RC Electric Boat Joysway Surge Crusher- Reviewed

Written by Joe Baker on . Posted in Miscellaneous

Joysway Surge CrusherTime to do the last of the four radio controlled boats.  Another pleasurable exercise as this boat’s finish at first glance is as good as the Supervee27 we have just reviewed.  The electric Joysway Surge Crusher is also up there in the high performance Semi Pro arena, where customers demand high speed and handling.

The advertised speed is given as 60 km/h so stick around while I put it through similar test areas to the other boats and see how it comes out. So let’s go!

The go endASSEMBLY
Our first impression of the hull and associated hardware such as the motor, drive system, control arms and rudder are good.  All of these items appear extremely strong and capable of handling any speed upgrades we may do.  The motor is well installed and water cooling tubes are of high silicone material for flexibility and longevity.  We did notice that a couple of the already affixed decals had lifted a bit on a corner or two but readily stuck down again with out much fuss.  We painted each with a bit of clear nail varnish and don’t expect any more issues with them lifting.

We had to assemble the rudder, albeit a simple task with the supplied allen keys.  We were surprised to only get a one page instruction manual but it did have all the info needed to assemble the boat so we can’t complain.  What was misleading, however, was that the manual said we had to purchase separately the TX, Servo, Receiver, on/off switch, battery box, Li Po batteries and charger - we did NOT as they were all there except for the batteries.


Surge Crusher wiringBuild Quality and Aesthetics
Whilst the overall hull and drive train oozed “good stuff” in engineering and finish, we cannot say the same for the electrics.  They were little short of diabolical.  They were using an ESC without a BEC and so we had the servo being operated by 4 AA batteries held in a container with a separate switch and Velcro to the centre of the boat (a problem easily solved by purchasing an ESC with a BEC).

The antenna was also an issue with a wire that you somehow had to hide if you wanted to make a neat boat interior set up (a problem easily solved by changing the Receiver and TX).

It was unproblematic for us though, as we simply telephoned www.hobbygear.com.au who had supplied the boats and they mailed us the necessary bits and pieces from off their shelves.

Note: We are pleased to see that the new boats for latter of 2010 will have the BEC included as listed in the later Specifications shown below.

Specifications
Hull Length:    27 in (610 mm)
Width:        210 mm
Height:    115 mm approx
RTR Weight:    1.15 kg
Includes:    B3656 Brushless motor, 50A brushless ESC now advertised with BEC) Tactic™ TTX240 2.4GHz radio, Tactic SX100 servo
Requires:    (4) "AA" batteries, (2) 6-cell NiMH batteries with Dean's® Ultra Plug® connector, compatible battery charger
Note: Ours did not come with a BEC so ensure that you have bought the later model, and also note that Radio system is now 2.4GHz

Surge Crusher TXTransmitter
We were supplied with an FM 36 MHz TX and we did experience too many interference issues on the first run to test the boat adequately.  We only really like 2.4 GHz DSM2. We saw some huge advantages in changing to this type of TX and receiver so we did.

Note:  We are pleased to see that the new boats for latter of 2010 will have the 2.4 GHz as listed in the later Specifications shown above. But the people with multiple boats are still better off buying something like a Spektrum DX6i and DSM2 receivers to suit, that way they will never have conflicts in control with anyone, and can then also use them for planes if they wish as it will hold up to 10 loaded profiles These are also available from www.hobbygear.com.au.

On the waterFirst Test Run (after changing BEC and Radio System)
We were surprised how docile and drive predictable that this boat was as we accelerated the boat came onto plane smoothly and had none of the more abrupt action tendencies we saw in other boats we have tested.  Acceleration and control was smooth and the boat handled waves and cross wakes very smoothly.  This is still a fast boat using 2 LI Po batteries made by HEI (Hobby Express  International 7.4 volt 50C 5600mAh batteries) Product no. INTL 5600-2s-W5 (side outlet wires).  They can also be used in electric buggies and are available at most hobby stores, are very dependable and long lasting (approximately 28 minutes).  Using a Hollux GPS tracker logger, the boat attained a speed of 47.5 km/hr in a run of 32 metres.

Perceived Alteration Improvements
We have already alluded to the radio and ESC BEC change so we will move on to something else that concerned us.

Joysway have used a clear plastic screen taped down under the cabin top to try and keep the electrics dry.  We think that this setup could be improved upon by using an “O” ring seal around and underneath the cabin top.  If you are to use a panel such as the clear plastic, then why not have it cut at better dimensions with a soft rubber seal each side held down by the existing stainless pin.
To use tape is antiquated and is a not professional enough approach for an otherwise excellent product.

Pros
•    Overall high build quality apart from the original electrics (now changed we believe).
•    Ideal size to handle most wave conditions, when it is pleasant to be out there yourself.
•    As a standard “out of box” boat, fast with a good enough build quality to upgrade as desired knowing that other component parts (includes hull) can take the pressure.
•    Has excellent predicable control performance when negotiating corners and excels in this area.  When racing, it may well out-perform other “straight line” faster boats because of this.
•    Less affected by wake waves and crossovers than a straight out mono hulled boat.

Cons
•    Improvement should be considered by manufacturer i.e. easier water sealing methodology.
•    Type of hull configuration makes battery insertion for larger batteries slightly more restrictive than a straight mono hull.

Conclusion
A serious motor and drive train coupled to a delightfully strong hull results in a smooth and predictable performance on the water. At a retail value of approx $550 AUD it becomes simply a matter of which boat’s design appeals to you the most.
Joysway Surge Crusher Speed Test

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