Summertime is one of the best holiday seasons of the year. It is the perfect opportunity for family and friends to bond by doing fun water activities.
One of these activities can include a trip by the lake. What better way to explore the beauty of nature while chit-chatting about your lives than riding a pedal boat? Because summer holidays only happen once a year, you should take advantage of this opportunity and ensure that nothing will go wrong.
To avoid spoiling the fun of your summer vacation, you should buy the pedal boat that is perfect for you, your friends, or your family.
This article will introduce you to some of the best products that most users love. You will also learn how to pick the best product to use for your trip.
Table of Contents
Top 6 Best Pedal Boats Reviewed
- Monaco DLX Angler
- Sun Dolphin 5-Seat Pedal Boat with Canopy
- Sun Dolphin Water Wheeler Electric ASL 5-Person Pedal Boat with Canopy
- Sun Dolphin Laguna Pedal Boat
- Sun Dolphine 3-Person Pedal Boat
- Pelican Pedal Boat Voyage Deluxe
- Number of seats: 5
- Weight capacity (pounds): 772
If the Voyage Deluxe does not suit your preference, you can go for the Monaco DLX Angler. It almost has the same features as the Voyage Deluxe, but it also comes with added amenities making it an excellent choice for fishing with family and friends.
The Monaco DLX Angler has seats with adjustable backrests. It also has rod holders where you can place your fishing gear. Like the other products mentioned here, this product comes with a cooler where you can place your beverage and enjoy drinking a cold beer or soda.
This product comes with a canopy, storage platform, and drink holders too.
The Monaco DLX Angler has RAM-X construction. That is why it is impact resistant and durable, allowing you to have more memories with your loved ones for several years.
|Packed with amenities||Expensive|
- Number of seats: 5
- Weight capacity (pounds): 544 pounds
If you are looking for a recreational pedal boat that can get you from different places, consider the Sun Dolphin 5-Seat Pedal Boat With Canopy. This product costs less than a thousand dollars, but it already has the amenities that you will love.
It includes a built-in cooler, cup holders, rod holders, and more. Because it comes with a canopy, you can enjoy having fun paddling this boat as much as you want. You can tell the sun to screw itself off because not even its rays can stop you from having fun. You are safe in the shade.
If the sun is down, you can take the canopy down and take in as much scenery as possible. Also, The seats are adjustable.
You can recline the seat when you want to take a nap when you get tired of paddling.
|Built-in storage and cooler||Low canopy|
|Adjustable reclining seats |
|Cup holders |
- Number of seats: 5
- Weight capacity (pounds): 545
Upon seeing the price, you might be wondering what makes this Sun Dolphin different from the first one. What makes this model impressive is that you have the option to propel it via pedal or motor. Once your feet get tired of cycling, you only have to flip the switch to turn it into a motorboat.
This product is a five-seater model with 545 weight capacity. Although it is not much for its price, you will still enjoy the features it offers. Besides the motor cruising option, you can also enjoy a cold beverage because of its built-in cooler and cup holders.
This model also comes with a canopy that allows you to enjoy your trip all day long without scorching yourself under the sun. It has seats that you can recline, where you can take a nap once you get tired of paddling your boat.
|Options to use pedal or motor||Expensive for its weight capacity|
|Packed with amenities||Battery not included|
|Reclining seats |
|Quiet motor |
- Number of seats: 4
- Weight capacity (pounds): 480
Suppose you are looking for an affordable pedal boat that you and the three of your friends can ride on to explore the lake, consider the Sun Dolphin Laguna Pedal Boat. Its hull and deck have a durable construction made from Fortiflex polyethylene that comes with UV stabilization.
It has a closed-cell polystyrene foam that provides excellent floatation.
Like the other mentioned Sun Dolphin models, the Laguna Pedal has adjustable bench seats. The seats available for the Laguna model has removable kickboards. Aside from these amenities, you can choose to add an umbrella that you can mount in it.
This model comes with a storage area where you can store your food and cup holders to place your beverage. It has grab handles at the stern part of the boat.
The Laguna model can accommodate up to three paddlers.
|Four-person capacity||Umbrella not included|
|Complete amenities||Limited capacity|
- Number of seats: 3
- Weight capacity (pounds): 600
If you are looking for a pedal boat with a straight-forward design and a three-seater capacity, you will never go wrong with the Sun Dolphin 3-Person Pedal Boat. Although it can only accommodate three people, it is durable enough to carry 600 pounds.
Aside from its weight capacity, this product also comes with two built-in coolers where you can place all your drinks. It also has extra storage where you can place your non-edible supplies.
If you are going to use this board for fishing, this boat comes with rod handles.
