Run almost anywhere
Great hatch design
Action figures can ride
like the antenna to be behind the seat
a reason I'm intrigued with the Aquacraft Mini Alligator
Tours air boat.
Is it because it's so easy to run?
Maybe it's because it can be run in almost any body of water
including large puddles and drainage ditches. Perhaps it's
because there's no underwater propeller to get tangled in
the weeds. It could be that my boys enjoy placing their
army men on the deck and we can all enjoy the boat together,
or maybe it's a combination of all these things.
Let's take a look at how all of this
is possible with the Aquacraft Mini Alligator Tours ready-to-run
Name: MINI ALLIGATOR TOURS RTR Price: $109.98 varies with dealer Hull Length: 16.3125" Overall Length: 18.25" Width: 7.125" Height: 7.25" Weight: 24.6oz Motor: 380 size brushed motor (air cooled) ESC: Water proof ESC/Receiver combo Running Gear: Two plastic air deflecting rudders Propeller: Airplane type which measures 5.5"
across Radio: Aquacraft 2-channel 27MHz AM pistol
"AA" batteries for radio
It's no secret the Mini Alligator
Tours RTR boat is unlike any other conventional boat. The
first thing you will probably notice is the propeller is
mounted above the water. The propeller resembles an airplane
propeller for obvious reasons. This boat is powered by the
forced movement of air instead of water.
The boat is trimmed with decals for
added detail and appearance. The decals consist of the Mini
Alligator Tours logo, deck floor detail, bow compartment
details, and striping. There is no need to worry about installing
these decals since Aquacraft has done that for you.
The ABS plastic hull measures 16.3125"
long, 1.5" thick, and 7.125" wide. The front 2/3
of the hull consists of a flat bottom and the rear of the
hull contains a very shallow V design. Outer strakes run
from the front and cover about 1/3 of the hull's length.
A middle strake, or beam, runs the entire length of the
The seam of the hull is sealed around
the perimeter with what appears to be an epoxy based sealant.
The seam surrounding the recessed radio tray is also sealed.
I tested the hull for leaks in the tub and it passed with
no problems, however there is one spot on the edge of the
hull which appears to have a thin spot in the sealant. I
will add a little sealant of my own to that area just for
piece of mind.
If you plan to get crazy with your
driving, aquacraft has got you covered. They've inserted
some foam which fills the rear 2/3 of the hull and is a
great added security to keep your investment afloat.
The plastic hatch is held securely
in place by inserting the two front hooks under a lip in
the radio box and setting the magnetic rear of the hatch
in place. This system feels very secure and the four recessed
magnets hold well.
A chair and control stick are mounted
on top of the hatch for appearance and make a great spot
to secure your own operator. I put an army guy in the seat
and secured him using a rubber band. The only thing I would
like different about the hatch is the antenna placement.
It is directly in front of the seat, it would look much
better behind the seat and that may be something I decide
to modify later on.
Steering this airboat is made possible
with the use of dual 4.1875" tall rudders. The two
rudders are linked on both top and bottom by adjustable
connecting rods. An additional adjustable link which is
fastened to a servo controls the rudders. The tops of the
rudders are fastened to the cage and the bottoms are fastened
to the hull by use of a plastic bracket.
The included Aquacraft two channel
27MHz AM radio includes steering trim and sports a pistol
grip design for comfort.
The Hobbico plastic gear micro steering
servo provides enough torque to rotate the rudders side
to side. Two screws secure the servo to a plastic mount
which is glued to the bottom of the radio box. The servo
horn has had three of four arms removed and it looks a little
rough. Now, I know I'm being a little picky since this will
in no way affect performance of the boat and you won't notice
it with the hatch in place.
Electronic speed control
The ESC shares a waterproof casing
with a 27.095 MHz two channel receiver. The ESC/receiver
combo saves room and is fastened inside the radio box to
the side wall.
Perched on top the plastic motor
stand is a 380 size air cooled brushed motor. The front
of the motor fits inside a plastic motor mount that hold
it securely in place. Two screws hold the motor in place
while an additional two screws secure the mount to the stand.
A fiberglass gaurd/brace protects the rear of the motor
and helps keep everything sturdy.
