When you’re dealing with heavy weights, gravity is a precarious force. Truckers know it all too well as they haul tremendous loads. For the layman considering a pontoon boat, weight might not stand out as an immediate concern. That makes sense if you own or rent a slip, and don’t have to worry about driving it down the road. It’s still important to understand pontoon boat weights so you can measure a safe capacity when you take them out on the water. Soak in the following knowledge about pontoon boat weights and you’ll operate in full confidence. On the road and on the water.
Starting With The Obvious Question: How Much Do Pontoon Boats Weigh?
Considering all the standard models of pontoon boats on the market today, manufacturers will tell you they have an average weight of 2,200 pounds. That includes the engine and prop mounted on the stern. In addition, tally up the weights of pontoon boat trailers and you get an average of 1,200 pounds. Keep in mind that these numbers don’t include passengers, extra accessories, or gear you might bring along.
For the beginning pontoon enthusiast, these average numbers help give a round about idea of the weight you’ll be dealing with. Once you start to narrow down the type of pontoon boat you’re after, you’ll want a more precise measurement. Most dealers offer pontoon boat weight descriptions in their listings. Owners of used pontoons might not have as accurate of numbers, but most will be able to give some insight into the weight.
Overall Pontoon Boat Weights & Their Changing Variables
For practical purposes, the starting weight of any pontoon assumes every part of the craft except the trailer. The number also shows an unloaded pontoon, void of gear and passengers. Pontoon owners often refer to this as dry weight, meaning it doesn’t even have gasoline. Wet weight is a measure of a fully gassed pontoon boat.
Why is any of this important? Because every pontoon boat has a maximum weight capacity to ensure safe floating conditions. Wet weight is a measure of every pound that goes over the dry weight once you add passengers, gear, and gas.
Pontoon Towing: The Additional Weight Of Pontoon Boat And Trailer
Pontoon boat owners that intend to keep their vessel at home or somewhere else off the water are going to need a truck with enough power to do the work. Trucks are quite clear about their towing capacity, but you’ll need to know that you are not traveling overweight. You don’t want to pay one of those tickets, or worse, have an accident en route.
Some dealers will list the weight of pontoon boat and trailer, but again you might find missing information. One way to know the dry weight of your pontoon boat and the weight of your trailer separately is to use a truck scale. It’ll require two trips; one with your boat and trailer, and one with just your trailer. Truck scales can be expensive but another idea is to call the nearest dump. Ask if you can pay a small charge to use their scale.
Weight Considerations When Adding Pontoon Boat Accessories
Have you ever been on a boat when everyone stands on the same side to see the view? Depending on the size of the boat, it doesn’t always work out so well. The boat starts listing to one side, and smart passengers realize it’s time to spread out. The same is true when adding pontoon accessories. Any accessories over 15 – 20 pounds may cause weight displacement.
When adding products to your pontoon boat, a few helpful tips will keep you riding even on the water.
- Centralize When Possible – If you’re able to, keep any additional weight in the center of the pontoon. This will prevent listing to one side. It’ll also keep the bow from rising or dipping too much.
- Match Weight From Side To Side – When you must place a heavy accessory on the side of your pontoon, match the weight directly across. This counter balance will help prevent listing.
- Use A Counter Balance From Bow To Stern – Because pontoon boats are generally longer than they are wide, adding weight to the bow or stern can have a dramatic affect. Think of it like a teeter totter. Weight on one end acts as a lever, pushing up the other empty end. If you add something like a battery in the front, place an accessory of equal weight in the back. It’s also important to centralize from bow to stern, or you’ll be matching side to side as well.
Pontoon Boats & Weight Capacity
It’s not so much the width or length that determines a pontoon boat’s weight capacity, as it is the size of the pontoons themselves. These hollow aluminum structures own the work of keeping the boat afloat, and it’s their size that matters.
Dealerships and manufacturers of pontoon boats give a recommended passenger load, but how much can you really carry? One way to discover an approximate number is to follow an average pontoon weight capacity chart. Though not an exact science, the size of your pontoons give an approximate max capacity that boat owners should heed.
Final Thoughts On Pontoon Boat Weights: Make Safety A Top Priority
As every pontoon boat owner is aware, there’s no substitute for knowing the weight of your vessel. Especially for those who haul pontoons, safety comes by adhering to DOT regulations. You’ll need a truck with the horsepower for pulling, and pontoon weight is a mandatory number to ensure that it does. Make sure you consider the weight of the trailer, amount of gasoline remaining, and gear on board before you haul.
Although finding your pontoon boat weight may seem like a hassle at first, it’s imperative to know it for safety’s sake. What’s more, completion of this task upon or before ownership is usually a one time deal. Unless you make make major modifications, your dry pontoon boat weight will stay the same throughout its lifetime. Enjoy, be safe, and get out there on the water!