How To Get Started With RC Sailing

Radio-controlled (RC) sailing is a captivating hobby that combines the elegance of sailing with the thrill of remote control technology. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a newcomer to the world of boating, RC sailing offers a unique and fulfilling experience. In this guide, we’ll explore the basics of how to get started with RC sailing, from selecting the right boat to mastering the art of sailing it.

1. Choosing the Right Boat

The first step in embarking on your RC sailing journey is selecting the perfect boat for your skill level and preferences. There are various types of RC sailboats available, each offering distinct characteristics and challenges:

  • Monohull Sailboats: These boats resemble traditional sailing yachts and are a great choice for beginners due to their stability and ease of control.
  • Multihull Sailboats: These boats have multiple hulls, often catamaran-style. They are more advanced and provide higher speeds but require a bit more finesse to control.
  • Scale Model Sailboats: If you’re a fan of historic vessels or modern racing yachts, scale models replicate real-life boats and add an element of realism to your RC sailing experience.
  • One-Design Sailboats: These boats, such as RC Lasers, are designed to be identical, creating a level playing field for competition. They’re a popular choice for those interested in racing their RC sailboats.

2. Building or Buying Your Boat

Once you’ve chosen the type of RC sailboat that piques your interest, you’ll need to decide whether you want to build the boat from a kit or purchase a pre-built one. Building from a kit can be a rewarding experience that deepens your understanding of the boat’s mechanics, while buying a pre-built boat gets you on the water faster.

3. Understanding the Basics of Sailing

Before you set sail, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of sailing. Familiarize yourself with the basic components of your RC sailboat, such as the sails, rudder, and keel. Learn how to adjust the sails to catch the wind effectively and control the direction of the boat using the rudder.

4. Learning the Art of Radio Control

Mastering the radio control transmitter is a crucial aspect of RC sailing. Start by understanding the controls, which usually consist of a joystick for steering and throttle control for sail trimming. Practice in calm conditions until you’re comfortable maneuvering your boat in various directions.

5. Safety First

Just like traditional sailing, safety should be a top priority when engaging in RC sailing. Always sail in areas with minimal boat traffic and avoid strong currents or windy conditions that might be challenging to control.

6. Joining a Community

RC sailing has a vibrant and welcoming community of enthusiasts. Joining a local RC sailing club can provide valuable insights, advice, and opportunities to participate in friendly races and events. Learning from experienced sailors can accelerate your progress and enhance your enjoyment of the hobby.

7. Progressing to Racing

If the thrill of competition appeals to you, consider participating in RC sailing races. Racing introduces an additional layer of strategy and skill, as you’ll need to navigate the racecourse, respond to changing wind conditions, and outmaneuver your opponents.


RC sailing offers a blend of relaxation, skill development, and technical fascination that’s hard to find in other hobbies. From selecting the right boat to mastering the art of sailing and possibly even competing, this hobby has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re drawn to the tranquility of a leisurely sail or the excitement of racing, RC sailing is an adventure waiting to be explored. So, set sail and let the wind carry you into the captivating world of remote-controlled boating.