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7 Cool Pedal Paddle Boats and Kind to Our Environment

Life is all about options and priorities. When we have more options, our world is larger and we have a richer life. Now we have some great options for pedal power right in the water! Better than expensive gasoline, more reliable than sailing, the power from our leg muscles. Great new innovations from the sublime to the classic to even an under water pedal power submarine! Stay tuned for great exercise options and great new fiberglass boats that are kind to the environment and good for our health. In case you are a traditionalist, we have included the classic pedal power boats that you and I grew up with too! Join us for a delightful journey for seven different boats that also provide exercise (no particular order but the final one is a special delight - or rather more specifically an underwater delight!). Unlike surfing, wind sailing and body boards, these innovations keep us dry like a boat but yet are environmentally-friendly and some are even sleek enough that James Bond, 007 himself would be proud!

Serene Pedal Boat with Cliffs on Both Sides

Serene Pedal Boat with two people on a blue pedal boat with Cliffs and trees on Both Sides

Serene Pedal Boat with two people on a blue pedal boat with Cliffs and trees on Both Sides

Classic Pedal Boat

pedal boat in blue and white

pedal boat in blue and white

As a fitness professional, I know the importance of developing and maintaining our muscles. Swim fitness and walking are great for the legs - so is bicycling - what IF you could combine the love of the water and boating with a great exercise program?! Now we can, let's explore seven great options for boating and pedal power. Environmentally friendly and great to our health too! What could be better than the great outdoors and cruising on the waterfront!

Leg Power - Pedal Power

The muscles of the legs protect the hardest working joint in our body - our knees. My Grandmother had two knee operations and after her surgeries, she continued with the therapy exercises which consisted of sandbags for every single day of her life. He lived to be a strong 97. Imagine working your legs, better than a treadmill, out on the water front under the big blue sky - enjoying nature and providing a much needed benefit to your leg muscles. No ugly sand bag, no indoor treadmill, just you and the blue sky and clear waters.

Remember, your leg muscles not only protect the hardest working joint in the body, but your leg muscles also contain both the largest and longest muscles of the human body. Of 640 muscles in our body, the three we must be most concerned about, in my personal opinion (remember personal trainers should not have an opinion! - this is not medical advice simply a personal statement being presented to motivate you!) are: 1.) our heart 2.) our largest (quadriceps) and 3.) the longest muscle (the sartorius).

Recumbent Too!

I love the recumbent bicycles but hate the land bicycles that are recumbent - I know, I know I am very old fashioned. The recumbent bicycle is much better for me and one of my closest friends' husband is a physician who rides his recumbent bike proudly on a daily basis. He can tell me that all day long and yet, I am resistant to the recumbent bike but oh, let's see IF the recumbent cycle were in the water - now we talking not just fun, not just comfortable but very cool too!

Effective to Our Body with no Harm to Mother Nature

Environmentally Friendly

My best friend from Marquette University hates my love of motor boats - in fact, to drive the point home that my gasoline boating love is harmful to the environment, she calls all motor boars - "stinky" boats - boats that use gasoline and have the smell to prove it! Yet I love moving through the water. Managing the wind is not for me. Sailing I have tried and I love nothing more than watching sailboats but alas sailing is simply not for me. The thought of a pedal boat that is "cool" is very much appealing.

Perhaps not as environmentally friendly as the Plastiki (the catamaran made of recycled plastic bottles) but certainly a game changers in the world of water sports and boating.

Paddle or Pedal

Throughout my research the terms were being used interchangeably. I am only concerned with pedal power for this article - no paddle which conjurs up rowing and major shoulder movement. Pedal power is the way to go because as I have mentioned our longest and largest muscles are in our legs.

Fun and Healthy Too!

Health needs to be a concern for each and every one of us. To have fun and have an activity that is healthy for us is a rare event. Boating is loved by millions of people, yet the price of boating is beyond the reach of the majority of us. I look for the day when the rental of these great healthy and environmentally friendly boats are readily available from every boat rental shop nation wide.

Paradise and Boating

Living in paradise and not having a boat is better than not living in paradise. But what IF you could afford a boat? A boat with no gasoline; simple boat where there is no need for sailing lessons? A cool pedal boat. Yes, there are wonderful new boats out on the marketplace now that allow us to exercise right in the lake waters - check out these seven great options - one for any possible style and checkbook too!

Unusual Pedal Boats Painted in Bright Colors

Unusual Pedal Boats Painted in Bright Colors

Unusual Pedal Boats Painted in Bright Colors

7- The Ultra Cool - Nauticraft


New and Innovative Boat - 007 Would Be Proud

OK, I know I am not supposed to have favorites - but I do - I LOVE this stylist boat. And it has some great features too including the drain and improved pedal power. What a gret way to enjoy the lake and strengthen the legs too!

