Tall ships not for you? Try these in your paddling pool
The Tall Ships are in town this week, but if you don't fancy a life on the ocean wave, play with one of these boats in your paddling pool instead.
High Speed 2.4GHz Racing Boat, £29.99, from ebuyer.com
It might look like a slow and steady cruiser, but this boat was one of the fastest and most nimble we tested. With a touch of a button, it fires off - you can use the throttle on the controller to adjust the power and make it go even faster. Because of the speed, agility and a long-reaching remote distance, this is perhaps the most thrilling of remote control boats to play with.
Small and Simple
Flying Gadgets Mini Radio Controlled (RC) Working Speed Boat, currently priced at £14.99, from amazon.co.uk
This tiny little ship is more suited to the paddling pool rather than a lake, but that doesn't make it any less fun to play with. It takes just 15 minutes to charge - which you can do via the controller. You just attach it with the cable which sits in the side of the box remote. The transmitter itself is very simple, there's just a couple of buttons which will make it easy for children (ages 8+) to get the hang of.
X Tech, Offshore Racing Boat 01:28, £19.99, from menkind.co.uk
Suitable for children aged 8+, this pretty racer is powered by 4xAA batteries in the boat and 2xAAA batteries in the transmitter. The latter is similar to one you'd use with a games console (like a smaller version of the old Playstation controller) which makes it easy to get the hang of. The slim-line ship will cut through the water with ease and you'll be alerted when the batteries are running low, so you'll be able to quickly steer it back to dry land before it's stuck off-shore.
Silverlit Remote Controlled Hover Racer, £24.99, from argos.co.uk
For use on land and water, this hover craft is easy to set up so you can play with it almost instantly. If using it in the house, the floor surface needs to be as flat as possible - laminate/wood flooring rather than carpet. Out on water, plump for a small pond rather than a lake as the battery power is relatively short-lived. That said, it doesn't take long to charge at all and you can do it via the transmitter, so it makes a good accompaniment to a picnic where it can be used little and often.
Fast and fancy
Magic Cat Radio Control Boat, £69.99, from maplin.co.uk
This nifty little racer may be small, but it packs a powerful punch. Set it on its way and it will dart here, there and everywhere building up to speeds of more than 25km/h - when we tested it, it went so fast, it almost made its way out of the pond and onto the verge. One or the most satisfying to navigate, it has one of the strongest signals, so can go relatively far (in a large pond). But you'll need to keep an eye on the battery power and recharge it often, which you can do on the go as it comes with a battery pack.
Luxury Yacht, £34.99 RC Underwater Motor (5536), £39.99, from playmobil.co.uk
Suitable for children aged four and up, this is a great toy boat which will impress children and parents. In addition to the actual yacht, this comes with accessories - from the luggage that the happy couple need to bring on board, to kitchen utensils to use in the living quarters below deck. While the yacht will float on its own, the accompanying RC Underwater Motor is worth investing in. It takes a lot of batteries (1 x 9V and 6 x AA batteries) however for that, your boat will keep going when others run out of steam. It's one of the easier ones to navigate and rather than go off at full-pelt, this boat provides more of a serene cruise around the local pond.
App of the week
Absolute RC Boat Sim, free from Google Play and iTunes
You don't need water to captain a ship. This simulator offers up several varieties of boats which you then drive around a course. Attempt to go over or around obstacles and improve your time.
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