Mounted to the motor shaft is a plastic
propeller which provides the necessary thrust for all your
alligator adventures. The propeller is housed inside an
injection molded plastic cage. This not only protects the
propeller but protects your hand as well. The gaps between
each horizontal brace are 2.125" wide which is large
enough for the average finger to squeeze through, so caution
will still need to be exercised.
Battery & Charger
Included with this ready-to-run package
are a battery pack and charger. The battery, which uses
a hook-and-loop mounting system, is a six cell 7.2v 1100mAh
NiMH pack and the 12v DC quick charger is fitted with a
cigarette lighter plug. The charger is easy to use, just
plug it into your vehicles cigarette lighter and plug the
NiMH battery into the other lead. The charger will beep
is sync with a flashing red light when the battery is fully
charged. The cool part is you can do this while at the pond.
wanted to test the Aquacraft Mini Alligator Tours airboat
in a body of water I wouldn't dare put a conventional rc
boat. I chose the murkiest, swampy, and most colorfully
overgrown body of water I could find. I couldn't reach the
water to place the boat in because all the weeds and mushy
banks so I needed to come up with a launching and retrieval
system. My solution was to bend a hook out of some wire
and secure it to the end of my 4' level. I hooked the fan
cage and lowered the boat into the water and off she went,
the alligator search was on.
boat pushed it's way through the algae growth with ease
and created a small wake in the rear. Steering the Mini
Alligator Tours was a pleasure and very responsive. Gradual
turns at any level of throttle leaned the boat into the
turn with graceful ease. Fully cranking the wheel at full
speed however, yielded a different outcome. Hard left turns
were fine but sharp right turns caused some unwanted leaning
which resulted in some prop slap.
tested this several times and have concluded that the offset
battery weight is playing a part in this. I turned the battery
upright and fastened it to the servo mount and it did help
some. I had best results from slowing down slightly before
making sharp right hand turns.
The Aquacraft Mini Alligator Tours
isn't likely to break any speed records but I understand
that's not what the boat was designed for, however it does
have plenty of thrust for a great airboat adventure. Maneuverability
was typical for an airboat. Turns can easily be made within
a 10" radius and even tighter once you master drifts
and spins. Overall the boat handles well and is stable with
the supplied power system.
Where can I run this boat, that
I can't run any other boat?
I set out to find some strange areas
I wouldn't even think of running other boats. The swamp
I just spoke of was obviously the first but where else could
I go. Hey, a big mud puddle! Let's try it! I know it sounds
strange but as you will see in the video, this boat is well
suited for this. I ran the boat in several puddles and recorded
the largest of them all. You wouldn't think it would be
so much fun boating in a big puddle, but it was a blast.
I think not being able to do this with my other boats is
why I enjoyed it so much.
I was driving home when I happened
by the soccer fields and spotted the drainage ditches. Yeah
you heard me, I drove it in the gully. I was having so much
fun I stood in the rain maneuvering the boat up and down
the concrete drainage ditches, with the flow and against
the flow. I was standing there thinking how cool it was
to be driving a boat in a few inches of water without having
to worry about damage. It wasn't difficult for me to decide
I needed footage of this, so after the rain stopped I went
home and invited my wife and two boys to come along.
The seat was a perfect spot for an
army man to chill so I sat one down and secured him with
a rubber band. We added a rubber alligator into the mix
for some added fun. Not only did I have a good time, but
my family did as well.
CHECK OUT THE YOUTUBE
VIDEO OF THE MINI ALLIGATOR TOURS BELOW
Mini Alligator Tours is definitely a fun little boat. If someone
is looking to hit mach-V with an rc boat then this boat will
not be able to satisfy that craving. However, if you're looking
for a fun boat that is incredibly versatile and can be driven
in almost any body of water, then this boat is exactly what
you're looking for. Thinking back at this experience, I can
say it was just as exciting as my other speed boats. Not because
of adrenaline pumping power, but the places I was able to
drive. That was my first time driving an air boat in a drainage
ditch and if you've never been able to experience it, you
should try it too.
Product Support: 3002 N. Apollo Drive,
Champaign IL 61822
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.