Bikes on Boats

We love our summers, don’t we! With the sun out and the wind blowing, we itch to get out there and enjoy the weather. What’s your favorite thing to do during these balmy months? When I’m not touring on my bicycle, I’m looking forward to sailing with a friend who is a consummate boat lover. He loves boats as much as I love bicycles. Now, I’ve said this many times before: I take my bike everywhere. And I mean everywhere. So, of course I take my bike anytime my friend invites me on his boat.

Why do I and so many other people bring a bike on a boat? The answer is simple: convenience. Imagine being on a boat tour and you pull into your docking space that is not close to a store where you can buy provisions. Whip out the folding bike, hop on, and bing, bang, boom, you have groceries. Having a folding bike or two on board allows you to take off when you land and tour the countryside. That way you can have the best of both worlds.

Of course there are some problems with bringing just any old bike on board a boat. Touring bikers often run into a problem when expecting to just hop aboard a boat to get from here to there. “Avast!” is the first thing you’ll hear. Avast is sailor talk for stop. And stop you they will. While you might be worrying about how your bicycle will handle the trip, the sailor is worried about how your bike might damage his pride and joy.

Boaters have a very special requirement before allowing a bicycle on board. It needs to fit into as small a space as possible. The deck of a boat is small and usually not accommodating to storing gear. So, having a standard bicycle on deck would be like having a boat in a car’s parking place – it just doesn’t fit properly. Cyclists also need to have special requirements for taking their bike on board a boat. The bike needs to be rust proof, and it needs to be able to handle some abuse. I have the perfect solution: a folding bike. The right folding bike offers an ideal solution. It should have an internal hub and belt drive or sport a stainless steel chain. Rear dérailleurs can be easily bent on a boat because while sailing can look like it is on smooth water, there are actually times when it can get pretty rough out there. Additionally, a rear dérailleur bike uses a thin chain that always rusts.

That’s why riders who sail and boaters who bring their bikes on board love our mini B, or 8H/11H with belt drives. They give the most pleasure while utilizing the least amount of space.

Below are pictures of an older Downtube folding bike on a sailboat. It is perfect for doing those necessary errands when docked, or just tootling around town.

Happy sailing, and happy riding!

mini folding bike on a sailboat

folding bike on a boat top view

folding bike on docks next to a boat

mini folding bike carried on the boat

folding bike being carried off a boat