How Much Does A Boat Weigh?

At first glance, the idea of asking how much a boat weighs makes about as much sense as asking how much cargo capacity a bicycle has. Why would you even want to know?

In actuality, a boat’s weight is an incredibly significant piece of information. It’s primarily irrelevant when you are on the water. However, once you plan to buy a boat, you need to consider towing your boat from point A to point B. You will require a trailer that can hold the weight and a vehicle capable of towing it.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of variety in boat weights. There are several factors to consider, such as the boat’s size, materials, and purpose. For example, sailboats tend to be lighter than motorized crafts since they don’t have to carry an engine or fuel. Similarly, fiberglass boats are heavier than aluminum boats of the same size and design. 

Every boat has its weight, a figure that can be found conveniently in the manufacturer’s specifications. That said, boats of a similar type fall in the same general weight range. 

Here’s an overview of different popular boat varieties, along with the weight range you should expect:

Skiffs

Skiffs are tiny boats with a length of under 20 feet and made for shallow water. They are popular for fishing since you can easily navigate through shallow lakes and rivers.

Depending on the design, a skiff can either be motorized, rowed, or poled along. Whether they are motorized and made of fiberglass or aluminum, skiffs can weigh anywhere from 300 to 1,000 pounds.

Aluminum Fishing Boats

Aluminum fishing boats usually fall in the 16 feet to 20 feet range. They are steered from a center console, and the seating can either be benches or seats. Depending on the design, they may include live bait wells or other extra bells and whistles.

The weight of an aluminum fishing boat largely depends on the size of the engine. With a small motor, an aluminum fishing boat can weigh as little as 650 pounds. With a bigger, more powerful motor, they can weigh approximately 900 pounds.

Fiberglass Fishing Boats

Fiberglass fishing boats are significantly heavier than aluminum for the same general purpose. Thus, they are more rugged than aluminum boats, and the hull designs can be molded into more complex shapes. These modifications allow for better hydrodynamics, superior handling, and a smoother ride.

A fiberglass fishing boat in the 16 feet to 20 feet range will weigh between 1,700 and 2,900 pounds. Combine that with a heavy-duty trailer, and you could easily anticipate a 5,000-pound tow weight.

Day Sailboats

Smaller sailboats, between 14 feet and 20 feet, are usually referred to as “day sailboats.” The reason is relatively straightforward. They don’t have any onboard overnight accommodations, so they are used strictly for day trips.

These sailboats are designed primarily for bays, lakes, and other calm waters. They can be manufactured from wood, aluminum, or fiberglass, generally based on your preferences.

Without a motor, fuel tank, water tank, galley, or berths, there’s not much weight outside the hull and the mast. Depending on a particular day sailboat, you are looking at a total weight between 400 and 800 pounds.

Mid-Sized Sailboats

Mid-sized sailboats are generally defined as boats between 20 feet and 32 feet in length. Because of their larger size, they can be designed to accommodate berths, galleys, water tanks, and other accommodations.

Since they are far more than just a hull with some benches, mid-sized sailboats weigh considerably heavier than their smaller counterparts. Depending on the size and features, they tip the scales from 4,000 to 8,000 pounds.

Larger sailboats are generally custom-built and come with whatever features you are willing to pay for. But any vessel of that size would be considered a yacht and stays in the water permanently. These boats can be sailed from port to port instead of being towed, and as a result, weight is not as much of a concern.

Wake Boats

Wake boats are more of a niche design, but they are more popular than most niche boats. They are specifically designed to create a choppy wake, which is ideal for wake surfing and waterboarding.

A wake boat can be made of aluminum or fiberglass and typically measures about 20 feet long. Depending on the exact build, they weigh between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds.

Bowrider Boats

Bowrider boats are a popular design, built for short day trips and lake cruises. They can measure from around 16 feet to 25 feet, but 21 feet is the most popular length. Regardless, they have a strong emphasis on seating, with room to accommodate surprisingly large parties.

Bowriders are steered from a console, typically with a windshield built around the driver’s seat and the adjoining seat. Depending on the size and power, they can have either an inboard or an outboard motor.

Most bowrider boats are made from fiberglass for better durability and comfort. The total weight generally falls in the 3,000 to 3,500-pound range, but there’s considerable variation.

Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats are different from other types of boats because they may have two or even three hulls. The deck is mounted across the tops of the hulls, providing plenty of stability and ample space for parties. People even equip their pontoon boats with grills and bars.

These are relatively bulky boats and weigh around 5,000 pounds, depending on the size. The prevalent issue is the width, which can become problematic for towing huge pontoon boats.

Cabin Cruisers

Cabin cruisers are large, motorized boats that contain at least one berth, a head, and usually a galley. They are designed for longer trips, and the cabin cruisers can carry enough supplies for days or even weeks.

These are large boats, usually measuring between 25 feet and 45 feet, with the larger cabin cruisers offering more amenities. A cabin cruiser in the medium, 35-foot range will typically weigh around 12,000 to 16,000 pounds.