So you’re thinking about getting a bass boat but aren’t sure if your ride can pull it? Before you decide on buying a bass boat or any boat for that matter, it’s a good idea to know the weight. After all, most people can’t afford to buy a new boat as well as a new truck to pull it with.
So…how much does a bass boat weigh? Well, that’s sort of a trick question! That’s because you have what’s called a dry weight as well as the weight of the boat once it’s outfitted with all the bells and whistles, not to mention the weight of the motor and gas. With that being said, an average size 19ft bass boat will weigh in at around 1700lbs. If you add the weight of a motor, gas, trailer, batteries, etc, you’re looking in upwards of 3200 pounds.
So, will your truck be able to pull a bass boat? Let’s take a closer look at how much some of the more popular brands of boats weigh and see whether or not your truck or SUV will be able to pull one.
So How Much do Bass Boats Weigh
To help give you an idea on how much the different bass boats on the market weigh, I’ve done some research and came up with the dry weight specs of a few popular brands.
Ranger Z5119L – 1750 lbs
Triton 19 TRX – 1765 lbs
Nitro Z19 Pro – 1850 lbs
Skeeter FX20 – 2075 lbs
G3 Sportsman – 1210 lbs
Tracker 19 TXW – 1302 lbs
As you can see the average weight of these six popular brands is about 1700 lbs. Keep in mind that these numbers are dry weight (the hull only) and don’t include all your add-ons, trailer, motor, etc.
Also, each of the boats that I listed are their 19 ft versions. You could save a little weight by choosing one of their smaller models, or even go up in weight if you choose a longer boat.
You’re also going to find that boats made from aluminum rather than fiberglass are going to weigh much less as you can see with our last two bass boats on the list. Each of these boats has an aluminum hull.
Will My Truck Be Able to Pull a Bass Boat
Now that you have an idea on how much a bass boat weighs, the next thing that you need to find out is if your truck/SUV will be able to pull it.
Unless you want to risk tearing up your transmission or even worse…getting into some type of accident, you might as well forget about pulling a bass boat with a small SUV or car! Just because your vehicle can “pull” the boat, doesn’t mean that it should pull it.
Like I said before, any full-size truck or SUV (even a 6 cylinder) should have no problem pulling a boat of this size.
It’s the smaller trucks and SUVs that could be in trouble!
Here is a list of some popular mid-size models and their towing capacity:
Ford Escape – 2000 lbs
Ford Explorer – 5000 lbs
Ford Ranger – 7500 lbs
Chevy Colorado – 7000 lbs
Chevy Traverse – 5000 lbs
Nissan Pathfinder – 6000 lbs
Nissan Frontier – 6500 lbs
Nissan Murano – 1500 lbs
Dodge Durango – 8700 lbs
Dodge Dakota – 4900 lbs
Toyota 4Runner – 5000 lbs
Toyota Tacoma – 6800 lbs
Honda Pilot – 1500 lbs
Jeep Wrangler – 3500 lbs
Jeep Cherokee – 2000 lbs
Jeep Grand Cherokee – 6200 lbs
As you can see, most of the mid-size trucks and SUVs will be able to pull a fully loaded bass boat with no problem at all. However, there are a few that fall short!
Keep in mind too that even though your vehicle may be rated to pull 3500 lbs such as the Jeep Wrangler is, it still might not be a good idea to try and pull a 3000-pound boat.
Remember that not only do you have to pull the boat on the road, but you also have to pull it out of the water at the boat ramp.
This is where the added towing capacity really comes in handy!
How to Determine Tow Weight or Real Weight
The exact tow weight of a boat is difficult to measure accurately until after you have actually bought the boat.
Once you have your boat loaded down with all of your gear, and fully fueled, you can take it to a truck stop and weigh it on one of their scales.
However, until then, you really have to take a guess at it and while these estimated are pretty close, they are not exact.
