So, you’re interested in buying a deck boat. Sweet. Those things can be loads of fun. And as you might already know, there are tons to consider. But before you get swept away by fancy features, sleek exteriors, and engine power, you might want to take a look into the deck boat weight first.
Yes - how heavy is the deck boat? You can buy the fanciest, hottest, newest deck boat on the market and still be totally unable to enjoy it if it’s too heavy for your vehicle to tow along. And with that, we’re talking all about deck boat weights and what you need to know.
How Much Does a Deck Boat Weigh?
Well, that depends. There are a load of factors that can affect how much a deck boat weighs. From its size, to its make and model, to the different features available on board, there’s really no telling how much a deck boat might weigh and the numbers are always different for boat owners.
Nonetheless, there is an average weight. Usually, deck boats weigh around 3,100 pounds in dry weight. Dry weight simply pertains to the weight of the boat when there’s nothing else on it. Once you add the fuel, the motor, and the battery, a deck boat can then increase up to an average of 4,200 pounds.
Remember though that that’s a pretty rough estimate. Deck boats change in size and weights can fluctuate by thousands of pounds. So it’s really better to familiarize yourself with the weight of different boats so you can get a better idea of what weights really are in a practical sense.
10 Popular Deck Boats and Their Weights
The best way to know what weights you can expect would be to look into the actual weights of boats available on the market. Of course, this still doesn’t guarantee that you’ll know the exact weight of your boat when it’s all loaded. But then again, you should get a better understanding of deck boat weights by looking at the weight trends.
Boat Make & Model
Bayliner Element E18
Starcraft Marine MDX Surf 201 E I/O Surf
22 feet 3 inches
Nauticstar 243 DC
24 feet 3 inches
Glastron GTD 225
22 feet 4 inches
Hurricane Sundeck OB
26 feet 4 inches
21 feet 11 inches
Legend Boats Vibe D21 FW
21 feet 1 inch
Princecraft Ventura 192
19 feet 2 inches
Tahoe 2150 CC
21 feet 1 inch
26 feet 4 inches
Based on the numbers listed above, it’s easy to see that deck boat weight can vary immensely despite just being a few feet apart from each other in terms of size.
All of these boats also have widely varying weight capacities in terms of the number of people and gear they can carry along. So it pays to know the numbers if you’re thinking of keeping the whole family in tow.
What Factors Affect a Deck Boat’s Weight?
So what exactly dictates how much a deck boat will weigh? To fully understand why some deck boats weigh more or less than others despite being relatively the same size, it’s important to consider these factors:
Take the Princecraft Ventura for example. Despite being close to 20 feet, the design weighs up to 700 lbs lighter than a lot of the other similarly sized boats. And that’s because it’s an aluminum deck boat.
Generally, aluminum is recognized for being a corrosion resistant, lightweight material that’s ideal for boats because of its lasting service life. A well-maintained aluminum boat can last up to 50 years in good hands, or perhaps even more.
The only downside with aluminum is that it isn’t quite as resilient against mechanical damage since the material is pretty malleable. The same can’t be said for steel however, which most deck boats use.
A galvanized steel construction might not be quite as good at standing up against corrosion, but the stuff is ultra strong against nicks, dings, and other forms of mechanical damage. It’s also a lot heavier, which is why most boats can weigh several thousand pounds despite being relatively small.
Obviously, size matters. As your common sense might have already told you, bigger boats weigh more than others for obvious reasons. Even just adding a foot of length means that you can expect the boat to be an average of 500 lbs heavier than its foot-shorter counterparts.
Size is also important when you consider the availability of storage space and the size of whatever trailer you might have available. Needless to say, bigger boats also have bigger deck capacities, able to carry more people and gear than other models.
Some deck boats can comfortably accommodate up to 12 or more people, carrying over 2,000 lbs in passenger weight. This also means that these boats have to have enough seating space on deck.
Pre-installed seats are made to be extra cushy and comfortable, using high-density foam and even 30oz marine grade vinyl upholstery to guarantee a luxurious experience. Each seat could easily weigh close to a hundred pounds, and when you have enough of them on board to accommodate a dozen people, that also means lots of added weight.
The more seats that a boat has, the heavier it’s going to be. All of these installed fixtures factor in to that total dry weight, which might also explain why bigger boats tend to weigh significantly more on average.
Machines and Inner Workings
Inside the boat are an array of different machines, pumps, wires, cables, and a host of other essential inner workings that keep the boat operational. Gut the boat of these important fixtures, and you’ve got yourself a useless shell of a deck boat.
Even without an engine, a motor, fuel, and oils attached and pumped into the system, your boat still has a host of other essential parts that allow it to work. It also goes without saying that the more sophisticated your boat’s features are, the heavier all of those internal workings are going to be.
What’s So Important About Weight?
Now why exactly should you care so much about how much your deck boat weighs? Well, there are a few good reasons. Here are some of the answers to why you might want to heavily consider weights before you decide to buy a deck boat:
A passenger car will not be able to tow a 2,000 lbs boat, that’s for sure. Considering the fact that you probably can’t keep your deck boat at the dock all year round, you’re going to have to make provisions for when you have to tow it back and forth from your home. And the only way to do that would be with the car that you already have.
Most boat owners prefer an SUV or a pick-up truck because of the significant weight of a deck boat. But while a smaller vehicle might be able to tow a boat that’s a little less than 2,000 lbs, you have to remember that there’s also the issue of your trailer weight.
Since we’re on the topic of the trailer, it’s also important that you consider the capacity of the one you have. Trailers can only accommodate boats up to a certain length and weight. So if you’re buying a new deck boat and you have a trailer already, it’s important that you make sure they are compatible.
Trailers can be expensive, so buying a new one all together just for the sake of accommodating your new boat could put a serious dent in your wallet.
Be sure to check out our guide on boat trailer weights.
Bigger boats need more maintenance - that’s the way the cookie crumbles. A bigger deck boat might cost you more in terms of cleaning, maintenance, and repair costs, so you have to consider the expense of keeping one in good shape before you make that purchase.
It’s also worth mentioning that a bigger trailer might also be more expensive to maintain. Larger trailers will require brake systems, routine inspections, and even permits for road use which also means you might end up spending more if you’re towing your big boat on a big trailer.
The More You Know
Deck boat weight should contribute heavily to your decision on what boat to buy. But there’s a lot that can affect the weight of your boat, and balancing the features should help you find a boat that’s just the right size without sacrificing all of those on board comforts. It also helps to remember all of the other aspects that work together with your boat’s weight - from your vehicle to your trailer. Understanding how everything fits together should make it easier for you to pick the right deck boat.