Albe­marle Boats is known for its canyon-ready ex­press sport­fish mod­els, but re­cently launched a fam­i­lyfriendly dual con­sole built on the same DNA.

Soundings - - Contents - —Jeanne Craig

Keith Priv­ott, vice pres­i­dent of sales at Albe­marle Boats, says the com­pany has changed along with life­styles dur­ing the past 40 years.“Back then, we built fish­ing boats for hard-core guys who went out ev­ery week­end with friends,” he says. “But they’re a dy­ing breed. To­day, own­ers are more in­volved with their fam­i­lies. It’s why we built this boat.”

The 27 is the first dual con­sole from the North Carolina builder known for ex­press boats. Like all dual con­soles, the 27 is ver­sa­tile by de­sign. One part sport­fish and one part fam­ily cruiser, it can tow the kids on tubes one mo­ment and troll in salt wa­ter the next. It has a head for mixed com­pany and a cabin for ju­nior at nap time.

There’s a soft side to the 27, but don’t let the up­hol­stered bow lounges and op­tional cock­pit grilling sta­tion fool you. This boat also has plenty of blue­wa­ter DNA. It’s one of the small­est boats in Albe­marle’s fleet, but it’s built like its larger sib­lings. “It’s heavy, with a solid-glass, deep-V hull and 24 de­grees of tran­som dead­rise,” Priv­ott says. “That’s the type of ag­gres­sive run­ning bot­tom we’re known for, and it’s not com­mon on dual con­soles in this size range. Other boats have less dead­rise be­cause they’re be­ing made for av­er­age use. Our 27 is made for rough wa­ter.” To keep the ride sta­ble and com­fort­able in coastal con­di­tions, Albe­marle de­signed the hull with wide, flat chines. They’ll steady the boat when own­ers are drift fish­ing in a beam sea, or when they’re on the hook in a rolling an­chor­age with the kids. If the weather heads south, get­ting back to the dock quickly is no prob­lem. With stan­dard power—two 200-hp Yama­has—the 27 tops out at 40 knots and cruises near 26 knots A pair of 250-hp Yama­has are op­tional, and they could be a good choice for those who will load the boat with gear, ice, peo­ple and fuel. The big­ger en­gines add $10,000 to the price. An­other note­wor­thy op­tion is the hard top with en­clo­sure ($17,900). It turns the 27 into an all-weather plat­form and en­hances the boat’s lines. “We build near the Outer Banks, where it’s com­mon to see cus­tom char­ter boats with clean lines, soft ra­diuses and no clut­ter,” Priv­ott says. “That’s what we were all raised on. That’s what we do.”

LOA: 30’0” Beam: 8’8” Draft: 1’8” Weight: 8,000 lbs. Fuel: 190 gals. Wa­ter : 23 gals. Power: (2) 200-hp Yama­has Price (w/power): $168,900

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