Nitro motors are small, 2-stroke engines that run on a nitro fuel mix of 40-80% nitromethane, oil and alcohol. Nitro powered boats are on average the fastest and loudest boats on the lake. They do require a bit more expertise than gas or electric which pride themselves on being easier to run boats. Fuel can be mixed on your own or purchased from hobby shops, distributors or local dealers. These engines come from manufacturers such as AA, CMB, Picco, Novarossi, K&B, OPS, and OS and can be made into inboard or outboard configurations. Engine sizes range from .12 cu. in. to 1.01 cu. in.
Gas motors are 2-stroke engines that run on a gasoline/oil mix typical of lawn care engines. Gas boats are said to be easy to run with readily available bolt-on modifications and modified engines to get you in the money quick fast and in a hurry. These boats are a bit larger than Nitro and Electric which make them great for rougher water. Speeds for these boats range from approximately 50 mph to 80 mph. Stock classes require a stock Zonoah G260 PUM engine, while other allow fully modified engines ranging from 15cc to 36cc. Gas engines are manufactured by Zenoah, CMB, and BZM with modified engines and parts sold through Gizmo Motors, Bonzi Sports, and Redline Performance Motors, among others.
Fast Electric boats are growing in popularity. They are known for their powerful yet clean operation where the user is free of fuel and oil unlike the Gas and Nitro boats. The boats are fast and quiet which make them ideal for environments not so tolerant of engine noise and the speeds are comparable to the nitro classes. The electric motors are divided into classes based mostly on their voltage. P-limited classes must use motors manufactured by AquaCraft, Dynamite, Himax, Lehner, NeuMotors, or ProBoat.
There are lots of ready-to-run electric options that can be purchased for around $500 with all the gear you need to hit the lake and with a bit more fine tuning you will be ready for race day.
Mono hulls are boats with a single riding surface, usually in the form of a V-shaped bottom surface with the boat riding on the keel at speed, or a flat surface in the case of the Crackerbox class boats.
A tunnel hull or catamaran is a boat with 2 sponsons on either side, running the entire length of the hull, creating an air trap or tunnel between the sponsons.
Outriggers are the most popular hydro design and are the fastest of all the RC boats. With speeds up to 80 mph they are among the most exciting to drive or even watch.
Sport hydro and scale hydros are designed to resemble full sized hydroplanes. Scale hydros even have to resemble the paint schemes of their full-size counterparts.