I stumbled across a TV show last night called Big Shrimpin’ and was instantly hooked on the battles shown between the rival shrimp fishermen. I thought the boats were amazing, so did a little research into them, starting off with how much does a shrimp boat cost? 

A shrimp boat costs between $42,500 and $600,000 if purchased on the used market. Most are between 25 feet and 100 feet in length, with shrimp boat costs being very dependent on the size and age of the trawler.

How I got to the figures above was by looking at ship brokers who specialize in shrimp boats and trawlers, taking some typical examples currently being listed as used for sale.

You can see some typical shrimp boat costs listed below. 

Example used shrimp boat costs

  • 2015 Commercial Shrimp Fishing Vessel 54 feet – $385,000
  • 2009 Shrimper Vessel 50 feet – $245,000
  • 2007 Modern Freezing Trawler GT139 89 feet – $520,000
  • 2000 Freezer Trawler 90 feet – $600,000
  • 1999 Fiberglass Parker Fishing Vessel 25 feet – $42,500
  • 1987 Steel Ice Trawler –$160,000
  • 1985 Steel Commercial Fishing Shrimp Boat 55 feet – $150,000
  • 1984 Ice Trawler 50 feet – $130,000
  • 1981 Steel Trawler 92 feet – $400,000
  • 1981 Small Sister Stern Trawler 101 feet – $220,000
  • 1978 Shrimp Boat Freezer Trawler 71 feet – $385,000
  • 1967 Steel Trawler 78 feet – $85,000 

How much money does a shrimp boat captain make?

As you can see, shrimp boats can cost a lot of money, so the captains need to be bringing in a decent salary and catch to pay for everything.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics state that shrimp boat captains can make between $30,690 and $117,310 a year. The average annual salary for a shrimp boat captain was estimated to be $70,500.

Those earning estimates are wildly varied, and there’s a good reason for that.

shrimp boat trawler prices

A lot of time, investment, and cost goes into getting shrimp from the sea to the eventual dinner plate.

How much a shrimp boat captain earns will depend on a variety of factors including:

  • The weather and availability of shrimp.
  • How good they are and how good their shrimp boat is.
  • Boat costs including insurance, maintenance, licenses, and docking fees.
  • Fuel and employment costs for deckhands and crew.

Handy Hint: Did you know that the captains on the Deadliest Catch can make huge amounts of money due to media appearances, sponsorships, and endorsements? 

How many pounds of shrimp does each boat catch?

As you would expect, it depends on the size of the shrimp boat.

For example, a small shrimp boat with just a crew of three might be able to catch up to 16,000 pounds of shrimp in one trip.

The larger shrimp boats are capable of catching up to 45,000 pounds worth of shrimp.

These types of figures also come into the shrimp boat costs too, as 65% of the sale value goes to the owner of the boat, typically the captain. 

Handy Hint: Want to know how shrimp boats work? Click here for the simple guide.

What do other types of boat cost?

I’ve put together additional research into the costs of other boats you might be interested. The lists include recreational boats, and vessels made famous in TV shows such as Big Shrimpin’, Deadliest Catch, and Wicked Tuna. 

The last word…

If the typical prices of shrimp boats listed at the top of this article have given you the appetite to start a career in shrimp fishing, please be aware of current market trends and predictions.

There is research that shows shrimp fishing is the most wasteful of all fishing practices due to the negative effects the trawler nets can have on the environment. You can read some very in-depth information about these trends and warnings on the excellent Fish Site.

If you liked this guide to how much a shrimp boat costs, please pay it back by sharing on social media.