Tips & Tricks

Need help? This is where you can find allthe little (but VERY important) tips & tricks that we have learned over the years, the hard way. 

1) Starting a Nitro Engine:Hold your finger over the exhaust for 2 or 3 seconds when first starting theengine. This works for electric or pull starters. Then apply glow starter to theplug and crank it over... it'll fire right up! This pressurizes the tank,forcing fuel into the carb.
See the tuning section of this site for detailed information on setting the correct mixture on your engine.

2) Polishing a Prop: Sharpen the curved edges and only polish the "keyed" side of the prop. Leave the back side (the back side is the side shown below closest to the nut) in the factory cast or"sand blasted" looking finish. This will help to push or throw the water. NOTE: Beryllium Copper Props are top quality racing props and require finish work before use.Click here for more detailed information on how to properly prepare your metal prop

3) Match the Manifold:Be sure to Dremel out the manifold (or header) to match the exhaust port on the engine. Thisflow will improve engine performance and peak RPM.

4) Exhaust exits: Ifthe exhaust exit from your boat is to low (close to the water), a simple splashof water can kill the engine! Be sure to route the exit well above the splashlevel on your hull. If your exhaust tip is a piece of tubing, you can also trycutting a 45 degree angle on the tip. This will not allow a splash of water tocompletely close off the exhaust flow.

5) Fuel Oil %: Be sure the fuel you use contains 16 or more % OIL (lubricant)or you'll damage the engine. The higher the % of Nitro the less oil.

6) Fuel Nitro %:It is always a good idea to start at 20% Nitro fuel inyour engine and work your way up if you need more power. 20% is very reliable ina boat and less temperamental. 30% to 60% makes more power but requires many more adjustments and can damage your engine if the mixture and engines temperature are not closely monitored.

7) NiMh Batteries:Charge Nickel Metal batteries at half the amperageyou'd charge a NiCad battery. This means 3 amps or less for a normal 6 cell battery pack (3000mhA "stick" packs) and 1amp for smaller AA sized batteries.

8) Motor to Shaft:Do not use rigid couplings from the motor shaft to the prop drive shaft it willrob your boat of power and speed! Always use a flex or U-Joint style coupling.This assures non binding free play if there is any flex or mis-alignment.


9) Break in your GlowPlugs: The idea is to temper the tiny coil by heat and cooling 4 times.Take new glow plugs and ignite them with your glow starter for 10 seconds andthen let cool. They'll last a lot longer and save you money.

10) Center of Gravity:Keep the weight in your boat as low as possible. Start with the obvious heavyitems like the battery and get them on the "floor" or lowest point inthe hull. Try to keep the same general balance when relocating things.

11) Stay Organized: Get a fishing tackle box and fill it withspare parts. This will assure you can play all day long!

12) Fuel Line: Smooth all edges that may wear on the inside or outside of the tubing. Alsoleave a loop of about 1 foot in the line to the carb. and the line from the pipeto the tank. This will keep more fuel in the line and the engines performancemore consistent.

13) Paint Colors: Try painting your boat Yellow or White, they are the MOST noticeable colors on the water.

14) Seal the Hull:ABS plastic hulls are light weight and easier to build but require sealing. Dothis before you test the boat! Nitro fuel will attack and eat any part of aunsealed R/C boat. Sand the hull lightly with 320G sand paper, wipe clean andprime the hull inside and out with special "Nitro tough" paint fromyour local hobby store. Then spray on the color of your choice! Be sure to dothis outdoors. The stuff that makes the paint tough is pretty toxic until itdries.
Top Flight Paint is great!           This is what happens if you do NOT seal the ABS plastic!

15) Rudders and Turn Fins: The parts in the water should have a very sharp leading edge and a flat backedge. This way the water does not try to "steer" the surface as it passes by! Get all the surfacessmooth (or polished) if at all possible.

16) Surface Drive Set Up: Line up the prop centerline with the lowest surface of the boats hull. Anythinglower is considered to be "submerged."

17) Radio Check 1: Beforeyou leave the house, turn on the boat and radio to confirm everything is chargedand working properly. This will save you the drive to the lake if things don'twork! Be sure to turn it all back OFF.

18) Radio Check 2:Once at the lake, alwayscheck your frequency before you start your boat!You can do this a couple of ways: 1) turn on your receiver in the boat and seeif your servos start "glitching". 2) If you are at a R/C pondofficially check out the frequency. If you can never get a clear frequency,change the frequency crystal in the Receiver (RX) and in the Transmitter (TX).Just be sure to get frequencies that match your radios band of 75Mhz or 27Mhz.

19) Get a friend:It is a big help to have a friend help you start your boat the first few times(the kids always want to help too).

20) Builda boat stand: Build a nice boat stand from standard PVC plumbing pipe. This entire stand costonly $10 and properly supports the boat without scratching the paint! Note: coolLexan prop guard and storage shelve under the boat.

21) BoatRecovery: Here is the best to recover a stuck boat. Get a solid rubberball (I recommend medium size) from your local pet store. Run a piece of fishingline through it. Once attached to the fishing line, use a fishing rod and reel to cast the ballout and pull the stuck or stalled R/C boat back in to shore.

22) Build a travel case: Useany standard storage bin(s) from your local store to safely transport and storeyour boat. It's cheap, will not leak water or fuel and I don't like the nitrofuel smell in my car on the way to and from the lake!

23) Start off on the rightfoot:Be sure to start with clean, well lit workarea.

24) Metal Prop conversion kits: This is a great step toward good consistent performance from your boat.
Want to see some pictures from the kit we installed?

25) AutoBailer: This is a great way to rid water in your boats hull.
Want to see some pictures from the Auto Bailer we installed?

26) Radio Frequencies: There are 2 commonly used Bands on "surface" R/C model boats and cars: 27mhz and 75mhz. Then there are also AM and FM radio/receiver sets. Then there are a series of individual frequencies available within each main bands. The frequencies can be changed with "Crystals" The crystals are specific to each manufacturer and are sold in sets. The set contains one crystal for the Receiver (Rx) and one for the Transmitter (Tx). You can not mix the Rx and the Tx crystals. You can not use AM crystals in an FM radio or visa versa.

Have more Questions? Contact us and maybe we can help.

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