A Strategic Move for a Classic Builder


Albemarle Sportfishing Boats joined with Carolina Classics in 2015 and together the companies have built more than 3,600 hulls from 25 to 41 feet. The North Carolina builder is family owned and focused on customer feedback, which was the impetus for the development of the new 27 Dual Console (DC). Following market trends, the company diverged from their typical center console focus and created a more family-friendly boat that can still fish like a demon.

Albemarle 27 Dual Console
Albemarle 27 Dual Console. Photo: Albemarle Boats.

For those who can’t wrap their heads around an Albemarle bow rider, understand that the builder’s fishing DNA is still present but now your favorite fishing machine is also a can-do boating SUV. That means you may have more company on your outings as kids, friends and spouses take to the new design. Focused on family fun, the new model embraces the multi-tool approach and delivers a boat that will go waterskiing, diving, cruising, happy hour entertaining and of course, fishing.

Construction


The hand-laid solid vinylester resin and composite fiberglass hull has a deep-V entry and a 24-degree deadrise. The hull and deck joint is bonded and through-bolted and a heavy-duty vinyl rub rail with a stainless steel insert along the outside ensures that docking mishaps won’t result in expensive damage. Albemarle ensures that the molds are prepared and maintained so painstakingly that you’ll never see any dings in the flawless gelcoat finish. An encapsulated fiberglass stringer system is tied into the transom and adds strength and rigidity for solid rough water performance. Even a snotty weather outing will generally keep everyone dry thanks to the signature Carolina flare and wide inverted chines.

On Deck


The walk-through to the bow has been offset to port so both the tempered glass windshield and the composite bow door can be open when under way at speed as the wind is funneled away from the helmsman. To port is companion seating for two tucked behind a console that hides an electric head and sink. This is a nicely finished space with a solid-surface counter, a medicine cabinet and a mirror. Unlike on other models where heads are shoehorned into undersized consoles, this is actually quite a practical space, perfectly usable by adults and kids alike and it will extend a day on the water in comfort.

Albemarle offers an optional hardtop, which adds approximately another $18,000 to the base price of $170,000. With side curtains added, everyone will be dry and comfortable regardless of the weather. Cockpit and bow sunshades are also available to keep guests out of the sun when needed.

Albemarle 27 Dual Console
Albemarle 27 Dual Console. Photo: Albemarle Boats.

With a nearly nine-foot beam, the 27 DC offers a 58-square-foot cockpit with some practical features. First, there are two double foldaway seats – one to port and one at the transom. This helps when you’re hosting a harbor cocktail cruise for eight or more. When it’s time to fish, just fold the seats away.

The 27 DC carries 23 gallons of water and since there’s a freshwater cockpit shower and also a 6’ 5” berth hidden behind the helm console, one or two people could conceivably weekend on this versatile model and have the bare necessities. If that sounds too much like camping, the cavernous cabin space also makes a great
place to stash wakeboards and water skis and there’s lockable storage for up to two dozen eight-foot fishing rods. Not bad for 27’ 4” LOA.

The swim platform is accessed via the starboard transom door and it’s the perfect launching pad for water fun. It’s a nice way to get in and out of the water or a dinghy since you can walk the width of the boat at water level and never have to tangle with the engines. Anyone boarding from the water will appreciate the dive ladder that makes the process of getting up easy.

At the other end, there’s plenty of seating in the bow. Both port and starboard sides have extended lounge seats with angled backrests that will be favorite places to relax. There is insulated dry storage under the port bench seat and stainless steel handrails on both sides. An integrated anchor locker holds the electric windlass with a through-stem anchor roller so a muddy anchor stays below deck level minimizing mess. With the anchor locker closed, this bow platform is just large enough for one person to stand on and cast from, and since the Albemarle has pop-up cleats, there won’t be anything on which to snag your line.

A Comprehensive Helm


The helm station will make everyone want to drive. The single seat with a bolster allows the driver to sit or stand and because the windshield is higher than on other models, visibility forward is quite good. The compass is at eye level so it’s easy to take bearings while keeping an eye on the horizon and a molded footrest
keeps the driver secure and comfortable even in tight turns or lumpy seas. There’s another footrest at the companion seat so no one gets bounced around in a seaway.

The dash is well laid out with twin 12-inch Garmin multifunction displays (a single 16-inch is also available) and a Fusion stereo head. On the dash shelf below you’ll find a cup holder and two arrays of rocker switches and beneath that is the Yamaha CommandLink engine display to the left of the wheel with the engine controls outboard to the right.

Fabulous Fishability

A 60-gallon insulated deck box can be used for storage or to hold the day’s catch and has a macerator pump-out system for easy clean up. The insulated multi-purpose transom box is also plumbed as an 18-gallon livewell that is painted a calming blue to keep the bait fresh. A 64-quart cooler is beneath the aft-facing seat to port so there’s a place to keep happy hour snacks nice and cold. Additional rod storage is below the starboard gunwale and you’ll love the raw
water wash-down to get any blood and fish guts out of the self-bailing cockpit.

For those who do more entertaining than angling, the rigging and tackle station can be changed out for a galley module that includes an electric grill and a refrigerator and that will add approximately $5,000 to the base price.

Performance


The 27 DC is powered by twin Yamaha F200 4-stroke 200-hp outboards. A pair of 250-hp F250s is an option. The top end with the base engines is about 41 knots (47
mph) so the upgrade may not be necessary but with the larger engines, expect to reach upwards of 50 mph.

Fuel efficiency is admirable with a 15-gph consumption at a 25-knot cruise. This means that the 190-gallon fuel tank will take you 300-plus miles and still have
a small reserve.

Attention to Detail


It’s the smallest of details that differentiate a good boat from a great boat and the features list on the 27 DC is long and runs throughout the vessel. All the
wiring is color-coded, electronics are pre-wired, the whole electrical system is bonded and LED lights are used throughout to keep the power requirements to a minimum. All the thru-bolted deck hardware is stainless and of good quality.

The 190-gallon aluminum fuel tank has a cold tar epoxy coating and all hoses below the waterline have double stainless steel clamps. Seacocks below the waterline
are bronze and thru-hull fittings above are stainless steel. Blind screws on each hatch and frame create a clean and professional look. A three-sided Strataglass enclosure and ski tow attachment round out the options list.

Indirect lighting throughout creates a soft glow for the perfect evening ambience and there are cup holders and USB charging ports throughout so bring your iPads and smartphones along to keep the kids entertained if the fishing and skiing aren’t thrilling enough.

It’s these kinds of details that show Albemarle’s dedication to quality and how they value the needs of their customers. Because a dual console design is a departure for the builder, this model must indeed meet many expectations and may possibly become a harbinger of the future for the brand. Like her Albemarle siblings, the 27 DC is built for a fast, soft, dry ride on big open water. But unlike her sisters, the Albemarle 27 DC is configured to do double and triple duty while she’s out.

Albemarle 27 Dual Console
Albemarle 27 Dual Console. Photo: Albemarle Boats.

Specifications:


LOA: 27’4”
Beam: 8’ 8”
Draft/engines down: 1’ 8” / 2’ 7”
Dry weight: 8,000 lbs
Deadrise: 24 degrees
Fuel/water: 190/23 galllons
Power: Twin Yamaha 200/250
Base price: $170,000

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