While some boat companies dabble in both the fishing and cruising markets, this is not so with Albemarle. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Albemarle Boats and you won't find a day cruiser anywhere in its lineup. Scott Harrell Sr. started the Edenton, North Carolina, company in 1978 with a few center-console models that quickly impressed the boat-savvy captains in the area with their hard-core fishing amenities. That commitment to fishermen remains to this day.
Purchased in March 2005 by Brunswick, Albemarle now makes up a piece of the Hatteras Group, complementing the large boat line with an entry-level size range (24- to 41-footers) that still reflects the best quality possible. "We've never changed our focus from the hard-core fishing side," says President W. Burch Perry. "We still only make fishing boats."
Albemarle pursued an aggressive growth strategy in the last several years, coming out with the 41 in 2001, a convertible in 2005 and a new 36 in 2006. "We've pretty much been reinventing the whole line," says Perry. "We got away from the narrower beams and listened to our customers and dealers. But our cockpit has changed very little."
At a Glance:
All Albemarle boats come loaded with simple, yet extremely functional fishing amenities. You don't have to ask for a livewell, bait station or giant fish box when purchasing an Albemarle; they come standard on every model. But man does not live on fish alone.
"Our ride is our number one attribute. We build dry boats," says Perry. "Our customers always tell us that we have a great riding boat, which all comes back to our construction techniques. We build our boats out of fiberglass and use fir stringers. We do use some composites in our bulkheads and engine mounts, but our stringers are still made out of wood and we see no reason to change that. The only reason to replace the fir would be to save weight, and that's not what we want to do. It's our weight and hull design that gives our boats a smooth, dry ride."
But being heavier doesn't make them slow. "We still set 30 knots as our targeted cruise and we find our customers are pretty happy with that," says Perry.
For more information, contact Albemarle Boats of Edenton, North Carolina, at 252-482-7600, or visit www.albemarleboats.com.
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