Boat trailers come in all sizes, shapes, and weights. On average, a boat trailer weighs 600 pounds. The weight of the boat and the trailer combined can reach up to 6,000 pounds.
I will discuss the different factors you need to consider when buying a boat trailer and the average weight of some of the most common boat trailers in the market.
Common Boats and Their Boat Trailers
To give you a perspective of their weight, below is a table where you can find the types of boats, their average weight, and the average weight of the trailers that can carry them.
|Average Boat Weight in Pounds
|Average Boat Trailer Weight in Pounds
|Jon boats, canoes, kayaks
|800 to 1000
|200 to 400
|1000 to 2000
|300 to 500
|Pontons and motorboats
|2000 to 3000
|500 to 600
|Saltwater fishing boats
|2200 to 3000
|500 to 600
|4000 to 600
|800 to 1000
|7000 to 8800
|1300 to 1600
The length of the trailer is also a factor that affects its weight. Of course, the longer it is, the more metal was used in its construction. As such, it is heavier. The heavy boat trailers also need stronger and heavier wheels, and this also adds to the overall weight of the trailer.
What vehicle can tow what?
Boat trailers weighing up to 400 pounds can be towed with sedans and compact cars. These boat trailers are light, but the largest boat you can put on them is a Jon boat. Typically, people use this type of trailer for kayaks and canoes.
Bass boats require trailers that are around 500 pounds, and you need a minivan or an SUV to tow them. A pick-up truck will also do.
For all the rest of the boat trailers that weigh more, you need a bigger SUV or powerful pick-up truck to pull them. Keep in mind that the trailer is not just the weight you have to consider but also the weight of the boat you are putting on it.
What makes boat trailers heavy?
Boat trailers are often made with a metal alloy. Some manufacturers use aluminium to make it lighter, but there is no doubt that these trailers are still heavy. Below are some of the factors that affect how heavy a boat trailer is.
The Size of the Trailer
Some trailers are bigger and wider than others. The reason being is that they are made for a specific kind of boat. For example, trailers for kayaks are thinner than trailers for jet skis and fishing boats. On the other hand, there are boat trailers for kayaks that can accommodate two kayaks side by side.
The Length of the Trailer
The length of the trailer is also a factor that affects its weight. Longer ones are built for longer boats, and they need more metal.
A boat that is 12 feet long will never fit in a kayak trailer that is between six and eight feet long. As such, there is more metal that adds weight to it.
On average, boat trailers that are 14 feet in length generally weigh around 150 pounds only. However, they can only carry a boat with a weight of 400 pounds.
The big ones, like trailers that span 28 feet in length, can weigh up to 1,600 pounds. However, they have much more power and can carry about 8,000 pounds.
The Material of the Trailer
The material used for the trailer is also a factor. Most manufacturers now use aluminium. It is not only lightweight but also resistant to rust and corrosion. However, there are still those that prefer traditional metal because it is stronger.
Today, there are many boat trailers made of stainless steel. It is a kind of steel that can also fight corrosion, but it does stain after so many years. Stainless steel is also heavier than aluminium and can be much more expensive.
Tips for Buying Boat Trailers
Before you buy a boat trailer, there are some things that you must consider. I have a few experiences myself about this, so I want to share them with you.
1. Check the gross vehicle weight rating
The gross vehicle weight rating is called GVWR. This number represents the maximum weight that the trailer can carry. I suggest that you do not even come close to it, as the metal may not be able to sustain the weight of that boat.
The GVWR already includes the weight of the entire boat. So, be careful about the boat’s weight. Some boat manufacturers tell you a boat’s weight, but that number does not include the weight of the engine. Take note that you must also comply with your country’s laws as far as weight limits are concerned.
2. Check the width of the trailer
The boat cannot rock left to right, or it will fall. The boat trailer must be wide enough so the gravity of the boat finds a balance on it.
In addition to all of these, you need at least 10 centimetres of space around the trailer once the boat is already sitting on top of it. This is the space you need to tie the boat on the trailer.
Before you buy, measure the width of your boat. If you cannot do this, consult the manual—it should be there. Make sure to ask an expert about this measurement. You can always rely on the seller of the boat itself to get some advice.
3. Decide which axle is appropriate
A single-axle trailer has one axle where the wheels are connected on each end. The trailer is attached to your car with supporting hardware.
A single-axle trailer is best for people who want an easy way to manoeuvre the trailer. A single-axle trailer is also a good idea if you want to take the trailer to a garage. Single-axle trailers are cheaper than double-axle ones, and they also need less maintenance.
Dual-axle trailers are better if you are towing long distances. They are also safer to use because they are much more stable at highway speeds.
You need a dual-axle trailer if you are pulling heavy boats. These trailers usually weigh above 750 kilograms—some can weigh 6,000 kilograms!
4. Choose the make for the type of water
Although many boat trailers are made of aluminium and stainless steel, these are not your only options. You can make boat trailers made of galvanized steel.
These boat trailers are great for exposure to saltwater. Aluminium and stainless-steel trailers are great for freshwater environments. However, exposure to saltwater can result in corrosion.
5. Know the laws
Different states and countries have different laws about trailers. You cannot just attach a trailer to your vehicle and expect that a police patrol will not call your attention. In Florida, people must use trailers with brakes on all wheels of the trailer that is more than 3,000 pounds.
There are also laws about trailer lengths. At least where I am from, the maximum length for a light and simple trailer is 12.5 meters. The maximum height is 4.3 meters, and the maximum gross vehicle mass must be 3,500 kilograms.
Consult your traffic or vehicle department for this information. Do not believe in hearsay. The last thing that you want is to listen to somebody and then realize that he is wrong.
Towing a boat is not as simple as it seems. There are many types of boats and many types of trailers. Before you buy a trailer, you must take into account the type of boat that you will tow and the power of your vehicle.
You must also carefully study how you will put the boat on the trailer and make sure you comply with all safety standards when towing the boat.