RCU Review: Great Planes Motley Crew

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    Contributed by: Matthew LeMay | Published: August 2011 | Views: 24963 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Aquacraft Motley Crew
    Top photo
    Review by: Matt LeMay

    Matt LeMay



    Aquacraft Product Support:
    3002 N. Apollo Drive, Suite #1
    Champaign IL 61822
    Telephone: 1-217-398-8970
    FAX: 1-217-398-7721


    List Price: $349.98
    Hull Length: 29.5 in (750 mm)
    Overall Length: 31.75 in (808 mm)
    Beam: 10.4 in (264 mm)
    Height: 6.5 in (165 mm)
    Empty Weight: 65 oz (1843 g)
    RTR Weight: 83 oz (2353 g)
    Motor: AquaCraft water-cooled 6-pole 1800kV brushless motor (included)
    Radio: Tactic TTX240 2.4GHz spread spectrum radio system (included)
    Requires: (4) "AA" batteries, (2) 7.4V LiPo batteries of 4200mAh/20C or higher, compatible battery charger


    Incredibly stable
    Tracks straight
    2.4GHz radio
    Lots of room to mount Battery packs

    Imperfections in the Fiberglass



    The Motley Crew was neatly packaged and arrived safely.

    Appearance and Construction:

    The Motley Crew catamaran is based off the full size Motley Crew Skater 368 champion race boat. The Motley Crew is a race purpose boat and looks the part. The fiberglass hull is a little rough in spots, maybe it could have been wet sanded again, but this boat wasn't designed to be a shelf queen. It was designed to win races and it's obvious much attention was used in designing a fast hull. Each sponson has 1/2 degree of toe-in for straight line tracking and stability.

    The closed fiberglass hull is in fact designed to race. The inside of the hull is completely enclosed and a rubber drain plug is inserted into the rear of the hull for drainage. This is a great feature. Because air is trapped inside the sealed hull, the entire hull acts as a flotation device.

    The drop down cockpit has plenty of room for all electronics and batteries. The square shape of the cockpit allows for easy taping of the hatch.

    The Hatch:

    The fiberglass hatch has extra reinforcement around the edges for a sturdy design. Two plastic cross braces are glued to the underside of the hatch for added strength and foam is attached as well for flotation.


    Rudder & Prop:

    GrimRacer aluminum hardware is used on the Motley Crew. Black aluminum rudder, tiller arm, transom, strut, strut assembly, and drive dog make up the rear of the boat.

    The plastic two bladed propeller may be adjusted in depth and angle. The flex shaft, encased in a brass tube, does well to deliver power from the brushless motor. Like all shaft driven RC boats, it's a good idea to grease the flex shaft after every couple of runs.


    An AquaCraft water-cooled 6-pole 3656 1800kV brushless motor provides plenty of power to launch the Motley Crew to the finish line. Angled fittings allow smooth water flow through the cooling jacket, enabling efficient cooling. The cooling jacket allows eight different mounting options for the cooling lines for optimum customization.

    Water cooled Motor
    Water cooled ESC
    1800KV brushless
    Flex shaft
    Inside layout
    Water pickup
    Steering servo
    2.4GHz Transmitter


    The electronics in the Motley Crew are secured with hook and loop tape. This holds the components securely and allows easy removal for maintenance and cleaning.

    A Tactic TTX240 2.4GHz spread spectrum radio system is included with the Motley Crew to provide worry free control. Secure Link Technology prevents the receiver from recognizing any transmitter signal except it's own.

    The transmitter includes channel reversing, steering and throttle trims, steering dual rates, and a power indicator light. Four "AA" batteries are needed to power the transmitter.

    A 60 Amp electronic speed controller by Aquacraft Models is used to regulate power in the Motley Crew. A water jacket is integrated into the casing to keep it cool. An automatic shut off is triggered if the speed control gets too hot and another cut off is triggered when the LiPO batteries reach their minimum safe temperatures. The low voltage cut off is preceded first by the stutter bump phase which allows just enough power to get the boat back to shore. These features are needed with LiPO batteries to prevent them from dropping below their safe voltage range. Draining a LiPO below its safe voltage range will fatally damage the pack.


    product highlight

    GrimRacer Speed Packs by AquaCraft models

    Two LiPo batteries are required to run the Motley Crew race boat. Grim Racer packs are the battery of choice for this particular boat. Spec’d, tested and approved by Mike “Grimracer” Zaborowski, longtime competitor and championship title winner, these speed packs offer brute-sized 10-gauge discharge leads that can handle race winning current. They are also built using genuine Deans® Ultra Plug® connectors and ElectriFly® style balancing plugs. The Grim Racer packs offer high current rates with a smooth reliable discharge available in 30c and 40c. These soft packs were designed for optimum performance and work great in the Motley Crew racing catamaran.

