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Albemarle Boats is an iconic North Carolina builder with roots dating to the late 1970s. That’s when J. Scott Harrell Sr. and Mac Privott partnered to produce a line of seaworthy fishing boats from 21 to 32 feet. After the launch of 21-, 24-, 27- and 32-foot models through the late ’80s, Privott in 1991 parted ways with the company to found Carolina Classic Boats.

Today, under the leadership of owner and president Dell Murphy, the Albemarle and Carolina Classic brands are built under one roof in Edenton, North Carolina, with a wide-ranging lineup of fishing boats to 41 feet. And now there’s a new chapter underway.

“We’ve been toying with the idea of building a much larger boat since 2008,” says Burch Perry, Albemarle senior vice president. “The idea resurfaced numerous times, but in a 2020 meeting, Paul Spencer [of Spencer Yachts] came up as someone we might want to talk to about making the project a reality.”

A phone call grew into a partnership between Spencer and Albemarle to work together on the project. The new 53-footer is Albemarle’s first entry in the big-convertible market and provided Spencer an opportunity to design its first all-fiberglass production boat, rather than its typical cold-molded one-offs.

Belowdecks accommodations include three staterooms, two heads and an expansive main salon with a full galley and ample lounging spaces. 

Belowdecks accommodations include three staterooms, two heads and an expansive main salon with a full galley and ample lounging spaces. 

Hull No. 1 of the Albemarle 53 Spencer Edition is under construction in Edenton. Renderings show Spencer’s influence in the bow flare, the slope of the broken sheer, the rake of the house and the flybridge overhang.

The boat measures 53 feet overall and has a 16-foot, 6-inch beam; estimated dry weight is 60,000 pounds. The hull’s sharp entry tapers to a 12.5-degree deadrise at the transom. The boat draws 5 feet. Standard power is a pair of 1,000-hp Caterpillar C12.9 diesels, with an option for C18s rated at 1,150 hp each.

The flybridge has a center console helm and plenty of seating for crew on the ride home. The cockpit offers 160 square feet of fishing space, with a curved mezzanine deck and lounge seating. The saloon includes two L-shaped seating areas with tables, and a galley with ample counter space to cook, mix drinks and entertain. Below deck is a three-stateroom, two-head layout with a master in the bow, and staterooms to port and starboard of the central walkthrough.

The flybridge has a center-console-style helm with plenty of seating for crew and guests.

The flybridge has a center-console-style helm with plenty of seating for crew and guests.

The Albemarle 53 Spencer Edition has a long list of standard equipment, along with such options as a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer and watermakers. Base price is $2.36 million, though hull No. 1 is spoken for.

For more information, or to get your name on the order sheet, visit albemarleboats.com.

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