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Diesel trucks are often the trucks of choice when it comes to towing. But if you’re in the market for a diesel truck capable of towing a boat, which diesel pickups are strong enough to do the job successfully? Let’s find out.

A 2021 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel towing a boat while driving
2021 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel | Stellantis

What size diesel truck do you need to tow a boat?

Now, you don’t need a diesel truck to tow your boat. In fact, a gas-powered pickup truck can likely do the job just fine. But if you insist on choosing a diesel truck instead? Formula Boat reports that the first step to finding the ideal truck for towing your boat is to determine how much your boat weighs. 

Remember to add the weight of fuel, passengers, boating accessories, and other gear to the boat’s weight. Manufacturers typically list the weight of the boat when it’s empty. Once you have that figure on hand, you can begin weeding out diesel trucks that simply don’t offer enough towing power. 

The best diesel trucks for towing, according to Edmunds

According to Edmunds, when choosing the best diesel trucks for towing, there are three options worth your attention: the 2021 Chevy Colorado diesel, the 2021 Ram 1500 diesel, and the 2021 Ram 3500 diesel. For the max amount of towing power, consider the 2021 Ram 3500 diesel, which can pull up to 37,100-pounds when properly equipped.

If you don’t need quite that hefty of a diesel pickup truck to tow your boat, Edmunds recommends either the 2021 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel or the Chevy Colorado diesel. With a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine under the hood, the Ram 1500 can tow up to 12,560-pounds. As for the 2021 Chevy Colorado? Opt for its available Duramax diesel engine, and it can pull up to 7,700-pounds.

The 2021 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel towing a boat behind it
2021 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel | Stellantis

Can the Chevy Silverado diesel tow a boat?

While Edmunds might not have included the Chevy Silverado diesel among its selection of the best diesel trucks for towing, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your attention. In fact, according to Best Boat Report, the Chevy Silverado is more than capable of towing a boat.

With its available turbo-diesel engine under the hood, the 2021 Chevy Silverado boasts a 9,500-pound maximum towing capacity. According to the Best Boat Report, that makes this year’s Chevy Silverado diesel capable of towing several different types of boats, including a bass boat, a pontoon boat, and even a catamaran boat.

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado RST driving
2021 Chevy Silverado | Chevrolet

The Ford F-150 diesel has what it takes to pull a boat

Say none of those pickups quite fit what you’re looking for. Consider then the Ford F-150. The 2021 model is available with a 3.0-liter PowerStroke turbo diesel engine that can pull up to 12,100-pounds. There’s no denying that’s a pretty impressive figure.

That’s not all the 2021 Ford F-150 has to offer either. This year’s model is available with a blind spot information system with trailer coverage. This system will alert you if a vehicle manages to find itself in your trailer’s blind spot. If you’re towing a boat, a feature like this can be handy.

A 2021 Ford F-150 towing a boat
2021 Ford F-150 | Ford

Choosing the best diesel truck to tow your boat

If you’re on the hunt for a diesel truck capable of towing your boat, you’ve got plenty of trucks to choose from. To find the best diesel truck for towing your boat, we recommend considering what features you’d like in your next truck. You know, beyond how much it can tow. Consider taking the time to get behind the wheel for a few test drives too.


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