In over a decade of my Radio Control Boating experience, I have come in contact with many different Fast Electric boats. I can remember the days of charging up my NiCD packs in anticipation of a solid day of boating. Then one day there were an overwhelming amount of people switching to the newer NiMh battery technology. NiMh proved as a solid performer for many years to come. Then to every RC maniacs dreams, LiPo’s were born. This technology in batteries have given RC in general one of the biggest uproar. It allowed a much greater overall power system to be used in any RC imaginable.
Now in the boating community this was very big news. Boats take a tremendous amount of power to drive them at speeds that a typical RC car would travel at. This need for extreme power was the result of intense amounts of drag for any object moving through water. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, when was the last time you changed your disk brakes on a boat? Yep boats don’t have brakes, it feels as if they have permanent anchors.
Before the battery technology and brushless technology that we currently have today, it was difficult to get a Ready to Run boat that traveled faster then 40 km/h. In most cases, when you did have a boat that was in that range of speed, it had to have 2 brushed motors running to the same prop shaft, running off of multiple cells and through an awkward transmission coupling it all together.
It wasn’t until the very first Mainstream boat was introduced that we started seeing some excellent performance numbers that changed the Ready to Run boating market.
The Hull of Fame – Fast Electric
The boat that enters the hull of fame at RadioControlInfo is one that every enthusiast will remember. It was the first mainstream brushless boat that could really benefit from LiPo’s, but many were still using top notch NiMh packs with great success.
Entering the hull of fame is the Aquacraft Supervee 27 RTR.
This Boat sold well before it even hit stores, it was well marketed, well designed, and well built. Many popular features were built in to the boat to ensure that it performed well, we will first start with the hull itself.
Why the Supervee “27” – The Hull of Fame
The Supervee 27 was called the Supervee “27” as the hull length was based around being 27 inches in length. This was an important part of the design as size did matter. A hull under performs if the length is too small, but here’s the catch. The hull also under performs if the boat is sized to long. The under performance changes in each case where a smaller hull will suffer in the handling department and a hull that is sized too large for its power system will suffer in its power and performance department. In order to get this correctly, it takes a precisely selected hull length.
Running Hardware – The Hull of Fame
Blue anodized running hardware was nailed to the back of this hull. The blue colour looks great, and the sizing of each individual component was well determined and affected the handling performance in a very positive way. Now since there’s so many good things about this boat to talk about, let’s hurry up and get over the one issue that this boat suffered from. Water cooling. Yep, that’s it. Now did it matter? Mine ran no problem with the limited amount of water that circulated through the cooling system. The problem was found to be in the aluminum rudder of this hull and Aquacraft corrected this problem in a later version of this hull. Now that we are over that one hurdle, let’s move in to the power system.
Welcome to Brushless Power – The Hull of Fame
Aquacraft dropped in the best power plant that a high volume RTR hull has seen in all of fast electric boating history, making every father shake in his shoes while driving one of these. Pop open the cowl on this boat and you will find a 3/4 horsepower electric motor. It isn’t just any motor, it’s a brushless motor. Brushless motors at the time were relatively new to people and the 3 wires coming out of the can on this motor would confuse many people. I remember the countless threads titled ” which motor wire connects to which ESC wire?” This just goes to show the lack of experience in brushless motors in that particular time. Not many people seen them in boats before, especially RTR boats.
Electronic Speed Control – The Hull of Fame
The component responsible for delivering battery power to the motor was an ESC (Electronic Speed Control) that was still designed around NiMh batteries. The only reason one could not use LiPo’s was because of the lack for an appropriate low voltage cutoff built in to the ESC. If you wanted to run the boat on LiPo’s you would simply have to time your run and bring the hull in after a certain time period or purchase a 3rd party device that would incorporate a lower voltage cutoff. Timing your run is something that I talk about a lot in the build a fast electric boat part of the website, and is something that every boater should be doing in good practice. When performed correctly this is a guaranteed way of preventing any over discharging of the batteries.
Putting it all together – The Hull of Fame
When putting it all together, this hull sold for approximately 300 USD. At this price point it was a very good deal, especially for something this advanced in the boating market. No other Mass produced radio control boat had all of these features combined in to one solid package.
What did you get in terms of performance? Well, quite a handful. The handling characteristics of this 27 inch long hull was very good considering the speed you could achieve. Among many things, cornering felt smooth and predictable. Tight turning radius’ were possible at 70% speed which offered excellent control. This however was only possible during a right hand turn. Due to the nature of racing, our RC models at a race circuit will only make right hand turns and keeping this consistent, the Supervee 27 was only fitted with a right hand turn fin which did not allow for aggressive left hand turning performance. The overall speed of this boat heavily outweighed this small minute obstacle. With 64km/h speeds possible, this boat was a handful. Even with NiMh packs, maintaining over 55km/h was entirely possible.
Paving the Road in to the Future – The Hull of Fame
Aquacraft Models whether they knew it or not paved the road for companies to jump on board the Ready to Run High performance Radio Control boating market. Looking at what we have available now is surely different in terms of variety then it was just 7 or so years ago. Someone had to break the ice and it did not take long until there were Supervee’s buzzing around the lakes and ponds right after that ice starts to separate. Credits: Ryan http://www.radiocontrolinfo.com/ http://