How Much Does a Tuna Boat Cost?

Last Updated on December 7, 2021 by hmdcadmin

If your next dream is to buy a tuna boat and want to know its cost, you are in the right place.

This guide will show you the various cost related to buying a fishing boat to catch tuna fish. As you probably know, the cost of tuna is relatively high and can be a very lucrative business selling it.

 If you are a fisherman and know how to fish, your next step should be to fish tuna.

But of course, to start, you need a boat that can give you the proper safety and security to go far away from the coast, and for that reason, I decide to make that guide related to how much does a tuna boat cost.

How much does a tuna boat cost?

Tuna boats cost will depend on the types of tuna boat you will buy, the size, the equipment that you will install; for a 12-14m boat equipped with goods instrument will cost you around $300.000, while for a purse seiners fishing vessel the can go from $1,500,000 for a 24m, to $20,500,000 for 80m length fishing vessel.

As you can see, the cost is relatively high; if you are still interested to know the cost of a tuna boat, and discover why a tuna boat is so expensive, continue reading.



The first and the most important distinction that we have to make is related to the types of tuna boat that you want to buy.

In particular, we can make two main distinction



If you intend to start a business with a budget under $500.000, this is the perfect type of tuna boat you need.

In general, the cost for this boat that has a maximum length of 14m is $300.000 if you will decide to equip the tuna boat with the most expensive equipment. 

While if you go for a cheaper option, you can find a tuna boat of 10m with $90.000, more than a 35′ Duffy model.

Small tuna boat cost by model

To have a clearer idea about the average cost present on the market, I decide to create a table where will be a summary of the cost related to the model of the tuna boat.

Type of BoatCost
36′ Daniels Head Novi Boat$140,000
35′ Maine Downcast$80,000
48′ Ocean Motor Yacht$180,000
40′ Young Brothers$200,000
36′ Northern Bay Harpoon Boat$220,000
35′ Duffy$80,000
43′ Torres$250,000
32′ Blue Hill Marine$130,000
48′ Dixon Series 60 Detroit$350,000
45′ Provincial Boat Builders$220,000
44′ Calvin Beal$150,000

Cost of maintenance for a small fishing vessel

As you saw in the table before, some boat’s price is not so high, but if you want to buy a tuna fish boat, you have pay attention to the cost of maintenance of the boat.

In fact, the average price to maintain a tuna boat is around $25,000 annually, taking into consideration the cost related to 

Cost of Fuel 


Considering the average of $3.50/gallon, your trip will at least 150 nautical miles on average.

Let’s make an example with an ocean yacht 48 model.

The consumption is:

20 gal per hour at 25knots

10 gals per hour 12 knots

If you sail at an average of 18knots, you will consume around 15gal per hour; if you travel for 150 nautical miles, you will consume 125 gal that means $437.5 for a trip of 150 nautical miles.

Considering that the season of tuna fish is on average long 6 months, if you go 3 times per week, you will spend $21,000 for season of tuna fish catching

Cost of authorities

For the use of the harbor you need to pay, and it can cost you from 12$ to $50 /ft per year.

So a boat of 32ft will cost you $800 per year considering an average of $25/ft

Others Cost

Fishing licenses $26

Insurance $200 to $500

Tackle for trolling $500

Other Fishing equipment $1000

This is only an example, and the number maybe is not the same as the one you will spend each year. It was only done to give an idea of the cost that tuna boat owners should expect.

Big Size Tuna Boat Cost

The cost for a huge boat are completly differents, on this case we are speaking about a boat that can reach 80m and speed of 18 knots

The purse seine fishing is a particular type of fishing method that is used primarly to catch tuna in branch.

For that reason the engine of the tuna boat must be very powerful, in order to give enough speed to the boat to reach the branch of tuna and then surround them with the net.

Fuel cost for a big size tuna boat

An usual engine of a tuna boat can erogate a power of 4318 kW and it can cost around $10,000 to $20,000 montly.

Crew cost big size tuna boat

Other important aspect for a big size tuna boat is the one related to the crew cost.

In fact a huge boat of 80m usualy has a capacity of 20-30 crew members.

If we estimate a medium salary of 1500$ for each crew member, in a boat of 25 crew member we reach 37.500$ of salary montly.


As you can imagine, the cost of a boat tuna is proportional to the size of the boat that you would like to buy.

