How Much Does A Boat Weigh? Average Weights with 25 Examples

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A Guide to Understand Towability Of Boats

If you’re someone who loves being outdoors and enjoys the feel of exploring in water, there’s no way that you don’t enjoy boating. Boating is a popular leisurely activity that entails traveling by boats. It is one of the most enjoyable activities all across the globe. You will find many boats in the market, be it a ski boat, fishing boat, or even pontoons.

Each boat comes with its fair share of weight that makes it easy to tow or requires some extra efforts on your end. They all come in different sizes and shapes, which can greatly impact their tow ability.

Before you start planning to buy a boat for a leisurely time, you should be aware of their tow ability. This information will play a vital role when you have to tow your boats down the road with trailers and specific vehicles.

In this article, you will learn about the factors that can affect the ease of towing a boat and which type of boats are the easiest to tow. You will also gather handy knowledge about average boat weights and which vehicles are adept in towing different boats down to the waters.

Weight of Boats: The Difference Between Dry and Wet Weight

So, you’ve decided to get a boat for yourself to make your weekends a tad bit more adventurous. However, did you know that the weight of the boat you go for can put a lot of impact on its towability?

You might be tempted to go for a certain type of boat, but it is prudent to check what takes the maximum of its weight. Not to mention, you should also be aware of the difference between a boat’s dry weight and the wet weight.

Dry Weight

If you don’t have a clue about what this weight means, we’ve got you covered! A boat’s dry weight is the weight that is reported by its manufacturer. This weight signifies the boat’s weight in exclusion from its options, oil, fuel, gear, people on board, and the weight of the trailer. This weight is the lightest weight of a boat.

Wet Weight

On the flip side, a boat’s wet weight is its dry weight and the weights of other elements included. This includes the weight of fuel, but not necessarily the weight of additional boat accessories or the number of people.

Note that many significant aspects aren’t included in a boat’s dry weight. One of such game-changing additional weight is that of fuel. A normal boat requires gasoline to function, which weighs 6lbs for every gallon.

If you take an average ski boat as an example, it comes with a tank’s 60-gallon capacity. It can add at least 360 lbs extra to this boat’s weight! Therefore, keep in mind the boat’s fuel capacity before you buy one as it can also put extra weight on your boats!

Is There Any Other Weight That You Should Be Aware Of?

Did you know that a boat’s trailer weight can also add up a considerable weight? When carrying a boat to the water, you will require a trailer that can tow it. However, the only difficulty here can be in having the right vehicle that can endure this added weight. The boat’s trailer weight, along with its weight, can heavily impact its towability.

You’ll be surprised to know that trailers can weigh much more than you can anticipate. You can expect their weight to be ranging anywhere from 1,000 to 1,600 lbs. This could add extra weight and hence make it even harder for your vehicles. They will already be furthering their towing limits due to boat weight alone.

Remember that when you start looking for boats, make sure you add at least 1,500 lbs on top of their dry weight. This will help you gauge if your vehicle will be able to tow the boat and trailer together.

The extra 1,500 lbs are to account for the trailer’s weight in your calculations. You might have to drop some boats due to increased weight, but it will help you search for a perfect boat practically.

How Can You Determine the Actual Weight of Boats?

There is a lot that goes on in a boat. From little accessories like life vests, fishing gear, boards, coolers, etc., to the number of people on board. All these factors need to be accounted for as it can considerably increase the weight of any boat. You will have to be mindful of these additional weighing factors when you tow the boat.

It is hard to give an accurate formula to determine any boat’s exact weight, but a rough estimate can be made. The weight of a boat is dependent on its type and the owner it belongs to. You might like to keep fishing equipment and other accessories on the boat, while others might prefer boat light. This can change the weight of the boat accordingly.

On the other hand, you can still calculate the boat’s total weight by roughly adding in the average weight of the accessories. Given below is a list of accessories and items that you can add to your boat’s dry weight. It will you decide if your vehicle can tow this weight or not. Take a look:

  • Weight of the trailer: Average weight ranges from 1,000 to 1,600 lbs. It can be more for large-sized boats.
  • Weight of speakers (stereo/amps): Around 50 to 250 lbs.
  • Weight of the tower: Can be anywhere from 70 t0 300 lbs.
  • Weight of gears (safety vest and more): Ranges from 100 to 500 lbs.
  • Weight of oil/fuel: Depends on the size of the boat’s tank. However, on average, it can be from 240 to 450 lbs.
  • Weight of extra accessories: This can vary from person to person, however including popular options like ballast tanks, heater, etc. can be from 50 to 450 lbs.

You must have realized by now that at least 1,500 to 2,200 lbs can potentially be added to the weight of the boat. It’s just a rough estimate that can help you understand how certain things affect the total weight and hence impact the towability.

What Are the Average Weights of Some of The Most Popular Types of Boats?

When it comes to boats, you’ll be taken aback by just how many types you can find. To find an ideal boat that fits your requirements and comes with increased towability, average weights matter greatly. Given below is a handy table of different types of boats that show how boats’ average weight can vary with types.

