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There are many people who are new to model boats, or may have had a boat for a while and want to make it electric/remote controlled but don't know where to start. Hopefully I shall explain some basics here.
I will start off with a two channel controller. You can get these from hobby shops or other RC shops, you can also buy them (usually a little cheaper) at boat fairs. It may be much better to buy a new one at first so that you get most of the RC parts in the same box as a complete set.
Most transmitter/receiver sets such as Hitec or Futaba include the transmitter, receiver, the batteries to go with them and servo's. The style of transmitter is seen here showing the control layout.
The channels match up on the receiver and the corresponding equipment should be plugged into it.
The wiring can be fairly easy to setup by just following the diagram shown below, providing the speed control has B.E.C. (Battery Elimination Circuit) you will not need the separate battery for the receiver.
It is advisable that you incorporate a switch and a fuse in either wire coming off the battery. This will reduce the risk of future smoking electrics if things go wrong! :)