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The Human Factor: Pedal Power Boats


Looking for a fun, safe, healthy and environmentally friendly way to sail across the lake, bay or pond of your choice? The choice is obvious: a pedal power boat.

Pedal power boats (PPBs), also called human powered boats (HPB,) are water craft powered by the human foot or, rather feet. One, two, three or more people get on board a small craft, move their feet and there they are, moving quickly across the water.

Although some are provided with built-in sails or electric motors, the beauty of the pedal power boat is its pedal power. On quiet lakes and rivers they do not detract from a sense of pristine glory. Many parks provide these boats with just such a notion in mind. In addition, they are less threatening to some people than canoes or other oared vessels and less frightening than sail boats. Anyone can set off to explore the aquatic countryside in a pedal power boat without taking lessons. Furthermore, they are highly adaptable for the disabled.

The advantages of the pedal power boat over its other water competitors are many. It is, in a world concerned with fuel costs, climate change, global warming and the harm caused by burning fossil fuels the perfect answer and a “green” answer at that. A pedal power boat relies on the human element allowing you, therefore, to embark on nature trips and adventure into pure, quiet areas without fear of disturbance or pollution.

Another positive advantage of the pedal power boat is its ability to turn a form of exercise into fun. A pedal power boat receives its motive power from feet. In order for it to be propelled any where, it must have your personal input. As a result, the body gets a good work out – or at least the legs do. Since pedal power boats are frequently ridden/sailed by more than one person, it becomes a fun, healthy family event. In other words, it is exercise without realization it is exercise. Since the speed depends upon the individual or individuals involved, the rate of exercise can be catered to fit the needs of the person or persons pedaling.

This is to say nothing of another advantage of pedal power boat usage, particularly among family, or team members. Working a pedal power boat together requires team work. One person alone can do it, but the furious working of more than one ensures everyone gets where they want to go sooner rather than later.

And don’t go thinking these vessels are simply a novelty for use at parks and in amusement areas. In the United States the Human Powered Vehicle Association holds competitions. These pedal power boat competitions are based on technology and competition. The United States Human Powered Speed Championships is just as exciting and challenging as any other boating event.


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