Boats come in all different sizes and weights.
This can make it tough for people trying to find out whether or not they have the ability to tow certain boats with their cars and trucks.
In this post, we’ll try to make it easier by showing you the average weight of a wide variety of boats in different classes and sizes.
Here are some general boat weights to consider before we get into the details:
|Type of Boat||Average Weight|
|Aluminum Fishing Boats||300 – 500 pounds|
|Bow Rider||3,000 – 3,500 pounds|
|Cabin Cruiser||12,000 – 16,000 pounds|
|Cuddy Cabin||3,000 – 5,000 pounds|
|Deck Boat||3,000 to 5,000 pounds|
|Fiberglass Fishing Boats||1,500 to 2,500 pounds|
|Pontoon Boats||3,000 to 5,000 pounds|
|Sailboats – 14 to 20 feet||400 to 800 pounds|
|Sailboats – 20 to 30 feet||4,000 to 8,000 pounds|
|Skiffs||300 to 900 pounds|
|Wake Boats||3,000 to 5,000 pounds|
Aluminum Fishing Boats
The average aluminum fishing boat is about 16 feet in length. It generally consists of the hull, a set of benches or chairs, and a center console for steering the vessel.
In some cases, the center console might be traded out for a seat near the engine instead. At the rear is an outboard gas engine or a small electric motor. Boats with rear gas engines will often have an electric trolling motor at the front as well.
The boat might have a deep v, a modified v, or a flat bottom. Boats with a deep v will have a larger hull and a larger engine and will, therefore, weigh more than flat bottom boats. A flat bottom boat can sometimes go by the name Jon boat.
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These boats are meant to be used for fishing, and they are usually lightweight. This is nice because it gives people with a wide range of vehicle types the opportunity to buy a fishing boat that they can safely tow.
In fact, most of these boats will weigh less than 500 pounds without an engine. The tow weight will usually be less than 1,000 pounds.
Here are some quick examples:
The Lund WC-16
This boat has a small gas engine and bench seats. It’s a semi-v, and it is steered from the rear.
The weight is 325 pounds on this boat, without the engine.
Alumacraft 1648 Jon
The 1648 is a flat-bottom boat that does not come with an engine. It has three benches and is meant to be steered from the rear.
The weight of this boat is 320 pounds.
Bowrider boats are great for short cruises and are usually meant with seating comfort in mind. They will often have an inboard motor at the rear but can also be equipped with an outboard motor instead.
These boats are steered from a console, and there is a windshield protecting the driver as well as the person next to the driver.
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Bowrider boats come in a lot of different lengths, but the most popular length seems to be 21 feet.
The main material used to make this boat is fiberglass. Fiberglass is heavier than aluminum, so this adds some weight to the boat.
Here are some examples of bowrider boats:
Regal 21 OBX
The Regal 21 is a 21-foot fiberglass bowrider with an outboard motor. It can hold up to 10 passengers and has a large wrap-around windshield.
The dry weight on this boat is 3,250 pounds.
Yamaha Boats SX210
This boat is a 21-foot long boat with a fiberglass hull. It has an inboard motor and a nice deck at the rear of the boat.
Additional features include a large windshield, wraparound seating near the steering console, and a set of lounge chairs at the bow. There is also a built-in ladder at the rear for boarding.
The weight on this boat is 3,172 pounds.
A cabin cruiser is essentially a small yacht that ranges in size between 25 – 45 feet. These boats have large fuel tanks and will often feature more than one engine.
They’re meant for long distances and come equipped with everything one would need to travel for days or even weeks at a time.
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Inside of a cabin cruiser, you’ll find a head, a berth, and usually a dinette and galley. The larger the cabin cruiser, the more living quarters you’ll find inside of it.
These boats vary in weight, but a 35 footer will usually range in weight from 12,000 to 16,000 pounds.
Here is an example of a cabin cruiser:
The Regal 35 Sport Coupe
This boat is a 37-foot long craft with sunbathing decks on the bow and the stern of the boat. It has an inboard motor with a fantastic deck built into the stern for getting in and out of the water.
The fuel tank on this boat is 158 gallons, and the freshwater capacity is 50 gallons. There is also a waste tank that can hold up to 30 gallons.
This boat weighs 13,300 pounds.
