The weight of a ski boat directly affects its speed, fuel efficiency, and overall seaworthiness. Furthermore, you are required to know the weight of your ski boat for the sake of any weight restrictions on roads and bridges.
Most importantly, though, you should know the weight of your ski boat to figure out whether your car can tow it or not.
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to the question, “how much does a ski boat weigh?” Instead, there are numerous things to consider first.
Dry Weight Vs. Package Weight
When you search for the weight of a boat, the numbers you’re given usually refer to its dry weight. However, in practical use, the boat’s actual weight will be much higher.
The dry weight refers to the total weight of the vessel minus the weight of any operating fluids and gear. Operating fluids are non-solids that the boat requires to function on the water, including engine oil, fuel, and water tanks. Furthermore, additional equipment such as motors and batteries are also excluded from the dry weight, as dealers install these later on.
Since these things are add-ons, manufacturers opt to provide a standard dry weight only.
On the other hand, the package weight offers you a clearer picture of the total weight of your ski boat when in active use. The package weight comprises the total weight of the boat, including gear and equipment, engine oil, fuel, water tanks, and the inboard trailer.
However, neither the dry weight nor the package weight of your ski boat accounts for the cargo and passenger weight.
What Factors Affect The Weight of a Ski Boat?
Different factors can vary the dry and package weight of a ski boat, including:
- Size/ Length: as a rule of thumb, the larger the size of your boat, the greater its weight. A 19-ft ski boat will naturally weigh more than a 23-ft leviathan. However, this rule isn’t definitive and is becoming slowly outdated because of the next factor.
- Materials: as technology advances, the materials used for boats are becoming lighter and lighter. Hence, it is possible for a larger size boat to weigh less than its smaller counterpart if the materials are lighter.
- Engine and other equipment: a heavier engine model will lead to a heavier boat. Similarly, other necessary equipment such as motors and batteries will also fluctuate the boat weight.
- Furniture: different ski boat modes will utilize different types of furniture, which will alter the dry weight.
- Flooring material: while most ski boats utilize wood floorings or vinyl, it’s important to realize that even these materials can differ in weight. A certain type of wood can weigh more or less than another, and the choice of vinyl thickness can also impact the dry weight.
- Trailer and cargo: the weight of your inboard trailer and the cargo your boat is carrying will affect the package weight of your ski boat.
What Is The Average Weight of a Ski Boat?
By now, you’ve probably realized that there is no definitive answer to the question, “how much does a ski boat weigh?” That’s because no two models will ever weigh the same. In fact, the weight of ski boats can range anywhere from 2,000 lbs to 6,000 lbs (910 kg to 2,700 kg).
But you might still want a ballpark figure to prepare yourself. In that case, let’s consider the dry weight of a ski boat without a trailer, measuring 21 ft in length. The average dry weight of a ski boat with these specifications is around 4,500 lbs or 2,132 kg.
Moreover, if you include the weight of fuel, water, and other necessary equipment, this weight can shoot up to an average of 4,700 lbs or 2,132 kg.
What Is The Average Weight of a Ski Boat With a Trailer?
Just like ski boats, inboard trailers also differ in weight depending upon their models.
However, the average trailer weighs around 1,000 lbs or 453 kg. Hence, the total package weight while accounting for fluids and the trailer is 5,700 lbs, or 2585 kg, on average.
How Can You Determine the Weight of Your Ski Boat?
The estimations you saw in the previous sections are based on the averages of the most popular ski boats and inboard trailers on the market today. But they don’t (and shouldn’t) provide an accurate number for your specific ski boat and trailer.
So, how can you find out the exact weight of your ski boat before taking it to sea? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as loading it onto a weighing scale or utilizing random estimation equations on the internet.
The only surefire way to figure out your ski boat’s weight is by directly contacting the manufacturer or broker. The manufacturing company will always specify the weight of its boats on its website.
But, sometimes, a particular boat model may be out of production, and they are no longer listed on the website. In this case, don’t try to guesstimate by looking at other similar-sized models.
As we discussed previously, two similar-looking ski boats can weigh completely different depending on flooring, furniture, materials, and other equipment. So, instead, try contacting your broker or dealer for this information.
How to Reduce Your Ski Boat’s Weight
A heavy boat may cause a host of problems while storing, transporting, or sailing. Here’s how you can reduce the weight of your ski boat to increase its performance:
- Remove unnecessary equipment on your boat, such as coolers or extra chairs.
- Distribute the weight evenly throughout the boat, especially in terms of cargo and passengers.
- Keep up with regular boat maintenance and cleaning so you can stay on top of your boat’s capacity.
- Use a light-duty inboard trailer while hauling your boat to reduce the overall package weight with the trailer.
On average, a 21-ft ski boat will weigh 5,700 lbs, or 2585 kg, with an inboard trailer. This number includes the weight of full water tanks, engine oil, fuel, and other fluids.
However, don’t rely on this average weight to estimate the weight of your particular ski boat, as that can be disastrous. Instead, try contacting your broker or refer to the manufacturer’s website to figure out how much your ski boat weighs.