When you finally want to break down and buy a boat, it is important to know exactly what you are getting into. One of the most asked questions I get when someone is talking about buying a new bass boat is “how much do they weigh?”, which is almost a trick question. There is no right or wrong answer to this, and that is why most people who ask it are left scratching their heads because no one really knows how to answer this without a little research.
Keep in mind that different manufacturers use different materials, and boats come in all shapes and sizes, with all different types of motors attached to them, so this is a tough question to answer. I have taken an average of the most popular bass boats out there and have a good general idea for you on how much bass boats typically weigh.
The average weight of a bass boat is between 1500 and 1700 pounds depending on the length and what it is made out of. This is an estimate only on the dry weight, so you will need to add in any extra gear or fuel you might put in it. This estimate also does not include your trailer which can add a lot of weight to the overall count, so it is a good idea to check the specs of your tow vehicle.
Here are some examples of popular fishing boats to give you an idea of exactly what a boat weighs, and their length.
- 2,150 pounds dry weight: Bass Cat Jaguar (21 feet 5 inches long)
- 1,900 pounds dry weight: Charger 210 Elite (20 feet 10 inches long)
- 2,290 pounds dry weight: Ranger 1880 MS (18 feet, 10 inches long)
- 878 pounds dry weight: 2018 Tracker Pro 170 (16 feet 8 inches)
- 1,700 pounds dry weight: 2017 Nitro Z18 (18 feet 8 inches long )
- 1,010 pounds dry weight: 2017 Tracker Pro Team 175 TF (17 feet 7 inches long)
- 2,000 pounds dry weight: 2016 Nitro Z20 (20 feet 2 inches long)
As you can see, there are a lot of different weight and length options when searching for a bass boat. Another thing to look at in a bass boat when checking weight is the size of the motor you are going to be running in it.
When we talk about dry weight, we are only considering the weight of the boat with a motor, and no fluids. It does NOT take into account the trailer weight, and that is very important to take note of. Trailers can be heavy depending on what they are made out of and how long they are so it is important when asking a dealer about weights, you get the full weight of the boat WITH a trailer included. There are several options when it comes to trailers, but they can range anywhere from 1500 pounds to over 4000 pounds depending on what your needs are.
It is a good think to remember that you are going to have gear, so that is going to weight you down. With tackle, rods, oars, and other essentials on your boat, you could add up to 200 pounds before you even launch. Most newer boats will hold around 30 gallons of fuel, so do the math before you go to load up your boat and take it out for the day.
Fiberglass or Aluminum
The weight of a boat is also going to be impacted by what type of material they used when constructing it. The two main types of boats are aluminum and fiberglass when it comes to bass boats, and both have their pros and cons. Here are brief examples of how these two different types of materials can affect the weight of your boat, and some other basic knowledge.
- Fiberglass boats tend to be more heavy in construction, and will need deeper water to launch. If you are crunched for towing capacity, this is going to be an important factor in your decision.
- Aluminum boats are usually going to be lighter in construction, and will float in shallower water if you are fishing a lot of shallow lakes. Keep in mind that aluminum makes more noise, so stop short of your destination and troll over there so you don’t scare the fish.
Understanding Your Weight Limit
Please make this a valuable topic for you when choosing a boat. The first thing you want to check when buying a boat is how much your vehicle can handle when towing. Trucks and SUVs will be the most common tow vehicles, but I have seen tow hitches on cars before. If you try to pull a 4000 pound boat with a vehicle that cannot handle it, you are going to have some serious mechanical problems in the transmission or motor, so it is good to read the label on the inside of your door to see what the total weight you can pull is. Here are some ball park towing specs for a few popular trucks:
- Toyata Tachoma: around 6,500 – 6,800 pounds
- Chevy Colorado: around 7,700 pounds
- Nissan Titan: around 9,000 pounds
- Toyota Tundra: around 10,000 pounds
- Dodge Ram: around 10,600 pounds
- GMC Sierra: around 12,000 pounds
- Ford F150: around 12,000 pounds
- Chevy Silverado 1500: around 12,500 pounds
These are according to the 2017 specs, and different models of the truck can come with different things. You can always upgrade a Chevy Silverado to on with a tow package, or four wheel drive, so it is always best to consult a dealership, your manufacturers guide, and on the door of your vehicle, but the above will give you a solid ball park in the range of weight.
It is a good practice to do the math on how much your fuel is actually going to weigh when selecting a boat because it will drastically affect your two weight when trying to pull a boat. Gasoline weighs about 6.1 pounds per gallon and Diesel weights about 7.1 pounds per gallon. Most boats hold about 30 to 50 gallons of fuel depending on what size boat you buy, so 6.1 * 30 = 180 pounds. This may not seem like a lot, but when you are looking at maxing out your tow package on your truck or SUV, this is an important calculation. An extra 180 pounds can affect both your tow weight and maximum capacity when your boat is full, so make sure your math is done.
An example of the math I do is something like this:
- Fuel – 180lbs
- Gear – 200lbs
- Boat – 1500lbs
- Trailer – 2000 lbs
Total weight = 3880 pounds for total weight, and if your vehicle is only rated for 3500 pounds, you could have some serious mechanical issues with towing your boat.
The math on this can be ball parked, but get your boat and trailer weight as close to specs as possible, I would only suggest ball parking the gear and fuel.
Buying a bass boat is a great adventure, and can be one of the best things you do with your friends and family, but it does take a little bit of homework to make sure you get the right thing. There is some math involved, but don’t ever be afraid to ask questions about the boat when you are at the dealership, and don’t hesitate to call around to different places to ask questions. Weight on a boat is really important because nothing is worse than buying something too big for your vehicle and having to get it towed home by a tow truck.