There are so many different types of boats out there in all different shapes and sizes. For many who research for boats, it can be difficult to find details on weights for different types of boats to know whether or not it is towable.
I did some research into many different types of boats to find out what the average weight of each boat type is and to determine just how towable each one really is.
|Boat Type||Average (dry) Weight||What Will Tow It?|
|Ski Boat||3,500 lbs||Trucks and SUVs|
|Speed Boat||8,000 lbs||Trucks|
|Small Fishing Boat||1,700 lbs||Trucks, SUVs, Crossovers|
|Deckboat or Pontoon||3,100 lbs||Trucks and Big SUVs|
|Cabin Cruiser||8,700 lbs||Trucks|
|*PWCs||850 lbs||Cars, Vans, Trucks and SUVs|
Keep in mind that these average weights are the dry weight of these boat types. The weight of fuel the fuel, trailer, and other accessories can add up to 2,000 lbs to these average weights which can highly impact their ability to be towed. In this article I will go over wet and dry trailer weights and how big of an impact they make.
Continue reading to dive into the details of each of these types of boats with multiple examples of various makes and models of each one. You will better understand the weight of each and every type of these boats and to what extent they are towable.
25 Examples of Boats – Can They Be Towed?
In the examples below I have included boats of all shapes, sizes, and purposes to give a good variety and to show how the influence that weight has on each one. I included in my examples boats that are the average weight, boats that are above the average weight, and boats that are lighter than the average weight to show you examples on the full spectrum.
Keep in mind that these are the average dry weights of the boats. Further down in the article I will discuss what wet weight is and how it will make an impact on the average boat’s weight and ability to be towed. Wet weight and trailer weight can make a sizable impact on a boat’s total weight and ability to be towed.
Ski Boats – Average Weight 3,500 lbs
1. 2017 Malibu Wakesetter LSV23 – 3,400 lbs
2. 2017 Mastercraft Prostar 20 – 3,000 lbs
3. 2017 Tige RZR 20 – 3,100 lbs
4. 2017 Malibu Wakesetter 24MXZ – 4,800 lbs
5. Malibu Response 21 – 3,100 lbs
Ski boats have become immensely popular in the last couple of decades. Nowadays water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing are all the hype. Ski boats are boats made specifically for fun times on the water. They usually come with racks to hang boards and are designed to pull people on the water all day long.
The average weight that I found for Ski Boats was taken by the weights of Malibu, Mastercraft, and Tige boats. Depending on the make and model of the ski boat that you find some can weigh as little as 2,000 lbs while larger ones can get up to 6,000 lbs. However, for the most part, the grand majority are somewhere in the 3,000 lbs range.
Can You Tow It? Yes! Despite how heavy or light the speed boat is just about all of them lie in a weight range that can easily be towed. They are commonly and easily towed by all types of trucks and most SUVs.
Both larger and smaller trucks can haul any speed boat without any problem. Larger SUVs also have no problem towing this type of boat. If the boat is smaller than most, mid-sized SUVs can even be used for towing it.
Speed (Cigarette) Boats – Average Weight 8,000 lbs
6. Cigarette 38 Top Gun – 9,000 lbs
7. 32 Thunder Cat – 5,400 lbs
8. M35 – 9,250 lbs
As you can see in the graphic above speed boats are sleek and made to be as fast as possible. Some people get ski boats mixed up with speed boats because both boats can get going pretty fast, but once you see a speed boat next to a ski boat you can tell the difference.
Speed boats aren’t made or really even designed for water sports and are mainly just purchased for the thrill of the ride. Many types of speed boats are referred to as cigarette boats because of their sleek outer appearance.
The average weight of speed boats is around 8,000 lbs. This average was taken from a big group of different makes and models. Speed boats vary quite dramatically in weight. Some are huge and weigh a lot due to their powerful engines and long boat structure. Others are smaller and sleeker. Through some research you can find speed boats that are quite a bit lighter or heavier than this average depending on your needs.
Can You Tow It? Yes, most trucks and the top-notch SUVs can tow speed boats with ease. Some of the smaller speed boats like the Thunder Cat listed above can get into the 5,000 lb range and can be towed by even the smaller trucks and mid size SUVs.
Fishing (Bass) Boats – Average Weight 1,700 lbs
9. Bass Cat Jaguar – 2,150 lbs
10. 2017 Nitro Z18 – 1,700 lbs
11. 2018 Tracker Pro 170 – 878 lbs
12. 2017 Tracker Pro Team 175 TF – 1,010 lbs
13. Charger 210 Elite – 1,900
Fishing boats, commonly called bass boats, are designed specifically for fishing. They are not made to hit high speeds or pull people on a wakeboard for example. They usually have multiple areas and angles for putting fishing poles and equipment. Some even come with radars to detect fish and areas under seats to store all the caught fish of the day.
