Pontoon boats are massive, so not every car will be able to tow them properly. To find out if you can pull one, you will need to calculate the boat’s weight, and you’ll also need to calculate the trailer’s weight. I’ve labeled many specifics later in the article; however, here are the averages:
On average, pontoon boats weigh between 1,600-2,400 pounds (726-1,089 kg), including the motor. However, some weigh up to 5,000 pounds (2268 kg). Pontoon boat trailers weigh between 1,000-1,700 (454-771 kg) pounds on average. Other weight factors to consider include gas, passengers, and gear.
I recommend you empty your gas tank before towing to reduce a lot of weight. A full gas tank weighs 200 pounds (91 kg) on average.
Pontoon boat weight formula
A general rule of thumb to calculate pontoon boat weight by the boat’s length is to consider a 16-foot pontoon to weigh 1,150 lbs and add 125 lbs for every foot longer from there. So a 17-foot pontoon would weigh 1,275 lbs and so on.
These answers are still quite vague, so I’ve listed estimates of how much pontoon boats and their trailers weigh based on their length by using 75+ examples below. This number will be very close to whatever pontoon you may have, but if you want to see exact numbers for your make/model, scroll down further to that sub-heading.
Pontoon boat and trailer weight based on length
Length is the largest factor when determining pontoon boat weight so these numbers will be very close to your specific make/model. However, I found that pontoon boats from Godfrey and Bennington weighed 300-500 more pounds on average (see exact weights for makes/models lower in the article).
After gathering 75+ different pontoon boat weights, here are the averages I found based on length:
|Pontoon LOA (Length)||Average Dry Weight||Average Weight With Trailer||Average Min. Horsepower Needed To Pull|
|16′||1,150 lbs||2,100 lbs||175 hp|
|17′||1,250 lbs||2,250 lbs||175 hp|
|18′||1,350 lbs||2,400 lbs||200 hp|
|19′||1,550 lbs||2,700 lbs||225 hp|
|20′||1,650 lbs||2,900 lbs||250 hp|
|21′||1,800 lbs||3,200 lbs||250 hp|
|22′||1,950 lbs||3,550 lbs||275 hp|
|23′||2,100 lbs||3,750 lbs||300 hp|
|24′||2,225 lbs||3,950 lbs||325 hp|
|25′||2,350 lbs||4,100 lbs||350 hp|
|26′||2,450 lbs||4,300 lbs||350 hp|
|27′||2,650 lbs||4,550 lbs||350 hp|
Note: Dry weight means gas and other liquids are not included in the weight, but the engine is. Also, most cars have towing capacity labels on them or ones that you can find online. Horsepower is just one of the many variables.
Total weight is what you will need to know for towing as it includes the weight of your trailer and your boat but nothing else. A full tank of gas for a pontoon boat weighs around 200 lbs on average (assuming a 33 lbs tank), so make sure to consider that if you have gas in the tank.
