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How Tall Will A Boat Be On A Trailer? [The Truth]

 how tall a boat is on a trailer

If you are looking up "how tall a boat is on a trailer" on Google, you are probably thinking of fitting in your boat inside your garage.

Or you just want to how much size of the garage one would need for a specific class or size of boat.

Before thinking of fitting a boat in a garage, you will need to consider the type of boat you own because an average garage has an opening of typically 8ft high.

You should also put into consideration the little added height (about 2ft high) that comes with placing the boat on a trailer.

So as long as the height of the boat on a trailer does not exceed the height of the garage opening, even an 18ft longboat can fit into it if it's parked straight.

Editors note: "Long" is horizontal measurement while "high" is vertical measurement.

In this guide, you will learn how tall a boat will be on a trailer, how to choose a boat trailer, how to load a boat on a trailer by yourself, the different types of garages and boats that can fit into it, and other boat storage alternatives.

How Tall Is A Boat On A Trailer?

A customized steel trailer

The height of a boat on a trailer would depend on how tall the boat and trailer are from the start.

A typical trailer is usually about 2ft high which means you have to add that to the initial height of your boat to get the final height measurement.

So an 18x20 feet boat will usually be above 8ft tall on a trailer although with some exceptions.

Like, if the boat has a hardtop or a radar it will lead to an added height of 1 or 2 feet increase it to 10ft or more.

Overall a boat on a trailer is 2-2.5 feet taller than the original height, only within travel lanes also known as "bridge clearance" this is usually listed on your manufacturer’s specifications.

Here is a tabulated list of some of the different types of boats and their heights on a trailer:

Boats Height On A Trailer
22 feet Robalo 9-10 feet (12-13 feet with a hardtop)
22’ Grady 12 feet even with a hardtop
Hewescraft 22’ 9 feet even with a top
20’ center console 10 feet
24’ Robalo 11½ feet
28’ Wellcraft 12½ feet
23’ Hydrasport Vector 11½ feet even with a top
21’ Cape Horn 11"6 feet with a radar

How To Choose A Trailer For Your Boat

A trailer is an essential means to move a boat to new places without having to rent a ridiculously expensive slip.

A good trailer is supposed to fit your boat to the T, it should be the right size.

As a rule of thumb, trailers with a single axle are for smaller boats (22-23 ft) plus they cost less.

Bigger boats can fit on trailers with two or more axles, they will cost more obviously.

Also, the type of material that your potential trailer is made of is important as a galvanized trailer is heavier than the rest.

Additionally, brakes mechanism are important in choosing a trailer as it is in a car. A trailer with an electric brake is not the best option because when they come in contact with salt water, its electric potential can increase dramatically and it is not a good idea.

The best type of brakes a trailer should have are the surge types of brakes, although they are more complex they don't have potential risks as opposed to electric brakes.

In summary, choosing the right trailer for your boat isn't supposed to be hard, just remember to put the following into consideration beforehand:

  • The size of your boat,
  • how heavy the front of the trailer is (tongue weight,
  • number of axles,
  • it's support system: rollers or bunks,
  • how easily their clamps connect to tow vehicles,
  • type of brake on the trailer: surge or electric,
  • the material makeup of the trailer: galvanized, steel, or aluminum.

Although they are more factors, these are the most important ones to consider before choosing a trailer for your boat.

How To Load A Boat On A Trailer Yourself?

It is possible to load a boat on a trailer by yourself but it will you have the upper body strength of hulk.

This is how to load your boat on a trailer by yourself:

Firstly, tie your boat to the dock and back your trailer into the water just enough that it is still sticking out of the water.

Then attach your boat rope to the front of the trailer and then position the boat on the trailer with a winch to avoid slippage.

Finally, pull up the boat onto the trailer and securely tie it down.

This takes a lot of practice, however, with time you may be able to master it.

Additionally, you might be tempted to drive up your boat onto a trailer, this is very dangerous as boats tend to lurch forward quickly.

So if you not paying attention you could cause a lot of damages, manually pulling your boat onto a trailer is a safer option.

Different Types Of Garages And Boats That Can Fit Into It

There are 3 common types of garages, one car, two cars, and three cars garages.

If you decide that you want to store your boat in your garage, you need to consider beforehand the size of your boat and the type of garage you own.

These are the common sizes of boats that would fit into the different sizes of garages:

A one-car garage: can contain a Wakeboard of 16-28 ft, a Centre console of 18-65 ft, or a Bowrider of 19-26 ft.

A two-car garage: would be able to contain a Deck of 25-35 ft or a Pontoon of 15-30 ft.

A three-car garage: may contain a Catamaran of 38-47 ft, a Motor Yacht of 30-100 ft, or a Cabin Cruiser of 24-45 ft.

Overall one also has to take into consideration the added height of the trailer to the boat when it is on it but as long as the height of your boat on the trailer does not exceed the garage door, you will not have any problem.

Other Boat Storage Alternatives

In the situation where your boat is too big for your garage or that you don't own a garage,  they are a couple of storage alternatives.

As opposed to indoor storage you can consider outdoor storage options like:

  • A public storage facility,
  • in your driveway covered up,
  • a marina slip, or
  • a boat lift

Amongst all these alternatives, storing your boat covered up in your driveway is the safest, and also you will be able to access your boat anytime you would like.


Storing a boat in a garage is the best way to keep your boat safe. You may also store your boat in your driveway if you don't own a garage but it has to be covered up completely.

However, the chances of your boat fitting into your car garage will depend on the size and added height of the trailer it is placed on, it is important to place boats on trailers before storage to avoid damages and easy mobility.

Additionally, you may be able to place your boat on a trailer by yourself only if you don't drive it onto the trailer as this can be a potential for disaster as boats tend to lurch forward quickly.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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