Environment Transportation The Beau Lake Runabout Re-Invents the Pedal Boat By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Updated October 11, 2018 ©. Beau Lake via V2com Share Twitter Pinterest Email Transportation Active Automotive Aviation Public Transportation It goes from bland plastic to a thing of beauty. It’s a holiday! Where I am, the sun is shining and the lake is beautiful and quiet, except when the ski boats and Sea-doos race by. Wouldn’t it be lovely if people would just slow down and try some human-powered ways of getting around on the water. They could try a canoe, but they are tippy and you have to know how to paddle; a rowboat, but you can’t see where you are going. That’s probably why some genius invented the pedal boat -- they are ugly, but anyone can use them. Or at least they were ugly and utilitarian, until Lee Kline and Paul Lavoie introduced the Beau Lake Runabout, “a game changer delivering refined luxury to a historically-bland pedal boat market.” © Beau Lake via V2com“Traditional injection-molded plastic pedal boats stand out like sore thumbs,” says Paul Lavoie, co-founder and Chairman of Beau Lake. “Nothing about them blends into the natural surroundings and architectural designs of today’s cottage lifestyle.” On the other hand, “Beau Lake’s revolutionary Runabout combines the beauty and mystique of classic wooden boat aesthetics with 21st century technology.” Design director Lee Kline explains in the press release: “The Runabout is inspired by mid-20th Century wooden boats, whose aesthetics have already been incorporated into our paddleboard designs through a lightweight veneer that is petrified within the resin and fiberglass construction.” © Beau Lake via V2com It has a molded fiberglass tunnel hull designed with help from a designer of America’s Cup boats, an inlaid veneer deck and a stainless steel driveshaft mechanism that silently and efficiently transfers pedal energy into propeller movement. After tinkering with sub-assemblies, gears and complex design elements, the Beau Lake team developed a simple mirror-polished stainless steel drive shaft which connects to the Runabout’s propeller, eliminating noise and surface splash by containing propulsion action beneath the water’s surface. It is a lovely thing to look at and comes complete with leather seat covers and stainless steel hardware. And if the pedalling is too hard, soon one can get a boost from a battery-charged e-bike motor. © Beau Lake via V2com Other than our objection that they are pedalling without helmets, TreeHugger loves quiet, silent and fossil-fuel free transportation, and the philosophy behind the company: Beau Lake believes that the luxury of a waterside lifestyle comes with the responsibility of stewardship. The company is currently in talks with diverse water and conservation charities with the goal of donating a share of its profits to addressing the many environmental challenges posed to water. With pricing for the pedal boat starting at US$ 20,000, we hope that there will be lots of profit to share.