Pontoon boat weight based on make/model
In the table below table, I included some of the most popular pontoon boat brands that I could find information about. Here are the brands I used (there labeled from A-Z on the table):
- Avalon Pontoons
- Bennington (click here to see weights)
- Manitou (click here to see weights)
- Sun Chaser
- Sun Tracker
|Pontoon Make/Model||Dry Weight||Estimated Weight With Trailer||Average Min. Horsepower Needed To Pull|
|Avalon Catalina Quad Lounger 21 ft||1,850 lbs||3,250 lbs||250 hp|
|Avalon Catalina Quad Lounger 23 ft||2,150 lbs||3,800 lbs||300 hp|
|Avalon Catalina Quad Lounger 25 ft||2,450 lbs||4,200 lbs||350 hp|
|Avalon Catalina Platinum Quad Lounger 25 ft||2,450 lbs||4,200 lbs||350 hp|
|Avalon Catalina Platinum Quad Lounger 27 ft||2,650 lbs||4,550 lbs||350 hp|
|Avalon GS Cruise 19 ft||1,650 lbs||2,800 lbs||225 hp|
|Avalon GS Cruise 21 ft||1,850 lbs||3,250 lbs||250 hp|
|Avalon GS Cruise 23 ft||2,150 lbs||3,800 lbs||300 hp|
|Avalon GS Cruise 25 ft||2,450 lbs||4,200 lbs||350 hp|
|Avalon LSZ Cruise 20 ft||1,650 lbs||2,900 lbs||250 hp|
|Avalon LSZ Cruise 22 ft||1,800 lbs||3,400 lbs||275 hp|
|Avalon LSZ Cruise 24 ft||2,050 lbs||3,775 lbs||300 hp|
|Avalon LSZ Cruise 26 ft||2,250 lbs||4,100 lbs||350 hp|
|Avalon LSZ Quad Lounger 22 ft||1,800 lbs||3,400 lbs||275 hp|
|Avalon LSZ Quad Lounger 24 ft||2,050 lbs||3,775 lbs||300 hp|
|Avalon LSZ Quad Lounger 26 ft||2,250 lbs||4,100 lbs||350 hp|
|Bennington (All Models)||Click here to view PDF||NA||NA|
|Godfrey AquaPatio 235||3,000 lbs||4,725 lbs||375 hp|
|Godfrey AquaPatio 235 ULW||3,115 lbs||4,840 lbs||375 hp|
|Godfrey AquaPatio 235 DFLC||3,270 lbs||4,995 lbs||375 hp|
|Godfrey AquaPatio 255||3,200 lbs||5,050 lbs||400 hp|
|Godfrey AquaPatio 256 Twin||4,013 lbs||5,863 lbs||425 hp|
|Godfrey AquaPatio 275||4,185 lbs||6,085 lbs||425 hp|
|Godfrey Monaco 235||2,506 lbs||4,231 lbs||350 hp|
|Godfrey Monaco 255||2,600 lbs||4,450 lbs||350 hp|
|Godfrey Sanpan 2300 ULC||3,000 lbs||4,650 lbs||350 hp|
|Godfrey Sanpan 2500||3,200 lbs||4,950 lbs||375 hp|
|Godfrey Sanpan 2700||4,185 lbs||6,085 lbs||425 hp|
|Godfrey Sanpan 2700 Twin||4,970 lbs||6,870 lbs||450 hp|
|Godfrey Sweetwater 2286 SFL||2,080 lbs||3,730 lbs||300 hp|
|Godfrey Sweetwater 2486 SFL||2,200 lbs||3,925 lbs||325 hp|
|Manitou (All Models)||Click here to view PDF||NA||NA|
|Sun Chaser Geneva Cruise 20||1,850 lbs||3,100 lbs||250 hp|
|Sun Chaser Geneva Cruise 22||2,061 lbs||3,661 lbs||300 hp|
|Sun Chaser Geneva Cruise 24||2,425 lbs||4,150 lbs||350 hp|
|Sun Chaser Eclipse 8525 SSB||3,445 lbs||5,345 lbs||400 hp|
|Sun Chaser Vista 18||1,425 lbs||2,475 lbs||200 hp|
|Sun Chaser Vista 20||1,875 lbs||3,125 lbs||250 hp|
|Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 XL Select||1,310 lbs||2,160 lbs||175 hp|
|Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX||1,470 lbs||2,520 lbs||200 hp|
|Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 20 DLX||1,940 lbs||3,190 lbs||250 hp|
|Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 DLX||2,040 lbs||3,640 lbs||300 hp|
|Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3||2,880 lbs||4,480 lbs||350 hp|
|Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 24 DLX||2,180 lbs||3,905 lbs||325 hp|
|Sun Tracker Sportfish 22 DLX||2,380 lbs||3,980 lbs||325 hp|
|Sun Tracker Sportfish 22 XP3||3,250 lbs||4,850 lbs||375 hp|
|Sun Tracker Party Barge 18 DLX||1,450 lbs||2,500 lbs||200 hp|
|Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX||2,080 lbs||3,330 lbs||250 hp|
|Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 DLX||2,080 lbs||3,680 lbs||300 hp|
|Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3||2,980 lbs||4,580 lbs||350 hp|
|Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 RF DLX||2,300 lbs||3,900 lbs||325 hp|
|Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 RF XP3||4,970 lbs||6,570 lbs||450 hp|
|Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 DLX||2,320 lbs||4,045 lbs||325 hp|
Additional weight to consider when calculating towing capacity
The weight of your pontoon and trailer aren’t the only things that need to be considered when finding the total towing weight. These include:
- Fuel weight. An average full pontoon fuel tank weighs about 200 lbs.
