How Much Does a Boat Trailer Weigh? (Chart)

Most boat owners choose to have their own boat trailer instead of paying for expensive transportation. In such a case, crucial things are how much does a boat trailer weigh and do you have an adequate vehicle to tow it.

Always check whether your boat trailer setup fits the required weight class since you need to match your vessel size with its capacity. In other words, you will need a 200 pounds (90.7 kg) heavy trailer for a kayak, but some sizable boats require specific models. In such a case, you will need a trailer weighing over 1,500 pounds (680 kg).

How Much Does a Boat Trailer Weigh?

How Much Does a Boat Trailer Weigh

Determining boat trailer weight is the first thing you should do before buying. It is necessary to match it with both your vessel and the vehicle you will use to tow it.

The only way to know whether you have a vehicle strong enough to tow both a boat and trailer is to know their exact weight. Relying on averages often leads to unpleasant surprises.

Trailer weight estimates

Trailer length Trailer weight Trailer width Weight capacity Axle
15.3 feet

(4.7 m)

295 pounds

(134 kg)

62 inches

(1.57 m)

1,000 pounds

(453.5 kg)

Single-axle
15.3 feet

(4.7 m)

305 pounds

(138.5 kg)

62 inches

(1.57 m)

1,500 pounds

(680 kg)

Single-axle
17.17 feet

(5.2 m)

492 pounds

(223 kg)

88 inches

(2.25 m)

2,000 pounds

(907 kg)

Single-axle
18.17 feet

(5.5 m)

522 pounds

(237 kg)

96 inches

(2.45 m)

2,450 pounds

(1,111 kg)

Single-axle
18.17 feet

(5.5 m)

625 pounds

(283.5 kg)

96 inches

(2.45 m)

3,000 pounds

(1,361 kg)

Single-axle
19.7 feet

(6 m)

677 pounds

(307 kg)

96 inches

(2.45 m)

3,500 pounds

(1,587.5 kg)

Single-axle
20.7 feet

(6.3 m)

933 pounds

(423 kg)

96 inches

(2.45 m)

5,000 pounds

(2,268 kg)

Tandem-axle
27.75 feet

(8.45 m)

1,512 pounds

(686 kg)

96 inches

(2.45 m)

7,000 pounds

(3,175 kg)

Triple-axle

In most cases, trailers’ weight and capacity are directly proportional. The only exceptions are canoe or kayak trailers since their weight and capacity are identical.

You should be aware that a larger boat doesn’t mean you need a trailer with a higher weight and capacity. Plus, you should keep in mind that the boat’s gear weight is never calculated in the given measures.

Boat trailer weight

Boat trailer weight

As you can guess, the boat trailer size will primarily depend on the boat size. You can use an online boat trailer weight calculator to get the rough estimation.

However, the best option is to ask the manufacturer about all four boat weight types necessary to determine the best possible trailer capable of carrying it.

Dry weight

It is the actual boat weight, without an engine and added liquids. You can find this value in the manual or ask the manufacturer for information.

Wet weight

This magnitude includes a standard-size engine and fuel weight besides boat weight. Be careful with this measurement, particularly if you plan to carry additional gear on the trailer.

GVWR

Gross vehicle weight rating (package weight) is the max load your trailer can carry. Besides an empty trailer weight, GVWR also involves:

  • Boat weight
  • Engine
  • Water
  • Fuel
  • Gear

You can find this number on the VIN sticker at the trailer frame. Sometimes, there is one more number, the MAX GVCC (max trailer capacity). It is possible to calculate the empty trailer weight with a simple mathematical calculation:

GVWR – MAX GVCC = Empty trailer weight

For instance, your empty trailer weight is 950 pounds (431 kg) if the GVWR is 6,175 pounds (2,800 kg) and the MAX GVCC 5,225 pounds (2,370 kg).

Be aware that GVWR can vary, depending on added features, but legally towed load varies per state. Anything wider than 8.5 feet (2.6 m) requires an additional wide load permit in most states.

Manufacturers typically recommend avoiding exceeding 85% of the GVWR for security reasons. In other words, the load you want to carry should be less than 2,000 pounds (907 kg) if your trailer GVWR is 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg) and its dry weight 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg).

Tongue weight

It is the static force that the trailer tongue exerts on the hitch. Tongue weight shouldn’t be over 10% to 15% of the GVWR if you have a traditional trailer with a ball-mounted hitch.

So, tongue weight can max 300 to 450 pounds (136 – 204 kg) if your trailer is 2,000 pounds (907 kg) heavy and carries 1,000 pounds (453.5 kg) cargo.

