I could sense the excitement during a recent phone interview with Albemarle Boats general manager Burch Perry and director of product development Keith Privott as we discussed a new offshore fishboat that joins the builder’s fleet in 2021: the Albemarle 30 Express.
“The new 30 Express is a return to our roots,” Perry said. “We wanted this build to be a performance-oriented, hardcore fishing boat, and we’re super-excited about how it turned out.”
The boat is designed to compete with high-performance center consoles in terms of speed, while providing a cabin with a berth, galley and head; a protected helm area; a tower; and an ample cockpit. With triple Yamaha F300s, the 30 Express is expected to nudge 60 mph.
“We studied the power choices for a long time,” Privott said. “We tried a pair of Yamaha XTO 425s, and it ran really well. But in the end, the triple F300s gave us a little more horsepower with weight savings, a higher top end, better cruise efficiency and a boat that easily planes and runs on two engines if needed. And the kicker is three F300s are less expensive than two XTOs.”
Based on the builder’s 29 introduced four years ago, the deep-vee hull has an LOA of 33 feet, 6 inches, including the Armstrong bracket and engines; a 10-foot, 6-inch beam; and 24 degrees of transom deadrise. The boat weighs about 13,000 pounds and holds 320 gallons of fuel, which provides enough range to run to the canyons for tuna and billfish.
The boat has a dedicated mechanical space for an optional genset, along with stringer beds for a Seakeeper gyro-stabilizer. The hardtop, which Albemarle designed and produces, has a fiberglass-framed windshield and side curtains for protection from the elements. An optional setup replaces the glass windshield with a Palm Beach-style, four-sided acrylic and canvas enclosure.
The cabin has a V-berth and table forward, an enclosed electric head with a shower, a galley, cabinetry and lockable rod stowage. The bridge deck has a starboard helm with companion seating to port. Abaft the helm area are aft-facing seats, a rigging station with a sink, tackle stowage and an optional fridge.
The 64-square-foot cockpit has a 25-gallon cooler, a 30-gallon transom live well, two 56-gallon fishboxes with macerated pumpouts, a folding transom seat, fresh and saltwater washdowns, a transom door and blue under-gunwale LED lighting.
Albemarle’s 30 Express should appeal to serious anglers looking for a hardcore offshore fishboat with a long list of standard features, a seakindly hull and creature comforts for overnighting. Check her out at albemarleboats.com.