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Albemarle 41 Express Boat Review

DATE POSTED:April 30, 2020

Our 12-hour adventure onboard the new 2020 Albemarle 41 Express Custom Carolina Edition began early on a balmy March morning at Apex Marine in Miami, Florida. Located on the Miami River just past the NW 17th Avenue bridge on the South Fork of the River, this full-service boatyard with a 92-ton marine lift made a great jump-off point for our brief but exciting coastal cruise.

Exterior Design

When we arrived to meet Chuck Sealy from Albemarle (our captain for the day), we immediately noticed the builder’s beautiful, brand-new, luxury sportfishing yacht sitting dockside waiting for us. Her gelcoat glistened in the early morning sun as we took in all 41 feet of her sleek exterior. Striking lines combined with a dramatic Carolina-style flare made her stand out from the crowd, even at a marina filled with a plethora of other amazing yachts.

As we approached we could see technicians putting a few final touches on the new vessel for our journey. The entire helm deck was raised (via hydraulic actuators) which provides easy mechanical access to the twin Cummins QSM11, 715 HP Diesels that power this beast. The techs explained they’d have her shined up and ready to go shortly, and would make sure the air conditioning was blasting throughout! That last bit of news was great to hear since we could already feel the famous Miami humidity beginning to creep up on us.

Albemarle 41 Express Custom Carolina Edition Fishing Boat Albemarle 41 Express Custom Carolina Edition Fishing Boat.

Captain Chuck suggested that we pop over to Garcia’s Seafood Grille and Fish Market nearby to grab a meal while we waited. With growling bellies and the thought of a second cup of coffee in the back of our minds already, our crew happily obliged.

Sidebar: If you ask locals what their favorite Miami seafood restaurants are, Garcia’s is usually at the top of the list. Part restaurant, part fish market, this family establishment has been serving the best seafood sandwiches in Miami-Dade County since the 1960s. Most of us opted for the mahi-mahi sandwich, which was caught that morning and was absolutely delicious. We sat on the shaded waterfront dock overlooking the Miami River watching luxury yachts, day boats and commercial ships cruise by, knowing we’d soon be joining them. We finished up our meals and headed back to the yacht to being our day on the water.

Inside The Cockpit

Mezzanine seating on the new Albemarle 41 Express Custom Carolina Edition fishing boat Mezzanine seating on the new Albemarle 41 Express Custom Carolina Edition fishing boat.

Back at Apex we finally stepped aboard the new Albemarle and I was immediately impressed. The helm deck had been lowered back down to reveal luxurious, rear-facing mezzanine seats on either side and wrap-around helm lounges inside the cockpit, all of which were welcoming and comfortable. Albemarle brings more than four decades of boatbuilding experience to the table, and it shows in this thoughtful design and layout. They say she is designed to handle like a sports-car in the toughest of seas, but of course, also to fish!

I took a moment to explore the cockpit – which is large and uncluttered, while clearly still offering everything required for serious offshore battles with big game. Her bait freezer and livewell are located under lids that double as footrests for the mezzanine seating, and her in-deck cockpit fish box is removable for access to equipment in the lazarette. Flush-mounted rod holders, a transom fishbox and a transom door round out the business end of the boat. The gunnels are designed at just the right height for wiring marlins or gaffing tunas.

Inside The Cabin

Albemarle 41 Express Custom Carolina Edition Fishing Boat Cabin Interior Albemarle 41 Express Custom Carolina Edition Fishing Boat Cabin Interior

Getting situated onboard was easy. We loaded up the refrigerator down below with beverages for the trip and I was blown away by the amount of room in the cabin. The galley has custom cabinetry, solid-surface countertops, stove, microwave/convection oven, refrigerator/freezer, ice-maker and ample storage space.

Up front, a forward stateroom features a queen size berth, hanging lockers and drawer banks. A starboard side dinette converts to a double bunk and has a Pullman feature, providing a fifth bunk. I learned later that much of the beautiful woodwork is done in-house at Albemarle. There’s lots of storage and a very clever use of space.

