Can I Use A UTV To Move A Boat – Moving Your Boat Made Easy In 2023

A UTV is a versatile vehicle that can be used for different purposes, including shifting weight and loads, even moving boats. Are you considering moving your boat to a new location, but you don’t have a trailer or a truck to haul it?

A question mostly asked by many UTV owners, can I use a UTV to Move a boat?

Absolutely Yes, a UTV can move a boat. A 4×4, 600-pound UTV can pull around 3,000-3200 pound’s boat. However, not all UTVs are created equal, and you need to consider a few other factors before using a UTV to move your boat.

This article covers the ups and the downsides of using a UTV to move a boat. Also, the factors to consider when choosing a UTV for boat transportation, safety tips for moving a boat with a UTV, and much more.

How Much Weight Can A UTV Pull?

Curious about the towing capacity of UTVs? According to industry experts, an UTV can generally tow up to 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms) of weight. However, this can vary depending on the UTV’s size, weight, and engine power.

It’s also recommended that the weight of the object being towed does not exceed 85% of the UTV’s total weight.

How Much Weight Can A UTV Pull?

It’s important to note that a UTV’s towing capacity is best utilized on flat surfaces, and steep inclines exceeding 15 degrees should be avoided.

Additionally, when towing a boat with a UTV, it’s best to do so in cooler weather to prevent overheating. Driving the UTV at a slower speed and in a lower gear can also reduce the risk of overheating.

Attempting to tow a boat that exceeds a UTV’s towing capacity can result in dangerous situations.

For example, the boat’s weight may cause the trailer to bump into the UTV while going down a slope, pushing the vehicle off its path.

To prevent this, it’s important to avoid applying too much brake force and allowing the vehicle to move at a slightly faster speed.

Factors to Consider Before Using a UTV to Move a Boat:

As I already mentioned above, there are several factors you need to take into account before you use a UTV to move a boat. Those Include:

1. Size Of The Boat:

One of the most crucial things to take into account when selecting a UTV for transportation is the size of your boat.

UTVs have weight limits, and if your boat is too heavy or too large, your UTV may not be able to handle the load.

2. The Weight Of Boat:

The weight of your boat is another crucial factor to consider. UTVs have a limited towing capacity, and if your boat is too heavy, it may cause your UTV to struggle or even break down.

3. Terrain:

UTVs are designed for off-road use, but they may not be suitable for certain types of terrain, such as steep inclines or rough, rocky roads.

Here are a few more reasons why using a UTV for pulling a boat out of the water is not advisable.

  • Insufficient brake power to handle the weight of the boat.
  • Risk of damaging the UTV’s drive belt due to excessive strain.
  • Slippery ramps can cause traction problems when exposed to water.
  • Even trucks heavier than UTVs can be pulled into the water by a boat, highlighting the power imbalance.
  • Boats are typically much heavier than UTVs, which increases the risk of accidents or damage to both the vehicle and the boat.

Other Transportation Options For Moving A Boat:

While a UTV can be a convenient and efficient way to move a boat, it’s not always the best option.

Other transportation methods may be more appropriate depending on the size and weight of your boat, the distance you need to move it, and the terrain you’re working with.

Here are a few other alternatives to think about:

1. Trailers:

The most common way to move a boat is with a trailer. Boat trailers are specifically designed to carry boats and have features like rollers or bunks to support the boat’s hull.


While a trailer requires a vehicle with a hitch to pull it, it’s often the safest and most practical option for longer distances or rough terrain.

2. Forklifts:

If you need to move a boat a short distance, a forklift can be effective. A forklift can lift heavy loads and quickly move a boat from one location to another.


However, it’s important to note that forklifts are not designed to move boats on roads or highways and should only be used in areas where they can be operated safely.

3. Cranes:

If you’re moving a large boat, a crane may be necessary to lift it onto a trailer or transport vehicle. Cranes can lift heavy loads vertically and are ideal for situations where a boat needs to be lifted over obstacles like buildings or trees.

However, cranes can be expensive to rent and require specialized knowledge to operate safely.

Legal Considerations:

Before using a UTV to move a boat, it’s important to understand the legal requirements and regulations that apply to this activity.

UTVs are generally not intended for use on public roads or highways and may not be legal in all areas.

In addition, you may need special permits or insurance coverage to use a UTV for moving a boat, depending on your location and the size and weight of the boat.

Make sure to research the laws and regulations in your area before using a UTV for this purpose, and consult with local authorities or legal experts if you have any questions.

Key Takeaway:

Using a UTV to move a boat can be a practical and efficient transportation option, but taking safety precautions and being aware of all the factors is important.

Before using a UTV to move a boat, it is important to ensure that the UTV is capable of handling the weight and size of the boat and following safety guidelines for loading and transporting the boat.

Additionally, it is important to research the legal requirements in your local area, as there may be restrictions on using a UTV to move a boat on public roads and waterways.

Taking these precautions allows you to safely and effectively use a UTV to move a boat to your desired destination.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is It Safe To Move A Boat With A UTV?

If done properly, moving a boat with a UTV can be safe. However, it is important to follow safety guidelines and ensure that the UTV can handle the weight and size of the boat.

2. What Kind Of Hitch Is Required For A UTV To Move A Boat?

The type of hitch required will depend on the type and size of the boat. A ball hitch is commonly used for smaller boats, while larger boats may require a gooseneck hitch.

3. How Much Horsepower is Required to Tow a Boat?

Knowing the overall weight of your boat is the most reliable approach to calculate how much horsepower you need for it.

As a rough guide, there should be 25 to 40 pounds of weight per horsepower. Your boat needs a 20-32 horsepower engine if it weighs around 800 pounds.

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