Here’s what I think:
If you have already tried to figure out the answer to this question on your own, then you must be frustrated. I mean, really frustrated. And for a good reason.
Indeed, it seems next to impossible to pin down the exact number.
Now, if it were someone else, I probably wouldn’t care. But I do understand what it feels like when you’re a super excited angler who’s about to buy his very first boat.
It’d be a shame for such a joyous moment to be overshadowed by a stupid math problem, am I right?
So today, I decided to help you out by tackling this infamous trick question. Because, in a nutshell, it is a sort of a math problem.
Because the weight of a bass boat depends on a number of factors. Its length, the material it’s made of, the type of motor it’s housing, the type of fuel you’re using, extra gear you might be carrying — all of that factors in.
On average, bass boats weigh somewhere between 1500 to 2000 pounds. Mind you — this is a dry weight estimate. That means I haven’t actually accounted for the fuel and extra gear, or for the weight of your trailer.
Since there are so many factors that affect the weight of a bass boat, I thought it would be useful to break them down and explain them in greater detail.
The Towing Weight Limit
I’m starting this list with a factor that is incredibly important but is sadly, often neglected at the moment of the purchase.
In all honesty, we almost never bother to check how much weight our vehicle is capable of towing. And that, my gentlemen, is a mistake we need to stop making.
I mean, sure, buying a new bass boat is not something you do every couple of weeks. In fact, most of the time, you don’t get a chance for a re-do. That is precisely why you need to do it right the first time. So please keep what I’m about to tell you in mind.
Most of you will probably be using SUVs or trucks as their towing vehicles. However, I’m pretty sure there will be several optimists who’d try to mount a bass boat onto the towing hitches of much smaller vehicles.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not judging. All I’m asking of you is to check the label on the inside of your car door. It should contain information regarding the towing weight limit of your four-wheeler.
By taking my advice on this, you avoid causing serious mechanical problems to your motor and transmission.
In my opinion, the weight of a bass boat is to a great extent affected by the type of material that was used to build it.
Essentially, bass boats are either built from aluminum or fiberglass. Much like with all other building materials, there are pros and cons to buying boats made from either of these.
While aluminum boats are quite light in construction and are able to float in shallow water, they are also quite noisy. So, yeah, you’ll be able to fish in shallow lakes if that’s what you like, but you’ll have to stop your boat well short of your desired fishing location. That is unless you’re trying to catch the fish by giving them a noise-induced heart attack.
Fiberglass bass boats, on the other hand, might be quieter, but their silence comes at a price. And that price is expressed in pounds. That’s right — they are much heavier than their aluminum counterparts. However, they are a great choice if you’re into deep water fishing.
The Weight of the Trailer
Somewhere at the beginning of this text, I have mentioned the words dry weight. The term implies only the weight of the boat and its motor. Wanna know what that means?
It means that, when calculating how much your car can tow, you need to take some other things into account. To begin with, you need to check how heavy your towing trailer is.
Depending on their length and what they’re made of, towing trailers can be quite heavy. So when you’re buying a bass boat, make sure the dealer tells you its weight with and without the trailer.
Obviously, when you go fishing, you’re not just going to take your bass boat out empty, right?
You’re going to take your fishing gear with you. And chances are you’re going to take a lot of it — oars, fishing rods, tackle, baits… You name it.
With all that stuff packed into your bass boat, you need to know you’ll add at least 200 pounds to its overall weight. And that, my friends, is not something you should take lightly. (Pun intended.)
The Weight of the Fuel
Believe it or not, the type and the amount of fuel can also affect the overall weight of your bass boat.
First of all, when choosing a boat, make sure you know whether you’re getting a gasoline or a diesel motor. Why? Because those two don’t weigh the same. Duh.
Diesel weighs somewhere around 7.1 pounds per gallon, whereas gasoline weighs something about 6.1 pounds per gallon.
If you asked around already, you know that most bass boats can hold between 30 to 50 gallons of fuel. The exact amount will, of course, depend on the size of the boat.
In most cases, when you do the math, the number you get in the end will not seem like a lot. Worst case scenario, you’ll add another 350 pounds of weight to your bass boat.
However, when you add other values to that number (namely, the dry weight of the boat, its trailer, and the gear), you get a number that you should not ignore. That’s the total estimated weight of your bass boat.
A Few Actual Examples
Don’t tell me you thought I’d leave you with just a bunch of theoretical information!
You did? Gentlemen, you underestimate me.
Let’s get down to crunching the numbers!
Bass Boat Dry Weight
Much like with any other product out on the market, there are more and less popular brands of bass boats. Here’s a list of the most popular ones, along with their length and dry weight, starting with the lightest one:
- 2018 Tracker Pro 170 — 16’8″, 878 lbs
- 2017 Nitro Z18 — 18’8″, 1,010 lbs
- Charger 210 Elite — 20’10″’, 1,900 lbs
- 2016 Nitro Z20 — 20’2″, 2,000 lbs
- Bass Cat Jaguar — 21’5″, 2,150 lbs
- Ranger 1880 MS — 18’10”, 2,290 lbs
I hope that this short list paints a clear picture of the number of options you’ll encounter when shopping for a new bass boat.
The Weight Limits of Some Popular Trucks
I’m sure you remembered what you need to do in order to find out the towing weight limit of your four-wheeler. But just in case, I wanted to give you a list that would give you a rough idea of what you can expect from some trucks.
- Chevy Silverado 1500 — nearly 10,000 lbs
- Ford F150 — nearly 8,000 lbs
- GMC Sierra — nearly 10,000 lbs
- Dodge Ram — nearly 10,000 lbs
- Toyota Tundra — nearly 10,000 lbs
- Chevy Colorado — nearly 7,000 lbs
- Toyota Tacoma — nearly 6,800 lbs
However, guys, don’t stick to this list blindly. Always check the specs. Different models of the same truck sometimes come with different features. Who knows, maybe your truck can be upgraded to a wholesome towing vehicle for your bass boat!
The Bottom Line
Alright, folks, it’s time to wrap things up.
First of all, I honestly hope that this article didn’t take all the joy away from bass boat shopping. That was not my intention.
I simply wanted to share some valuable info with you and help you in your search. And now, it’s time to summarize it all.
So please, keep in mind that the weight of a bass boat depends on a number of factors. You should keep in mind its length, the material it’s made of, the type of motor it’s housing, the type of fuel you’re using, and any extra gear you might be carrying.
Somewhere along the way, I told you that an average bass boat weighs around 1500 to 2000 pounds. However, I’ve also provided a few examples of both lighter and heavier boats.
We’ve also discussed the importance of your vehicle’s towing weight limit and how to determine it. I hope you understand why that’s important.
Above all else, please remember that, despite the homework, shopping for a bass boat should be a fun experience. Don’t ignore the math, but don’t be afraid of it either. Take your family with you, make it a joint venture. And remember — no matter what they tell you, there’s no such thing as a stupid question for the boat dealer. Questions save you a lot of trouble later on. So ask away.