I used data on size and weight from reputable sources such as Wikipedia, Gulf Yachting Association, manufacturer’s websites and SailboatData.com to calculate and present the average weights of some popular sailboats (and other data), from dinghies to racing yachts. There are many many types of sailboats available, and I’ve tried to use the popular ones to make it somewhat useful.
In short, based on the samples I used, an average sailboat 14-20 foot weighs around 1047 pounds (475 kg). The average weight of 21-26 foot sailboat is 2826 lb (1282 kg). The average weight of 27-34 foot sailboat is 5410 lb (2453 kg). The average weight of 35-47ft sailboat is 18,918 lb (8,579 kg). Also, the average weight of some common runabouts is 2805 pounds (1272 kg).
The weights are calculated using a sample of approximately 30 popular sailboats from each range.
If some of the samples have less than 30 that’s because I haven’t got to finish it yet. This weight (also called “displacement” in the case of sailboats) is mostly dry weight (no gear or added storage) or with minimal gear in the sailboat.
A boat weight is usually calculated without its engine, if it has it, without gear, water tanks and any other storage or persons in it. It is usually called dry weight. Some are calculated with its engine, and this is noted on manufacturer’s specification manual.
Almost all of these boats can be used as trailer-sailers which can be towed everywhere depending on their weights and regulations in your country.
I was trying to determine the average weight for a trailer sailer I was going to buy and see if my car can tow it, but also determine if it will be possible to travel with it across the country. There are certain regulations regarding the towing of your sailboat, and it’s about the maximum allowed length and weight of your boat, and the towing power of your vehicle. Read below for some tips.
LOA – Length Overall – the standard way of expressing the size of a ship
Weight is also called “Displacement”, but I used the term “weight” for readability
Tables show both Imperial and Metric units. You can click NEXT to see more boats in table.
|Sailboats (14-20ft)||LOA (ft)||LOA (m)||Weight (lb)||Weight (kg)|
|West Wight Potter 15||15.1||4.6||475||215|
|Catalina 16.5 (Capri)||17.2||5.23||430||195|
|West Wight Potter 19||18.8||5.72||1225||556|
|Bay Raider 20||19.8||6.05||500||227|
|Red Fox 200||20.2||6.17||2550||1157|
|San Juan 21||20.5||6.25||1400||635|
The average weight of these 14-20ft sailboats is 1047 pounds (475 kg). It all depends on the type and material of the boat.
Is displacement equal to boat weight?
In short – yes.
Displacement is the volume of water displaced when the vessel is freely floating and such volume is equal the total weight of the boat at all times. It is in direct relation to the overall boat weight. That means it is the same as boat weight. However, it is also important to note that the actual boat weight can be different depending on the gear, engine, storage counted in weight, fuel and water tanks, and number of people on it. So when calculating the boat weight, it’s important to note displacement, but also any gear, and equipment you might be taking along as this changes boat weight, which is again equial to displacement.
In the next table we have 21-26 foot sailboats with their lengths and weights:
|Sailboats (21-26ft)||LOA (ft)||LOA (m)||Weight (lb)||Weight (kg)|
|Sea Pearl 21||21||6.4||600||272|
|Cornish Adventure 19||21.2||6.47||2040||925|
|Jeanneau Sun 2000||21.8||6.64||2756||1250|
|Marlin 23 Herreshoff||23||7.01||3000||1361|
|Beneteau First 235||23.3||7.1||2826||1282|
|Catalina 25 Capri||24.6||7.49||2950||1338|
The average weight of 21-26 foot sailboat is 2826 lb (1282 kg), based on this sample of some popular daysailers. The amount of types in any range of these sailboats is staggering, so any average sailboat weight depends on many factors, especially on the amount of gear you’re carrying on your sailboat.
In the next table we have 27-34 foot sailboats with their lengths and weights:
|Sailboats (27-34ft)||LOA (ft)||LOA (m)||Weight (lb)||Weight (kg)|
|Alerion Express 28||28.3||8.62||4500||2041|
|Wauquiez Optio 9||29.5||8.99||2000||907|
|C.W. Hood 32||32.4||9.88||2750||1247|
The average weight of 27-34 foot sailboat is 5410 lb (2453 kg), based on this sample.
Next we have some big sailboats ranging from 35 to 47 feet in overall length (LOA – Length Overall) with their weights. These are quite big yet glorious:
|Sailboats (35-47ft)||LOA (ft)||LOA (m)||Weight (lb)||Weight (kg)|
|BENETEAU OCEANIS 40||39.9||12.15||18210||8260|
|Hunter 41 DS||40.3||12.29||19400||8798|
|Beneteau Oceanis 473||46.9||14.3||24277||11012|
The average weight of 35-47ft sailboat is 18,918 lb (8579 kg), based on this small sample. Next we have some runabouts with additional stats I got from specs on manufacturer’s websites:
And finally we have a sample of runabouts with their stats taken directly from their manufacturer’s specs in manuals or from their websites (note: some of these weights include engine, and some don’t. I’ll update such information to be more clear in the future):
|Common Runabouts||LOA (ft)||LOA (m)||Weight (lb)||Weight (kg)||Persons capacity||Fuel cap. (gal)||Fuel Cap. (l)||Max Weight Cap. (lb)||MWC (kg)|
|Scarab 195 Open||18.7||5.7||2730||1238||9||31||117||3086||1400|
|Starcraft MDX 191 OB||19||5.8||2250||1021||10||44||167||1400||635|
|Stingray 186 CC||19||5.8||2300||1043||7||34||129||1875||850|
|Bayliner Element E21||21||6.4||2645||1200||10||44||167||1653||750|
|Starcraft MDX 211 E OB||21.1||6.43||2715||1232||12||44||167||1700||771|
|Yamaha AR 210||21.2||6.47||3228||1464||10||50||189||1860||844|
|Four Winns HD 220 OB||22||6.7||4190||1901||12||44||167||2650||1202|
|Princecraft Ventura 220 WS||22.3||6.8||2363||1072||12||46||174||2363||1072|
|Whaler 270 Vantage||26.8||8.18||5200||2359||12||175||662||3702||1679|
The average weight of these runabouts is 2805 pounds (1272 kg). Note that some of these boats have their weight counted with their engine included.
