Nothing compares to the feeling of catching a sizable tuna. The thrill of luring, hooking, and reeling in that big catch, knowing it’s going to test your skills to the limit. Best experience ever.
Naturally, you need a partner to get that first. If you’ve been dreaming of skippering something similar to the Hot Tuna fishing boat for a while now or want a more modest boat, you can get figures directly from the present market here.
So how much does a tuna boat cost on average? It ranges between $30,000 to $1,500,000.
Table of Contents
How Much Do Tuna Boats Cost?
As you can see, there’s a clear price discrepancy due to numerous factors. For one, most saltwater fishing boats are also designed to be crabbers and trollers. They only become “tuna boats” because, well, the season calls for it.
These crafts have adequate equipment for catching various fish, not least of which are crab, shrimp, salmon, and, of course, tuna (i.e., combination vessels) – and those will bump the price up for sure.
That’s not to mention that the cost of a tuna fishing boat is also determined by its size, hull material, age, equipment, amenities, customizations, brand, and other tuna boat specs.
Much like most boats, used tuna boats cost way less, so that definitely adds to the wide range in pricing. I’ve done my best to integrate these factors into the figures I’ve shared here.
Incidentally, are you a fan of the Wicked Tuna show? The vessels featured on that show may not be for sale now, but I’ve also included them in this table so you’ll be able to get a general idea of their value.
Tuna Boat Prices Based on Type
|Boat Name and Manufacturer||Type||Horsepower||Price|
|CR22-028 (Leo H. Bohn)||Combination vessel||325||$595,000|
|TR19-009 (Mentions Boatyard)||Troller||120||$30,000|
|CR18-004 (Monk Design)||Combination vessel||325||$850,000|
|C019-019 (Martin Allen)||Combination vessel||600||$1,500,000
$1,950,000 with permit
|FV-Tuna.com (Calvin Beal)||Combination vessel||650||$70,500|
|Lily (Northern Bay)||Harpoon boat||Unknown||$200,000|
|Odysea (Blue Hill Marine)||Custom||375||$118,900|
|Hot Tuna (Dixon’s Marine Group)||Combination vessel||825||$300,000|
|Hard Merchandise (Daniels Head)||Combination vessel||210||$125,000|
- As far as boats from the Wiked Tuna are concerned, the Hot Tuna is the most expensive and the Pinwheel tuna boat comes a close second. On average, the Wicked Tuna boat cost doesn’t exceed $300,000.
That puts most of the show’s vessels in the entry-level to mid-range categories price-wise. At least, that’s if we compare them to tuna boats available in the market at present.
- Don’t let the size of the smallest boat on Wicked Tuna, the Odysea, fool you. It still costs more than its other larger cousins in the show. Compare it to the FV-Tuna.com boat price, for one. The price difference is nearly $50,000.
- Nonetheless, the FV-Tuna.com does pack plenty of punch power-wise, almost twice as much as the more expensive Oysea.
- Certain watercraft that appeared on the show, such as the Wicked Pissah, still have price tags that remain a mystery.
Tuna Boat Costs Based on Size
Here’s a price comparison based solely on size if that’s your number one priority.
|Boat Listing #||Size||Price|
|OT3766||60’ (1006HP)||$350,000 (discounted from $595,000)|
|LB6084||46’ (No engine)||$150,000|
|LB6061||37’ (375HP)||$215,000 (discounted from $225,000)|
|TN5611||31’ (220HP)||$72,500 (discounted from $79,500)|
- A 30 ft or 40 ft tuna boat is generally considered a good size to start with. Ultimately, bigger will always be better safety- and stability-wise, considering the rough sea condition you’ll frequently have to deal with.
- The table above only confirms that while size may influence pricing, by no means is it completely game-changing – nor overall power. It’s infinitely better to pay attention to all the price-affecting factors I said above to see why tuna fishing boat prices fluctuate as much.
- That being said, it’s well worth asking about the exact specs, features, equipment (e.g., GPS, sonar, tackle, etc.), and amenities of your prospective boat to make the most out of your money.
- Don’t lose sight of the fact that certain vessels don’t come with engines, which will cause a significant dip in their price tag and even halve it.
Other Costs to Consider
Going past new boat cost considerations, it won’t hurt to tally your annual costs as well. Keep the following in mind:
- Fuel – Obviously, this varies a lot, too, but it’s safe to say that you’d have to dedicate around $500 for it each time you head out fishing and traveling over 100 nautical miles.
- Docking costs – This depends a lot on your location, but expect to pay an average of $35 for it per foot of your vessel.
- General maintenance – Annually, you’ll have to allot at least $25,000 to keep your boat in tip-top shape.
- Miscellaneous costs – These include getting your fishing license, insurance, and any fishing tools and equipment you’ll be using.
Last but not least, beware of the guidelines pertaining to illegal tuna fishing in your locale. I’ve lost track of the number of news I’ve read over the years about many tuna boat being seized because of it. That can cost you tens of thousands of dollars worth of catch if you aren’t already aware.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is tuna fishing profitable?
If you consistently reel in a huge catch, it’s a bonafide moneymaker. How much you make will depend on a variety of factors.
Those that are the most vital include:
- The size of your tuna boat and its crew
- The experience of both the captain and their crew
- Knowledge of fishing spots
- Current weather conditions
- Present demand for tuna
- The other factors I mentioned above
How much do tuna boat owners make?
Let’s take a look at what showrunners from our favorite show are earning. Paul from Wicked Tuna has a net worth of $400,000. Most of the cast earns at least $10,000 for every episode.
As for your average serious tuna fisherman, they can expect to earn an average of $55,000 every year. All the more so if the captain knows where the tuna is prone to go like the palm of their hand.
How much does a commercial fishing boat cost?
On average, a medium-sized fishing boat (around 21–25 feet) with one engine will set you back around $50,000 to $100,000. Larger vessels with twin engines can call for a large budget of $150,000 up to $450,000.
So, to summarize the answer to “How much does a tuna boat cost?”, it could go between tens or hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. There are way too many variables that either push up or pull down the total price of any model.
Fortunately, those that cost millions or exceed the $400,000 mark are relatively rare compared to those that cost similar to Wicked Tuna’s premier vessels.
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