What Boats Can a Jeep Wrangler Tow? [16 Examples]

What Boats Can a Jeep Wrangler Tow? [16 Examples]

If you enjoy boating and/or fishing and Jeeps, this article is just for you. Jeep Wranglers are most often recognized for their off-road capabilities. But they aren’t given nearly enough credit when it comes to towing boats.

How Much Weight Can a Jeep Wrangler Tow?

Jeep Wranglers including the Rubicon model have a towing capacity of 2,000 to 3,500 pounds.[1] This is only slightly less than the approximate 4,000 pounds of the Jeep itself.

The towing capacity mustn’t be exceeded. Each model comes with a specific limit, so you should check the information according to which model you own. Here is a bit of information about the towing capacity of each model.

Some Jeep Wranglers, including the YJ, TJ, and JK, have a towing capacity rated only at 2,000 pounds.[2] These models may not be the best option for towing if your boat exceeds that limit.

However, the Jeep Wrangler LJ, JK Unlimited, and JL Unlimited are all rated at 3,500 pounds. This is 1,500 pounds more than the other models.[3] But it’s always best to stay under the limit to play it safe.

The weight of the boat trailer should also be taken into consideration. The trailer can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. So be sure to properly calculate the weight of the trailer and boat together to find out if it is fit to be towed with your Jeep.


This may seem to limit your options, but there is hope. Even for the Jeeps with a lighter rating, there are lighter-weight boats that could be towed. As you read on, we will discuss exactly which type of boats are best suited to tow behind your Jeep Wrangler.

Types of Boats That a Jeep Wrangler Can Tow

Even with these weight limitations, some boats would work for your Jeep Wrangler. Boats come in all different shapes and sizes. Here is a table with some examples.

Type of Boat Average Dry Weight
PWCs 850 pounds
Ski Boat 3,500 pounds
Pontoon Boat?”>Pontoon Boat 3,100 pounds
Small Fishing Boat 1,700 pounds
Airboat 2,000 pounds

You will notice that the dry weights of these boats fall within the range of towing capacity that is given by the factory. But you should still take into consideration that each boat will be different, and you will have to factor in the weight of the trailer.

Ski Boats

Ski boats are very common in recreation and allow for plenty of enjoyment on the water. These types of boats are used most often for recreational water activities such as water skiing and tubing. There are a few different options that could work with your Jeep Wrangler:

Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats are also used for different types of water recreation. Up to 10 people can fit on some models, so they are used often in family get-togethers. They can be used for skiing, as well. If you like to fish, a pontoon boat will provide more stability than certain other boats that will help you not to scare the fish off.

The fact that some of these models could be towed with your Jeep Wrangler may come as a surprise since they tend to be rather large boats. Some of the better models for towing include:

  • NauticStar Angler 193 SC – 2,100 pounds
  • Avalon Catalina DRL 24 – 2,000 pounds
  • Lowe SS210 – 1,900 pounds

If you’re looking for a casual time on the water with family and friends, your Jeep may be able to handle one of these.

Small Fishing Boats

Fishing seems to be one of the main reasons people wish to tow a boat. If that is your goal, you’re in luck. There are several fishing boats, commonly called bass boats, that fall within the weight ranges you are looking for.

  • Tracker Pro 2017 170 – 878 pounds
  • Tracker Pro Team 2017 175 TF – 1,010 pounds
  • Charger Elite 210 – 1,900 pounds
  • Bass Cat Jaguar – 2,150 pounds

Personal Watercrafts (PWCs)

A personal watercraft, also known as PWC, is a recreational watercraft. Jet skis are probably the most well-known type of PWC. Some may not consider it a boat since they are much smaller than your typical boat. They don’t have much weight and are well-suited to tow behind a Jeep Wrangler. Some popular model PWCs include:

  • FX Cruiser HO Full – 838 pounds
  • Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX – 1,074 pounds
  • Sea-Doo Spark – 450 pounds


One unique type of boat that could suit your weight needs is an airboat. This kind of boat is commonly used in swamps and low water areas. So, if you live near a marsh or lake area with commonly low levels of water, an airboat could suit your purposes.

The average airboat only weighs around 2,000 pounds. With the trailer, it could weigh as much as 3,200 pounds. This puts it within the recommended weight range of a few Jeep Wrangler models.


One type of boat not included in the table above is the sailboat. This is because the average sailboat does not fall within the needed weight range of most Jeep Wranglers. However, there are two that can be recommended.

  • Sunfish Sailboat Classic – 130 pounds
  • Minicat 310 – 77 pounds

These two boats are catamaran type sailboats that could easily be towed by all Jeep Wranglers.

A Few Things You May Want to Know

In addition to knowing how much weight you can tow with your Jeep Wrangler, there are some other things you may want to consider.

While your Jeep may be able to tow some of these boats when it comes to weight, you will also want to consider trailer length. Towing something that is too long could be dangerous and difficult.

You will also want to make sure you have the proper towing equipment. It is extremely important to make sure your hitch receiver is rated for towing. Many come with a receiver that is only meant to take something small like a cargo rack.

So, be sure you’re fitted with the right kind before towing a boat. You will need either a Class II or Class III receiver to properly tow. A hitch ball and a mount with a hitch pin will also be necessary. Your local dealer should be able to help you buy the proper equipment.

2 Types of Trailer Hitches to Consider

There are two types of hitches to choose from – a weight carrying hitch or a weight distributing hitch. In some cases, a weight distributing hitch is required for certain Class III applications.[4] Choosing the right hitch and making the proper electrical connections affect how your vehicle handles, corners and brakes, and allows you to alert other drivers of your intentions.[5]

One very important step when attaching the trailer to your Jeep Wrangler is to make sure you attach the safety chains. To be properly done, the chains need to cross under the tongue. This way, if the hitch were to fall, the chains would catch it.

Before towing, it is best to follow certain other safety procedures. Checking the trailer for any rust is wise. You can also check your lights to make sure they are functioning properly.

Some states require a separate braking system on trailers with a loaded weight of more than 1,500 pounds.[6] You should check the laws of any states you plan to drive through while towing.

Should you need to purchase a braking system, there are a few different types available.

  • Electronically Controlled Brakes
  • Electric-Over-Hydraulic (EOH) Trailer Brakes
  • Surge Brakes

Any of these systems would ensure that you can come to a complete stop more quickly should you need to in an emergency.

Keeping in tune with the low towing capacity, you may also want to drive at a slower speed while towing. It can be hard to keep control while towing if your speed is too high. Crosswinds can also cause problems. For these reasons, it is best to keep your speed around 60 to 65 miles per hour. You will also want to be sure that you refrain from using your cruise control.

Proper tire pressure is another important aspect of towing a boat with your Jeep Wrangler. Overinflated tires may wear unevenly and compromise traction and stopping capability.  Underinflated tires get hot and may fail, leading to possible loss of vehicle control.[7] On modern vehicles, the recommended tire pressure is most often provided on a sticker inside of the driver’s door.[8]

With all of the above information, you should be able to make several informed decisions about which boat to tow with your Jeep Wrangler, as well as how to tow your boat safely. But, the most important thing is that you enjoy your Jeep and use it to its full potential.

What Boats Can a Jeep Wrangler Tow [16 Examples]