As we saw on the table before, if you want to purchase a small boat for hobbies and go just a few times per months, my suggestion is to buy a small boat and stay in the range of $80.000 for a 36 ft boat.

Opposite discussion, if you want to purchase a fishing boat for catching tuna with a purse seine.

 If you enter this scenario in the table below, I summarize the price that is currently present on the market.

80m X 17m201220,000,000USD
61m x 11m19986,000,000 USD
65m x 13m19793,500,000USD

These were some of the prices present on the market to buy a boat for catching tuna.

In general, this boat is bought by professional fishermen who know how to catch Tuna fish and want to expand their fleet or jump to a bigger tuna boat.


Depending on the types of boat that you will want to buy, the cost of the equipment will be variable.

The first and the most important distinction that you have to make is regarding the scope of the boat.

To clarify better the concept of tuna boat equipment, we should divide it into 2 main categories:

  • Small tuna fish boat
  • Big Tuna fish boat

Small tuna fish boat Equipment cost

If you already bought a tuna boat, usually the equipment comes together, but if the boat’s previous owner keeps it for him, you should provide your ship with the necessary equipment to go and catch some big tuna.

The most critical equipment for an amateurs fisherman is the sonar.

The cost of sonar varying between $500 for the cheaper version on the market and $5000 for a professional one.

Another important instrument is the Gps that will cost you a maximum of $1000 for the best present on the market.

Tackle for tuna; you can spend around $5000 maximum.

These are the leading and most important equipment that you need with the relative cost, in case you decide to go for a small boat.

Large tuna fishing boat equipment cost

Speaking on a large scale, a boat for catching tuna with a dimension of 50m or more, as you can imagine, will have a very high cost, and only experienced people know how to take advantage and profit from it.

I tell you this because if we make some assumption about the cost of a large boat that will catch fish, the value presented on the screen will be immense.

If we take a look at a purse seines fishing vessel, the cost for the equipment is relatively high because if you don’t invest in something big, for sure, you will need something that can guarantee efficiency during the years.

In general, the cost for a purse seines tuna fishing boat are :

Radar cost for large tuna boat

depending on the distance that you want to cover, you will need it, in order to comply with the regulation amended by the marine authority, sometimes you need to fit your boat with a specific type of Radar.

Purse seines Estimation cost

in the majority of the case, the new owner have to buy the nets necessary to catch the tuna fish, the purse seines come in different size, in general the dimension of a nets are chosen in accordance to the dimension of the boat.

The dimension for purse seine nets can arrive at more than 1.5km, and the cost to buy it can reach more than $100000.

Sonar cost for large tuna boat

a good boat that wants to catch a large amount of tuna fish needs an excellent sonar to indicate the quantity and some in the area.

The cost to fit your boat with a good sonar can be very high; the modern sonar can arrive to cost more than $6000.



This part of the cost related to the numbers of crew members has a huge influence if you decide to purchase a big fishing vessel.

If you are the owner of a tuna fish boat, you can delegate the job to the crew members depending on you.

In that case, you will have to find an experienced captain that can cost you a lot.

We cannot estimate the cost you need to afford because usually, the fishing boat crew are pay in percentage of Tuna fish they catch.

 Data found showing the average salary for a deckhand of tuna boats is $40,000 to$55000, and for the captain, the salary goes from a minimum of $80000 to $100000.

Anyway, you should consider that this business is regarded as one of the most lucrative if the lucky is part of you.

In facts, the purse-seine vessels are the majority part of the commercial of tuna, talking about 60%.


Once you arrived at that point, I am sure that you have a clearer idea about the cost related to owning or buying a tuna boat. 

Anyway, we didn’t consider one crucial thing: the cost related to some failure on your equipment or, in the worst case, on your engine.

The worst scenario for both boat owners of a small and large fishing vessel is the one related to the engine failure; that one will make you spend any money.

If we take a better look at the cost relative to a small boat, the only things you have to consider are the fishing equipment.

While as you can imagine, for a bigger boat, the problem can be related to the damage of purse seine net, repairing of pieces of equipment, etc.

You might be interested:


In this guide, I tried to give you my best to provide you with a clear idea about the cost of a tuna boat, considering the types of boat that you like, and then go deeper trying to make some estimation about the cost of maintenance of these boats.

I hope that this guide was helpful and that now you have a clearer idea about the cost of a tuna boat.