What Boats Can a GMC Yukon XL Denali Tow? [24 Examples]

As an owner of a GMC Yukon XL Denali, you know exactly how heavy-duty your vehicle actually is. If you also happen to be an outdoorsman that enjoys boating and fishing, your GMC Yukon XL Denali is also supportive of these hobbies, with a towing capacity that supports many types of boats and watercraft that are popular today.

How Much Weight Can a GMC Yukon XL Denali Tow?

The GMC Yukon XL Denali is an incredibly powerful large-size sport utility vehicle that boasts a towing capacity between 7,900 and 8,100 pounds depending on the specific model you select. With this range in towing capacity, the Denali is more than capable of towing a large variety of boats.

It’s important to know the towing capacity of your Yukon XL Denali before making a purchase decision on a boat or watercraft. However, this information is incredibly vague and open to interpretation. Not only do you need to know how much your vehicle can tow, but you also need to know which types of boats you should even consider looking into.

What Boats Can a GMC Yukon XL Denali Tow?
2021 GMC Yukon Denali

What Types of Boats can a GMC Yukon XL Denali Tow?

Boasting a solid towing capacity between 7,900 and 8,100 pounds, your options when it comes to the type of boat your Denali can tow are essentially limitless. In the list below, we will overview the different types of boats that will fit within your vehicle’s towing capacity. Please remember that you must also consider the weight of a trailer.

For a GMC Yukon XL Denali, you might be interested in a boat that weighs about 7,800 pounds. While this value is within your vehicle’s tow limit, you also need to factor in the weight of your trailer, which in this case could be 400 pounds. In this case, that would put you between 100 and 300 pounds over your vehicle’s towing capacity (depending on your model), which can prove to be destructive to your vehicle’s performance.

Given this information, here are some types of boats you can expect your GMC Yukon XL Denali to be able to tow.

  • Jon Boats – 450 pounds
  • Personal Watercraft – 750 pounds
  • Bass Boats – 1,700 pounds
  • Dinghy – 1,700 pounds
  • Jet Boats – 2,300 pounds
  • Deck Boats – 3,100 pounds
  • Ski Boats – 3,500 pounds
  • Walkaround Boats – 4,000 pounds
  • Bowrider Boats – 4,500 pounds
  • Center Console Boats – 5,000 pounds

In this list, we provided 10 different types of boats that your Denali can tow. However, you need to remember that these are dry weight averages, which means it’s possible that certain models are higher or lower than the values provided in the list.

With that said, here are some descriptions of the types of boats your Denali can tow and some examples of specific models.

What Boats Can a GMC Yukon XL Denali Tow?
2021 GMC Yukon Denali

Jon Boats

These are the most basic type of fishing boat that you can possibly buy, but that doesn’t mean they’re low-quality or incapable of what they’re built for. Usually made from aluminum or wood, these boats usually include several benches within the watercraft to allow for seating of occupants. In addition, these boats are ideal for freshwater fishing in smaller groups.

  • Tracker Topper 1236 – 126 pounds
  • Smoker Craft 1436 – 182 pounds
  • Tracker Grizzly 1648 Jon – 638 pounds
  • G3 Boats Gator Tough – 1,065 pounds

Personal Watercraft

Personal watercraft are most commonly referred to as Jet Skis. There are typically two variations of Jet Skis that describe how they’re used: Sit-down and stand-up. This type of watercraft is capable of reaching incredibly high speeds and is easily comparable to a water-based motorcycle. In addition, they are extremely easy to transport.

  • Yamaha SUPERJET – 306 pounds
  • Yamaha SPARK 2up – 405 pounds
  • Yamaha FX HO – 836 pounds
  • Kawasaki ULTRA 310R – 1,047 pounds

Bass Boats

If you’re an avid fisherman who likes to spend extended periods of time on the water, bass boats are the perfect fishing boat. These are made for use in freshwater and are much smaller in size than most fishing boats. However, they’re highly capable of doing everything you need them to do.

  • Xpress X19 Pro – 1,390 pounds
  • Bass Cat Jaguar – 2,150 pounds
  • Ranger 1880 MS – 2,290 pounds


Dinghies aren’t the most popular boat, but they are very lightweight and small in size. These are more commonly used as rescue boats for large ships, but they can also be used casually in freshwater. Many different models are available and you can select a dinghy that’s rowboat-style, inflatable, or even motorized.