Aside from the mentioned features, this board also has a durable paddlewheel, and the hull and deck have a Fortiflex construction.
Because of these features, you can enjoy your adventure without any issues.
|600 total weight capacity||We got nothin'|
|Two built-in coolers|
|Rod holders |
- Number of seats: 5
- Weight capacity (pounds): 775
If you are looking for a five-seater pedal boat with massive weight capacity, you should look at the Pelican Pedal Voyage deluxe. This model has tons of features that include a built-in cooler, which is necessary to keep the fun going with some cold beers or soda. The two of its molded seats have adjustable backrests useful for those who want to take a nap.
It also comes with cup holders so that you do not have to hold your cup or place it anywhere as you open one. It also has a storage platform where you can set the other necessities.
You can use a canopy as sun protection to still have fun paddling at the lake, even at direct sunlight. When the sun is down, you can take down the canopy and fold it safely.
This pedal boat has a RAM-X construction that is impact-resistant. The company claims that you can build tons of memories using this boat.
|Larger maximum capacity compared to others with the same price range.||Fragile top frame|
|Packed with amenities |
|Adjustable backrests |
|Foldable canopy |
Top Pick – Our Favorite Pedal Boats
There are tons of pedal boats on the market with excellent quality. However, the best of what is available currently on the market is the Sun-Dolphin 5-Seat Pedal Boat With Canopy. There are a lot of features to love from this boat.
First, it has all the necessary amenities that you can enjoy. It comes with built-in storage, cup holders, adjustable reclining seats, and more.
Second, it has a canopy that will allow you to have a lot of fun under the sun.
Third, it offers a 5-seat capacity at an affordable price.
You cannot doubt the quality of this product as long as you read the manual. It is because it is one of the Sun Dolphin’s products, which is one of the most famous brands in the boating industry.
Best Brands for the Best Pedal Boats
The mentioned products are what most users love and only the suggested pedal boats to buy. However, there is no guarantee that they suit your preference. What you can do next is to know the best pedal boat brands and start your search.
The Sun Dolphin started its operation in 2002. It was a family-owned business that began by creating a two-seater boat. From then, the Sun Dolphin grew across North America and also started selling kayaks and other outdoor products. Even though this brand grew to become one of the famous brands in the boating industry, it has never forgotten where it came from and still enjoys the beauty of its hometown in Michigan.
The company wanted to provide services that are both affordable and creative. It says that it wants you to feel as if you are a part of a family. That is why it offers excellent customer support to ensure satisfaction.
Aside from pedal boats, Sun Dolphin also sells other types of boats, such as dinghies, canoes, SIPs, kayaks, and fishing boats.
Pelican claims to be a growing company with more than 600 employees in different parts of Canada. According to this brand, it promotes safety, development, and empowerment in its culture.
Pelican has confidence with its products because of the highly trained workers they have that adhere to safety protocols in their working environment. That is why it features in-house gym and fitness classes to its workers.
Pelican wants to encourage everyone to get out and be on the water to experience nature’s beauty.
It believes that if more people see the beauty of nature, the more people will take an active part in the conservation of the environment.
This company takes pride in its environment-friendly products. The 50 percent of its kayaks are from recycled materials. It is also a wildlife supporter.
One of the best innovations that Pelican takes pride in is its RAM-X. It is a material that consists of several layers. It is the material it uses to construct most of its products, including the pedal boats. As a result, its pedal boats are impact-resistant.
Aside from pedal boats, Pelican sells other types of boats, sleds, paddle boats, parts, and accessories.
Why Use a Pedal Boat?
You might be wondering why this article suggests that you should use a pedal boat instead of any other kinds of crafts like canoes, motorboats, and the like. While you can choose different boat varieties for your trip, some people prefer pedal boats.
People usually use pedal boats for sight-seeing. These are the perfect vessel for exploring nature when you have to ride through ponds or lakes to take the mind of your busy life.
Pedal boats users are typically nature lovers. They do not want to use something that can harm the environment, and they appreciate the beauty of it. It is because pedal boats allow you to take in the scenery around you without producing emissions that can harm the environment and wildlife. These boats are not noisy; that is why they will not bother the wildlife living in peace.
Because of this, the pedal boat is the best choice for people who are nature lovers who also want to take in the beauty of it in calm water. Using these boats allows you to have fun while exercising at the same time.
How Pedal Boats Work
The pedal boat concept came from the smart design of Leonardo Da Vinci. He designed a watercraft that uses large wheels made from wood located on each side. To steer this craft, it used metal levers that rotate the blade.
Although the modern pedal boats run using this concept, their construction and features are a lot different. Modern pedal boats are also feet-friendlier because they are easier to use. Using a pedal boat is like riding a bicycle.
