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How Much Does a Tuna Boat Cost? (by Types & Sizes)

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson

How much does a tuna boat cost

With a single Bluefin tuna capable of fetching $3 million at the Toyosu fish auction in Tokyo, Japan, it is unsurprising to ask, how much does a tuna boat cost? After all, you will want the best boat to reel in a golden catch.

Although you can get a tuna boat for $20,000, several factors can drive the prices beyond the million-dollar mark. So, how much should you budget?

Read on.

Tuna Boat Price by Type


Several factors can influence tuna fishing boat price. And the first consideration is boat type or brand. Like everything else, proprietary technologies and boat manufacturing processes impact a tuna boat’s purchase cost.

For example, a 48-foot Ocean Motor type has a $180,000 price tag, while a similarly-sized Dixon Series 60 Detroit can set you back by $300,000.

It’s another matter if you’re talking about Wicked Tuna boats from the hit reality TV show about Gloucester tuna anglers. These sensational vessels cost $100,000 to $300,000, excluding electronics, tuna fishing gear, navigation equipment, and tuna fishing-specific customizations.

For example, the 44-foot Calvin Beal-type FV-Tuna.com tuna boat piloted by Dave Carraro costs $70,500. Meanwhile, TJ Ott’s 48-foot Dixon Series 60 Detroit-type Hot Tuna boat nets $300,000.

We created the following table to help you appreciate tuna boat prices by boat type.

Tuna Boat Type Price
35-foot Duffy $80,000
35-foot Maine Downcast $80,000
32-foot Blue Hill Marine $130,000
36-foot Daniels Head Novi $140,000
44-foot Calvin Beal $150,000
48-foot Ocean Motor Yacht $180,000
40-foot Young Brothers $200,000
36-foot Northern Bay $220,000
47-foot Idle Oars $299,000
38-foot Young Brothers $189,000
45-foot Provincial Boat Builders $220,000
43-foot Torres $250,000
48-foot Dixon Series 60 Detroit $350,000

Tuna Boat Price by Size


Brand or type is not the only factor influencing tuna boat prices. Size is crucial, too.

For example, a fully-equipped 40 ft tuna boat (about 12 meters long) can set you back by $300,000. Meanwhile, an 80-foot tuna fishing vessel (about 24 meters) can cost you over $1.5 million, complete with everything you need to net a million-dollar tuna.

On the other hand, a purse seine-type commercial fishing boat can cost at least $2.5 million.

Interestingly, the world’s super-seiner, the FV Albatun Tres, can cost tens of millions of dollars. It’s 115 meters or 377 feet long and 16.6 meters or 54 feet wide. The Albatun Tres can grab 3,000 tons of tuna per trip.

We prepared a table to help you appreciate a tuna boat size’s influence on price. Bigger boats with lower prices tend to be older than a similarly-sized, newer vessel.

Tuna Boat Size (Length x Width) Price
43 by 12 meters (141.1 by 39.4 feet) $11 million
51 by 8.6 meters (157.3 by 28.2 feet) $1 million
61 by 11 meters (200.1 by 36.1 feet) $6 million
65 by 13 meters (213.3 by 42.7 feet) $3.5 million
80 by 17 meters (262.5 by 55.8 feet) $20 million

Other Prices to Consider


The cost of a tuna fishing boat extends beyond the vessel. We summarized other financial considerations that go into owning a tuna boat.

Item Small Tuna Boat Large Tuna Boat
Annual maintenance $25,500 >$25,000
Regulatory fees $15 to $55 per foot
Fuel $22,000 per season >$25,000 per season
Others (license, trolling, insurance, fishing equipment) $1,750 to $2,050
Sonar $500 to $5,000 >$6,000
Radar $1,000 >$100,000
GPS <$1,000 >$1,000
Tuna tackle <$5,000 >$5,000
Crew $40,000 to $55,000 per deckhand
Captain $80,000 to $100,000

Unfortunately, tuna boats aren’t indestructible. They are vulnerable to the elements, leading to costly repairs.

Moreover, fuel prices are highly volatile. They could be down today and skyrocket tomorrow.

The larger the tuna boat, the more crew it needs. Such a boat also consumes more fuel because of a larger and more powerful engine. The equipment and fishing resources are also upsized and expensive.

Another factor that matters is the crew size. The fewer deckhands on each fishing trip, the lower the expenses. Unfortunately, it can also undermine your tuna-catching capabilities.


How much does a tuna boat cost? We don’t have a clear-cut answer to this riddle because several factors can influence the picture. However, tuna boat type and size remain the most crucial attributes, with other factors stemming from these two.

If you’re a beginner, we recommend setting a $300,000 budget for the tuna boat and associated expenses. It should be sufficient to net you a good-quality fishing boat capable of catching a million-dollar tuna.

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