Boat Weight Estimates for 7 Boat Types

Boats come in an endless variety of sizes and shapes. Details about boat weight estimates can be difficult to determine. The different sizes and shapes give them their difference in weight as well.

I based my research on the average weight of each type of boat to determine their towable weight. Here are the boat weight estimates for 7 different boat types:

TYPE OF BOATAVERAGE DRY WEIGHTVEHICLE THAT IT CAN TOW
1. PWC
(Personal Watercraft)
850 lbsSUVs, Cars, Trucks, & Vans
2. Sailboat8,800 lbsTrucks
3. Ski Boat3,500 lbsSUVs & Trucks
4. Cabin Cruiser8,700 lbsTrucks
5. Speed Boat8,000 lbsTrucks
6. Pontoon Boat 3,100 lbsBig SUVs & Trucks
7. Small Fishing Boat1,700 lbsSUVs & Trucks 

Remember that these boat types show only their dry weights. Up to 2,000 lbs can be quickly added by the weight of the trailer, fuel, and other pieces of equipment. The additional weight can impact towing capability.

Boat Weight Estimates for Different Types of Boats

1. PWCs or Personal Watercrafts – 850 lbs – Standard Weight

Examples of different PWC weights:

  • Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX – 1,074 lbs
  • Sea-Doo Spark – 450 lbs
  • FX Cruiser HO Full – 838 lbs

Wave runners and jet skis are the popular names given to personal watercraft. Technically, they are not boats, but their popularity as a water sport has made me include them on the list. 

800 lbs is the standard weight of PWCs. Any buyer can readily find different models, sizes, and shapes to fit their needs. 450 lbs are said to be the lightest, while a little over 1,000 lbs is the heaviest. 

Can they be towed?

Yes, definitely. Any SUV and all kinds of trucks can singlehandedly tow 1 or 2 PWCs. 

2. Sailboats – 8,800 lbs – Standard Weight

Examples of different sailboat weights:

  • Swan 48 – 36,000 lbs
  • Sunfish – 120 lbs
  • Pearson 39 – 17,000 lbs
  • C&C 27 – 5,180 lbs
  • Ericson 28.5 – 7,500 lbs

Sailboats are one of the most common boats to be found on the water. Just about every port in the ocean and lakes typically are peppered with sailboats. Various TV shows and movies usually use sailboats as a backdrop.

The unexpected things about sailboats are their weights! However, there’s a big variation in their weights, bigger than other types of boats. The weights of the boats go from an extremely lightweight 120 lbs to very heavyweights of up to 36,000 lbs. The sailboats included in the list are the big and small models that are commonly used. 

Can they be towed?

Some sailboats can easily be towed, and some really big ones, of course, cannot be towed. The type of sailboat you have is the determinant of whether it can be towed or not. An average-sized SUV or truck can easily tow a sailboat weighing below 5,000 lbs. However, sailboats can often weigh as much as 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs. 

If your sailboat weighs this much, only huge heavy-duty trucks will be able to tow it. Most normal-sized vehicles won’t be able to tow sailboats weighing up to 30,000 lbs. Yet, some trucks claim to be able to handle towing weights of 30,000 lbs. If the claim delivers, then this is the vehicle to go for when your sailboat weighs 30,000 lbs.

Here’s a video showing the process for weighing sailboats:

3. Ski Boats – 3,500 lbs – Standard Weight

Examples of different ski boat weights:

  • Malibu Response 21 – 3,100 lbs
  • Malibu Wakesetter 2017 LSV23 – 3,400 lbs
  • Malibu Wakesetter 2017 24MXZ – 4,800 lbs
  • Mastercraft Prostar 2017 20 – 3,000 lbs
  • Tige 2017 RZR 20 – 3,100 lbs

The last decades have seen the increasing popularity of ski boats. Nowadays, all the hype is with water sports, such as tubing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and more. Exciting and fun times on the water are specifically geared for ski boats. The usual models feature racks for hanging boards and are built to pull people around the water 24/7.

The Tige, Malibu, and Mastercraft are the ski boat models showing standard weights for this type of boat. The varied model and make of the ski boat can weigh as much as 6,000 lbs or as little as 2,000 lbs. 3,000 lbs seem to hit the standard weight for ski boats.

Can they be towed?

Ski boats can be towed because all models lie in the towable weight range. Most SUVs and all trucks can easily tow ski boats. There won’t be any issues towing ski boats using small or large trucks. This boat can also be towed easily by larger SUV models. Mid-sized SUVs can easily handle a ski boat that has a smaller weight than most.

4. Cabin Cruiser – 8,700 lbs – Standard Weight

Examples of different cabin cruiser weights:

  • Rinker Express Cruiser 301 – 12,000 lbs
  • Bayliner SB 285 – 8,000 lbs
  • Larson Cabrio 274 – 6,000 lbs

Mini yachts perfectly describe cabin cruisers. They are large boats that even feature sleeping quarters. In perspective, cabin cruisers are seen as mobile homes on the water.

