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Water bike on Lake St. Clair (Michigan)
A pedalo on Geneva Lake (Wisconsin).
Boats in Japan celebrating spring with a swan pedalo accidentally running into a row boat, 2022
Pedalos in Brazil (called pedalinhos)
Human-powered watercraft, aqua-cycle water trikes in the Pacific Ocean with Diamond Head, Hawaii in the background.

A pedalo (British English) or paddle boat (U.S., Canadian, and Australian English) is a human-powered watercraft propelled by the action of pedals turning a paddle wheel.


A pedalo is a human-powered watercraft propelled by the turning of a paddle wheel. The wheel is turned by people of rotating the pedals of the craft. The paddle wheel of a pedalo is a smaller version of that used by a paddle steamer.


Pedalos, being particularly suited to calm waters, are often hired out for use on ponds and small lakes in urban parks.


The earliest record of a pedalo is perhaps Leonardo da Vinci's diagram of a craft driven by two pedals.[1][2]

Typically, a two-seat pedalo has two sets of pedals side-by-side, designed to be used together. Some models, however, have three pedals on each side, to allow a person boating alone to pedal from a centrally seated position.


  1. ^ Dumpleton, Bernard (2002). Story of the Paddle Steamer. Intellect Books. ISBN 978-1-84150-801-6.
  2. ^ "Paddle Boat". Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit: the Models. Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago). 2006. Archived from the original on 13 November 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Pedaloes at Wikimedia Commons