Cuddy cabin boats are a cross between bowrider boats and cabin cruisers. They have the short-term cruising capabilities of a bowrider, but they also have a small area to sleep or eat inside.
This area usually consists of nothing more than a berth or a berth that can be converted into a dinette. It is great for people looking to spend a night out on the water but not very good for people looking to spend an entire weekend out there.
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A cuddy cabin is somewhat larger than your average bowrider but smaller than a cabin cruiser. You can expect to find them in the 20 to 30-foot range.
These boats usually weigh between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds.
Stingray 208CR Cuddy Cabin
This cuddy cabin is 21 feet long and has a fuel capacity of 34 gallons.
The water capacity is only 6 gallons, so its wet weight wouldn’t differ much from its dry weight.
The boat has outside seating for about four people while in motion and seating inside the interior space for two to three people.
The stern of the boat has a padded deck that you could sit on, but I wouldn’t do so while in motion.
Deck boats are built for day cruises and family fun. Their design gives them a lot of deck space so that you can bring your large family or a bunch of friends out on the water with you.
These boats are similar to pontoon boats in that they offer a lot of room to move around. However, they are built with a traditional hull, so they stand up to rough water better than a pontoon boat.
The size of this boat usually ranges between 20 and 30 feet. Expect these boats to weigh between 3,000 to 5,000 pounds.
Here is an example of a deck boat:
The Bayliner 210 Deck Boat
The 210 is a 21-foot deck boat with an 8’6″ beam.
It weighs 3,468 pounds dry and 5,200 pounds dry if you include the trailer. This weight includes a 150HP outboard engine.
A large SUV or small truck should easily be able to pull this boat, and at 8’6″ wide, it is perfectly trailer-able.
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The boat is set up so that the only true chair on the boat is the captain’s chair. Next to this chair, you’ll find an L shaped bench that can be used for people to sit on or lounge on.
At the bow, you’ll find a set of two benches that could also be used as lounge chairs.
Fiberglass Fishing Boats
Fiberglass boats weigh more, but they are often more durable, and the hull designs on them can often be more complex. As a result, you get a boat that handles better in the water, and that should last a lot longer.
These boats cost more to buy, but they also depreciate slower, so you generally don’t lose out financially when you buy one. A fiberglass boat can come in all sorts of sizes, but in this post, we’ll be comparing this boat’s weight to that of the smaller aluminum fishing boats.
This puts the boat in the 16 to 20-foot length range.
The weight on these boats is usually between 1,500 and 2,500 pounds without the motor. With a larger engine and a trailer, you could be looking at a weight that is well over 5,000 pounds.
Here is an example of a fiberglass fishing boat:
The Grady White Fisherman 180
This fiberglass fishing boat is a center console fishing boat. It has a reversible bench seat behind the console and a seat directly in front of the console.
There is a raised casting platform on the bow of the boat and a set of cushioned seats at the stern. A swim platform with a ladder also resides at the stern.
A pontoon boat is basically a flat deck mounted over two or three pontoons. These boats are a lot of fun to cruise on as there is plenty of space to move around on them. Some of these boats even have built-in grills so that you can throw barbecues on them.
These boats will often weigh in the neighborhood of 5,000 pounds with the engine and the trailer, so they are towable, but you won’t be able to tow the larger ones with a car, crossover, or minivan.
You can find 9 examples of pontoon boats with our Pontoon Boat Weight Guide: 9 Examples (& Pictures)!
Sailboats Between 14 and 20 Feet
Sailboats come in all different lengths and weights, so we’ll break them into a couple of categories. A sailboat between 14 and 20 feet is usually known as a day sailboat.
These sailboats are primarily used in protected waters like bays and inlets or on lakes and rivers. They can be made from wood or fiberglass, and you can buy mass production sailboats as well as a wide array of custom-made sailboats.
Small sailboats like this don’t weigh much as they don’t have gas engines or fuel tanks. They also lack living quarters so you won’t find heavy amenities or water tanks.
Expect them to weigh somewhere between 400 and 800 pounds.
Here are some examples of small sailboats:
The West Wight Potter 15
The Potter 15 is a 15-foot sailboat with a sloop design and a small cuddy area for sleeping. It has teak cabin top handrails and a stainless steel transom boarding ladder.