How much does the average boat, motor, and trailer weigh?
Let’s do example. Let’s say the boat is Precision 15/19 + Baja/Standard Trailer. How much does it weigh? According to West Wight, the P15 combo without any added gear weighs around 900 lb. The P19 combo without added gear weighs about 1900 lb, on the standard trailer and 2300 lb on the Baja Trailer. These weights apply to the standard boat/motor/trailer combinations as currently delivered. Based on input from owners, Weight when fully equipped with typical gear is closer to 1000, 2000, and 2400 lb., respectively.
To prepare the boat for towing, after the boat is on the trailer you should secure the keel, remove the outboard motor, lower the mast and secure it, secure or remove all loose gear, and attach tie-down straps to secure the boat to the trailer.
Can you tow it?
Towing a large boat on a long trailer is not as simple as moving a dinghy, and the towing vehicle should be more powerful and capable of towing the combined weight of the boat and the trailer. Boats with fixed keels sit high on a trailer and need strong supports. They must be lashed down tightly, with the mast also well secured to its supports.
These boats with fixed keels sit much higher than those with lifting keels and require more substantial trailers. Double-axle trailers are needed for the larger keelboats, and an overrun braking system on the trailer should be fitted. Sails and loose gear are best carried in lockers on the trailer or in the towing vehicle, but if they must be stowed in the boat, they should be secured so that they cannot roll around. When towing, stop and check all lashings regularly.
Manufacturer specs are never what your boat winds up weighing after you fill it up with all your gear. Let’s try to approximate. Example: 14ft aluminum boat + trailer with a maximum 20 hp motor. Can you pull it? A buddy helped me approximate: If the car has a 3.5 liter V6 engine with a tow capacity of 1000 lb. Then, let’s say boat shell is 200 lb, trailer is 200 lb, 20 hp motor 120 lb, gas and tank 40 lb, gear and food 40 lb. Total would be ~600 lb all give or take, as different make and models vary a lot in weight. This is all estimation, which could possible help you determine the weight.
Another example: Nissan frontier, 2wd, the v6, automatic transmission and the tow package. It’s rated to tow 6500 lb. Boat will be 22ft, 5000 lb. This is difficult one. Be sure you have a break controller and good trailer breaks. It may be wise to upgrade to a 4×4 that can tow a little more. Surge brakes on a double axle may be required. The ramp matters a lot. Put some weight in the back if its wet or steep, and blocks behind the wheels attached to a rope and the car, are a good safety idea.
To know your vehicle towing capacity it is best to read your vehicle’s manual. In general, 2WD vehicles have a higher towing capacity than comparable AWD and 4WD vehicles. This is because 4WD models are several hundred pounds heavier than equivalent 2WD models, having a transfer case, extra drive shaft and extra axle.
Factors to take into account about sailboat weight
When you are reading manufacturer’s specifications on your boat, you may be seeing either Light Ship weight when it is empty of fuel, storage, people etc. or with its engine or other gear and accessories. It’s difficult to say with absolute certainty what the average boat weight is because of these factors, which means it varies a lot. It’s wise to pay close attention when reading a specification on this, and making sure to remember the maximum boat capacity, and the number of persons the boat supports, which is always mentioned in specs.
Towing your boat yourself gives you ultimate flexibility and can be very cost-effective. There is a great number of lightweight dayboats to choose from, from one-designs to weekenders and RIBs (Rigid inflatable boats), of up to 32ft that are sufficiently light in weight and narrow to go on a conventional road trailer. This is recognized in many insurance policies, which may automatically include cover for boats of up to 30ft in transit, but if your boat is longer than this the policy may need to be amended.
When buying a boat, if the boat you want is common in your area, you can use the statistical approach, which is what I did when buying my first boat. I gathered asking prices from dozens of similar boats, from various online sources, and analyzed them based on age, equipment, weight and various other factors. You don’t need to go too much into this, it all depends on what you want from a boat. Afterwards, you will have I had a good idea of market value before you can got serious about buying a specific boat, like the actual weight of a boat.
Note: If some data is missing or seems incorrect it’s because it can only be acquired by contacting the manufacturer or a seller directly and asking them if any gear or engine is counted in boat weight. All data here is taken from reputable sources.
Data used from Wikipedia, Gulf Yachting Association, SailboatData.com and manufacturer’s websites, especially for runabouts.
Usage of pictures is under Creative Commons Licence Attribution 2.0 Generic
Picture “The Country Club, Rockhampton” – Ian Sutton
Picture of 420 dinghies (last one) by Real Club Nautico Valencia