Type of Boats Dry Weight (Average) Vehicle Required for Towing
Personal Watercrafts 850 lbs Vans, Cars, SUVs as well as Trucks
Fishing Boats (small) 1,700 lbs SUVs, Trucks, and Crossovers
Pontoons (Deck boats) 3,100 lbs Big SUVs and Trucks
Ski Boats 3,500 lbs SUVs and Trucks
width=”170″>Speed Boats 8,000 lbs Trucks
width=”170″>Cabin Cruisers 8,700 lbs Trucks
Sailboats 8,800 lbs Trucks

You should note that the given average weights talk about only the given boat types’ dry weight. It can easily increase up to 2,00 lbs with the addition of fuel, the weight of your trailer as well as the accessories.

With the help of this knowledge and a deeper dive into the towability of each boat type, you’ll be able to zero down on your preferred boat type. You will also have a better understanding of which type is the easiest to most difficult to tow.

Which Type of Boat Is the Most Towable?

Perhaps the best way to understand the towability of a boat is to take up examples. In this section of the article, you will come across an assortment of boats available in the market. They come in all types of purposes, sizes, and shapes.

This comes in handy to explain how weight can influence their ease of towing. You will also gauge which of these will give you the least hassle to the ones that might put you in a muddle while towing. Have a look:

1. Fishing Boats

Average Weight: 1,700 lbs

Popular Brands Average weight of the boat
Tracker Pro 170 (2018 Model) 878 lbs
Tracker Pro Team 175 (2017 Model) 1,010 lbs
Nitro Z18 (2017 Model) 1,700 lbs
Charger Elite 210 1,900 lbs
Bass Cat Jaguar 2,150 lbs

Fishing boats are also popularly known as “Bass” boats. They are designed in a manner that helps people during fishing. They usually cannot obtain high speed or help pull people on wakeboards. However, they do come with multiple angles and areas that come in handy in putting fishing equipment.

You can also find some boats that come with radar that help detect fishes and a dedicated area to store your catch for the day.

The above table shows the average weight of a few popular fishing boats available in the market. They might have varying weights, but they rarely exceed the 2,500 lbs mark. The majority of them come with a light 1,700 lbs weight.

Is it easy to tow?

Absolutely! Fishing boats are extremely towable. They are the lightest boats as compared to others. You won’t need to break a sweat in towing these boats. They can be towed using mid-sized SUVs and trucks.

2. Pontoon Boats

Average Weight: 3,100 lbs

Popular Brands Average weight of the boat
Nautic Star Angler 193 SC 2,100 lbs
Nautic Star Angler 211 3,000 lbs
Stingray 212 SC 3,100 lbs
Hurricane 2690 Sundeck 4,475 lbs

Pontoons or “Deck Boats” may differ on paper, but they still come with very similar functions and looks. Both of them have an expansive open deck space and come with the speed that helps during those fun recreational activities. These boats get their speed from a V-shaped hull on their deck.

These boats come in varying weights, but most of them weigh in the 1,000 to 3,000 lbs range.

Is it easy to tow?

Yes! These boats can be towed by most of the vehicles. You won’t have trouble towing such boats using big SUVs or any type of truck. However, be mindful to never tow pontoon boats using small SUVs as they might not be able to deal with their weight.

3. Ski Boats

Average Weight: 3,500 lbs

Popular Brands Average weight of the boat
Mastercraft Prostar 20 (2017 Model) 3,000 lbs
Tige RZR 20 (2017 Model) 3,100 lbs
Malibu Boats Response 21 3,100 lbs
Malibu Boats LSV23 Wakesetter 3,400 lbs
Malibu Boats 24MXZ Wakesetter 4,800 lbs

Ski boats have become very saleable in the past couple of decades. You can notice the hype for activities like wakeboarding, water skiing, and tubing. If you’re looking for a fun time with your family and friends in the water, you can opt for a ski boat.

They are specially made for undertaking water-related activities. They are designed to pull you along the water and come with racks to hang your boards.

The above table refers to some of the most hot-selling brands for ski boards, i.e., Malibu Boats, Tige Boats, and Mastercraft. Note that average weight will always vary depending on the model and the make of the ski boats.

You can find some ski boats that weigh as light at 2,000 lbs, while you can also find hefty ones that can reach 6,000 lbs. Nonetheless, a majority of them can be found weighing around the 3,000 lbs range.

Is it easy to tow?

Yes! No matter if the ski boats are on the heavier side or light, these boats are very towable. The weight range is manageable and poses no hurdles while towing. SUVs and even trucks can easily tow it. The smaller ones can also be towed using a middle-sized SUV.

