The pedal boat isn’t just my love; it’s a flair that runs within me since my childhood. However, as with any water sports concerns about safety naturally arise and pedal boating is no exception.
While I can assure you on the basis of my personal experience that pedal boats are quite safe, thanks to their calm and stable nature. But of course, no venture is safe without any precautions, especially when it’s water sports.
I have been enjoying this sport for a couple of years and didn’t encounter any dangerous situations till now. You can also do so safely, but be sure to not skip off safety measures. Here’s all about our pedal boats safe and a few related things you would love to know as a boating enthusiast.
Are Pedal Boats Safe?
Pedal boats are safe and secure. No one can doubt their durability, performance, and emergency-coping features. The boat remains stable on the water and is quite hard to flip or drown. However, this is true as long as you ride it properly in calm water.
Commonly, the dangers associated with pedal boats originate due to exceeding the weight limit, incorrect distribution of weight, riding on wavy water, and terrible weather conditions.
Can a Pedal Boat Tip Over Easily?
In the past, a number of boat manufacturers proclaimed that their pedalos were impossible to tip or sink. The statement is quite true at the moment but with a little exception.
Pedal boats would not flip, tip, or sink if maintained properly. Boats that are in tip-top condition ride with stability on the water. However, many factors and dangerous instances can pose risks to pedal boat safety. But with proper care and precautionary steps, you can enjoy a safe riding experience.
What Causes a Boat to Flip Over?
Pedal boats are stable on the water until some factors contribute to their instability. Here are the major variables that might cause a pedal boat to flip over:
Exceeding the Weight Limit
Generally speaking, pedal boats come with a recommendation guide for the maximum weight load on the vessel. The guidance is based on the boat’s weight, size, and construction.
On average, most pedal boats can hold a weight limit of up to 4 passengers. Attention, I said passengers, not adults. It means two adults and two kids would be enough to fulfill its capacity. If you plan to put more companions, there would be a huge upset in the boat’s stability.
A good rule of thumb is the load must be less than the water it topples. If the given weight limit of pedal boat is exceeded due to extra companions or items, this will disbalance the boat.
Improper Distribution of Water
Your pedal boat may also flip over if there is an increased amount of weight on a particular side of the vessel. The scenario is often known as the improper distribution of weight. For instance, if two people are enjoying this fun activity, one should stay on the right side and the other on the left.
That’s exactly what my partner Sam and I do on a lazy afternoon. We stay on alternative sides, and the boat eventually gets a stable balance.
Terrible Weather Conditions
Relatively, pedal boats are of low weight and have limited power. That’s why they aren’t suitable to use when strong currents, wavy water, and wind storms are at their peaks. Not only does terrible weather cause the boat to flip over, but it also negatively impacts the boat’s lifespan.
Are Pedal Boats Safe For Kids?
I had several rides with my neighborhood kids and never felt any danger on the water. In fact, the kids love the boat and join me to rejoice in this amusing venture every weekend. We explore the secrets of the sea, fishing, and race with other boating enthusiasts. Often, my partner, Sam, gives us company in this adventure.
But pedal boat safety is my top concern. That’s why I have explained to the kids that instead of being scared of the deep water, make some smart and cautious moves to prevent any mishap.
As pedal boating is a safe water sport, kids can take a ride without any fear. However, they should only do that under the supervision of their parents or at least a sensible adult. And most importantly, everyone should follow precautionary measures, irrespective of their age, gender, and ability to swim.
6 Precautionary Measures For Safe Pedal Boating
As I have already told you about the hazards which cause the boat to flip over, it’s time for some safety measures. I, along with my neighborhood kids, follow these precautionary measures to stay safe and enjoy the ride to the fullest.
Launch the Boat Safely
Launching a pedal boat isn’t an easy task, as it requires you to run and sit in quickly after its launch. It can be dangerous for your physical health.
I faced the same scenario when I was just starting out. Things happened so fast that I couldn’t realize what was going on. But the one thing I still remember is a minor wound.
What I meant to say is you should hire a person as a boat launcher. He would push the boat at a small price. And if you don’t want to pay, you can always approach your friend or any close relative to do it.
Wear a Life Jacket
There is no need to instruct, but a life jacket can save you and your kids. Even if you are an expert swimmer, don’t miss this safety measure. I am also an expert swimmer but always wear a life jacket with the name Jack on its back.
A life jacket can hold you up on water for an extended period of time, while swimming is something you can’t do for a long time. So never ever let swimming be an excuse for not wearing a life jacket.
Don’t Exceed the Weight Limit
One of the foolish things most groups do is to jump in a pedal boat with the idea of not going so far. However, that is not a sensible idea, as they can exceed the weight limit of the boat.
Some pedal boats come with four seats with the capacity to store 500 lbs. But that’s not enough even for a family of 4, including two kids. So be sure to stay within limits defined by your pedal boat manufacturer.
Check the Weather
Going for a ride in harsh weather conditions isn’t something a boater loves. High currents, extreme waves, and windy storms can all contribute to the boat’s instability. If you are out for a long ride, be sure to keep regular track of the weather.
Inspect the Condition of the Boat
The proper care and maintenance of the pedal boat will provide you with a safe boating experience. Here’s what to check before you hop off in a pedal boat:
- Search for potential leaks or any damage to the hull.
- Ensure that there is no water in the pontoons
- Check the connection of the drain plug
In case you don’t know how to perform this task, you can call a technical expert to inspect the conditions of the ball. If all is good to go, jump in your boat and enjoy the ultimate fun.
Have a Backup Plan
No one can predict the future. There is a slight possibility of a mishap if you miss a precautionary step. But knowing what to do before the water hits your boat can save you.
First of all, if you are sure that your boat will get flipped after a couple of moments, leaving the boat is the right idea. Not exactly right, but better than being trapped in a tipped boat. However, only get away from the boat if you can walk to the shore easily.
While every passion has some doom and gloom, taking these precautionary measures can eliminate them and give you a safe boating experience.
Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQs)
Can you use a pedal boat on a river?
Yes, you can use a pedal boat on a river. But if the currents are too swift, the balance would be upset.
Do you get wet on a pedal boat?
Yes, and getting wet while on a ride is quite fun. As the boat moves forward, drops of water will fly toward you.
Can pedal boats sink?
No, pedal boats are built to float. However, certain conditions, such as improper weight distribution, leaks, or harsh weather conditions, can cause the boats to sink. However, it is quite easy to repair and fix pedal boat leaks at home.
Wrapping Up – Are Pedal Boats Safe
That’s all I explained to my neighborhood kids as well. A pedal boat is a great way to exercise, lounge, and have fun together. So you should not let your fear eat these amazing benefits.
And the best part is that kids can also enjoy this water sport without any safety concerns.
Jack Bennett, a passionate pedal boating enthusiast, and marine engineer by day, is here to share my knowledge and love for this exciting sport with you all. Happy Boating!