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A Buyer’s Comprehensive Guide to Pedal Boats - The Boating Emporium

A Buyer’s Comprehensive Guide to Pedal Boats

Pedal boats are a unique way to explore the waters, with room for friends and family to pedal along. The boats cruise slowly enough that you can enjoy the sights and sounds of your surroundings, but fast enough to get from point A to point B. 

They might not be as agile as kayaks or as fast as motor boats, but pedalboats do not disappoint when it comes to giving a fun experience. Not only that, you can also enjoy your time on the water while burning some calories both at the same time! Sounds like a good deal, right?

If you want to know more about pedal boats, we put together a guide about pedal boats, from how they’re powered to what bodies of water you can pedal on. Check it out to learn more about these wonderful water vessels, and pedal on!


What are Pedal Boats?

Pedal boats are powered by pedals instead of motors. They are powered by the rider’s feet through a mechanical pedaling system. For the boat to move, the driver/drivers will have to sit back and pedal with their feet. There’s also a handle that acts as a steering wheel so the riders can change the boat’s direction.

There are pedal boats for sale that come with two sets of pedals, so two people can drive the boat together. Since pedal boats are operated manually through pedals instead of motors, they’re the epitome of environmentally friendly water transportation. They’re also a lot of fun, so it’s easy to see why people love them.

You have to pedal to move, so the first thing you’ll notice is how hard it is to move at a slow pace. However, once you get used to the physically demanding nature of pedal boating, you’ll really start to enjoy the ride. That’s also when you get some exercise in!

You can find pedal boats at local marinas and boatyards, or sometimes at festivals on the water. Some pedal boats come with pedals you can use for propulsion, while others have hand-pumps for propelling yourself. Most pedal boats are open-air, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air and view of your surroundings.


two girls riding a pedal boat in the middle of the lake


Also known as the “pedalo”, pedal boats come in different kinds, shapes and sizes. They are not the kind of boats that you can ride on tough waves, but they can definitely be enjoyed by friends and families who want to go out fishing, or even just enjoy a leisurely cruise around the lakes.


How to Choose the Best Pedal Boat

Buying a pedal boat isn’t an easy chore as it appears to be. If you really want to enjoy and make the most out of your time on the water, you have to be meticulous in choosing your pedal boat. Remember that you will be making a n investment, so you would want to find a pedal boat that will serve its purpose, and will last you a long time.

If not, then you will just be dealing with a floating plastic vessel that won’t do whatever you paid for—in short, it will be a total waste of money.

So, to officially start off this guide, let’s look at some things you should consider when choosing a pedal boat!


Type of Pedal Boat

There are two types of pedal boats—the manual and electric pedal boat. The manual pedal boat is the greener and more popular option, as it only needs a driver’s feet power to operate. The electric pedal boat, on the other hand, is powered by a battery and a motor. Electric pedal boats still have pedals, but they are aided with this componentry so your legs wouldn’t be as tired as when riding the manual one.

Considering what type of pedal boat what you need is essential before making your decision as there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Electric pedal boats, for one, will have parts that would need replacing. There are times that these kinds of pedal boats rely on their manufacturers to supply those parts, and when they discontinue making a specific model, chances are those parts wouldn’t be available as well. 

Manual pedal boats, on the other hand, are simpler and easier to maintain. It may just be a little tiring to operate, but it will get easier as you get the hang of it. However, manual pedaling alone might not let you cruise longer or faster. For that reason, you can add a trolling motor and just use it when you feel like you need to.


Purpose for Riding

Pedal boats exist in three kinds depending on their purpose—fishing, exploring, and novelty. Now, if you are reading this article, we would assume that you are looking for either a fishing or exploring pedal boat. If not, then maybe you’re looking for a novelty pedal boat that come in different shapes (like swans, etc.) that can be enjoyed by kids and can be used for rentals.

But, let’s try to differentiate these three.

