Boating is a popular pastime for people worldwide, so it’s no surprise that some people enjoy the more simplified, leisurely experience of pedal boats. However, these fun little theme park boats are manually powered and suffer from being rather slow and hard to control. This may lead users to wonder how they can speed their pedal boat up.
Here are 5 easy methods to make your pedal boat faster:
- Practice using the pedal boat.
- Do strength and endurance training.
- Work together.
- Row with oars.
- Attach a motor.
The rest of this article will go into detail on these tactics and how they can be useful. Read on for more information on how to speed up your pedal boat.
1. Practice Using the Pedal Boat
Since pedal boats are manually controlled, the easiest way to make them go faster is by practicing and familiarizing yourself with your boat. Learning how to use the pedals better and identifying what posture works best for you are things that can help your pedal boat go faster.
To start, make sure you’re familiar with how pedal boats work, including how to properly steer them. The process isn’t too complicated, but it’s still a good idea to read over any included instructions to see if there are any useful tips or important information. This is especially important because different kinds of pedal boats can have varying shapes, sizes, and pedal setups.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics of how a pedal boat is supposed to be used, try to experiment with your pedaling posture to see if that helps your performance. If you can find a comfortable way to sit or stand while using the pedals, this might help you go faster and keep going for longer. Like riding a bike, you’ll get better at using a pedal boat through experience.
2. Do Strength and Endurance Training For Pedal Boating
Pedal boats are controlled and ultimately limited by the people riding in them. Depending on how the boat is made and the body of water you’re in, being able to pedal faster and longer will usually make a big difference in how fast you can go.
Just using a pedal boat alone is a good workout that will increase both your leg strength and stamina over time. The more you do it, the better you will be at pedaling harder and longer, which will increase the performance of your boat in the long run.
Still, if you want to increase your pedaling capacity faster, you can always start a workout routine or add leg exercises to an existing one. Not only will this help your pedal boat go faster, but you’ll also get in better shape!
3. Work Together When Pedal Boating
Pedal boats are used as amusement park rides and tourist attractions, and as such, many of them are made for duos or groups of people to use. If your boat has extra sets of pedals, that means an extra pair of legs could be put to work making it go faster.
If you’re using a pedal boat with someone else, it’s worth cooperating for maximum efficiency. If you’re all pedaling at the same time, this can speed up the boat and reduce the strain on any single person. You can also take turns pedaling if you’re getting tired out quickly, which might increase your travel speed in the long run.
Trying to sync up your pedaling rhythms and speeds will also help your group work together to make the boat move faster. If one person is pedaling harder than another, they might create an uneven amount of propulsion and cause the boat to move slower or turn.
Pedal boating is often done as a group activity anyways, so you may as well make the most of it by using all available feet to help.
4. Add Oars or Paddles to The Pedal Boat
Some pedal boats have better designs for practicality than others, meaning some will naturally just go slower. Pedal boats aren’t very fast in the first place, and you can only speed them up so much through better use of the pedals. If you seem to have hit your max speed but still want to go faster, you’ll need additional equipment.
The simplest tool you can use to speed up your pedal boat is a couple of kayak paddles or a pair of rowing oars. If your arms are stronger than your legs, you might get more mileage out of these than the pedals built into the boat; plus, you can use both of them at once if you’ve got the coordination and endurance for it.
If you have more passengers than sets of pedals, a few oars or paddles can also be a good way to make sure everyone’s helping out. A person with a paddle on each side of the boat can help propel it much faster than a set of pedals alone.
5. Attach a Motor to The Pedal Boat
If all else fails and you desperately want to turn your pedal boat into a power boat, your best option is to attach a motorized engine to it. You might be able to do this without a lot of hassle if you happen to have a motorboat – or a detached engine from one – lying around somewhere.
You can also buy a trolling motor if you’ve got the extra cash to spare. If budget is a concern, but you’re still interested in the idea, you can try looking for used ones. Since you’re going to be putting it on a pedal boat, the risk of using an old motor that could break down is a bit less concerning; it won’t leave you stranded, after all.
Nowadays you can even get small electric motors that do a pretty good job of moving a small craft like a pedal boat along. We purchased the Newport Vessels NV-Series Electric Trolling Motor (Amazon) to attach to our inflatable kayak and it really helps move us along when we get tired. It would work well for a pedal boat as well.
There are benefits to motorizing your pedal boat other than just increasing its speed. You can also give yourself a break from pedaling whenever you want to. You’ll never have to worry about ending up exhausted on the water with nothing but a set of pedals to get you to shore. If the motor breaks down, you always have the pedals to fall back on.
While this might seem like an extreme measure, it’s really your only practical option if you want a pedal boat that can go somewhat fast. The speed record for an effort-powered watercraft is about 21 miles or 34 kilometers per hour, meaning you’re probably not going to get any faster than that without a stronger power source than yourself.
How To Make a Pedal Boat Faster – Conclusion
By their very nature, pedal boats are not designed for speed. However, if you want to know how to make a pedal boat go faster, this article has given you several ideas for increasing your speed when pedal boating.