Several months ago, I was finishing up a washdown of the Betty Jane when something inspiring occurred. After noting that my sopping-wet bare feet, which had been encased for the scrub session in flow-through Day-Glo Crocs, resembled the cold, shriveled remains of a waterlogged deep-fried chicken, I said to myself, “Self, why the heck don’t you buy a set of white shrimp boots like you used to wear while you were driving supply boats in Louisiana? Said boots will keep your feet dry during washdowns. They are comfortable and you can slip into them (or out of them, in case you fall overboard…heaven forbid!) with ease. And what’s more, they are cheap.” Soon I’d purchased a pair of white shrimp boots from West Marine for $29.95 and they were okay for a while I guess, although they were stiff and tended to rub my shins a tad raw with extended usage. Just recently, though, I switched to a pair of Royal White Shrimp Boots, which are the crème de la crème of the genre and a favorite of literally thousands of commercial shrimpers, crabbers, scallopers, and tuna fishermen, not all of them Louisiana-bred Cajuns. In fact it was Royals I used to wear back in the day, if I remember rightly. Royals are super-comfy and supple because they, unlike most PVC shrimp boots you see kickin’ around, reportedly have real rubber in them, thanks to an actual rubber plantation near the manufacturing facility in Bogotá, Colombia. Moreover, when the soapy suds are flying, they’ll keep your feet bone dry (but not overly sweaty, thanks to thick insoles) and well protected from falling deck brushes, errant hose nozzles, needle-sharp teak-deck splinters, and virtually all other forms of washdown-related gloominess. And get this—a brand new pair of Royals sells for just $25, plus tax and shipping. Ca c’est bon, eh?
This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.