Maybe you’re looking to combine your personal love for shrimp and your penchant for fishing to turn them into a money-making gig. Or maybe you managed to watch an episode of Big Shrimpin’ and you’ve been inspired to take on a new line of work. Whatever the case, it pays to know the dirty deets.
Fishing for shrimp might seem like a lucrative new endeavor. But before you decide to hop on a shrimp boat and take your chances out at sea, you should probably get familiar with the specifics first. How much does a shrimp boat cost and what options do you have?
Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the Price Range for a Shrimp Boat?
For the record, shrimp boats come in all shapes and sizes. Heck, even a basic jon boat can be used as a shrimp fishing boat if you’re going for that one-man-crew kind of vibe.
But then again, if you’re looking to buy a fully-equipped shrimp boat with all of the fancy bells and whistles, you could be looking at an expense of between $45,000 and $600,000 bucks. There’s a lot that goes into calculating these prices aside from just the size of the vessel.
Things like age, make and model, and the kinds of features and equipment available on board will weigh heavily on boat prices. So before you even decide to make a purchase, it helps to know what you’re getting with the price you plan to pay.
Sample Pricing for Shrimp Boat Models
Want an even more exact estimate of what you might pay for a shrimp boat on the market these days? Here are some price estimates for actual shrimp boat models being sold on the market:
36-foot Fiberglass Shrimp Boat
Year 1974, 300hp 6067 John Deere Diesel, Fiberglass hull, 10kW Mitsubishi gen set
65-foot Steel Shrimper
Year 1978, 400hp, 1500 cu.ft Fish loading capacity, 52-foot riggers
75-foot Dragger Shrimper
Year 1969, 600hp, 71 net tons, 10 knots per hour
65-foot Steel Trawler
Year 1995, Steel construction, 9 knots per hour, 2 staterooms, 51 net tons
105-foot Steel Trawler
Year 2001, 720hp, 3,800 cu.ft. Freezer hold, 25-foot beams
Keep in mind that these are used shrimp boats. So you’re going to be looking at completely different prices if you’re buying brand new. Heck, a brand new boat might set you back close to a million bucks, which is why used boats tend to be the meat of the market.
Used vs New Shrimp Boats
Obviously, the issue comes down to whether you’d be better of buying brand new, or if you should settle for second hand. The issue with brand new boats of course, is that they can be exceedingly expensive.
Brand new shrimp boats aren’t easy to come by since there’s not quite a lot of people who would look into buying brand new. They’re typically manufactured in Europe too, so there’s the issue of figuring out how to get them here.
With brand new though, you can be certain that you’re getting a boat that’s fit to perform. These boats offer impressive features and amenities that easily beat those available on older boat models.
With second hand though, you definitely get value for money. They’re a lot cheaper, and they come with all the basics you might need to get started on your shrimp fishing work straight after buying it.
The downside though is that you might have to spend quite a lot of money on things like repairs. A lot of these boats are ‘refit’ which means they’ve been put through significant repairs and upgrades to make them water-worthy decades after they were first released.
How Do Shrimp Boat Prices Compare to Other Boats?
Shrimp boats aren’t cheap, that’s for sure. With some lobster boat models priced at just $15,000, it’s easy to see that lobster fishing might be a little easier to get into if you were looking at it from an angle of buying your own boat.
But then again, even the higher-end models on the shrimp boat market - especially if you’re looking to buy second hand - rarely cost over $500,000. That means you could get yourself a top-of-the-line shrimp boat at less than half a million bucks.
That pales in comparison to the steep prices that high end lobster and crab boats tend to cost. With their most expensive models priced at upwards of a million dollars, you’d have to shell out a very, very pretty penny to get your hands on a top quality boat as opposed to a shrimp boat that would cost much less than that for top tier.
Also, see how the compare to pontoons and superyachts, with our guides to how much pontoon boats cost to maintain and why superyachts are so expensive.
Ready to Buy a Shrimp Boat?
When you figure out how much does a shrimp boat cost, it’s easy to see that it’s probably one of the easiest sectors of the fishing industry to join. With second hand boats priced fairly reasonably compared to lots of other types of boats, shrimp fishing proves to be an easy entry to the commercial fishing world, especially if you’re new to the business.