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pedal boats

Old 06-08-14, 07:23 PM
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HCTiger9704
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pedal boats

My parents have bought a fishing camp and when I went to the sporting good store to help buy some stuff for the camp, I saw one of the boats that has pedals (the type that you move the boat by pedaling).

Does anybody know what they are officially called?

Do they sell them for single riders? The only ones I saw appears to be for two riders (two people pedaling).

Do you think a family that loves bicycling will also love one of those types of boats?

Any other information you want to share?
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Old 06-08-14, 07:59 PM
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mrodgers
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I think they are called simply that, pedal boat.

I don't know if maybe there are high performance boats. With my limited experience with boats on ponds with what was available, I would never bother. I do want to get into kayaking though. I think the upper body workout possibility of paddling hard would compliment the leg workout of cycling.
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Old 06-08-14, 08:38 PM
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Most of the recreational pedal boats I've seen have unusually short crank lengths, making them odd and inefficient feeling for a cyclist. They have a low hull speed and I think are designed for a relatively slow cadence.
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Old 06-08-14, 08:57 PM
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My recollection is that they were called paddle boats, and Wikipedia confirms that and says the Brits call them pedalo's. I also recall the issues downtube mentions, but I'd be optimistic you could find some that are more cyclist oriented.

Edit: Oh I see now the link to Hydrocycles, which look much more like a bike for water.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrocycle
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Old 06-08-14, 08:58 PM
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Those things are lame. They seem like a good idea until you pedal one for 30 seconds.
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Old 06-08-14, 11:00 PM
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Manster
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Paddle wheel pedal boats can be fun for the right user, i.e. someone who is happy to poke around flat water. There are other boats that are pedal driven that offer much more. A Hobie kayak with the Mirage drive is a much better workout on a much more capable vessel. We own the Tandem Island model, an almost unbelievably capable, fun boat.
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Old 06-08-14, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Manster View Post
Paddle wheel pedal boats can be fun for the right user, i.e. someone who is happy to poke around flat water. There are other boats that are pedal driven that offer much more. A Hobie kayak with the Mirage drive is a much better workout on a much more capable vessel. We own the Tandem Island model, an almost unbelievably capable, fun boat.
+1
I've pedaled the Hobie Mirage kayaks at demo events and they performed quite well - certainly a viable alternative to a regular kayak for someone who prefers pedaling to paddling.

The traditional pedal boats on the other hand are strictly for the tourist market to use for short trips around the marina in calm conditions. Last year our bicycling club had a weekend event that involved a fairly short evening kayak paddle to a beach where we cooked hotdogs, smores, etc. One of our members had hurt his shoulder and couldn't use a kayak paddle so the rental place offered a pedal boat to him and his partner as an alternative. Although only a short distance this boat was so slow that it seemed to take forever for them to reach the beach and on the way back a few of the others in regular kayaks helped tow them but it was still well after dark (and way later than most of us) before they got back. They've both vowed never to pedal one of those boats again.
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Old 06-09-14, 05:56 AM
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Old 06-10-14, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlyAlfaRomeo View Post
Those things are lame. They seem like a good idea until you pedal one for 30 seconds.
+1
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Old 06-10-14, 04:43 PM
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I haven't rode one since I was little, I bought one friday and a kayak too. (And a Specialized, it was a big human-powered-vehicle spending day for me!) It's way slow, in our previously boat-less family the kids 8&10 like it a lot but I'd think older kids will get bored with one real fast unless they're into fishing and have nothing else to fish from. Sorta wishing I got 4 kayaks instead but the paddle boat is neat that it can hold 5 people and has a cooler built in for some booze-cruising if the kids are occupied/supervised by someone else at the shore.

And yeah it's a very short pedal-stroke. If they'd make that longer and have it turn a prop instead of a paddle-wheel and it'd be awesome.

Edit: when we went on a cruise and a port-day in the Bahamas, saw these below for rental, thought it was a neat concept until I saw people riding them and the only place they could go is where the wind blew them.

Last edited by John Redcorn; 06-10-14 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 06-10-14, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by John Redcorn View Post
.

And yeah it's a very short pedal-stroke. If they'd make that longer and have it turn a prop instead of a paddle-wheel and it'd be awesome.
they actually used to make prop driven ones with more of a saddle than a laid back seat. My grandfather had one when I was a little kid. The thing actually could move quite quickly across the water.

Not sure who made it, but it was yellow on top with a white hull, and folded up for easy transport.

EDIT: it was an Aquafon pedal boat from the 70's. Really neat boat, and like I said, it moved across the water MUCH faster than the modern pedal boats. Had an actual prop and rudder.

Last edited by jlebrasseur; 06-10-14 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 06-11-14, 06:22 AM
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There are the Hobie pedal-kayaks and katamarans. They are actually considered very good, in terms of effort vs. speed, capabilities in rough waters etc. Their pedal movement is different from bicycles though. See their "Mirage Drive" section for details.

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