Pedal Propulsion
It’s an all in one drive system and unlike other drive systems in the Nauticraft line. No drive shaft needed, the propeller is attached to the drive unit itself for ease in removal and use. The rubber belt is easy to replace and more cost conscious than other designs.

Don't take my word for it, listen to these amazing testimonials:

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Nauticraft is the Gold Rush of pedal boats

The best pedal boats I have ever seen or used. There was a short piece written about them in Recumbent News a few years ago as I recall. In any event these are expensive, but really top grade boats. Well designed with unbelievable performance. Several years ago the guy who developed them took one to Newport, RI to the Small Boat Show and challenged all others to a race that was out to a buoy and back. Kayaks, sea skiffs, shells, you name it, all entered the competition. The Nauticraft handily beat the field. Then one of the guys in a shell wanted to try it. He was an Olympian and could not believe this goofy pedal boat with a fat guy in it beat him. He bested his own time over the course by almost 1 full minute on his first attempt.

- Bill

Pedal Boat - The Escapade by Nauticraft

Ultimate stability built into the pedal boat design

This pedal powered vessel, with its sleek design, is suitable for use in harbors, bays, ocean inlets and lakes. It is also used for transportation to an offshore yacht or island home. The boat's efficient Nauticraft designed single pedal drive system turns a 15" propeller, making movement through water feel effortless, reaching speeds up to 5 mph. A spade type rudder provides easy and effective turning capability, controlled by a side mounted steering handle. The sailboat type hull positions the operator down inside the cockpit. Features a dry shelf up front for items you don't want to get wet and stretch cord retaining system around the front perimeter of the cockpit keeps life jackets, towels and even a beverage safely tucked away. A rear bench seat fits 1 to 2 people with a molded in storage compartment beneath the seat cushion. "Guinness World Record holder for the English channel crossing in May of 2002."


Weight Capacity 525 lbs. persons and gear

Hull Construction Rotomolded polyethylene Drive Unit (1) Quadritwist belt drive Propulsion 15" two-blade propellor Length 12' 2" Beam 4' 0" Draft 1' 8" Weight 325 lbs. Speed Potential 5.3 mph. Escapade PDF Brochure

Nauticraft Boats

6- Hobie Cat - 2 Person Inflatable Pedal Kayak

Hobie - 2 Person Inflatable Pedal Kayak Boat

This is a tandem 2 person inflatable Hobie pedal boat. The pump for the inflation is supplied and it quickly deflates for both convenient storage and travel. This great pedal boat has an optional sail package, cup holder and many others - check out the Hobie website for more details.

  • Hobie Cat Company - Kayaking
    The Power of Hobie Mirage Drive * The MirageDrive is easy to use, quiet and creates no splash. * Leaves your hands free for fishing, photography or holding a drink. * Your feet rest naturally on the pedals, for quick, effortless, back-a

5 - Classic Pedal Boat

Classic Pedal Boat

These pedal boats are available in the "Sun-Dolphin" that seats 4 - great for the family - or the Yellow boat - same set up. This is the classic pedal boat that we all grew up with.

There are other models that seat up to 5, come complete with drink holders and offer accessories for the canopy for added sun protection and one is even an electric pedal boat - which of course defeat my purpose for exercise.

Remember if you pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds, you will feel your heart rate increase. Interval training is all about pushing yourself, raising that heart and increasing both your muscle tone and your endurance.

Enjoy the sunshine, don't forget the sun screen. Remember, you will have a higher intensity from the sun while on the pedal boat - the reflection of the water. Be safe and keep applying that protective cream.

Classic Pedal Boat

  • Sundolphin
    Paddle boats and kayak, check their website for the closest distributor. KL Industries, Inc. 1790 Sun Dolphin Drive Muskegon, MI 49444-1833

4 - Pedal Boat at Ritz Carlton

The Ritz Carlton is world-renowned for luxury and innovation. So too, in the Ritz Carlton located in St. Thomas. Here the Ritz Carlton retains Island Sol for its water sports fleet. The Aquatic Center provides water sports orientation and rentals of pedal boats and other water sport adult toys.

The pedal boats offered are stable and easy to use and very comfortable for 2-4 passengers. Sit comfortably side by side, lean back and pedal anywhere you want to go.

Ritz Carlton - you set the standards high - keep the pedal power and environmentally friendly water sport tools afloat and available for the very best use of the sun shine and the life in paradise.

3 - Sea Pedal Boats - Dolphine Design

cute pedal boat in the shape of two dolphines in blue and white

cute pedal boat in the shape of two dolphines in blue and white

Karmarin Boat (Yunus and Sea Bicycle Pedal Boats)

Fits 4 people dolphin is called Yunus and the yellow boat (not shown here) is called the Sea Bicycle.

