How Tall Is a Boat on a Trailer (with 23 examples)

The height of a boat on a trailer can vary depending on the size and model of the boat and the type of trailer it is being transported on. In general, the height of a boat on a trailer can range from around 7 feet to as much as 13 feet or more.

Typically, a 22-25 foot boat will be around 10-13 feet tall on a trailer, except for boats with taller radar or hardtop accessories. A 30-foot boat with radar could even reach 14 feet in height.

It’s worth noting that the height of a boat on a trailer is usually 2-2.5 feet taller than the “bridge clearance” listed by the manufacturer. While there are shorter boats on trailers, such as those measuring 8-9 feet, they often end up taller than expected when trying to fit them into a garage.

Average Boat Height on a Trailer (examples)

Grady White on trailer

There is no average height for boats on a trailer because they vary, and it also depends on your boat, whether it has a hardtop, etc. However, for certain types of boats, we can approximate the height of a trailer.

Here’s a table of average boat heights on trailers:

Boat ModelHeight (ft)Additional Features
22’ Gradyjust under 12’Hardtop and accessories
Hewescraft 22’about 9’Top
Mastercraft X14barely under 10’
22 feet Robalo9-10 ft12-13 ft with hardtop
Baha 299 30’under 14’
Starcraft Islanderaround 11.5’ (or 10.5’ with rod holders removed)
20’ Grady White 209 Escapeabove 10 ft
2006 X2 MCXunder 8’With tower folded down
24’ Robaloabout 11.5ftWith hardtop on the trailer
1997 Sea Ray 250 Sundancerunder 10’
24’ Yellowfin Bayunder 8ftWithout T top
27’ Chaparral 270about 11’5”
2006 Contender 25about 11’9”With T Top and Garmin dome radar
28’ Wellcraftup to 12.5’
25’ (with open array)13ft
2002 Sea Pro 235 WAjust under 11’Without radar
26-foot cuddyabout 8’barely
30 feet boat14’With radar and outriggers
23’ Hydrasport Vector11’5”With T-top
Sea Hunt Triton 22511’5”To the top of the T-top mounted radar dome
23’ Key West 2300 WA13’At the radar dome
21’ Cape Hornabout 10’8”Without radar (11’6” with radar)
20ft Sea Fox9’6”To the top of grab rail
Average heights of boats on trailers

The minimum height added by a trailer is determined by the height of the tops of the axle plus the added height needed for the clearance of the boat and any accessories, such as a hardtop or radar, which can range from 2-3 inches or more.

The boat’s keel must be above the axle to fit on the trailer. It is important to note that the specific height added by a trailer can vary depending on the design and model of the trailer and the boat it is transporting.

When buying a new trailer for your sailboat, consider the height and weight and ensure they won’t damage any newly paved asphalt. Remember that the trailer’s dimensions and any removable radar or accessories on the boat will affect the overall height.

Can Your Boat Fit in Your Garage? (how big)

To ensure that your boat can fit in your garage, it’s important to measure both the boat and the garage, including any overhanging accessories or equipment. A garage door height of 13 feet should be able to accommodate most boats, but keep in mind that any angle of the driveway will affect clearance.

For example, for an 11’6″ boat on a trailer, a garage door height of 12 feet and width of at least 10 feet is recommended. If you’re uncertain, it’s best to tow the boat to the garage and back in slowly to check for clearance.

It’s also important to note that in most states, a permit is required to tow a boat over 13 feet 6 inches. To cover all possible boats without a permit, a garage height of 14.7 feet is recommended. Additionally, the trailer will be 6-12 inches wider than the boat, or 102 inches, whichever is smaller.

If you’re considering re-doing your garage door, it’s best to build the door a bit taller than you feel is necessary, for example, one foot taller. This will ensure you have enough clearance for your boat and any future boats you may purchase.

If the boat is too large for the garage, alternative storage options such as boat storage facilities or covered boat ports may need to be considered.

Catalina_22_sailboat_on_a_trailer

Can Your Boat Fit in Your Garage by Length?

When it comes to fitting your boat in your garage, length is an important factor to consider.

To ensure your boat will fit, it’s recommended to add an additional 3 feet to the actual boat length to account for outdrives and the trailer winch, or an additional 3 feet if the trailer tongue does not fold.

A 25’ boat can be up to 30’ in length when on a trailer, but it varies from trailer to trailer and depends on the boat manufacturer. Some boats are even a few feet shorter than the advertised length, while others can be a few feet longer.