Jet Boats

Jet boats are a perfect combination of lightweight and high power. The difference between a jet boat and any other high powered boat is the method of acceleration, which involves propelling water behind the boat for increased speed. These boats range in size, weight, and purpose.

  • Vortex 203 VRX – 2,600 pounds
  • Yamaha SX240 – 3,605 pounds
  • Yamaha 275SD – 5,466 pounds

Deck Boats

What makes these boats special is their ability to be used for larger gatherings. With a larger deck that provides seating for sometimes a dozen people, you can host social gatherings or parties for your friends and family with this type of boat. Additionally, you can use this boat for water activities like fishing and waterskiing.

  • Stingray 186CC – 2,300 pounds
  • Stingray 235LR – 4,105 pounds
  • Hurricane SunDeck 2690 – 4,475 pounds

Ski Boats

This type of boat is also referred to as a wake boat. The construction of these boats helps to create waves behind the boat, which are perfect for participation in watersport activities like water skiing, water tubing, and wake surfing.

  • Malibu TXi MO – 3,100 pounds
  • Centurion Enzo SV244 – 4,559 pounds
  • Super Air Nautique G25 – 6,400 pounds

Walkaround Boats

What makes walkaround boats unique is the ability to access nearly every area of the boat while in motion. This is ideal for fishing, as you can relocate your position on the boat with ease when the environment calls for it. These boats also offer a cabin that’s used for steering the boat and storing equipment.

Bowrider Boats

This type of boat is ideal for small gatherings and family outings on the lake. They provide enough seating for a small party and allow you to just spend some time traveling via the water or even participate in fishing activities.

  • Bayliner 170 OB – 1,752 pounds
  • Baja 247 Islander – 4,299 pounds

Center Console Boats

This type of boat is one of the most popular types of boat owned by Americans and used in saltwater. In a center console boat, the steering console is located in the center of the boat as the name implies. These boats are also very useful for activities like fishing, water skiing, or even just cruising in the ocean.

  • Cobia 201 Center Console – 2,745 pounds
  • WorldCat 230 Center Console – 4,000 pounds
2021 GMC Yukon Denali towing capacity
2021 GMC Yukon Denali

Other Important Information

The most important thing you can do as a boat owner is to learn how to set up your boat trailer properly and provide yourself and those around you with a heightened sense of safety. This not only enhances safety, but it also protects your vehicle’s performance.


When you finally purchase a boat, you need to make sure that you set your vehicle up with the proper hitch. To determine which hitch your vehicle requires, you need to consider the tongue weight and towing capacity of your vehicle and the weight of the boat you’re planning on towing.

In the case of a vehicle that’s capable of towing a bit over 8,000 pounds like your Denali, your vehicle would be supportive of a Class 3 hitch that can support a towing capacity of up to 7,500 pounds.


The most responsible thing you can do as a boat owner is to drive carefully when you’re on the road and towing your boat. Here are some driving suggestions you should follow.

  • Maintain self-awareness and pull over if something seems wrong with your boat or trailer
  • Remain in the slow lane as often as possible
  • Keep a good following distance to prepare for sudden braking and swerving
  • Don’t drive too quickly, as it takes longer to stop
  • Take turns wide due to your vehicle’s added length
What Boats Can a GMC Yukon XL Denali Tow?
2021 GMC Yukon Denali

Closing Thoughts

It’s impossible to deny just how heavy duty and highly-capable the GMC Yukon XL Denali is. With a maximum towing capacity of over 8,000 pounds, you can essentially select any boat you want and expect your vehicle to be able to tow it with ease. This makes the purchase process of a boat much easier than it normally would be.

If you just aren’t sure whether the GMC Yukon XL Denali would fit your driving and towing needs or you’re only here because you’re researching vehicles that would be supportive of towing your current boat, there are plenty of other vehicle options that can tow your boat and also provide a solid driving experience.

You should consider checking out our entire library on vehicle towing capacity!

What Boats Can a GMC Yukon XL Denali Tow? [24 examples]