While the Albemarle 41 Custom Carolina Express is clearly designed around sport fishing, she’s also a true yacht. Passengers can take pleasure in all aspects of yachting – from lounging to enjoying the premium sound system throughout and cooking full meals below deck. Her head is spacious and includes a separate shower stall for added comfort on extended cruises.

Sea Trial

Albemarle 41 Express Fishing Boat Sea Trial Aerial view from behind the Albemarle 41 Express fishing boat out on the open sea.

Our plan was to launch from Apex and meander down the Miami River and out into Biscayne Bay where we’d pass Miami Beach and head out into the Atlantic for our sea trial. From there we’d make our way up the coast about 60 miles to our destination in Boynton Beach. This would give us a great opportunity to run her out in the open ocean and really get a feel for what it’s like to spend time aboard one of these boats.

Back up top, we were underway already. Chuck had deftly navigated the narrow channel out into the widening Miami River and was explaining that we’d have to wait for a few minutes at each bridge due to the height of the tower. With the comfort of this boat, it’s ice-cold a/c and luxurious seats, none of us complained.

The Tuna Tower

Albemarle Tuna Tower Albemarle Tuna Tower

We slowly passed through Florida’s cultural and culinary capital and I climbed the ladder of the Albemarle Tuna Tower up to the second station (with 4-Sided Enclosure option) in order to take in the views of the city. The top station is certainly a very comfortable place to perch and spot fish, or in this case, a great vantage point to watch the Magic City pass by.

Once we cleared the Brickell Ave Bridge the wind began to pick up and we noticed the sky ahead was growing darker. However a quick check of our onboard weather equipment suggested it looked worse than it was.

Tuna Tower Helm Station Tuna Tower Helm Station on top of the Albemarle 41 Express fishing boat.

As we pondered how sporty the conditions might get, I was reminded of one of the main reasons why buyers might choose an express style fishing boat over a capable center console fishing boat: peace of mind. When you’re looking at dark skies up ahead and a 60-mile journey in front of you, there’s nothing like knowing you have a heavily-built boat underneath you with protected enclosures.

We made our way through Government Cut and past South Pointe Pier into the Atlantic, then turned North. Luckily for us, the wind soon died down again and the sun peaked back out. With postcard perfect beaches to our portside and calm blue water to our starboard we began to open up the engines.

At The Helm

Ryan McVinney and Chuck Sealy at the helm of an Albemarle 41 Express Custom Carolina Edition Fiashing Boat Ryan McVinney and Chuck Sealy at the helm of an Albemarle 41 Express Custom Carolina Edition Fiashing Boat

At the helm there is great visibility and excellent protection from the elements due to an oversized windshield. The wrap-around seating provides comfort for the whole crew for when you’re running out and back to offshore fishing grounds.

Propulsion System

As mentioned before, this 41 CCE was equipped with two Cummins QSM11 engines, getting us a top speed at full throttle of 37 knots. If we brought her down to a cruising speed between 27-30, knots we burned about 50 gallons/hour at 72% load.

Soon the sun began to set and we knew it was time to make port. We helped tie the boat up and then our crew hopped onboard the Brightline high-speed rail service whisked us back to Apex Marine where we called it a day.

Albemarle 41 Express Stern and Aft Deck View From Tuna Tower Station Albemarle 41 Express Stern and Aft Deck View From Tuna Tower Station

In Summary

A pure, blue-water titan, the Albemarle 41 Custom Carolina Express is a sportfishing boat designed for pursuing big game and plying the open ocean. She is at home in rough water and yet comes equipped with all the creature comforts expected on a luxury yacht. Whether you’re chasing marlin or enjoying time with your friends and family, this is a sturdy, safe and truly classy vessel.

At some point, many serious anglers may decide to move from a center console into a more protected design, like an express or flybridge fishing boat – especially when they’re spending long days offshore. So if you fall into that category, and you’re looking for a more accommodating, all-weather boat this could be the one for you. Personally we couldn’t have been more comfortable.

Specifications:

LOA: 43’6″
Beam: 15’9″
Draft: 48″
Dry Weight: 32,000 lbs
Deadrise: 15 degrees

View Albemarle listings for sale on YachtWorld.

Visit Albemarle Boats to learn more.

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