A Honda Pilot may not be the first vehicle that comes to your mind when you think about towing a boat. But if you own one, you may want to think about purchasing a boat after reading this. You may be surprised at your options.
Whether you want a boat for your fishing excursions or just for a fun day on the water with family and friends, there are plenty of boats to choose from that will fit with the towing capacity of your Honda Pilot.
How Much Weight Can a Honda Pilot Tow?
As with any SUV, the Honda Pilot has its limits. It is important to know what the weight limit for towing is before you purchase a boat. If you place too much strain on your Pilot it can cause many different problems, such as a broken suspension, tire blow-out, brake failure, or an overheated transmission.
All Honda Pilots come with the same V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission with lower trim options and a nine-speed transmission with higher trim options.
There are six trims of the Honda Pilot.
- Honda Pilot LX
- Honda Pilot EX
- Honda Pilot EX-L
- Honda Pilot Touring
- Honda Pilot Elite
- Honda Pilot Black Edition
Honda Pilot Towing Capacity
Since the Pilot is a smaller SUV option, you may be surprised to know that, when properly equipped, it has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. This is when operating in all wheel-drive mode. If it is in two-wheel drive, it can tow 3,500 pounds.
Never forget to add the weight of the boat trailer when you are considering a boat to two behind your Honda Pilot. The total of the trailer and boat should not exceed the 5,000-pound limit to avoid damage to your SUV and stay safe.
Five thousand pounds may not seem like much when you are thinking about a boat and trailer, but several boats are available that will meet your needs and fit within the weight limit. If you read on, some examples will be provided so that you can make an educated decision.
Types of Boats That a Honda Pilot Can Tow
There are many different types of boats. Some are designed specifically for speed, while others are made for water recreation like skiing and wake boarding. Still others are intended specifically for fishing.
Here are a few kinds that could fit your needs and the weight limitations of your Honda Pilot.
|Type of Boat||Average Dry Weight|
|Ski Boat||3,500 pounds|
|Pontoon Boat||3,100 pounds|
|Fishing Boat||1,700 pounds|
Don’t forget that these are average weight options. Each boat will weigh differently, plus you must think about the weight of the boat trailer. If you plan to have any equipment inside of the boat while towing, be sure you know the approximate weight of those items.
If you are looking for a boat that will give you a thrill as you maneuver through the water on skis or a wake board, a ski boat is for you. They can also be used for water tubing. Because you need speed for these water activities, a ski boat offers that, as well.
So, if it’s speed you’re after, you might consider this type of watercraft. Here are a few different options that could work with your Honda Pilot.
- 2020 Chaparral 21 Surf – 3,300 pounds
- Mastercraft Prostar 2017 20 – 3,000 pounds
- Boston Whaler 170 Montauk – 1,700 to 2,254 pounds
- 2014 Chaparral 204 Xtreme – 3,549 pounds
Ski boats often feature a platform in the rear that makes it easy to get in and out of the water to ski or waterboard.
Just like a ski boat, a pontoon boat is a good option if you are looking to have a fun day on the water. Skiing, waterboarding, and tubing are all options. Generally, they have a ladder on the side that makes getting in and out of the water easy. So, they can also be used to get out into the middle of a body of water to swim. They can also be used to fish.
The seating capacity is another reason many people are attracted to them, as they can seat up to 10 people. Some will seat less, depending on the model.
Some of the better models for towing behind your Honda Pilot include:
- 2016 Cypress Cay 160 / FS – 1,585 pounds
- NauticStar Angler 193 SC – 2,100 pounds
- 2018 Larson Escape CRUZE – 1,700 pounds
- Lowe SS210 – 1,900 pounds
If you decide to go with a pontoon boat, you should remember that they can be rather bulky. This isn’t a problem, as long as you drive carefully and compensate for its size with proper safety precautions.
If it’s just fishing that you’re looking for, there are many more options. Fishing boats tend to weigh less than other types of boats, so you can have the pick of a much larger lot. Here are just a few of the many options that your Pilot could easily tow.
- 2014 G3 Angler V170 C – 1,080 pounds
- Tracker Pro Team 2017 175 TF – 1,010 pounds
- Charger Elite 210 – 1,900 pounds
- 2015 Princecraft Amarok DLX /WS/SC – 955 pounds
- Bass Cat Jaguar – 2,150 pounds
The lightweight fishing boat comes in handy when you consider that there are other things you will want to bring along, such as fishing gear, coolers with drinks, and food for your day.
If you live in an area of the United States that has a lot of marshes and swampland or bodies of water that aren’t very deep, you may need to consider an airboat. These boats are propelled by large fans as opposed to motors. They are not very heavy with the average boat weighing in at 2,000 pounds.
If none of these options appeal to you but you would like to have some fun in the water, you could always consider jet skis, kayaks, or paddle boats. These options are extremely light, and your Honda Pilot would have no problem towing them on a small trailer.
Towing A Boat: A Few Things You Should Know
When you are getting ready to tow your boat, there are a few other things you should take into consideration. Check all the connections to make sure everything is done properly. It is a good idea to make sure there is no rust, too.
Look into the laws in your area about braking systems as there are certain states that require them. If you will be driving outside of your normal area, you will want to check the laws there, as well.
Watch your speed while towing. If you are going too fast, you could easily lose control with the swaying of the boat and trailer. Also, when you take any turns, be sure to take them wide. With your load behind you, it is easy to hit any objects along the side of the road if you don’t allow enough room for your turn.
Stopping with a boat and trailer behind you isn’t the same as stopping without a load. So, remember to leave space between you and the next vehicle.
You should also use the brakes very carefully. If you feel the boat begins to sway as you are driving, you should not apply the brakes too hard. This could cause you to lose control. Instead, press the brakes gently and slowly if needed at all.
You should also keep in mind that your tow rating doesn’t take into consideration the weight of any passengers in your Honda Pilot and gear or other things you may be bringing with you.
If you are carrying any gear in the boat, make sure it is properly secured so that it doesn’t bounce around during the drive. This could include life vests, ice chests, and any fishing gear you may be bringing along. Securing it well could also keep it from flying out of the boat while in motion. This could be dangerous for other drivers on the road.
You should also make sure any items in your boat are positioned well. If the load is unbalanced, it could cause the tongue of your trailer to hang too low. The vehicle and load will sway more if this happens, and it could mean a harder time controlling everything.
A Honda Pilot may be an unassuming SUV, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted. If you want to tow a boat behind your Pilot, it is possible to do. You just need to pay attention to the weight to make sure you aren’t overloading your vehicle to avoid any damage.
The boat options above should give you some insight into which boats may be the best options for you. Remember to figure in the weight of the trailer and any other people and items in the vehicle and boat.
And then, follow the tips for driving safely with your Honda Pilot while towing a boat. Don’t take any unnecessary risks.
A 17 or 19-foot boat should fit within the towing capacity of the Honda Pilot. When you move into the 21-foot boat size, you are likely to start exceeding the capacity of your Honda Pilot SUV.