What could be more fun than cruising around the lake on a pedal boat? Whether you’re fishing, going on a family excursion, or just want to explore the water, a pedal boat is one of the most fun ways to do it.
Pedal boats are a great alternative to kayaks. They may not be the fastest or the most agile, but they’re comfortable, easy to move over long distances, and enjoyable for all ages.
If you’re interested in taking your water experience to the next level, then a pedal boat is a great option. We’ve put together your ultimate pedal boat buyers guide to help you find the ideal vessel for your needs.
What is a Pedal Boat?
A pedal boat uses a mechanical pedal system, driven by the feet, to power the boat through the water. The driver of the boat will sit back and pedal with their feet while steering the boat with a simple handle. The pedals will move a wheel underneath the boat to accelerate it forward. The steering handle will move the rudder.
Pedal boats come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles. These are not the fastest boats and they’re not well-suited for fast-moving waters. This makes pedal boats ideal for lazy cruising, fishing, and exploring still water areas.
Pedal boats usually come with a set of two pedals, so that more than one person can power the boat. Often, these boats are large enough to hold a few passengers.
What to Look Out for When Buying a Pedal Boat
Pedal boats are loads of fun for all kinds of uses, but it’s important that you choose the right one for your requirements. Here are some of the most important considerations to make before you buy a pedal boat.
The size of the pedal boat is one of the biggest considerations to make. How many passengers does it fit? And how much space do you have?
Pedal boats are generally used socially, so you will probably want to be able to hold a few passengers. In most cases, these boats are suitable for about four or five people. However, you do also get pedal boats designed for single users.
Beyond being able to fit people onto the boat, you also want to have enough space to comfortably sit and move around. The best boats will have plenty of storage space too. Just be aware that bigger boats might be more comfortable, but they are also more difficult to transport and manoeuvre.
Pedals and Steering
Of course, one of the most essential features of a pedal boat is the pedals. These boats often have two pedal seats. In some cases, this can be used by up to three people. The pedals need to be comfortable to use, and spacious enough to suit people of all heights. Having an adjustable seat is important here.
Then there’s the steering. This is usually done through a single steering handle positioned at the front of the boat. Make sure that this handle is easy to access and use.
Materials and Durability
These boats can come in a wide range of different materials. Some are inflatable, some are made from hard plastics. The best materials are lightweight and impact-resistant. Make sure that you go for something durable because this will help you to get a long lifespan out of the boat.
If you plan on using the pedal boat in the ocean, make sure that the materials used are suitable for saltwater.
Different pedal boats come with all kinds of extra features. Some have sun canopies, some have built-in coolers, some have removable beach chairs, and some have fishing rod holders.
These details make a huge difference to your experience on the water, so carefully consider the different options available. Understand exactly what kind of use you want to get from the boat, and choose a vessel that has suitable features for this.
5 Best Pedal Boats
To make finding the best pedal boat easier, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best options available to you. Check out these five top pedal boats, suitable for all kinds of uses and people.
Pelican Sport Monaco DLX Angler
- Seats 3 adults and 2 kids
- Convenient storage platform
- Two pedals and one steering handle
- Adjustable seating
The Monaco pedal boat from Pelican is perfect for a relaxing day on the water. This pedal boat seats 5 people with its fully adjustable seats. This includes space for 3 adults and 2 kids. The large boat has space for two people to pedal, with a single steering handle between them.
This boat has excellent stability thanks to its wide design. The boat is made from high-impact resistant RAM-X material. This is an exclusive multi-layer material that holds its shape and can handle all kinds of hard dings. Of course, the boat is still lightweight and easy to manoeuvre around.
There’s also some great storage space aboard the Monaco pedal boat. The boat has a roomy storage platform for holding your gear, as well as drinks holders to help make your ride more peaceful.
The boat includes a drain plug, as well as two bow and stern carrying handles for easy portability. Overall, this boat is simple, spacious, and comfortable. If you’re looking for the perfect pedal boat for lazy cruising on the lake, then this would be a good choice.
DIVTEK Water Bike
- An inflatable water bike
- Keeps a traditional bike position
- 6061 aluminium alloy frame
- Easy direction control system
If you love cycling, then this water bike by DIVTEK is the perfect vessel. This pedal boat takes the traditional form of a bicycle positioned over two inflatable floats. The boat feels just like a bike in the way that you pedal and steer it, except that you will be cycling over water. When compared to other pedal boats, this design allows you to achieve some pretty good speeds. Manoeuvering and steering the water bike is also really easy.
The bike is made from a 6061 aluminium alloy frame. This is suitable for contact with water, and it won’t get affected by saltwater. This means you can use it in all types of flatwater areas. The aluminium frame is also seriously lightweight which help to make pedalling this bike around an easy task.
The aluminium frame is positioned over two 1000D polyurethane tarpaulin floats. These floats are seriously durable for heavy use. A waterproof and rust-proof synchronous belt is used for the transmission system. The floor of the floats includes light, safe scoring strips.
A downside to this water bike is that it does require assembly. While this isn’t too difficult, it still takes some time and effort to put the bike together. However, this also means the bike can be easily taken apart, which makes travelling a breeze. Simply store the bike and deflated floats in the boot of your car for convenient travelling.
