As the weather gets warmer, lakes, bays and the high seas beckon for boating season. Which means it’s time to get your boat out of winter storage and in summer condition. But to get your mighty vessel to the waters, you’ll need the proper tool to transport it: a bad-ass truck with earth-shifting torque and the towing ability to move mountains. Whether you’re just taking the tarp off your PWC before a weekend at the lake, heading to the bay with your day cruiser, or want to take your small(ish) yacht from the dry dock to another launch point down the coast, these are the best trucks for the job.
Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4×4 (V6 Tow Package)
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Best PWC Hauler: It’s no big rig, but if you need to haul a personal watercraft or two, the Tacoma TRD Sport will get the job done. The base trim starts at just over $30,000, but opting for the 4×4 should be a no-brainer. Not all launch points were created with equal traction.
Engine: 3.5-liter V6
Torque: 265 lb-ft
Tow Capacity: 6,800 lbs
Nissan Titan Diesel SV Crew
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Best Tow Truck for Tow Boats: With a 12,300-pound tow capacity and 550 lb-ft of torque, the Titan Diesel SV has plenty of pulling power to get your tow boat, wake boards, all the essentials for the day and maybe a PWC to the lake and back without a problem. Along with the standard class IV tow hitch, the Titan comes with integration for a gooseneck hitch for even more ways to tow your toys.
Engine: 5.0-liter V8 Turbo Diesel
Torque: 550 lb-ft
Tow Capacity: 12,300 lbs
Ram 2500 Big Horn
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Best for Day Cruisers: The Ram 2500 Big Horn will get larger day cruisers, and even some boats bordering on 30 feet long, from storage to the launch with room to spare. With 17,510-pound tow capacity, the Big Horn skirts big-rig territory but doesn’t go overboard. Even if your route requires some highway miles, getting up to speed will be a breeze.
Engine: 5.7-liter Hemi V8
Torque: 400 lb-ft
Tow Capacity: 17,510 lbs
GMC Sierra 2500HD
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Best Sport Fishing Rig: If you’re looking to change it up this season and go from bluefish and bass on the East Coast to tuna in the Gulf, the GMC Sierra 2500HD’s 765 lb-ft of torque and 18,000-pound tow capacity will do its part to get your sport-fishing vessel there. Using engine compression to create “negative torque” to rein in all that weight, the Duramax diesel exhaust brake will ensure that you actually come to a halt when you get there.
Engine: 6.6-liter V8 Turbo Diesel
Torque: 765 lb-ft
Tow Capacity: 18,000 lbs
Ford F-450 Super Duty
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Best for Small Yachts: With a torque rating that’ll make a supercar blush, the F-450 Super Duty is a great match for an entry-level yacht. If you’re not one for dry docking during the winter and heading out to the Hamptons, or simply want to launch from farther down the coast this summer, the 31,200-pound tow capacity will get you there. Anything bigger, though, and we’d have to suggest getting a commercial driver’s license.
Engine: 6.7-liter V8 Turbo Diesel
Torque: 860 lb-ft
Tow Capacity: 31,200 lbs