So, you’ve decided to buy yourself a bass boat, we know it’s a very exciting time. But it’s imperative that we understand what we’re getting ourselves into. The one question that crops up time and again is “how much does a bass boat weigh?”, but it’s not a straightforward question to answer accurately. Any figures you’re presented with might vary greatly, and that’s because there is no standardized weight and size to a bass boat. In order to get a more accurate figure we first need to do a little bit of research.
As we’ve briefly covered already, bass boats come in a range of sizes, shapes and are created using a variety of manufacturing methods and materials. Furthermore, the addition of accessories and motors will significantly impact the weight of any boat. In order to provide a rough guide, I’ve pulled together the average weights from some of today’s most popular manufacturers in order to provide you with a good general estimation of much a bass boat might weigh.
The weight of an average bass boat is 1600 pounds, which can vary up or down depending on the size of the boat as well as the construction materials. This estimation is based on the dry weight of the boat, so any fishing gear, fuel or accessories will push this weight up. We haven’t factored in the weight of the boat trailer either, which can add 500 pounds or more, so make sure you factor this in when checking your vehicles tow weight.
Here are the most popular bass fishing boats on the market today listed from heaviest to lightest with their weights and lengths:
- Ranger 1880 MS: 2,290 lbs – 18 feet 10 inches
- Bass Cat Jaguar: 2,150 lbs – 21 feet 5 inches
- 2016 Nitro Z20: 2,000 lbs – 20 feet 2 inches
- Charger 210 Elite: 1,900 lbs – 20 feet 10 inches
- 2017 Nitro Z18: 1,700 lbs – 18 feet 8 inches
- 2017 Tracker Pro Team 175 TF: 1,010 lbs 17 feet 7 inches
- 2018 Tracker Pro 170: 878 lbs – 16 feet 8 inches
Looking at the list above, you can see there are over 1000 lbs in variation between the heaviest and the lightest models, and nearly 5 feet of difference in length between the shortest and longest. This is not even taking into account the size and weight of the motor we’re going to be using with these boats.
Boat Trailer Weight
If you’ve seen term dry weight before, and you’ve wondered what it means, it basically refers to the weight of the boat with a motor attached, it doesn’t take into account any fuel or other accessories. Furthermore, the weight of the boat trailer isn’t taken into consideration when calculating the dry weight of a boat. Trailers can be incredibly heavy and can vary greatly in size and materials, which means they can come in a range of weights, from 500 lbs all the way up to 4000 lbs. It’s a good idea to liaise with your boat dealer to get the accurate weight of the boat and the trailer combined.
The Weight of the Gear
The weight of the gear, bait or rods you’re planning to take with you on the water can quickly mount up. Once you’ve taken into account the weight of fishing tackle, oars, food and water and anything else you’re looking to take with you, this can quickly exceed 200 lbs. The fuel tank on boats can hold anywhere between 10 and 40 gallons, so make sure you take that into consideration before you head out for the day.
Bass Boat Materials – Aluminium or Fiberglass
Perhaps the biggest deciding factor on the final weight of a boat is the materials used in the construction. By far the two most common types are Fiberglass and Aluminium, these will make up 90% of the bass boats you’re likely to come across. Each material has its pros and cons and they will, of course, affect the weight of the bass boat as well as its performance and suitability for certain environments.
Fiberglass bass boats are generally heavier in weight and will, therefore, need deeper water to launch into. If you’re limited in your towing capacity, whether the boat is made from fiberglass or something else is going to have a bearing on your buying decision.
Aluminum bass boats are more often than not lighter than their fiberglass cousins, and will therefore not require as deep water in order to launch. The downside is that aluminum is a bit easier to dent or damage and they are noisier to operate when you’re out on the water.
What’s My Towing Weight Limit
Knowing your towing weight limit is probably the most important factor when choosing a boat. Before you even begin looking at boats, you should be checking to see how much weight your vehicle can handle when towing. If you have a truck or SUV, then you’re in luck as most of these have decent enough towing capability, but some cars are also capable. If you end up attempting to pull a 4000 lb boat with a vehicle that’s not up to the task, then you’re in for a bad time and you’re setting yourself up for a lot of expensive engine problems. Most vehicles will show their towing capability on the sticker located on the inside of the door frame, failing that take a look at the manufacturer’s handbook. In order to give you an indication of what your vehicle might be capable off, here are the towing specs for some of the bestselling vehicles
- Jeep Renegade – 2,000 pounds
- Subaru Outback – 2,700 pounds
- Ford Escape – 3,500 pounds
- Toyota Highlander – 5,000 pounds
- Chevrolet Colorado – 7,700 pounds
- GMC Yukon – 8,500 pounds
- Ford F-150 – 12,200 pounds
- Chevrolet Silverado 2500 – 14,500 pounds to 18,100 pounds
These values should only be used as a guideline only, each model within a particular range can have different performance ratings. For example, the Silverado can come with a towing package and with or without four-wheel drive, this can and does impact towing capacity. If in doubt consult the dealership or the manufacturer for the final say on the capabilities of your vehicle. The figures stated above are meant to serve as a rough guide only.
Unfortunately, you’re going to have to carry out a bit of maths in order to work at the weight of your boat once it’s fully loaded and fuelled is this can increase the boat weight by 10 – 30 %. Standard gasoline weighs in at around 6.1 pounds per gallon, so if you know the capacity of your boat, you can work out how much your fuel is going to weight. Let’s assume that the fuel capacity of your boat is 50 gallons, so if we do a quick piece of the back of the napkin maths, 6.1 x 50 = 305 pounds of fuel. This is nearly 20% of the dry weight of the average bass boat, so it’s well worth taking into consideration when you’re working out how much everything is going to weigh. If we couple the fuel weight on top of the weight of all the gear and everything else, we should get the full tow weight.
- Fuel = 305 pounds
- Gear = 200 pounds
- Boat = 1,600 pounds
- Trailer = 500 pounds
- Total weight = 2,605 pounds
You’d probably want to make sure that your vehicle is rated for at least 3,000 pounds, ideally more. It would be better to overshoot the required tow rating rather than underestimating and causing issues further down the line.
Buying a new bass boat can be a ton of fun, and provide years of entertainment for you and your family and friends. Carrying out a little bit of research before making any buying decision can save you a lot of trouble further down the line. You might need to carry out a bit of mental arithmetic to work out the corrects weights, but you can always as the boat dealership as well as your car manufacturer to help with the decision making process. The last you want to do is end up with a boat that is far too large for your car which ends up causing damage or embarrassment.