4. Speed Boats

Average Weight: 8,000lbs

Popular Brands Average weight of the boat
Thunder Cat 32 5,400 lbs
Cigarette Top Gun 38 9,000 lbs
M35 9,250 lbs

If you have ever laid your eyes on a speed boat, you know how sleek and stylish it looks. True to its name, a speed boat is built to zoom past in the waters. People tend to jumble up ski boats with speed boats as they both tend to go very fast. However, a ski boat’s looks and functions can be told apart from the speed boats.

Although speed boats aren’t necessarily designed for water-related activities or sports. They are owned by those seeking a thrill of the ride. They are also referred to as “Cigarette Boats” due to their sleek and lean outer design.

These boats come with an average weight of 8,000 lbs. This average can be found over various models and makes of popular speed boat brands. You should know that these boats can come with drastic weight difference. Some might be hefty because of their robust engines and a longer structure. At the same time, others might be sleek and smaller.

Is it easy to tow?

Certainly! You will be able to tow these sleek boats with most big-sized SUVs. Some of the speed boats that range up to 5,000 lbs can also be towed by middle-sized SUVs or small trucks.

5. Cabin Cruiser BoatsCabin Cruiser Boats

Average Weight: 8,700 lbs

Popular Brands Average weight of the boat
Larson Cabrio (274) 6,000 lbs
Bayliner SB 285 8,000 lbs
Rinker Express Cruiser (301) 12,000 lbs

You might be confused if this is a boat or a mini yacht! Cabin cruisers are large boats that are popular amongst professional boaters. These boats have so much space inside them that you can arrange for your sleeping accommodation. This is why it incorporates “Cabin” in its name. You can visualize them as a mini portable house on the water!

The average weight of cabin cruise boats, like every other boat, changes with their models. You should note that their weight is also dependent on the size of the sleeping accommodation they come with. You would be amazed to know that some cabin cruiser can even sleep up to 10 adults!

Is it easy to tow?

Yes! As huge as they can be, they can, for the most part, be towed by heavy-duty SUVs and trucks. If you go for a smaller sized cruiser, you will be able to tow it on the road using any average-sized SUVs. They come with high towability and don’t require a lot of muscle to move around.

6. Sailboats

Average Weight: 8,800 lbs

Popular Brands Average weight of the boat
Sunfish 120 lbs
C&C (27) 5,180 lbs
Ericson (28.5) 7,500 lbs
Pearson (39) 17,000 lbs
Swan (48) 36,000 lbs

As you may know, sailboats are those type of boats that need to be propelled by various sails. You can commonly find this type of boats lazing up in the lakes all around the globe. They are also seen docked up on every port by the ocean. You must have spotted these popular boats all over the movies and famous TV shows.

The average weight of sailboats might come as a shocker to you! These boats are notorious for coming in varied weight ranges. While the lighter one can weigh 120 lbs, the larger ones can scale up to a whopping 36,000 lbs on average! The above table is made using commonly found sailboats of different sizes.

Is it easy to tow?

This is a tricky question to answer when it comes to sailboats. The towability of a sailboat will depend on the one you opt for. Quite a large number of these boats present in the market weigh below 5,000 lbs. These pose no difficulty in towability and can be towed using an average SUV or a truck.

You will also be able to tow sailboats that can reach up to 8,000 to 12,000 lbs on average. However, you will need a heavy-duty truck to be able to tow it on the road efficiently.

Lastly, the sailboats that can weigh up to 30,000 lbs may pose a challenge in towing for you. No SUV or average truck will be able to tow it. You might have to get help from trucks that can carry 30,000 lbs of weight. They can be towed by a vehicle that can carry their weight without any hiccups.

7. Personal Watercrafts

Average Weight: 850lbs

Popular Brands Average weight of the boat
Sea-doo Spark 450 lbs
FX Cruiser 838 lbs
Kawasaki Ultra LX 310 1,074 lbs

You might recall PWCs as commonly referred to as Wave Runners or Jet Skis. They might not be technically a “boat” but can also be seen as a one-man boat. If you like boating, you might also like this fun water activity! They are very light-weight, and their average goes only to 800 lbs. You will find PWCs in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Is it easy to tow?

They are so light that you can easily tow a pair of these in any SUV or truck! They are very towable and do not usually exceed the 1,000 lbs mark.

Summing Up

Till now, you must have understood how weight could be an important deciding factor when it comes to buying boats. Apart from type, engine, performance, maintenance, etc., you also need to consider the average weight of boats.

A boat’s weight can be understood in two ways; a dry weight and a wet weight. The dry weight of a boat is exclusive of additional elements like fuel, accessories, number of people on board, etc. On the other hand, a boat’s wet weight includes all the mentioned aspects.

When deciding to buy a boat for personal usage, you should always keep a margin of an additional weight of 1,000-2,000 lbs. This will make sure that you can roughly calculate the boat’s total weight and decide the towing vehicle.

Not every type of boat can be easily towed on the back of your cars. Every boat will require a different type of vehicle that can efficiently carry their weight. In general, you will be able to tow maximum boats using heavy-duty SUVs or a truck. Each boat can be towable, given you have the vehicle that is adept at carrying that extra load!

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