Pros / This boat was very fast, reaching speeds of 28 mph.
Cons / It doesn't come with a Li-Po battery.
Verdict / The Pro Boat React has the handling, speed, and durability to be one of the best RC boats for novice hobbyists, especially when you consider it's also one of the most affordable remote control boats available.
The Pro Boat React is a 17-inch monohull shaped almost like a torpedo than a boat. This gives it exceptional handling. As a result, it was one of the most fun boats we tested. It recorded the fastest speed, and it's made of a high-quality plastic that doesn't feel brittle or cheap in your hands. While the run time was just barely above average, the React is clearly among the best boats in our test. For these reasons, it earns the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for the best remote control boats.
To find the best remote control boat for someone interested in exploring the RC boat hobby, we tested each boat at a local reservoir where conditions were ideal. And while it was a lot of fun, we also closely evaluated the handling, speed, durability and run time.
The best RC boats need to be arguments for the hobby – boats that provide the type of fun you can experience if you want to become more involved with RC boating. The Pro Boat React is clearly one of the best boats for this, especially at the cost, as it's among the most affordable boat in our review.
- Charge Time
- Run Time
One of the cool features of the React is the water-sensing aspect of the binding. The transmitter won't bind to the boat until the boat is placed on the water. This is a great safety feature, as it's far too easy to accidentally spin the propeller out of the water with some of the boats we reviewed.
As soon as we dropped it in the water, it took off. We were able to create perfect figure eights. This boat can handle every move you ask of it, which is why the handling received an A. Both left and right turns are consistent and sharp without being out of control. We couldn't manage to flip the boat on any sharp turns. And even if we had, the boat has a self-righting feature that automatically rights the boat.
Using a radar gun, we recorded speeds as high as 28 mph, making it the fastest boat in our review. The manufacturer specifications suggest it can reach speeds of 19 mph or more. With some minor tweaking, we think we could make it even faster. This boat definitely leaves a wake behind it. It's a lot of fun to watch.
While the Reach doesn't have a Li-Po battery, which is preferred by hobbyists in the RC boating industry, the battery provided an 11-minute run time. This was just barely above average. Still, this more than enough run time for a few races. If you purchase multiple battery packs (a recommendation for all RC boats), you can spend more time on the water.
The battery comes with a charger, which is nice. Boat batteries can be volatile, especially if you use the wrong charger. The downside to the charger is that it must be connected to a USB outlet, which means you need to have a plug with a USB port or a vehicle with a USB port if you want to charge your batteries while you're at the lake or pond.
Design & Accessories
The monohull design comes to a sharp point that resembles a torpedo or a shark. The hull is also made of a very dense, high-quality plastic. While it's heavier than many of the boats we reviewed, it feels solid in your hands.
Unlike many of the boats we reviewed, it never had any durability issues. In addition, the hull cap, which protects the motor and other internal components, has a tight seal. We didn't use marine tape (because we wanted to see how well each boat kept water out), and it still didn't take on any water. It's easily one of the most durable entry-level RC boats.
It comes with a brushed motor, which isn't preferred over the more efficient brushless motors. But you can easily upgrade the motor if you want extra speed and torque. It also features a water-cooling system to keep the brushed motor from overheating.
The React comes with an extra propeller, which is a nice touch. Many RC boat enthusiasts sharpen the propellers and make other alterations to make their boats faster. Having an extra propeller ensures you have a spare in the event you break one or you don't like the alterations you made.
Help & Support
Pro Boat offers a 30-day warranty. They also sell replacement parts that you can order online or by phone. If you need support or your boat malfunctions, you have several various ways to reach the manufacturer: email, telephone or posting on the manufacturer's online forums and social media accounts. Online, you'll find YouTube videos with action footage as well as a downloadable instruction manual.
The Pro Boat React is among the best entry-level remote control boats. Not only is it one of the most affordable boats on the market, it features a high-quality hull that can easily carve and cut through water at high speeds. We clocked it at speeds reaching 28 mph and never had any issues with the handling or durability. If you're looking to join in the fun, you won't find many RC boats better than this to take out to the lake.