Here are some accessories that could affect the real weight of your boat. Some of these are features that every bass fishermen may not want, but since they are common add-ons, I decided to list them.
Trailer – 500 – 850 lbs
Motor – 500 lbs
Gass – 237 lbs
Jackplate – 60 lbs
Trolling Motor – 85 lbs
Power-Pole – 60lbs
Marine Battery – 70 lbs
Gear – 200 lbs
Trailer – For the trailer weight, you’re looking at anywhere between 500 lbs to about 850 lbs. Again, this will depend on the size of your boat and whether or not you need a single axle or double axle trailer.
Motor – The weight of your motor will also depend on the size of the motor that you choose to power your boat with. For the sake of this article, I researched the weights of 150 hp, 200 hp, and 250 hp Yamaha 4-stroke engines and found that the average weight to be about 500 lbs.
Gas – Gas weighs about 6.1 lbs per gallon. Most of the boats on this list had a fuel tank of about 39 gallons. A few had less fuel capacity. If you do the math, 39 gallons of gas will add an additional 237 pounds to your tow weight. If this were to be a problem, you could always only fill your tank up halfway, or even wait until your close to the boat ramp before filling up.
Jackplate – A lot of bass fishermen will often be fishing in shallow water and will decide on installing a Jackplate on their boats. However, this will add a little bit more weight to your total real weight. A 10” Jackplate will weigh roughly 60 pounds.
Trolling Motor – A trolling motor is another accessory that most anglers will choose to have on their boats, but with it comes more weight. Not only with the trolling motor itself, but also with the extra battery required to operate it. An 80 lb thrust trolling motor (what I recommend) will be about 85 pounds.
Power Pole – Most shallow water fishermen, including bass fishermen, opt to have at least one shallow water anchor installed on their boats. The most common brand is made by Power-Pole. Each Power-Pole weighs about 60 lb! This includes the weight of the Power-Pole itself, the mounting bracket, and the 12V high volume pump.
Batteries – All boats will need at least two deep cycle marine batteries in order to operate. You need one for starting the engine and for running other electronics, as well as one to operate your trolling motor with. On average, you’re looking at about 70 lbs for each battery. That’s another 140 lbs.
Gear – The weight of your gear will vary from person to person, but I would say on average you can expect your gear to run you another couple hundred of pounds. The heaviest items will be your ice coolers, tackle box, and anchor.
Is Tow Weight Different From Load Weight
Yes, a boat’s tow weight is different from its maximum load/capacity weight! The maximum capacity of a boat is the total weight of all persons, gear, gas, etc. It’s a number that the boat’s manufacturer will determine based on several factors, including the hull volume and dimension, the weight of the engine and, if an outboard, how is it mounted.
So, how do you know what the recommended load weight is?
Under the U.S. Coast Guard Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, boats less than 20 feet powered with an inboard, outboard, or stern drive engine manufactured after November 1, 1972, must display a capacity plate defining the safe load limits.
While it’s not against the law to exceed these recommended capacities, it’s probably not very safe to do so, not to mention, it may void your insurance coverage if you are found to have ignored these limits listed on your capacity plate.
Also, the load weight will not affect your boat’s tow weight since you obviously won’t be hauling your boat with passengers in it. So even if you load your boat with all your gear before you get to the boat ramp, you’ll still be okay since you won’t have to account for the weight of the maximum persons on board.
It’s always good to have an idea of how much your boat’s tow weight is going to be before you buy it! It would be a real drag (pun intended) only to find out after the fact that your truck couldn’t pull it.
I know when I bought my first boat, I thought that the listed weight of the boat was everything. Lucky for me, I had a few family members who had big enough trucks to pull the boat, just so that I could get it home.
In hindsight, that was pretty ignorant of me and in my opinion, irresponsible of the salesman for not educating me a little more.
Oh well, it’s my lack of knowledge then that helped me write this article, so hopefully, the same thing won’t happen to you.