This boat doesn’t have much on it other than two places to sit, and a place to sleep. It weighs in at 473 pounds without the trailer and just under 1,000 with the trailer.
In fact, the West Wight website shows a mini-cooper pulling it.
The Catalina 16.5
The Catalina 16.5 is a 17-foot sailboat with a roomy seating area. It does not have a sleeping area, but there is a large locker at the bow for storage.
This boat weighs in at 429 pounds.
Sailboats 20 to 30 feet in length
Sailboats between 20 and 30 feet can be used as day cruising boats, or they can be outfitted with cabins for weekend getaways. They can weigh anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 pounds.
Sailboats that are larger than 30 feet are generally considered to be yachts. At that point, you probably won’t be too worried about how much the boat weighs as you won’t be able to tow it anywhere anyway.
Here are a few examples of sailboats with lengths between 20 and 30 feet.
The Marine Concepts Sea Pearl 21
The Sea Pearl 21 is a no-frills sailboat that is built for day cruising. It is wide open, and there isn’t any place to sleep, let alone to get shelter from the sun.
Without a motor or any extras, the Sea Pearl 21 weighs in at around 600 pounds. This is about the best you can expect from a boat this long.
The Stuart Knockabout
The Stuart Knockabout is marketed as an upgrade over a smaller daysailer but more simple in its build when compared to a large cruiser. It has a classic look to it, and if you dropped it onto the bay 40 years into the past, it probably wouldn’t look out of place.
This boat is 28 feet long, 8’6″ wide, and it weighs in at 4,000 pounds. With these dimensions and this weight, it’s still easily towable.
The C&C 29 is made by Cuthbertson & Cassian, and it is a Canadian built sailboat. This boat was originally designed for speed, but it functions perfectly well as a sailing yacht.
Inside there is a head, a galley, a berth, and a comfortable dining area.
This boat is just over 28 feet long, and it weighs in at 7,500.
Also, it is over 9 feet wide, so even if you have the truck to tow it, it will be considered an oversized load on the road.
A skiff is meant for shallow water. Anglers love them because of their ability to get in and out of tight fishing spots.
These boats can be used with small motors, or they can be moved along with a long pole. They’re typically under 20 feet, and they’re designed to be lightweight so that they can easily be poled through the water. The lighter the skiff, the easier it is to get it moving without an engine.
Here are some examples of skiffs:
Xpress Boats Skiff 185
This boat has a length of 18’5″ and a beam of 83″. It is made from 5052 gauge aluminum, and it has a bench seat behind a center console.
The weight of this boat is 950 pounds, so it is easy to tow, but it could be a little difficult to pole for long periods of time.
Hell’s Bay Boatworks Eldora
The Eldora is just over 16′ long, and it has a beam of 69″. It is a shallow boat with a draft of only 3.5 inches. This makes it a perfect shallow-water boat.
On top of this, the Eldora weighs only 350 pounds, so it is easy to pole manually. When not poling, it has a Yamaha 25 engine and a 6-gallon removable gas tank.
Wake boats are for watersport enthusiasts who want to wake surf. These boats are designed to create waves behind the boat for wake surfers to have fun on, so they’re definitely a niche item.
A wake boat is typically in the neighborhood of 20 feet long, and they generally have dry weights between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds.
Here are some examples of wake boats.
The Yamaha 212X
The 212X is a little over 21 feet, and it has a beam length of 8’6″. It seats up to 10 people and can hold 50 gallons of fuel in its fuel tank.
This boat has a dry weight of 3,616 or 4,612, depending on whether or not you count the trailer. A small truck or large SUV could easily handle a boat of this size.
The Supra SR
The Supra SR is a 21′ boat with a beam width of 102″. It can seat up to 14 people, and the engine has a 45-gallon fuel tank. This engine is either a 400HP engine or a 450HP engine.
This boat has a dry weight of 4,950 pounds, but when you add the trailer, it jumps up to 6,450 pounds.
As a result, you’ll need either a large SUV or a midsize truck to tow the boat comfortably.
Different types of boats and different boat models will all have different weights associated with them.
On top of this, different trailers and engines will have different weights that you’ll have to consider as well.
When buying a boat, make sure you consider the boat’s weight with the engine, the trailer’s weight, and even the weight of the fuel, water, and gear that you’ll have inside of the boat during transit.
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Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.