Best Paddle Boat – 2023 Reviews and Buying Guide
Imagine for a minute that you could have fun with family and friends on the water while getting quality exercise at the same time. That’ll be killing two birds with one stone, right? That’s precisely what you get when you cruise a paddle boat along lakes, ponds, and rivers as you pilot the boat just about the same way you would a bicycle.
So, if you are ready to get the benefits of a workout while having a great time on the water, we invite you to go through this detailed review to help you choose the best paddle boat available on the market. Don’t forget to check out the buying guide for tips on what to look for before investing your hard-earned cash in a paddle boat.
Buying Guide for the Best Paddle Boat
Most paddle boats don’t come cheap, so you want to be deliberate about choosing one. Before you place a purchase order, make sure that the boat has all the features that are useful to you. Most importantly, you want to be sure that the boat is constructed with materials that will last for several years.
Here are the important things to keep in mind when shopping for the best paddle boat.
As it is with every other boat, a paddle boat is only as good as the material with which it is constructed. For this reason, the first thing to find out when choosing one of these boats is the quality of the material.
Regardless of how fanciful a paddle boat is and all the extras that come with it, it is a bad investment if it is constructed with poor materials.
So, what exactly is the best material for paddle boats?
Look out for boats with hull and deck constructed from high-density polyethylene plastics. This material is rugged and serves a dual purpose. First, it ensures that the boat is lightweight, which in turn improves control or maneuverability. Secondly, high-density polyethylene material makes the boat durable and sturdy so that it can resist UV rays and take impacts without coming apart or puncturing.
Apart from the materials in the hull and deck, make sure that the paddle and wheel are made from tough materials, too. Without these, your paddle boat will hardly move on the water.
Next, consider the seating capacity that suits you. The options available include up to 5-person paddle boats, with many of them having pedal positions for up to three paddlers. In other words, even if you’ll be using the boat alone, you can still paddle it conveniently as a single-person paddle boat.
Find out how many adults and kids can ride in the boat if you intend to use it for family excursions. And if you want to use it primarily for friends, ensure that you know the number of adults that the boat can accommodate comfortably.
One more thing: be sure you know the maximum load capacity a boat can take before buying it, especially if you plan on bringing gear and passengers at the same time.
Storage Compartment / Cooler
Paddle boats are more fun on hot sunny days, such as in the summer. For this reason, it is common to bring along beverages and snacks for refreshment and hydration.
The best paddle boat comes with a cooler for keeping drinks cold and food fresh. The cooler space also doubles as a storage compartment for keeping items dry.
Choose a paddle boat with enough room in the storage compartment or cooler to hold the items you will need while on the water. Make sure the lid is solid and not just a flimsy plastic that can come apart at the slightest impact.
Paddle boats are generally meant for recreation, enjoyment, and relaxation. It is almost unthinkable to thoroughly enjoy any of these activities without having some drinks or beverages. Setting down beverage cans, cups, and bottles in a rocking boat will most certainly spill the content, but not when it is held securely in cup holders.
Note that some paddle boats have shallow cup holders that will not keep your beverages safe as the boat moves on the water.
It might not seem obvious, but paddle boats are perfect for fishing. They are mostly compact and can stealthily access tight areas on the water where larger boats can’t get to. Most importantly, they operated hands-free. All these features are huge pluses for fishing.
So, if you plan on using these boats to improve your angling experience, it will be helpful to choose one with rod holders to avoid spending extra money on buying them separately and going through the trouble of installing them.
A paddle boat without a drain plug is probably a disaster waiting to happen. You don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere with water getting into your boat and sinking it. A drain plug will prevent water from entering and drowning your boat.
Riding in a paddle boat means water will unavoidably get into your boat. But you don’t have to tip your boat to get water out of it when you are on land. Removing the drain plug will do the trick. A drain plug is essential, so make sure you choose a boat that comes with one.
Canopy or Umbrella Mount
A canopy can make a huge difference in your boating experience. Paddling in a boat under the scorching sun is not as fun as having shade over your head. Besides ruining your fun, it can also have adverse effects on your skin.
Although not required, a canopy is an added advantage when you want to choose the best paddle boat. Select a canopy that won’t easily cave in or get blown off by the wind. It should also be waterproof to offer protection during a downpour. Of course, choosing a paddle boat with a canopy will increase the cost of the boat, but it is a worthwhile investment if you have deep pockets.
Alternatively, you can choose a paddle boat with an umbrella mount. That way, you can attach an umbrella even if you can’t afford a canopy.
Paddling a boat for hours across a river can be fun until the hard plastic seat starts to feel uncomfortable. Seat cushions can be the difference between cruising in your paddle boat for several hours and cutting your trip short because you are feeling uncomfortable.
It will be helpful if you can find a paddle boat that comes with seat cushions for increased comfort. However, since these items can easily be bought separately, you do not need to pass over a good-quality paddle boat just because it doesn’t have seat cushions.
A few models come with a mooring cover to keep the boat from harsh weather conditions and ultraviolet rays. But whether you find a paddle boat that comes with a mooring cover or not, ensure that you buy a good-quality water-resistant type meant for your boat model.
Mooring covers are particularly necessary if you don’t have enough space to store your boat indoors. Apart from UV rays and, you don’t want debris, water, dust, and other elements to damage your investment.
Getting dressed in an appropriate outfit for a day out on the water, putting on the proper footwear, and even bringing along a beach tent (in case you want to take a quick nap on the beach) are all good and fine. But it is equally important to buy accessories that might not come with a paddle boat. Some of these include a personal floating device (PDF) which everyone onboard should wear, including Fido.
Some of the other accessories you should consider buying include a hand bilge pump (for evacuating water from your boat) and an air horn or whistle( for signaling other watercraft). You should also consider purchasing an anchor bag with a buoy for anchoring your boat, as it may not be included in many paddle boats.
If you’re ready to have some fun cruising on the water while creating lasting memories with your family and friends, go ahead and choose from the options listed in this review.