Towing Your New Boat - What Do You Need To Know?

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Towing Your New Boat - What Do You Need To Know?

When buying a new boat you will want to also factor in a few other necessities. You're going to want to make sure you have the correct trailer for your boat and a tow vehicle rated to tow the boat you're considering purchasing.

March 11, 2024
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Chase Schelble
Technical Sales Representative

When buying a boat, it is important to take into consideration the towing aspect. Though it is not required to have a trailer for your boat we highly recommend that you do for those times when extenuating circumstances arise you are prepared.

The first thing to consider before towing is the weight of your boat, if you're a Sportsman owner, this can be found in your owner’s manual as well as on our website under “Specifications”. Take into consideration the weight listed is the dry weight of the vessel which does not include the motor (‘s), fuel, any other fluids or options. Therefore, the total weight of your boat specifically may very drastically from another of the same model due to different options and features so there will need to be some calculations done on your end to attain the total weight of your boat fully rigged. You can find the weight of each motor under the "power" page for your boat model. Additionally, for quick calculations, a single gallon of gas weighs roughly 6lbs and a gallon of water is roughly 8.5lbs. If your boat had a 100-gallon fuel tank and a 20-gallon freshwater tank you'd have roughly an additional 770lbs to calculate for.

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Once you have figured the total weight you can now select the proper trailer needed to safely haul your vessel. Your local Sportsman dealer can help with this process. Most major trailer manufacturers have our hull drawings and will be able to set up the trailer specifically for your needs.

Lastly, pairing your new boat with the proper tow vehicle is critical for safe and effective hauling. The first thing to note is that if your vehicle does not have a factory installed tow package, we do not recommend adding a hitch even if the vehicle is powerful enough to tow the boat. A tow package adds much more than a hitch to your vehicle, for instance heavy duty oil cooler, transmission cooler, and in some cases an integrated brake controller just to name a few. A vehicle equipped with these features will be much better suited for the task. Your vehicles rated towing capacity can be found in the owner’s manual and again will change with options i.e. bed length, 4x4, engine configuration etc. With the ½ ton truck category growing in power and capability these trucks will cover more than half our fleet from 26ft and down. Some specially optioned ½ ton’s will carry the 28 but it is at this point we recommend jumping up to a ¾ ton truck especially for long distance hauling. A good reminder is that your tow vehicle might have the power to pull said boat weight but it's important to calculate for how well it can stop all of the weight behind it.

Having the right truck and trailer for your boat can make all the difference in your boat ownership experience. Most boats spend just as much if not more time on the trailer and behind a tow vehicle than they do in the water which is why it is such a critical factor to get right. We recommend researching this topic heavily for your specific configuration and needs as well as having them both ready prior to purchasing your boat. Best of luck on your journey to the water and tight lines!