If it is too low, you will face swaying the trailer tongue. Otherwise, you will overload your vehicle’s back tires when putting too much pressure on the hitch ball. In both cases, you will endanger traffic safety.

 

What Is GCWR?

What Is GCWR

Gross combined weight rating is the max weight of the loaded trailer and vehicle, including:

Loaded vehicle

  • Vehicle weight
  • Passengers
  • Cargo

Loaded trailer

  • Trailer weight
  • Boat weight
  • Engine
  • Water
  • Fuel
  • Gear

You can find this number on the VIN sticker on the vehicle door, along with one more number, GVWR. Gross vehicle weight rating is the max weight that includes your vehicle, cargo, and passengers weight.

It is possible to calculate the maximum allowed loaded trailer weight with a simple mathematic calculation:

GCWR – GVWR = Max allowed loaded trailer weight

You need to know all these numbers to calculate correctly whether your vehicle can tow your new boat. If not, you will need to buy a smaller vessel or a more sizable truck.

Axle type

You can buy a single-axle trailer for a boat less than 23 feet (7 m) long and weight under 3,300 pounds (1,497 kg). More sizable vessels require a trailer with two or three axles to provide more safety and stability.

 

Trailer Weight by Boat Type

Trailer Weight by Boat Type

As you can see, finding a suitable boat trailer is an important but pretty challenging task. You can roughly combine particular boat types with adequate trailers by classifying them into four groups to make things less complicated.

First group

In this group, you can find trailers for:

These small vessels’ dry weight is 800 to 1,000 pounds (363 – 453.5 kg), so you will need only a small, single-axle, 200 to 400 pounds (91 – 181.5 kg) heavy trailer.

Second group

In this group are most fishing boats, like:

These vessels need to have a sizable storing space for fishing gear so that you can expect a higher weight capacity. Their average weight is 1,000 to 3,000 pounds (453.5 – 1,361 kg).

The best option for such boats is a single-axle trailer weighing 300 to 600 pounds (136 – 272 kg). You can tow it with a truck, SUV, sedan, or minivan.

Trailer weight in line with the boat and towing vehicle

Boat type Boat dry weight Trailer weight Recommended tow vehicle
Jon boat, canoe, kayak, PWC 800 to 1,000 pounds

(363 – 453.5 kg)

Single-axle, 200 to 400 pounds (91 – 181.5 kg) Truck, SUV, minivan, sedan, or compact
Bass boat 1,000 to 2,000 pounds

(453.5 – 907 kg)

Single-axle, 300 to 500 pounds (136 – 227 kg) Truck, SUV, minivan, sedan, or compact
Pontoon, saltwater fishing boat, ski boat, and motorboat 2,200 to 3,000 pounds

(998 – 1,361 kg)

Single-axle, 500 to 600 pounds (227 – 272 kg) Truck, SUV, or minivan
Bay and ski boats 4,000 to 6,000 pounds

(1,814 – 2,721,5 kg)

Tandem-axle, 800 to 1,000 pounds (363 – 453.5 kg) Heavy-duty truck or large SUV
Speed boat, sailboat, and cabin cruiser 7,000 to 10,000 pounds

(3,175 – 4,536 kg)

Triple-axle, 1,300 to 1,600 pounds (589.5 – 726 kg) Heavy-duty truck or large SUV

Third group

It includes:

You will need a large trailer with a tandem axle in this case. It needs to have an imposing capacity to carry these sizable, approximately 4,000 to 6,000 pounds (1,814 – 2,721,5 kg) heavy boat types.

The required trailer weight should range from 800 to 1,000 pounds (363 – 453.5 kg) in this case. Therefore, you will need a heavy-duty truck or large SUV to tow it safely.

Fourth group

Only the most sizable boat types come in this category, such as:

Since they are 7,000 to 10,000 pounds (3,175 – 4,536 kg) heavy, you should use a heavy-duty truck or large SUV to tow them. As for the trailer, you will need a triple-axle, massive model weighing 1,300 to 1,600 pounds (589.5 – 726 kg).

Keep in mind that the boat and trailer combined weight can go up to 15,000 pounds (6,804 kg) in this case. Therefore, you need a sizable vehicle for towing them and safety chains to provide secure fastening without the possibility of swaying.

 

Summary

Once you decide to tow your boat, you need to check the weight of the boat trailer you want to purchase and align it with boat capacity and size. Never use average dimensions since your vessel may go beyond those presumed parameters. A better option is to do the math or ask a local boat dealer for advice.

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