This average was taken by the weights of some of the top fishing boats on the market. Weights for fishing boats can vary a lot, but they usually don’t get any larger than 2,500 lbs or lighter than 800 lbs. For the most part, they weigh in at a nice, light 1,700 lbs.
Can You Tow it? Fishing boats are extremely light compared to the other types of boats on this list. You don’t even have to worry about towing them at all if you have large or mid sized trucks or SUVs. Depending on if the fishing boat is smaller than average, even the smaller SUVs can tow it around!
Deck Boats and Pontoons – Average Weight 3,100 lbs
14. NauticStar 211 Angler – 3,300
15. Stingray 212SC – 3,100 lbs
16. NauticStar 193 SC Angler – 2,100 lbs
17. Hurricane SunDeck 2690 – 4,475 lbs
Deck boats and Pontoons are technically different on paper, but they are very similar in look and function. They have large open deck spaces and also the speed to do some recreational activies. Deck boats are faster which is due to in part by the v-shaped hull on the deck.
This average was taken from the weights of 10 different Deck/Pontoon boats. For the most part all of them weighted about the same, not straying from being over 1,000 lbs heavier or lighter than 3,000.
Can you tow it? These types of boats are easily towable by most vehicles. All trucks and bigger SUVs have no problem with the towing. Mid-sized and can also tow these boats just fine. It may be best to avoid towing deck/pontoon boats with smaller SUVs as they might not be able to handle the weight.
Sailboats – Average Weight 8,800 lbs
18. Sunfish – 120 lbs
19. C&C 27 – 5,180 lbs
20. Ericson 28.5 – 7,500 lbs
21. Pearson 39 – 17,000 lbs
22. Swan 48 – 36,000 lbs
Sailboats are boats that are propelled by sails. They are very commonly found on lakes around the whole world and in just about every port in the ocean. They are commonly seen in various movies and TV shows.
If you are shocked by how high the average weight is for sailboats, don’t worry, I was too at first! The weight of sailboats varies drastically, more than any other type of boat on this list. Some sailboats can weight as little as 120 lbs, while others can weigh up to 36,000 lbs! The average on this list was taken from a large list of some of the most commonly used sailboats, big and small.
Can you tow it? Yes and no. Being able to tow a sailboat completely depends on the one that you have. A large number of sailboats on the market weigh under 5,000 lbs and are easily towed by averaged sized trucks and SUVs. Many Sailboats often get to the 8,000-12,000 lb range and can only realistically be towed by big heavy duty trucks.
Some sailboats reach up to 30,000 lbs and can’t be towed by any normal vehicle. There are some trucks on the market that do claim to be able to tow 30,000 lbs of cargo, so if that truly is the case if you happen to have one of those towing a sailboat of this size is possilbe.
Cabin Cruisers – Average Weight 8,700 lbs
23.Bayliner 285 SB – 8,000 lbs
24. Larson 274 Cabrio – 6,000 lbs
25.Rinker 301 Express Cruiser – 12,000 lbs
Cabin Cruisers are large boats that almost appear to be mini yachts. They are so big that inside the boat there are even sleeping accommodations, which is where the “cabin” part of the name comes into play. They are basically just mini portable houses on the water.
The average weight as listed above was taken from a large group of cabin cruisers of different makes and models. The weights of cabin cruisers also varies a lot depending on the size of the sleeping accommodations below. Some sleep up to 10 people!
Can you tow it? Yes, these boats are for the most part towed by large, heavy duty trucks and SUVs. Some of the smaller Cruisers can be towed by average sized trucks and SUVs , but more often than not they require a lot of strength to move around.
Personal Watercrafts (PWCs) – Average Weight 850 lbs
Personal Watercraft are often refered to as Jet Skis or Wave Runners. I understand that they aren’t technically boats, but I decided to add them on as a little bonus becuase many people who are into boating also like to have PWCs as well.
The average weight of PWCs is about 800 lbs. They are very easy to find in different weights, shapes, and sizes to fit the needs of any buyer. The lightest one is said is only 450 lbs while the heaviest is only a little over 1,000 lbs. PWCs are very light and are often towed in pairs. If one is towing a single PWC all trucks and virtually any SUV and be used. Towing two PWCs can still be done by any truck or most SUVs.
Below is a list of three PWCs with their weights to show how much they usually weigh:
- Sea-Doo Spark – 450 lbs
- FX Cruiser HO Full – 838 lbs
- Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX – 1,074 lbs
Truck and SUV General Towing Capabilities
In this article, I refer to trucks and SUVs of all shapes and sizes with their towing capacities to determine whether or not they can pull different boat types. It is essential to remember to only use vehicles to tow boats and weights that fall under their tow rating as it can be extremely hard on the vehicles mechanics if it tows more than it is supposed to.
