During the purchase of an expensive new personal watercraft, there's going to be a whole lot to consider. Features, power, speed, convenience, maintenance, and warranty all find their place in the puzzle. But there's one thing that not a lot of people think about when choosing a boat - and that is weight.
You'd think that because a ski boat is relatively smaller compared to many other vessels on the market, its size and weight shouldn't matter so much. But that couldn't actually be any further from the truth. So how much does a ski boat weigh? Here are all the details you need to know.
How Much Do Ski Boats Weigh on Average?
Just like any other boat, ski boat weights vary depending on the model. In fact, more recent releases will almost always weigh more than ski boats designed and sold decades ago. It's just the way things work. Generally, the average weight of a ski boat will weigh around 4,500 lbs or roughly 2,045 kilograms.
But if you're not interested in average ski boat weights and you want exact weights, then this list of the 10 most popular boats and their dry weight in pounds should make a much better baseline for your research:
DRY WEIGHT IN POUNDS
Alumacraft Trophy 175
Malibu Response TXi
Scarab Jet 255 ID
Pavati AL24 Wake Boat
Based on these numbers, it's easy to see that ski boats can come in a range of sizes and weights in pounds. And while that might seem like a trivial bit of knowledge for your selection process, it's worth knowing that the dry weight of your ski boat will play a major role in storage, maintenance, and use.
How Much Does a Ski Boat Trailer Weigh?
One of the reasons why you need to know the dry weight of your watercraft is because it will also dictate the size and capability of the tow trailer you'll need to get for it. That's because even if a boat is made for water, keeping it sat on the surface of the waves for an extended period of time can cause deterioration and damage to its parts.
Here's a quick look at some examples of ski boat trailer weight and how they correspond to ski boat weight capacity in pounds.
SKI BOAT TRAILER WEIGHT
SKI BOAT WEIGHT CAPACITY
1,000 pounds of weight
1,500 pounds of weight
2,000 pounds of weight
2,500 pounds of weight
3,000 pounds of weight
3,500 pounds of weight
5,000 pounds of weight
7,000 pounds of weight
Keep in mind that these trailer and boat weights examples aren't set in stone. Some 930 lbs trailers can accommodate ski boat weight of over 5,000 pounds depending on the manufacturer's instructions. So it really helps to read the fine print so you know what you're getting. Remember that most manufacturers indicate how much their tow can carry in dry weight. Adding fuel, gear, and accessories could drastically affect the average weight of the load and overburden the tow.
Another thing is that tow trailers will vary significantly in size. Now while the weight it can carry might be a good indication of whether it will be compatible with your model or not, the length and width of the bed should also tell you whether your watercraft would actually fit. A tandem axle might also be a better choice for larger boats since this can spread the pounds across a more stable structure.
As a general rule, boat experts recommend buying one that can take on a little extra weight than your boat's dry weight in pounds. This gives you a little extra allowance in case you decide to add any after-market purchases or modifications to your boat. If your ski boat has significant fuel capacity, then you should factor in the weight of the fuel as well.
So what's the point of knowing your tow trailer weight and how much it can carry in dry weight? Adding up these two numbers together should give you an idea as to how much towing power your vehicle should have. The average sedan can't just pull along a 4,800 lbs ski boat and the 1,000 lbs trailer that it sits on.
Thus understanding the total weight of the combination of the tow trailer and the boat should help you figure out whether your vehicle is up to the challenge. Of course, this should also help you adjust your choice of boat if your car can only take so much weight at its tail end.
What is Dry Weight?
As you scan your options, you'll notice that the pounds will be indicated as 'dry weight', but what exactly does that mean? Well, remember that once you get your ski boat from the dealership, the world is your oyster. That means you can add gear, make modifications, and essentially customize your ski boat to your heart's content (within the limits of the law.) That's why no two boats on the water will ever be the same.
When that happens, you alter the boat weight in pounds. That's why manufacturers are careful to indicate dry weights for their boats, so as to let their buyers know how much their ski boats weigh the moment they come out of the factory. Essentially, dry weight pertains to the weight of the boat in pounds or kilograms without fuel, passengers, accessories, and after-market additions. Basically, it's the weight of the average ski boat in pounds without anything else on or in it.
It's important to know your boat's dry weight versus its wet weight after modifications and fuel because it tells you whether your tow is still up to the challenge. For instance, a 3,100 lbs watercraft could easily pack on an extra 400 pounds with various modifications and when you max out its fuel capacity. That means you might have to step up from a 620 lbs tow trailer to one that pushes 680 pounds.
Before you buy a trailer for your watercraft, consider the added pounds of whatever modifications you need or want to make. In the same token, you should also be careful when adding pounds of accessories and alterations if you already have a tow since you could push your watercraft's weight in pounds in excess of the actual capable of the tow and your vehicle.
How to Determine Average Weight in Pounds
So maybe you already have a vessel and you're just not quite sure how much the boat weighs in pounds. It should be pretty easy to figure all of that out as long as there's a nearby dock with a weighing scale at the ready. These powerful scales can accommodate large watercrafts like pontoon boats and serve the exact purpose of weighing the vessels at the dock in pounds or kgs. Some might let you use the scale for free while others charge a minimum fee.
Simply bring your watercraft to the scale and weigh it all together with its gear, accessories, and fuel. If you've got a popular ski boat model like the Malibu Wakesetter, Malibu Response, or Mastercraft Prostar, then you should be able to find their dry weight of your boat in pounds or kilograms listed on the web. If not, then you can simply refer to the owner's manual for how many pounds the boat weighs.
In some cases, you might find that your watercraft has a plate with various weights indicate in pounds. This tells you how much it weighs in pounds, and how much weight it can carry. It can even tell you how many pounds of passengers the vessel can safely accommodate. Ski boats are not necessarily required to have this plate, especially if they measure 20 feet or more, like the Mastercraft Prostar. But even then, some manufacturers add the plate for good measure.
Once you get the dry weight in pounds, you can subtract it from the weight that you measured at the scale. This tells you exactly how much weight you have on your watercraft. You can also use the same scale to measure how heavy your trailer is in pounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a 21 foot ski boat weigh in pounds?
That depends. However for most boats this size, you can expect its weight to fall anywhere between 2,300 and 3,400 pounds.
Do I need a trailer for my ski boat?
Some owners might think the trailer is optional since you could always just park boats at the marina. But keeping your watercraft on the water for too long can speed up its deterioration. A trailer gives you the option to pull it out of the water and keep it dry especially during seasons when weather conditions might not permit wet storage.
How big should my trailer be?
That ultimately depends how much your boat weighs in pounds and how big it is. Remember that you need to consider both the size of the bed and the weight it can carry. Always opt for a trailer that's slightly bigger than it has to be to comfortably and safely accommodate your boat. You should also make it a point to consider the capability of your vehicle and how many pounds it can tow - gear included.
The Final Word
Often overlooked, weight plays a big role in how you can use and enjoy your brand new ski boat. Ski boat weights are different across the board, but knowing the nuances can help you make the right choices that fit both budget and practicality. Knowing how much does a ski boat weigh should make it possible for you to pick a proper trailer to go with it, relative to your vehicle's towing capability.