Crabbing can be a fun and exciting hobby, especially when you have the right boat for the job. Some of the best boats for crabbing are those that are designed for fishing, as they typically have a lot of room to move around and ample space to store your catch. Nothing can match the fulfillment of having Dungeness or Stone Crab for dinner that you’ve caught yourself.
Based on the place where you live, the type of crab you’re hoping to catch, and how much money you want to spend, there are a variety of boats that could work for you.
Crabbing skiff boats are a good option if you’re looking for something relatively affordable that can still get the job done. Most suitable for crabbing around bay areas and in calm waters, these boats will typically have a flat bottom and be easy to maneuver.
Downeast-style boats known for their semi-hull design are another good option, especially if you’re looking to do some crabbing in rougher waters. These boats have a bit more of a V-shaped hull which gives them better stability and handling in choppy waters.
Typically the boat would be a semi-V hull or a center console Hull. These boats have enough power to get you to where the crabs are, but they’re also small and lightweight enough that they won’t break the bank.
If you want something a little more luxurious (or if you have a larger budget), you could opt for a cabin bowrider. These boats offer more space and amenities, but they come at a higher price tag.
Both Aluminum and fiberglass boats have their pros and cons, so it’s really up to personal preference which route you want to go. For solo hunting, Aluminum boats are going to be a lot lighter and easier to maneuver, but they’re also going to be a lot less stable.
If you want to crab with a few friends or family, then you might prefer a fiberglass boat because they tend to offer more stability (and they look nicer too).
Let us now look into some of the great boats that can be used for crabbing:
Carolina Skiff JLS 192
Popular in Canada and the United States, this boat is known for its reliability and exceptional value. It’s a best choice for first-time boat buyers or those who are on a budget, as it’s relatively affordable without sacrificing quality or performance.
The JLS 192 has a length of 19 feet 2 inches and a beam of 94 inches, making it a spacious and comfortable option for up to six people. It also has a draft of only 12 inches, so you’ll be able to get into shallow waters where the crabs like to hide.
With a modified V-Hull, this boat is designed to provide a smooth and stable ride even in choppy waters. It’s also equipped with plenty of storage space for your crab pots, bait, and gear.Molded storage compartments in the bow and stern make it easy to keep your belongings organized, while a Livewell in the stern will keep your bait (and eventual catch) fresh.
Boston Whaler 130 SUPER SPORT
An all-weather boat, the Boston Whaler 130 SUPER SPORT is a good choice for those who want to do some serious crabbing. It has a length of 13 feet and a beam of 5 feet 6 inches, so it’s small and lightweight enough to be easily towed behind an SUV or truck.
With a 40 HP Mercury 4-stroke outboard engine, this boat has plenty of power to get you where the crabs are. It also comes with a Bimini top and stainless steel hardware, so it’s built to withstand harsh conditions.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly option, the Bayliner T22CX is a worthy choice. It has a length of 22 feet and a beam of 102 inches, so it’s large enough to comfortably accommodate up to eight people.
A deep -V hull with a self-bailing cockpit makes this boat stable and safe, even in rough waters. It also comes equipped with a 300 HP Mercury outboard engine, so you’ll have no trouble getting to fishing locations.
Other features include a Bimini top, a fishing seat, and plenty of storage space for all your gear.
Grady White Freedom 235
For those who want a little more luxury, the Grady White Freedom 235 is a great option. It has a length of 23 feet 5 inches and a beam of 102 inches, making it spacious enough for up to 10 people. Going after those King crabs? No problem – this boat has got you covered.
This boat comes with a wide variety of features that make it perfect for crabbing, including a fishbox/livewell, rod holders, and an anchor locker. It also has a self-draining cockpit so you don’t have to worry about water getting in.
The Yellowfin 17CE is a great choice for those who want a lightweight and easy-to-maneuver boat. It has a length of 17 feet and a beam of 96 inches, making it perfect for solo crabbing or small groups.
Being made with carbon fiber, this boat is one of the lightest on the market – meaning it’s easy to tow and can get into shallow waters where the crabs like to hide. It also comes with a 60 HP Mercury outboard engine, so you’ll have plenty of power to get around.
If you are into shallow water crabbing, then the Yellowfin 17CE is perfect for you.
Alumacraft COMPETITOR FSX SERIES
Want to enjoy the day catching crabs and have the kids enjoy some water sports too? No problem – the Alumacraft COMPETITOR FSX SERIES can do both.
With very less noise and vibration, this boat is perfect for those who want to enjoy a calm day out on the water. It has a length of 18 feet 8 inches and a beam of 102 inches, so it’s large enough to accommodate up to eight people.
Equipped with a ski pylon and a tow bar, this boat is perfect for watersports. It also has plenty of storage space for all your crabbing gear. And when you’re done for the day, the built-in cooler will keep your crabs fresh until you get home.
Scout boats 175 Sportfish
If you’re looking for a boat that’s specifically designed for fishing or crabbing, the Scout boats 175 Sportfish is a great option. It has a length of 17 feet 5 inches and a beam of 102 inches, making it large enough to accommodate up to six people.
This boat comes with all the features you need for a successful day of crabbing, including a livewell, rod holders, a fishbox, and an anchor locker. With a 10″ draft, you’ll be able to get into shallow waters.
Mako 214 CC
The Mako 214 CC is a great choice for those who want a boat that’s versatile and can be used for both fishing and crabbing. It has a length of 21 feet 4 inches and a beam of 102 inches, so it’s large enough to accommodate up to eight people.
Affordable and reliable, this boat comes with a variety of features that make it perfect for crabbing. These include a Livewell, fish boxes, rod holders, and an anchor locker. NMMA certified, you can be sure that this boat is safe and stable.
With ample seating space and a perfect boat for fishing or catching crabs, the Robalo R272 is perfect for those who want a little bit of everything. It has a length of 27 feet 2 inches and a beam of 102 inches, so it’s large enough to accommodate up to 10 people.
With a 23 L holding tank facility, this boat ensures that you can spend more time on the water. It also comes with a fish finder/chart plotter combo so you can easily find where the crabs are hiding. Other features include an anchor windlass, privacy curtains, and a Stern jump seat.
Lund 189 TYEE
With a fiberglass hull and a length of 18 feet 9 inches, the Lund 189 TYEE is perfect for those who want a durable and reliable boat. It has a beam of 102 inches, making it large enough to accommodate up to eight people.
Perfect for big waters these boats are equipped with all the features you need for a successful day of crabbing or fishing. With a premium look and feel, this boat is perfect for those who want to enjoy a day out on the water.
Whether you’re a seasoned crabber or just starting out, it’s important to have the right boat for the job. In this article, we’ve outlined some of the best boats for crabbing based on your needs and budget. We’ve also provided some tips on what to look for when choosing a crabbing boat. So, whether you’re looking for something small and lightweight or something more luxurious, there’s sure to be a boat perfect for you. Let us know in the comments which boat you ended up choosing and how your crabbing adventures go!