What makes the modern pedal boats different is that it uses a small wheel below the hull instead of the large wooden wheels on the boat’s side.
This small wheel has to be under the hull to prevent splashes from getting into the boat or you. After all, taking a shower while paddling does not sound fun at all.
As for steering, the pedal boat uses the rudder for making turns. Rudders are commonly plastic, wood, or metal-made, and you can find them close to the boat’s stern. You use a tiller as the steering wheel that controls the rudder.
The paddlers that control pedal boats are typically one to three people. The pedal boat’s design is only for calm water conditions. It is not the best boat to use for whitewater.
Also, you have to consider the depth of the water. The water should be deep enough to avoid the bottom from touching the rudder.
Different Types of Pedal Boats
Pedal boats also come in different varieties like the other boats. When making your purchase, it is essential to know the differences to get the most out of your money.
The manual is the most typical and popular type of pedal boat. It is also the most affordable type.
As the term implies, you need a personal effort to propel the boat. You need to work those feet if you want to move from one place to another.
It is the best choice if you need some exercise, or if you want to have an environment-friendlier way to explore the lake. It is because manual pedal boats do not emit harmful components that can harm the environment. It is also quiet.
This type of boat does not need your feet to propel it. To make the boat move, it uses a trolling motor is the one that is doing the job by continually rotating. A battery powers it.
Some models give you an option to switch from electric to manual. Pedal boats with this feature are commonly expensive. However, it is advisable to buy a pedal boat that gives you a dual-mode option for operating it, because you cannot guarantee how long your feet can last in paddling it.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pedal Boat
Besides knowing the best products, you should also know the factors that you should consider when buying a pedal boat that you will love.
The majority of pedal boats are plastic-made. The question lies in what kind of plastic it is.
What you want is plastic with durable construction where salt, UV rays, and extreme temperatures cannot quickly destroy your boat. One of the best choices is the one made from fiberglass. Find out the construction material used for the deck and hull.
If you find that the fiberglass-made ones are expensive, your next bet is a sealed aluminum. The only problem you will have with the boat with aluminum construction is that it is a good conductor of electricity and lacks foam.
Price and Capacity
Price is a crucial factor in making purchasing decisions. The goal is to maximize the value that you can get from the budget you have—because of this, doing your research is essential to find out where to buy the best product at an affordable price.
The pedal boat’s price commonly ranges from around 800 to 1,600 USD. Like any other product, you always get more features based on the amount you paid. Usually, the ones at higher price ranges provide more durability and amenities. Reading the labels and product descriptions will help you determine what to select.
With 800 USD budget or less, you can already find a five-seater boat. However, you should not forget to read the product’s description to learn the vessel’s total weight capacity. These boats typically have 550 pounds of weight capacity at maximum.
Pedal boats that are at 900 to 1600 dollars commonly have a weight capacity of 700 to 800 pounds, which is already an excellent choice if you have a friend or family member who is on the heavy side.
Those pedal boats on the price range of 1,600 and above can carry a cargo of 800 to 1000 pounds. These boats are the best if you want to spend days on it with your friends. It means that it can accommodate more cargoes like food, blanket, water, and other extras.
Pedal boats are incomplete without the comforts it offers.
Depending on the boat, the following are the amenities that you can enjoy when you buy one. You only have to read the manual and product description to know the benefits that you can get from your purchase.
Fishing is one of the best activities to do on a pedal boat. If you are going to use a pedal boat for this purpose, it will be more comfortable to buy a pedal boat that comes with rod holders, because not all boats have these amenities.
The cooler or the storage area is where you can place all the goodies that can make your adventure more fun. It includes sodas and edible. You can find this feature in the middle of the two seats at the rear side of the boat. For this reason, unless you are ok to go without anything refreshing or delicious to put into your mouth, you should buy a pedal boat with a cooler.
There are pedal boats that allow you to adjust the seats to accommodate more boaters.
Those pedal boats that are cheaper have shared back seats, which means that the heavier rider should be at the front, and the passengers on the back should be petite.
Depending on the type of boat that you want to purchase, the typical seating capacity is one to five. The paddlers can be one to three. Commonly the combined weight capacity of the pedal boat is around 500 pounds in cheaper vessels.
That is why you should not ignore the total weight capacity of your boat when purchasing one. Some manufacturers offer seat cushions for added comfort.
Although the cup holders seem to be minor considerations, it can add more to your comfort. You do not have to hold an empty can of soda the whole day as you paddle through the lake. You also want to place your cup or bottle in a safe place to avoid someone stomping or stumbling on it.
Cupholders typically come in two’s. If you want to eliminate spilled sodas and beers on your boat, consider this amenity when purchasing a pedal boat.
