By Bryan Richards
Tired of being just another boat passenger on Charlotte’s beautiful area lakes? Take the backseat no more. Thanks to the newest water adventure, Charlotte Cycleboats, everybody helps steer the ship.
Starting July 15, the 25-foot pontoon boat will be Lake Norman’s first and only pedal-powered vessel. A floating party machine, it’s fueled by 10 pedal stations that surround a high-top bar loaded with coolers, where peddlers can stash their favorite beer, wine or nonalcoholic beverages.
How vigorously or lightly you pedal is up to your crew, and the captain can happily adjust the resistance. When the beer legs kick in, and you tire of pedaling, no worries; the boat comes equipped with an electric motor to quickly scoot you back to shore. If you don’t want to pedal at all, there are four bench seats where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the fruit of everyone else’s labors.
Charlotte Cycleboats offers a variety of tours, ranging from single tickets on open cruises (starting at $45) to entire boat rentals (starting at $490). Themes include mixer, craft beer, wine tasting and dinner date options. Some sailings, like those reserved for families, offer history-based and family-focused itineraries.
Charlotte Cycleboats’ charters depart for two-hour cruises from the dock at Waterstreet Seaport in Cornelius and putter around the Cornelius Basin, slipping away from the heavier Lake Norman traffic.