We have all stood on the shores of a lake or pond and watched families, friends, and couples operate boats by the motion of our feet. In Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, residents and visitors flock to the shores of lakes, rivers, streams, and the Atlantic Ocean. While not everyone owns a boat, hopping on a foot-powered vessel provides entertainment without the expense of ownership. Here are the answers to common questions regarding a pedal boat. 

What is a Pedal Boat

When you see a pedal craft, you are likely to see an abundance as rental companies are equipped with massive fleets. However, never assume this style of boat is only for rental. It is not uncommon for waterfront property owners to keep this human-powered machine at the dock behind the house. 

Boats operated by feet are square and have the appearance of a toy because of their plastic makeup. 

Depending on the model, the boats are equipped with two or four seats. Two seats face forward while two seats face aft. The two forward seats are fitted with pedals on both sides, allowing these passengers to manipulate the watercraft’s speed through the water. 

Central to the forward seats is a rotating handheld control lever. The lever turns the boat to the right or left depending on the direction the lever is rotated as it moves a rudder beneath the water’s surface. 

The speed applied by the pedals and the position of the lever guides the boat in the direction and speed of choice. 

How Do You Use A Pedal Boat

It is not uncommon to see pedal boats operating as bumper boat drivers as they bump and bang off each other. 

The intention of pedal boaters is not to crash. The lack of maneuverability results in accidental low-speed collisions. 

Passengers seated on the left and right sides manipulate the boat’s speed through the water based on the force applied to the pedals. The pedals are similar to a bike in how they operate in a rotating motion of the legs and feet. When pedal rotations are increased, the vessel moves more quickly through the water.  The boats are capable of moving in a forward and reverse motion. 

Regarding steering, rotate the lever centrally located to the left or to the right to turn the boat in the direction you wish to proceed. 

Is Pedal Boating Hard

A day spent on a boat should never be considered hard when it means you are basking in the sun on calm body of water.

Operating a pedal boat is not considered hard but does present a challenge when the operates face physical limitations.

Depending on the vessel’s condition, some boats move faster through the water than others with less force applied by the legs and feet. 

When feeling at risk or in fear, remain close to the dock in which you depart. There is no need to exceed your limitations and struggle to return to the point of origin. 

Can You Use A Pedal Boat On A River

Foot-powered vessels are a welcome sight on rivers, but only those with minimal current. Pedal boats are incapable of moving against rushing water. Never launch a padel boat when the water shows signs of visible movement.  

Is There A Weight Limit On Paddle Boats

Weight adds up quickly aboard foot-powered boats, including four passengers, drinks, snacks, and bags. 

Generally speaking, the weight capacity ranges between 550 pounds to 600 pounds. Exceeding the weight limits presents dangers that must be avoided. 

Are Pedal Boats Dangerous

Like any vessel on the water, danger exists due to the risk of falling overboard, thunderstorms, or boat wakes. What to watch for before going pedal boating

Life Jackets

Always wear a life jack before departing the dock. People who fall overboard risk drowning from panic, the inability to swim, or hitting their head on hard objects.


The sun emits harmful UV rays, which burn and cause long-term damage to the skin. Never leave the sunscreen behind. We recommend the  Banana Boat Sport Ultra 100 SPF Two Pack . The bottles are small and easily transportable. 


When a pedal boat begins to take on water from a leak or wake from a passing boat, the vessel becomes unstable and becomes at risk of flipping.

Lastly, never pile all passengers on one corner of the boat. Overloading one side leads to the boat flipping. 

Severe Weather

First and foremost, a rental company will not allow a renter to depart the dock with dangerous weather approaching. Dangerous weather includes thunderstorms, high winds, hail, and more. Never leave when the National Weather Service has issued a small craft advisory

Remain back at the dock when weather conditions are unsafe for venturing onto open water. 

How To Find Pedal Boat Rentals Near Me

Finding a boat rental company in your area is easy when using computers, cell phones, or other handheld devices. 

Search the internet for pedal boat rentals near me. A list of rental companies will be included to choose from. Ensure to read reviews and call for availability as summer weekends and holidays draw a substantial number of people to the shores of lakes, rivers, reservoirs, coastal waters, and the Atlantic Ocean in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. 

Now That Your Pedal Boat Questions Are Answered, Head Out On The Water

The next time you’re looking for entertainment, consider pedal boating. Pedal boating is ideal for families, friends, and couples looking to get out on the water.  No boat certification is required. Just bring plenty of hydrating drinks and snacks because of the effort it entails.