The heat of the sun can spoil the fun by halting your adventure. You will have to wait for the sun to set before you can explore the waters. With a canopy or an umbrella, you can enjoy cycling your boat at any time.
That is why the umbrella or canopy is one of the most important considerations that can keep your skin safe from sunburn and some of the sun’s UV rays.
Although pedal boats have their wheel at the bottom that prevents you from getting splashes, there are times that these can be inevitable. Also, when it rains, the boat may accumulate some water.
Thus, the drain plug is an important amenity that you should not forget unless you want to make a swimming pool out of the accumulated water or sink it. The drain plug is a must-have if you do not find manually bailing the water out of the boat while paddling at the same time enjoyable.
This amenity helps protect your boat from harsh weather and sun’s UV rays that can shorten its lifespan. Some manufacturers include it in a package or as a freebie, but most of the time, you have to purchase it separately.
Additional Items to Buy Along With the Pedal Boat
Owning a high-end pedal boat does not guarantee an enjoyable vacation. You have to foresee what can happen that can spoil it. It includes possible accidents and changes in the weather. To help you get ready from these potential future incidents, you should consider buying the following gears and your pedal boat.
You cannot predict what can happen in the future. You must not be overconfident on your swimming, cycling, or screaming abilities when you get into an accident. That is why you should not forget to take a personal floatation device with you on your trip.
It should be coast-guard approved and not just anything you snag out drifting from the ocean. Do not start your adventure without wearing it.
Anchor Rope Bag
It is a helpful tool when you tire of paddling and want to stay in one place to take a break or fish. Without it, although you say that the water is calm, your boat will never stay in the same place. It will drift off.
To prevent this from happening, you should consider buying an anchor rope bag. It does not have to be an expensive metal anchor, the cheap ones that can keep your boat still in one place are enough.
It refers to any portable instruments that can produce sounds. It can be an airhorn if you do not like to use a whistle. If an accident happens, you can draw attention to patrolling coast guards by using it to get help.
Even though you say that your boat has a drain plug, it cannot eliminate the 100 percent of accumulated water in your boat.
To get rid of the remaining ones, you should consider taking a bilge pump unless you want your boat to sink.
This accessory is also something that you should not forget to take with you before starting your adventure. It is an essential symbol to let others be aware that you are in trouble.
Now that you know the best pedal boats on the market and what factors to consider when you want to buy one, nothing should go wrong in your summer vacation. It is because the best pedal boat that you know how to buy now has all the amenities that you need: a rod holder for fishing, a cooler for cold beverages, a canopy for protection, and more.
Also, you should not get to consider your safety by preparing for possible accidents. Because of this, you should not forget to inspect a drain plug. You should also be mindful of the construction of your pedal boat. If your vessel is aluminum-made, you should know that it is an excellent conductor of electricity, that is why if you should be mindful of using electrical equipment on this kind of boat.
You must also not forget to take a bilge pump, whistle, and distress pump. You should also wear a floatation device before starting your adventure.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
Q: What Is Most Affordable Pedal Boat?
A: The most affordable pedal boat is a used boat. However, when buying a second-hand good, you should take extra precaution and inspect the boat thoroughly. If you are looking for the cheapest brand new pedal boat on the market, the price can be around 600 USD. With this price, you can already find a five-seater pedal boat with an around 500-pound capacity. Yet, you should consider the warranty and customer service before making a purchase. After all, you do not want to spend money only to lose it on a trashy product. That is why quality is the best consideration.
Q: May I Take the Pedal Boat to the Beach Without Breaking the Rudder?
A: There are pedal boats that you can take to the beach, but not all. Make sure that the pedal boat’s design protects the rudder when you take it to the beach. That is why you must ask the manufacturer or the seller if you can bring your pedal boat to the beach.
Q: How a Pedal Boat Is Different From a Paddle Boat?
A: The difference lies in the way you propel the boat. The pedal boat uses the action of your feet to move and the rudder to steer. Most pedal boats use paddle wheels. That is why you can consider them as paddle boats.
Q: How Do I Transport It?
A: Because a pedal boat takes a lot of room, transporting it can be an issue. That is why you need to make sure that you have a vehicle to transport it. You can load it to a truck or use your car with a trailer carrying your boat. A pickup can also accommodate a pedal boat.
Q: Where Can I Keep My Boat?
A: Because pedal boats take a lot of space, you should have a designated room or area in your garage. Make sure not to expose it to extreme weather or temperatures that will shorten its life. You do not want to erosion in its hull that makes it prone to holes. When you store it, make sure that it is safe from extreme weather conditions and temperature. Covering it with a designated fabric is advisable.