The overall length of your boat on a trailer can vary depending on the boat manufacturer and the type of trailer used. For example:

  • 28’ Wellcraft could be up to 36’ long on a trailer,
  • 2014 Mastercraft X2 is 20 feet, and on single axle trailer with tongue folded is about 20’ 10” long, and 25’ otherwise,
  • 2006 X2 MCX is 20 feet and can fit in a 21’ long garage with platform removed and tongue folded up. Otherwise, 25’ needed.

General advice is to always add a few more feet than you think will be enough. It is very difficult to install taller doors in your garage, but much harder to make your garage deeper, so it’s important to take into account the length of your garage, for your next boat.

How tall should garage doors be for boats?

The typical boat garage door in the US is 9-12 feet in height and around 16-18 feet in width. This size is suitable for most boats, but larger boats may require taller and wider doors. Some boat garages may also have bi-folding or sliding doors that accommodate even larger boats.

Here’s a table on how tall should a garage door be for a boat:

Class of VesselRecommended Garage Door Size (Height)Recommended Garage Door Size (Width)
Small Boats (up to 20 ft)8 feet8 feet
Mid-size Boats (20-30 ft)8-10 feet10-12 feet
Large Boats (30-40 ft)10-12 feet14-16 feet
Luxury/Yachts (over 40 ft)12-15 feet18-20 feet
Boats with T-tops or other structures1-2 feet taller than the boat’s height

Some boat garages may have doors that reach up to 16 feet in height to accommodate larger boats, but this is not the typical size for most boat garages in the US. It’s always best to consult with a professional and measure the size of your boat and the available space before building or modifying a garage.

Can Your Boat Pass Under a Low Bridge? (trailer and in water)

For trailers, to calculate how high your boat will be, you need to look at the “bridge clearance”, on your manufacturer’s specifications. Bridge clearance will tell you how high the top of the arch is to the waterline.

Once you know this, add 2 to 2.5 feet, depending on the trailer. This can vary from trailer to trailer.

Lake_Street_Bridge_raised_for_sailboats

When it comes to water, it depends on a few factors. For many sailboats, the bridge is raised for them if they need to pass, and for them, this is the best possible outcome as you don’t need to worry if it’s your first time.

You need to know your air draft. The vessel’s “clearance” is the distance over the air draft, allowing a vessel to pass safely under a bridge or obstacle such as power lines, etc. A bridge’s “clearance below” is most often noted on charts as measured from the water’s surface to the underside of the bridge at the chart datum Mean High Water.

In 2014, the United States Coast Guard reported that 1.2% of the collisions it investigated recently were due to vessels attempting to pass underneath structures with insufficient clearance.

Normally, if a bridge has 10 feet of clearance to pass safely, you may be able to pass if your boat manual says you have less than 10 feet of clearance. However, I would try and go under a taller one first. If it’s a close call, go for the low tide for the first time out.

Very important to slow down when passing under.

Bridge clearance at slow idle could very easily be 1 foot more than at planing speed unless you’re a risk-taker and put your outdrives at 45° then throttle up so hard that the back end of the boat would drop a bit (I don’t recommend this approach).

Here’s a real trick if you’re not sure: stand in the stern of the boat and look at the bridge over the highest point of the boat. If the bridge appears to rise relative to the high point on the boat as you approach, you will clear the bridge. If it appears to drop as you approach, you won’t.

Hopefully, I’ve helped you as much as I’ve helped myself by researching the heights of boats on trailers and what to pay attention to when buying a new boat. That’s: clearance, advice from other boat owners, always towing your boat to your garage to have a correct measure and taking it slowly under bridges.

FAQs

How tall is a boat with T top on trailer?

The height of a boat on a trailer with a T-top will vary depending on the specific boat and trailer. The typical height of a T-top on a boat ranges from 4-6 feet. However, the exact height can vary based on the make and model of the boat and the specific T-top design.

How big and tall is a typical trailer?

The width of a boat trailer can vary depending on the size and type of boat it is designed to transport, but typically ranges from 6-8 feet, with some larger trailers reaching up to 10 feet in width.

The height of a trailer can also vary but typically ranges from 4-6 feet, with an extra foot or two added for T-tops or other structures on the boat. The length of the boat and the type of the boat determine the size of the trailer. In general, single-axle trailers are around 20-25 feet long, while tandem-axle trailers can be up to 35 feet long.

How far off the back of a trailer can a boat hang?

According to US federal regulations, a boat can hang off the back of a trailer to a maximum of 4 feet or 48 inches. However, state laws may vary, so it is important to check with local authorities before transporting your boat.

Author

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of HowMonk.com! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!