Karmarin Boat(Car-Marine Boat):
Karmarin Boat is made by KARTAL PLAST Polyester and Construction Products Ind. Comm. Co. Ltd established in Tuzla (Istanbul TURKEY).  They started production in 1986 and sell under the  KARMARIN TEKNE trade name.

Karmarin Boats export to over 43 countries worldwide.

Properties of Karmarin Boats:
Produced of fiberglass CPT (Polyester strengthened with glass fiber) in double skin for added strength and stability. Both the interior and the exterior surfaces are jell-coated and resistant to seawater and ultraviolet sunlight.

2 - Winsome Two Person Pedal Boat by Shallow Boats

The Winsom pedal boat is approximately 160 lbs (75kg), only 17' 4" long and priced affordably.

"Winsome is our new 17 foot, pedal powered launch. This unique boat offers a fun, relaxing and eco-friendly way to explore rivers, canals, city docklands and estuaries. The crew sit opposite one another with their hands free so they can chat, sip their champagne (or flask of soup in winter), take photographs or simply watch the world glide by."

Because of her sleek design, Winsome cruises effortlessly at a leisurely 4mph leaving only minimal wake but she can achieve 6-7mph if her crew are more energetically inclined!

Recumbent Cycling

This innovative boat looks to be not just a new twist on the classic pedal boat but an update to the pedal power makes it appear to be a position of added comfort with the knees resting high and acting as a recumbent bike. Pedal power with recumbent comfort - now my knees and my back are shouting for joy!

Fiber Glass Construction - Strength and Stability

Double-skinned fiber glass provides optimum strength and stability. The crew sit facing each other and pedal power takes them wherever they want to be. The steering is a fingertip tiller and connected to a balanced rudder. May be an option for fisherman too as the steering is simple.

1 - Pedal Power Submarine - The World's First - "The Scubster"

International Submarine Races June 27th-July1st, 2011

"The Foundation for Underwater Research and Education (FURE) and the ISR Organization announce the dates of the 11th International Submarine Races: June 27–July 1, 2011 at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Carderock Division, Bethesda, Maryland."

Introducing the World's First Pedal Power Submarine

If the pedal boats weren't amazing, imagine a pedal power submarine! The world's first pedal powered submarine is called the Scubster. It can travel a speed of 6 mph and dive 20 feet deep - imagine diving under the water with your feet taking you each inch of the way.

Scubster is being tested and perfected by engineers and scientists in Nice, France. The goal is to enter the Scubster in the International Submarine Race in Bethesda, Maryl which is scheduled for June 27th - July 1st 2011.

The maximum speed is 6 mph, the Scubster is entirely man-powered.

Unlike a hot air balloon, the Scubster has controls that allow the driver to move up and down and left and right. One caveat, remember you have no electricity or power, just the muscles in your legs. This submarine is completely dependent upon the your navigation and your endurance. Start training your leg muscles now for this unbelievable new water sport machine. Sure to beat out the kayak, the pedal boat and the wind surfing.

A new sport may have begun - "Scubstering" here we come!

Pedal Boat Sailboat - Perfect Marriage

add a sail kit to your pedal boat - perfect marriage of pedal boat and sailboat

add a sail kit to your pedal boat - perfect marriage of pedal boat and sailboat

7 Great Healthy for You Pedal Options and Kind to the Environmental Too!

There you have it - seven great options for strengthening your legs, increasing your endurance, and enjoying the sun shine of a lake or harbor or other calm natural waters. The options are here, let the fun and sun shine begin!

Share Your Thoughts on Pedal Boats

Even if you are not a boater, what are your thoughts on pedal boats? Do you prefer motor boats and water sports? Or are you like me and find the sailboats to be the most beautiful?

My basement is dedicated to the sailboat so I am very biased, but the pedal boat with the option of the sails is tugging at my heartstrings at the moment. Two of my closest friends have sailboats and the pedal boat could also serve as a method for strengthening my legs and getting my weekly cardio in.

Your thoughts? What fits in your lifestyle?

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© 2010 Ken Kline


Ken Kline (author) from Chicago, Illinois on April 09, 2015:

I appreciate your opinion and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share.

I must say that I disagree, I believe the Nauticraft looks sleek. I love the clean lines and if I were in the market again for a boat, I would seriously consider the Nauticraft. The new sail that can be attached to the Nautricraft would be a must, but that is the sailor in me.

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing!

Padraic on April 03, 2015:

Nauticraft look like Chinese imports cnheitro

Ken Kline (author) from Chicago, Illinois on July 02, 2013:

Yes, I think this water craft is very cool also!

Roy on July 01, 2013:

I want a Nauticraft Pedal Boat! Very cool!

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