- Passenger weight. Although you don’t tow passengers, they still add weight to your car, lowering the amount you can tow. GCWR is the total weight of what you are carrying, plus your vehicle and anything in the vehicle.
- Any additional gear. If there’s any gear in your boat or vehicle such as heavy batteries, you will want to add that to the weight count.
How to find out if your car/truck can tow a pontoon boat?
Now that you know the weight of your pontoon, a simple Google search for towing capacity for your car/truck will let you know if you can pull them or not. Or use the table below to see popular vehicles and their towing capacity.
If your car/truck barely has the capacity to tow your pontoon, you may want to limit the number of passengers and/or take out any heavy luggage in your vehicle and boat. You will also want to avoid any poor road conditions. Ideally, you want to have the capacity to tow at least 1,000 more pounds than how much you’re actually towing.
Which vehicles can tow a pontoon boat?
Below are some popular car models and how much they can tow:
|Vehicle||Towing Capacity||Best For Towing|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||8,900-11,000 lbs||large pontoon boats|
|Ford Explorer||5,000-5,600 lbs||medium pontoon boats|
|Ford F-150||5,000-11,000 lbs||medium and large pontoon boats|
|GMC Sierra 1500||8,800-9,400 lbs||large pontoon boats|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||6,200 lbs||medium pontoon boats|
|Jeep Wrangler||2,000-3,500 lbs||small pontoon boats|
|Mazda CX-5||2,000 lbs||small pontoon boats|
|Ram 1500||6,120-8,280 lbs||medium and large pontoon boats|
|Subaru Forester||1,500-3,000 lbs||small pontoon boats|
|Subaru Outback||2,700-3,500 lbs||small pontoon boats|
|Tesla Model Y||3,500 pounds||small pontoon boats|
|Tesla Model X||5,000 lbs||medium pontoon boats|
|Toyota 4Runner||5,000 lbs||medium pontoon boats|
|Toyota Highlander||5,000 lbs||medium pontoon boats|
|Toyota Rav4||1,500-3,500 lbs||Small pontoon boats|
|Toyota Tacoma||3,500-6,800 lbs||medium pontoon boats|
What are the best towing vehicles for pontoon boats?
Pontoons are pretty heavy, so your vehicle will need a good tow rating. With light pontoon boats, you may only need an SUV with a decent engine. However, for large pontoon boats, big towing trucks may be necessary. Here are my recommendations:
Best vehicles for towing small pontoon boats (2,000-2,700 lbs)
- Subaru Outback. Outbacks have a towing capacity of 2,700 to 3,500 lbs depending on the model. They are also very practical getting 26-31 mpg.
- Jeep Wrangler. Wranglers have a towing capacity of 2,000 to 3,500 lbs while also having pretty good gas mileage. I recommend getting a 4 door model as they can tow more.
Best vehicles for towing medium-sized pontoon boats (2,700-3,750 lbs)
- Toyota Tacoma. Tacomas are smaller than other popular trucks such as Ford F-150. This allows it to get excellent gas mileage while still being able to tow a decent amount of weight. Towing capacity is 3,500 to 6,800 lbs depending on the model. I recommend going with the V6 model to tow smoothly.
- Ford Explorer. With a towing capacity of 5,000 to 5,600 lbs, explorers are very powerful for being an SUV.