    Click here to view available Speed Pack sizes and capacities

    KOS motor

    KOS motor



    ElectriFly TRITON EQ Ballance charger

    An appropriate charger capable of safely charging LiPo battery packs will also be needed. If you haven't got one already, the Electrifly Triton EQ balance charger is a good charger to consider. Ease of use, the ability to charge LiPo, NiMH, NiCD, Li-Ion, & LiFe packs, as well as AC & DC input connections make the Triton a great choice.

    Click here for more info

    KOS motor

    KOS motor



    • Fast charge current is adjustable from 100mA to 5 amps
    • Peak detection technology for NiCd and NiMH batteries
    • Constant current / constant voltage technology for lithium and lead-acid batteries
    • NiCd and NiMH trickle current
    • Discharge current adjustable from 100mA to 1 amp
    • Discharge cutoff voltage adjustable for NiCd/MH batteries
    • NiCd and NiMH batteries can be cycled from 1 to 5 times for conditioning
    • Touchpad controls and super-simple programming make for simplicity and reliability
    • Displays input and output volts, peak volts, individual lithium cell voltages, average discharge volts, charge and discharge capacity, currents and time, error messages, and more
    • Audible beeper aids in programming and notifies of function changes
    • Safety features include fast charge safety timer, current overload and reverse polarity protection

    Does not include charge jack.

    KOS motor

    KOS motor

    KOS motor

    KOS motor

    KOS motor

    KOS motor



    Performance & Handling:

    After running the Motley Crew, there was no doubt this thing was built for racing! Aquacraft models along with Mike Grimracer Zaborowski have designed this model from start to finish, and it shows.



    The Motley Crew is incredibly stable! I actually tried to flip it and was unable.


    The Motley Crew will just about turn back on itself, and at full throttle. That's incredible!

    This boat was designed for racing, so both sharp turns as well as sweeping turns may be needed. The Motley Crew cuts beautifully through a smooth sweeping turn while staying on course. Turns are precise and smooth. Sharp turns are controlled and precise as well.

    The Motley Crew has mastered the art of turning for both beginners and advanced boaters.

    Acceleration and Speed:

    The Motley Crew rockets off the line and holds top speed through sweeping turns. I was pleased at how much speed it carried through sharp 90º turns as well.

    From a dead stop, there is very little cavitation and if tossed in, there is absolutely none.

    With the recommended LiPo batteries, the Motley crew registered 37mph on the GPS. The bulky GPS unit threw off the balance some by adding extra weight to the front of the boat. I'm guessing actual top speed without the added weight of the GPS is more like 38-39mph. The film and photo crew had a difficult time keeping up with this boat when any amount of zoom was being used.

    The pond I was running in was hot. It was actually warmer than bath water. I guess the many days of 98 degree weather here in Tennessee is cooking our still bodies of water. Unfortunately, the warm water wasn't as efficient in cooling the electronics as cool water would have been. This did however, allow me to witness the high temperature cut off on the ESC first hand. I was able to run the boat several times for about 13 minutes when the temp cut-off kicked in. After the boat cooled off it ran fine again. I'm glad to see AquaCraft has thought of this, I can think of some other models that would have fried instead of just shutting down temporarily. Good job AquaCraft!


    See the Motley Crew Race bred catamaran in action!




    This truly is a race-bred boat! If you are looking to get into RC boat racing and you're not sure which RTR will be competitive, the Motley Crew is the answer.

    It's fast, stable, holds a line, and has plenty of room for battery positioning. This is a well thought out boat designed by a reputable racer and championship title winner. AquaCraft Models has done a fantastic job.


    manu and credits

    Aquacraft Product Support:
    3002 N. Apollo Drive, Suite #1
    Champaign IL 61822
    Telephone: 1-217-398-8970
    FAX: 1-217-398-7721
    Email: boatsupport@hobbico.com
    Web Site: www.aquacraftmodels.com

    Great Planes
    Model Distributers

    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021

    Telephone: 217-398-3630
    Toll free: 800-637-7660

    Web Site: www.greatplanes.com

    Web Site: www.electrifly.com

    Comments on RCU Review: Great Planes Motley Crew

    Posted by: SigMan on 09/04/2011
    LUV IT !
    Page: 1
    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.

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