Here are some examples of common trucks and SUVs with their respective towing capacities. I also included which types of boats they can tow from my list.
|Truck/SUV||Towing Capacity (lbs)||Boats It Can Pull|
|Ford F-150 (truck)||9,000||Any type from the list|
|Toyota Tundra (truck)||9,000||Any type from the list|
|Chevy Colorado (truck)||7,000||Ski, Fishing, Deck, Some Sailboat|
|Ford Expedition (SUV)||9,200||Ski, Speed, Deck, Sailboat, some Cabin Cruisers|
|Toyota Sequoia (SUV)||7,400||Ski, Fishing, Deck, Some Sailboats|
|Hyundai Santa Fe (SUV)||3,500||Small Ski, Fishing, Deck, Sailboats|
Most trucks can tow up to 10,000 lbs without any struggle. Most of the smaller and mid-sized ones only tow about 5,000-8,000 lbs worth of weight, while the bigger heavy duty trucks tow anywhere between 12,000-20,000 lbs.
If you get a heavier duty truck or even a large SUV, you should be good to go with just about any type of boat you could want. These larger vehicles are almost always equipt with a strong V8 engine that allows them to pull insane amounts of weight.
SUVs obviously don’t have anywhere near the power that trucks have, but they can still tow to some extent. Depending on the SUV they can tow 3000-5000 lbs. Some of the newer SUVs are known to tow up to 9,000 lbs. When thinking about towing with an SUV be sure to do your research to make sure the car and its engine can handle the load.
Other Weights and Information to Keep in Mind
A Boat’s Trailer Weight – The Biggest Impact
The weight of the trailer is what will make the largest impact on whether or not a truck/SUV has the capability to tow a boat. Trailers can weigh a lot, and a boat’s weight with the added weight of a trailer can make it too much for certain vehicles to handle.
A typical trailer can weigh anywhere between 1,000-1,600 lbs. This is a lot of extra weight, especially if your vehicle would already be pushing its towing limits with the dry weight of the boat alone.
When researching different types of boats with their weights to see if your vehicle can handle towing them, add on average about 1,500 lbs to their dry weight to account for the weight of the trailer. This might be hard to to because it will limit your options a bit more, but it is the safer and more realistic way to conduct your researching.
Dry vs Wet Weight
If you don’t know what dry or wet weighs are, don’t worry! I remember not having a clue either. It is important to know the difference between the two to be able to know the more accurate weight of your boat and if it is still able to be towed by certain vehicles.
Dry weight is the manufactuer’s reported weight of the boat. This is the weight of the boat without a trailer, options, fuel, oil, gear, people, etc. Dry weight is the lightest version of the boat you will see.
The wet weight of the boat is the boat’s dry weight with all of the fuel and other weights included, but not necessarily with people and accessories.
Some of the significant things that aren’t included in the boat’s dry weight that are essential to keep in mind. Gasoline is 6 lbs per gallon. The average ski boat, for example, has a 60-gallon tank so that is an extra 360 lbs.
Depending on what size boat you are looking to get, fuel can quickly become a very heavy investment.
How to Determine the Actual Weight of a Boat
All the little things like life vests, coolers, boards, fishing gear, batteries, speakers, people, etc really start to add up and increase the boat’s weight a lot. Keep these little things in mind as you are towing the boat.
I can’t give you a formula that will determine every boat’s exact weight because every boat and boat owner is different. Some people have more accessories than others. Some boaters prefer to bring more people, or fishing equipment, or water toys along for the ride and that adds a lot of weight.
I can, however, give you the weights of things that people usually have in their boats and a rough estimate of how much extra weight one can expect to have.
Here is a list of items with their estimated weights that you will need to add to the boat’s dry weight. These will all provide the most accurate number to know if a vehicle can tow the boat or not.
- Trailer – 1,000-1,600 lbs (or even more for the really large boats)
- Tower 70-300 lbs
- Stereo (amps, speakers) – 50-250 lbs
- Gear (life vests, coolers, etc) – 100-500 lbs
- Fuel – 240-450 lbs (this could be more or less depending on the size of the boat’s gas tank)
- Options (heater, ballast tanks, etc) – 50-450 lbs
An extra 1,500-2,200 lbs could be potentially added to the weight of your boat. Keep in mind that these numbers are a rough estimate, but should give you a good idea on how much certain things can impact your boat’s weight and ability to be towed.
Some of the items on this list might not even be an issue for some boats, while other items might be taken into even more consideration.