This pedal boat is a fun and unique way to enjoy the water. Whether you use it for fitness or just for exploring flat waters, cycling over the water will be loads of fun. This water bike comes with an inflatable pump and repair kit. To make assembling quicker and easier you can consider buying an electric air pump.
Sun Dolphin Laguna Pedal Boat
- 5 seat pedal boat
- Adjustable and removable beach seats
- Flat rear platform
- Two pedals and 1 steering handle
This pedal boat is a fun option for days out on the lake or river. While the boat is fairly compact for a 5-seater, it still offers plenty of space for comfortable cruising. There is room for 5 people, as well as a large rear platform. You can also enjoy plenty of storage space, as well as built-in cup holders and an umbrella mount.
The boat has two pedal areas and can be pedalled by one, two, or three people. There is a single steering handle in between the two front seats. The boat is particularly easy to pedal and manoeuvre around thanks to its streamlined design.
A really cool feature of this pedal boat is the seats. Not only are the adjustable seats really comfortable, but they are also fully removable, and can be used as beach seats. Most pedal boats use hard moulded plastic seats, but these beach seats are much softer and more comfortable for long sessions in the boat.
For a lazy cruise, this boat is ideal. It’s got space for an umbrella, moulded-in cup holders, comfortable seats, and plenty of storage space. Whether you’re fishing, exploring, or want to set up a swimming platform or waterslide, then this pedal boat will be great fun.
Sun Dolphin 5 Seat Pedal Boat With Canopy
- Can comfortable seat 3 adults and 2 kids
- Pedal positions for 1,2 or 3 people
- Built-in cooler space
- Includes a UV protection canopy
This pedal boat by Sun Dolphin is similar to the Laguna model, but with a few added features. It’s still a comfortable 5-seater with the same pedal configuration. This includes two pedals that can be powered by one, two, or three people sitting upfront. The boat is steered by a single handle between the two seats. There are two spacious seats at the back for passengers.
The main feature that sets this pedal boat apart is the canopy. There is a large canopy for UV protection that covers the entire seating area. This is easy to pop up into place, and it folds back when not in use. For long boat cruises on sunny days, this canopy is incredibly valuable.
The boat also has a really clever built-in cooler. This can be filled up with ice and refreshments, or it can be kept dry and used as a storage box. Unlike the Laguna model, this boat doesn’t have removable beach chairs. Instead, the seats are moulded into the boat. Yes, they are deep and comfortable, but they cannot be adjusted.
The deck and hull of the boat are made from high-density polyurethane. This is a UV-stabilized Fortiflex material that offers excellent durability. The boat is suitable for use in the ocean or on freshwater, as long as the waters are calm.
Pelican Sport With Canopy
- 4-seater pedal boat
- 2 pedals and 1 steering handle
- Adjustable and reclinable backrests
- Includes a sun canopy
This pedal boat by Pelican is the ultimate cruiser. It’s not necessarily the biggest or most spacious boat, but this doesn’t mean it’s not comfortable. The boat has fully adjustable seats, with reclinable and removable backrests. The four seats are best suited for two adults and two children.
The easy-to-operate pedal boat has two front pedals and a single steering handle. The boat manoeuvres really well thanks to its relatively compact size. When not in use, it’s also pretty easy to carry thanks to the convenient carry handles. The lightweight design makes it a good choice for anyone wanting to travel with their pedal boat.
This boat has a full UV-protection canopy for long days under the sun. There are also two flush mount rod holders which make this a good vessel for fishing from. Just like Perception Kayaks there are many storage options on this boat. Besides the built-in drinks holders, there are multiple convenient storage compartments. The boat also has built-in coolers, which can be used to keep your drinks and food cold, or they can be used as a dry storage area.
Thanks to its comfortable seating, sun canopy, and superior storage space, this boat is a top choice as a fishing vessel. It’s also just great for slow, lazy days exploring the water. Whether you’re a family or a single person, this pedal boat will be a smart choice.
Where Can You Buy a Pedal Boat?
Not many people think about buying their own pedal boat, so many don’t know where to look. You can find pedal boats in certain sporting goods and fishing stores. Specialist watersports stores should have a selection available. The problem is most of these stores won’t offer a very wide selection, so it can be tricky to find the perfect pedal boat for your needs.
The best option is to buy a pedal boat online. There are loads of great choices available, and you can choose from the best selection of products – such as the top five pedal boats we listed above.
Pedal boats are always a good idea. If you have access to a lake, river, or calm ocean, then buying one of these watercraft is something you should definitely consider. You don’t have to be an avid fisherman or an experienced water explorer to enjoy them. Pedal boats are for everyone.
Follow our guide above, and consider the best pedal boats we listed above. Whatever your reason is for buying one, it will soon become your new favourite water toy.
Can one person use a pedal boat?
Yes, it is possible for one person to use a pedal boat. In fact, some pedal boats are specifically designed for single users. If you have a larger boat, one person can power it, but having two or three people pedal makes things easier.
Are pedal boats good for fishing?
Yes, pedal boats are an excellent option for fishing. This is because they don’t have a motor, so they move incredibly quietly. There’s no need to worry about scaring the fish away with a pedal boat.
Is it hard to use a pedal boat?
No, pedal boating is easy and anyone can do it. It does take quite a lot of energy though, so you must be prepared to put in some effort. Moving a pedal boat requires a consistent pedalling motion, just like riding a bicycle.