The different models and makes of cabin cruisers show varied weights. The sizes of the sleeping quarters below decks are the things that add weight to the boat. Some cabin cruisers are so huge; they can sleep up to 10 people.

Can they be towed?

Heavy-duty and large SUVs and trucks are the only vehicles that can tow cabin cruisers. Standard-sized SUVs and trucks can tow a smaller-sized cabin cruiser. Yet, average-sized trucks and SUVs need to weigh more than the cabin cruiser for them to be able to tow it.

5. Speed Boats – 8,000 lbs – Standard Weight

Examples of different speed boat weights:

  • M35 – 9,250 lbs
  • Cigarette Top Gun 38 – 9,000 lbs
  • Thunder Cat 32 – 5,400 lbs

Speed boats are also known as cigarette boats because they are designed as sleek and fast boats. Some people mistakenly think that ski boats and speed boats are the same. This mistaken identity is because both types of boats travel at fast speeds. However, the speed difference can be easily seen when a speed boat travels next to a ski boat.

The thrill of the ride is the reason behind the popularity of speed boats. This type of boat is not designed for water sports. 8,000 lbs is the standard weight of speed boats. This standard weight was taken from varied speed boat models and types. 

The weights of speed boats vary dramatically. The long structure and powerful engines of huge speed boats make them heavier as well. Some models are sleeker and smaller. 

Can they be towed?

Towing speed boats can easily be handled by SUVs and trucks. Mid-sized SUVs and trucks can make towing an easy job with speed boats in the 5,000 lb weight range.

6. Pontoon Boat – 3,100 – Standard Weight 

Examples of different pontoon boat weights:

  • Hurricane 2690 SunDeck – 4,475 lbs
  • NauticStar Angler 211 – 3,300 lbs
  • NauticStar Angler 193 SC – 2,100 lbs
  • Stingray 212SC – 3,100 lbs

Pontoon boats have a very similar function and look to deck boats. Technically, they look different on paper but the recreational activities they provide with their big open deck spaces are the same. The v-shaped hull of deck boats makes them a little faster than pontoons.

The standard weights for pontoons were taken from various models of pontoons and deck boats. Their weights do not weigh more than 1,000 lbs nor lighter than 3,000 lbs.

Can they be towed?

Most vehicles can easily tow pontoons and deck boats. Large and mid-sized SUVs and trucks will not experience any trouble towing these types of boats. It’s only smaller trucks and SUVs that must never be used to tow them.

7. Small Fishing Boat – 1,700 lbs – Standard Weight

Examples of different small fishing boat weights:

  • Charger Elite 210 – 1,900 lbs
  • Bass Cat Jaguar – 2,150 lbs
  • Tracker Pro Team 2017 175 TF – 1,010 lbs
  • Nitro 2017 Z18 – 1,700 lbs
  • Tracker Pro 2017 170 – 878 lbs

Bass boats are the common name given to fishing boats. This is because this type of boat is specifically designed for fishing. They are not meant to pull people on a wakeboard or hit high speeds. Their design consists of multiple areas to put up fishing equipment and poles. Under the seats of some models also serve as storage for caught fish. Fish can easily be detected using the radar feature of the boat.

The weights of fishing boats are varied, but they are not lighter than 800 lbs, nor are they heavier than 2,500 lbs. 

Can they be towed?

Of all the types of boats, fishing boats are deemed the lightest. This means that towing them will not pose a problem at all. Fishing boats can easily be towed by heavy to mid-sized SUVs and trucks. Even smaller-sized SUVs can make short work of towing it if the fishing boat is smaller than average.

The below video gives some good insight into boat weight estimates:

Other Items That Add to the Weight

Every boat is different but our guide should give you the average boat weight estimates for most boats.

To get a more realistic estimate, also factor in these items that are added to most boats:

  • Fuel – 240-450 lbs depending on the size of the gas tank of the boat
  • Gear – 100-500 lbs, including coolers, life vests, etc.
  • Stereo – 50-250 lbs including speakers and amps
  • Tower – 70-300 lbs

Based on these numbers, it can be said that extra weight between 1,500-2,200 lbs added to the standard weight of your boat gives you a rough estimate of its overall weight.

Conclusion – Boat Weight Estimates

In summary, here again, are the average boat weight estimates for 7 different boat types:

TYPE OF BOATAVERAGE DRY WEIGHTVEHICLE THAT IT CAN TOW
1. PWC850 lbsSUVs, Cars, Trucks, & Vans
2. Sailboat8,800 lbsTrucks
3. Ski Boat3,500 lbsSUVs & Trucks
4. Cabin Cruiser8,700 lbsTrucks
5. Speed Boat8,000 lbsTrucks
6. Pontoon Boat 3,100 lbsBig SUVs & Trucks
7. Small Fishing Boat1,700 lbsSUVs & Trucks 

The varied size, type, and shape of boats make it difficult to estimate their exact weight. Larger boats will weigh heavily than smaller ones. Yet, larger models like pontoons weigh lighter than sleeker models, such as speed boats.

We hope this guide gives you a better idea when determining the weight of your current or future boat.