How Much Does a Paddle Boat Cost?
A paddle boat, also referred to as a paddle steamer, is a boat that’s propelled by a small paddle wheel when the riders use the pedals like a bicycle. There is a rotating paddle on the front, much like the ones on the front of a large paddle steam boat, that is very small and goes under the front of the boat. In the back, there is one flat paddle that, when turned, can steer the boat left and right. This paddle is controlled by a simple handle that is located next to the front seats.
How much is it?
- On average, a brand new paddle boat is going to cost anywhere from $400 to as much as $1,200. Usually, a paddle boat with an electric backup can cost more than $1,000. Fiberglass boats are going to be close to that $1,000 range, while your plastic boats will be less than $600.
- For example, at Dick’s Sporting Goods, their paddle boats range anywhere from $399 to as much as $1,200.
- Walmart, on the other hand, has a variety of paddle boats that range anywhere from $350 to as much as $1,200.
- This Sun Dolphin brand three seater retails for $400.
What is going to be included?
- The average paddle boat will fit up to four people. The front two seats will be equipped with pedals, similar to a bicycle, while the backseats will be just a seat. Most paddle boats on the market will have a small ledge and ladder on the back of the boat for easy access if the riders want to get on and off easily when they are in the water. Some models may have higher back supports, a cooler, and drink holders.
- Some paddle boats may come with a canopy that can be attached to prevent the sun from getting to the occupants.
- Many paddle boats are designed in such a way that if there is only on occupant, he can sit in the middle and paddle with one leg on each side of the pedals. This way, the boat will not be off balance with one occupant.
- Some paddle boats are designed to sit right in the water while others have a flat bottom and are elevated on pontoons.
What are the extra costs?
- Small repairs may be needed from time to time such as replacing the drain plug.
- Due to their weight, additional shipping fees may apply.
- It is always recommended, and it some place it is a law, that you have one flotation device on board for each occupant. If the riders are under a certain age, it may be required that they wear the life jackets while on board. Make sure that you check the boating safety laws in your area.
- While optional, a boat dolly may be required to move the boat from one place to another. If you do not live near the water, a specialized pedal boat trailer can be purchased to move it around.
- If you plan on keeping the boat on the shore, a cover is highly recommended to prevent the water from building up and causing mold.
- While rare, some models are capable of mounting a trolling motor on the back.
- A dock line may be needed to dock the boat.
Tips to know
- Paddle boats are suitable for calm waters like a small pond or lake. Because of their size, it is highly advisable that you avoid rougher waters. Keep in mind that the average boat can only go up to 5 miles per hour.
- If quality is important, a fiberglass material is probably what you are going to want to look for. Studies have shown that fiberglass is known to withstand a lot of abuse when in the water.
- It would be very difficult to fish from a paddle boat, and may not even be safe for the people aboard the boat. It is not recommended that you fish from a paddle boat.
- Paddle boats are great for very shallow waters since they are usually only a foot or so below the water line. This makes the lakes and ponds more navigable than they are with a motor boat.
How can I save money?
- To save more than 50 percent, consider buying a paddle boat used. To find a quality paddle boat, look on eBay and Craigslist.
- Many parks and areas offer paddle boats for rent. If you were to rent, the costs are often $10 to $20 per hour.
- With a paddle boat, it is important to pay close attention to the quality. If you are too cheap with your purchase, you may get what you pay for.
- Keep your eyes peeled for any sort of special sales or coupons.
- As weird as it may seem, it is actually possible for you to build your own paddle boat. There are many videos and tutorials online that can help you accomplish this.