and how easy it is to manoeuvre the boat. You’ll want to make sure you have enough control to steer the boat in different directions and avoid obstacles.
  • Price: Remote control boats can range in price from under $50 to thousands of dollars. Determine your budget before making a purchase.

When shopping for remote control boats, consider browsing sites such as Amazon, or for customer reviews and a wide range of options to choose from.


Buying used RC boats can be an exciting and cost-effective way to enjoy the hobby of remote-controlled boating. However, it’s important to do your research and take precautions to ensure a safe and successful purchase. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can avoid scams and find a high-quality used RC boat that fits your needs and budget.

Remember to inspect the boat thoroughly, ask the seller about its history and modifications, and negotiate a fair price based on its age and condition. Additionally, consider purchasing from reputable sellers and requesting detailed photos or video before making any purchases.

With the right precautions and some patience, you can find a great deal on a used RC boat and enjoy the thrill of cruising the waves. Happy boating!