With so many options when it comes to buying a boat, there is a lot to consider that will help make your decision. Thinking about how you want to use your boat – do you want a fishing boat, something for cruising, or something more versatile – will help, but going a little deeper and thinking about boat weight will help narrow your search even more.
Boat weight can be one of the last things you think about before a boat purchase but can be one of the most important factors if you are going to tow your boat. Obviously, the bigger the boat is the more it will weigh; but there are also weight variations among boats that are about the same size.
I’ve done the research for you and compiled the weight profile of a few styles of boats. The results are below.
How Much Does a 17 Ft Boat Weigh?
As you can see, there can be a sizable difference in the weight of boats that are about the same length, and there are a lot of factors that go into overall boat weight – a fiberglass boat will weigh more than an aluminum boat, and a pontoon boat will weigh less than a center console.
Also, the way you choose to power your boat and the options you choose will play a role in the overall weight, too. We are going to dive into dry weight, gear and fuel weight, and trailer weight, all in order to help you make the right decision on what is best for you.
Edgewater 170CC – Center Console
The Edgewater 170CC offers all the features of a larger boat, in a smaller package. It offers great ride quality and plenty of room for people and gear, and with a Deep-V hull will take you offshore or allow you to fish the skinny water.
Edgewater is a premier boat builder that has been around since 1992 and builds boats from just over 15 Ft to just over 37 Ft. With such a wide range of models, Edgewater can put technology from the design of larger, more expensive, models into their smaller boats.
The 170CC comes with a Yamaha F115 outboard, live well in the bow, and plenty of storage throughout. But how much does it all weigh?
- Dry Weight – 2,250 lbs. (including the 115 HP motor). Dry weight consists of the hull, motor, and all rigging, but doesn’t account for any fuel or liquids, gear, or any accessories. 115 HP is the max suggested for this model, but if you were to opt for a smaller motor, the dry weight would drop.
- Gear and Fuel Weight – approx. 500 lbs. The gear and fuel weight consists of the weight of fuel (8.4 lbs. per gallon, 30-gallon tank), any gear on board (fishing poles, ice chest, tackle, etc.), and batteries. The maximum weight of people for this boat is 805 lbs. and the maximum weight on board is 1,350 lbs., so if there are fewer people on board, you could bring more gear if you wanted.
- Trailer Weight – approx. 425 lbs. This assumes a single axle aluminum trailer. Aluminum is lighter than galvanized steel and will be more resistant to rust when it’s around saltwater.
- Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) – 3,175 lbs. GTW, sometimes known as towing weight is the total weight of the boat, trailer, and gear and fuel that will be in the boat while towing.
Princecraft Vectra 17 – Pontoon Boat
Since 1954, Princecraft has been a top manufacturer of aluminum boats and they pride themselves on building high-quality boats with a focus on value, performance, and durability.
The Vectra 17 offers wrap around seating, live well, and under-seat storage. Pontoon boats are a great way to get out on the water with everyone and everything you want with you.
There’s room to move around, platforms to fish from, a swim ladder if you decide to jump in, and even a small table. So, whether you’re interested in cruising around the lake, or anchoring to watch the sunset, you can do it all on a pontoon boat.
The Vectra 17 has room for 7 people and is rated for up to a 50 HP motor, giving you more than enough power to get you where you want to go. How much does something like this weigh?
- Dry Weight – 1,567 lbs. with the maximum HP allowed. The weight of just the boat without the motor is 1,312 lbs. The size and aluminum construction help keep the weight down.
- Gear and Fuel Weight – approx. 400 lbs. The Vectra has a 6-gallon fuel tank which helps keep the weight down because even with a full tank you’re only looking at 50.4 lbs. The rest of the weight in this category comes from any gear you might bring on board (fishing poles, ice chest, food, etc.)
- Trailer Weight – approx. 400 lbs. This weight assumes a single axle galvanized steel trailer, which is all you’ll need for a boat this size and weight.
- Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) – the all-in weight for this boat, including boat, motor, trailer, and gear is 2,367 lbs. The great thing about a boat this size is that you can tow it with almost any vehicle that has a trailer hitch. This boat will be easily maneuverable on the road and will feel good while on the trailer.
Flats Cat 17’ – Catamaran
This boat is a shallow water fishing machine built to get into some of the hardest to reach areas imaginable. The Flats Cat 17 has a resting draft of only 5” and ½” when on plane, meaning there aren’t many places you won’t be able to reach.
Flats Cat makes their boats with performance in mind and they have several features you won’t find in other boats. In addition to being able to run in extremely shallow water, the Flats Cat is also extremely stable because of having two hulls instead of one; the two hulls work together to stabilize each other.
- Dry Weight – 800 lbs. without a motor. There is a 90 HP recommendation for this boat that will add around 350 lbs. for a total of 1,150 lbs. Because of the performance demanded of the Flats Cat, dry weight needs to be kept to a minimum.
- Gear and Fuel Weight – approx. 600 lbs. The Flats Cat has a 27-gallon fuel tank, so just the fuel in a full tank will weigh about 227 lbs. The rest of the 600 lbs. comes from fishing poles, tackle, ice, etc.
- Trailer Weight – approx. 560 lbs. The Flats Cat comes with a custom aluminum trailer made to fit the unique contours of the boat.
- Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) – 2,310 lbs.
Tips on Boat Towing
Spending time on the water is a great way to make memories with family and friends and making sure you get to the water safely is essential. Here are a few boat towing tips that will help make sure your time on the water is the best it can be.
We’ve talked a lot about boat weight, including dry weight and how to come up with a boat’s Gross Trailer Weight, what we haven’t talked about yet is why GTW is important. Each vehicle has a few maximum capacities listed by the manufacturer. Below is a table outlining the weights to keep in in mind before attaching your boat to your vehicle:
|GTW||Gross Trailer Weight||Trailer + gear|
|GVWR||Gross Vehicle Weight Rating||Vehicle + people and gear|
|GCWR||Gross Combined Weight Rating||Vehicle + people and gear + trailer and gear|
|GAWR||Gross Axle Weight Rating||Distribution over each axle of vehicle + people and gear + trailer and gear|
A few other boat towing tips:
- Maintain enough distance between you and the car in front of you. Towing a trailer adds weight to your vehicle and will increase the distance it takes to stop completely.
- Make wide turns. With the extra length, keep an eye on the trailer while making turns so as not to hit curbs or other vehicles.
- Strap the boat to the trailer using the ratchet strap on the trailer to connect the bow and strap the stern to the rear of the trailer.
- If you add any gear to the inside of the boat while towing, make sure to follow the 60-40 rule. 60% of the cargo should be in front of the axle.
- We’ve talked about weight as it relates to towing, we also must keep in mind that each boat has a maximum weight capacity that shouldn’t be exceeded. Boats float because of displacement and can only push so much water out of the way before water can come over the sides letting the boat fill with water. The worst-case scenario is the boat could capsize if it is filled past the maximum weight capacity.
- Boat weight, even when boats are about the same size, can vary greatly depending on the brand, style, and materials used during construction.
- Gross Trailer Weight will directly impact the vehicle you’ll need to tow your boat. Understand your vehicle’s capacity limits and be sure not to exceed those limits.