RC BOAT TUNING TIPS AND RC RACE BOAT TIPS   offer a method of control that affords ultimate maneuverability in the water. Using a combination of customizable controls, the driver is capable of fine-tuning the RC boat for peak performance. Learning how to tune your RC boat will ensure you get the most from your boat in any type of conditions you find on the water.

Propeller Angle 

Adjust the angle of the propeller to match the temperament of the water; in other words, decrease the angle of the propeller -- known as trimming down -- to keep the nose lower to the water for Hydro and cats, which will result in a more stable ride. If the water is calm, increase the angle to lift the nose higher out of the water, which will decrease the drag of the hull, resulting in more stability and better performance.
 Altho for heat racing especially monos you want the strut angle to be level with the keel and balance the ride attitude with the changes of CG and  / or trim tabs.      

Trim Tabs             

Adjust your trim tabs, which are two metallic fins located at the back of the boat. The center horizontal tabs help control the ride attitude for going straight and the outer tabs control the attitude in the turns If you want the nose to ride higher out of the water, adjust the center tabs up; if you want the bow closer to the water, adjust them down. Adjusting them down so the boat has a level ride and the boat will be more stable when when the water gets rough.

 Turn Fin       

Check the turning fin, which is a vertically oriented metal tab, mounted to the right and left on the transom of the boat. This fin is used to enhance the boat's ability to turn. Though you can adjust the turning fin to improve performance, it is important that you routinely check that it's perpendicular to the bow. A nice, straight turning fin will let the boat travel at higher speeds, while enabling it to turn efficiently to the left and right.

Strut Height      

The height of the propeller affects how much of the boat remains in the water while it moves across the water. If your boat is exhibiting a stuttering sort of movement as it gains speed, consider lowering the propeller further into the water. Raising the strut  will decrease the amount of the hull in the water, resulting in less drag and higher speeds; however, a propeller that is too high can be a detriment to performance, indicated by the stuttering behavior described above.


Tracking Performance 


      Sendex FS500                         Tiny-Tach                   Garmin eTrex                   Stalker Pro

If you are serious about improving the performance of your boat, you will need to have way of checking its performance as you try different set-ups. The easiest way to do this is to put a small on  board hand-held GPS units that are available. One of the best GPS' the Garmin eTrex is one that does well.  A Radar Gun is very accurate as well for measuring speed.

You also need a tachometer on board to record current and maximum revs, the Tiny Tach or Sendec tachometers are great for tuning. All this information is very important, especially if you record it for comparison between runs as you try various trimming changes.



 Boat Hull Balance

Check that your boat balances evenly side-to-side down its centre-line, and as well along its length.

The front-to-back (or fore-aft) balance of boats is the most important for top performance.

Mono hulls  (such as deep vee boats) should balance between about 30% and 32% of their length from the transom - so a 45 inch boat should balance between about 13.5 and 14.5 inches from its transom (the back of the hull). If there's too much weight toward the front of the boat,  It would be hard to steer and will not perform to its speed potential.

If there's too much weight at the back, the boat will be slower to lift on plane, will probably have excessive bowrise as it accelerates from rest, and it will have a tendency to "porpoise" with the bow rising and falling while running along.

Catamaran-style hulls are more sensitive to balance than mono hulls and usually balance more toward the front at between 30% and 35% of their length from the transom - so a 45 inch cat should balance between about 13.5 and 15.75 inches from its transom.

The level of power in a catamaran can affect the best balance point too. A "modified" engine will require a balance point more forward than a stock engine. Usually the balance point with a modified engine is in the 32%-36% area depending on hull design and ride characteristics..

If the catamaran's CG is too much forward, it will run "wet", lose speed and not turn very well. A cat that has the CG toward the back will be "flighty" and can lift right off the water and flip over backwards - especially when running at speed into the wind.

Hydroplane hulls are even more critical than cats for balance and the best balance will vary depending on the style of hydro - sport hydro, race hydro, front sponsons, aft sponsons or outrigger-style hydro. With these boats, it is important to obtain the best balance point from the manufacturer as just a slight imbalance can make a big difference in top speed and handling. Balance points for hydros are even further forward than for cats, and can be around the 51% mark (length from the transom) or around the leading edge of the turn fin.

Whilst also true for mono hulls, the positioning and angle of the strut and rudder can particularly affect how cats and hydros handle, as does the choice of prop. All these factors inter-act with each other, so changing any one could well require changing the others if ultimate performance is to be obtained.

Having the correct balance point along your hull will improve speed, stability and your enjoyment of keeping the boat on the water.


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