Novelty pedal boats are usually used for rentals. They have all the same features as traditional pedal boats, but they’re designed to be easily removed and transferred between watersports venues or even theme parks. This means they don’t have all the storage compartments and fishing gear of traditional pedal boats. Instead, they have larger, open storage areas, which can make them more convenient for rentals.


swan pedal boats in the middle of the river in the city


Fishing pedal boats are designed for fishing, so they have rod holders and have large storage compartments. Some even have live bait wells so you can keep fishing when you’re not moving. Some fishing pedal boats for sale in Australia would have a slot for a trolling motor should you decide to mount one in the future.

An example is the Pelican Monaco DLX Angler Pedal Boat that has flush mount rod holders, built-in coolers, and can carry up to five passengers.

Exploring pedal boats are designed for exploring rivers, lakes, and the ocean. They are cheaper, and either have large windows, or are open-air so you can look around and take in the scenery. They might not have fishing attachments built-in when you buy it, but you can always buy them and attach them yourself.

Once you’ve narrowed down your purpose and need for a pedal boat, you can choose which kind is the best for you.


Size and Capacity

The size and capacity of a pedal boat should be one of your primary considerations when buying one. How many people would you like to fit in the boat? How much space do you need? Pedal boating is usually a social gathering among friends and family, so you would probably want a boat that can fit at least four to five people.

The larger the pedal boat, the more comfortable it will be to pedal, and the more space you’ll have to store personal items. The more people you can bring in, too. They are also easier to navigate in shallow water and on lakes with windy conditions.

An example is the Pelican Rainbow DLX Pedal Boat that can carry up to five passengers, and a max capacity of 800lbs.


Pelican Rainbow DLX Pedal Boat


However, there are also pedal boats that are designed for only one passenger. But because they are smaller, the more difficult it will be to pedal and the less room you’ll have to store personal items.

But overall, the focus should be on how comfortable you (and passengers) will be, and if you’ll have enough room sit back, relax, and move around.


Make and Quality

Knowing what materials make up the pedal boat is also an essential part. For example, if you plan to take the pedal boat on the ocean, then you should choose one that’s made from saltwater-resistant materials.

Some pedal boats are inflatable, while some are crafted from hard plastics. The best and most durable materials would be lightweight and impact resistant. Quality of the pedal boat and its parts are crucial too.

When looking for a pedal boat, you would want one that has comfortable pedals, and a seat that’s spacious enough for all heights (one that has adjustable seats should be the best choice for this reason). You would also want a steering rod that’s accessible and easy to operate.


Pedal Boat Accessories and Amenities

As we have stated earlier in this guide, pedal boating is usually a social or family gathering. You would expect to be out in the water for at least a few hours, so having accessible amenities in the boat is essential.

One accessory that is a must is a bimini or canopy top. While there are pedal boats that come with their own shade, there are still those that don’t. In that case, you can buy a bimini from trusted water sports accessories stores that provide them in the best quality.

Another thing to look for are adjustable and molded seats. Remember that you will be boarding different people with different heights, so it’s important that you’ll be able to adjust the seats so they can pedal comfortably.

Storage is very important too. Other than the fixed storage for your fishing gear, you would also want to look for a pedal boat that has a built-in cooler, drink holders (to enjoy that cold drink), and compartments with solid covers to make sure you have enough space to store your food and other essentials.


Pedal boat with four seats and built-in cooler


When you’ve made sure that these accessories are all in that pedal boat, then you know you’ve just hit the jackpot, right?

Now, these are some of the things you should consider when looking for the best pedal boat. Once you’ve checked all these boxes, and have made your budget considerations, then you’re ready to go and make that purchase!


Pedal Boats for Sale in Australia

Knowing the pedal boat that best fits your need is one thing, but knowing where to find them is another. It’s a good thing that Australia is filled to the brim with boating and water sports equipment stores like The Boating Emporium that make such products accessible to everyone. 


The Boating Emporium Logo


With pedal boats for sale under brands like Pelican, we make sure that we give you only the best choices. Our collection consists of pedalling that boats are made with quality materials that are sure to make you enjoy fishing and cruising with your family and friends for many years.

So, whenever you’re ready to buy a pedal boat of your own, do not hesitate to get in touch with us! You can visit our website at, or contact us at 1300-987-441 for any inquiry.

Don’t wait any longer—let us help you make that first step to enjoying life on the water!  

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