Boat Review: Albemarle 410 Convertible

Albemarle doesn't bow to whatever the latest trend in boatbuilding might be. Rather, it has historically built slightly heavier-than-average, solid-fiberglass boats. The company knows what works.

Darwinian principles dictate that boats built and used in areas that frequently suffer bad weather and heavy seas generally end up being strong, seaworthy and dry. I believe someone combined evolution with intelligent design and came up with an Albemarle.

Born and bred to run Oregon and Hatteras inlets on North Carolina's Outer Banks, these boats sport bow flare, sharp entries, reasonably deep V's and excellent stability. Albemarle doesn't bow to whatever the latest trend in boatbuilding might be. Rather, it has historically built slightly heavier-than-average, solid-fiberglass boats. The company knows what works.

SPECIFICATIONS
LOA 43'6"
BEAM 15'9"
DRAFT ** 4'0"
**WEIGHT
36,000 pounds
FUEL 550 gallons WATER 100 gallons
POWER T 710-hp Cat C12s BASE PRICE $712,995

Albemarle Boats Edenton, North Carolina 252-482-7600 www.albemarleboats.com| This 41-footer made getting down into the engine compartment a bit of a tight squeeze. Once there, a step down into a trough between the engines adds a little bit more headroom. I won't be working outboard of the engines on this boat, either. But perhaps what I appreciate the most in this compartment is the amount of soundproofing material I found on the forward bulkhead entryway and overhead. It makes running more comfortable for passengers in the cockpit and belowdecks.Albemarle's deep fish boxes reflect that tuna, wahoo, dolphin and marlin can be found in prodigious numbers off the Outer Banks.

With a freezer with storage below in the portside cockpit module, a large tuna door and a baitwell in the starboard module with another storage box underneath, you can see that the people at Albemarle actually spend time out fishing in addition to building boats.

Many people feel that 40-footers represent the ideal size for big-game fishing since these boats still offer plenty of living area, cockpit space and comfort while providing a nimble fishing platform. Consequently, you can easily see the after half of the cockpit and most of the foredeck from the bridge.

The salon's J-shaped settee to port lets you carry on face-to-face conversations with guests while all seated on the same sofa. An L-shaped settee to starboard adds to the community.

This particular hull sported Corian counters and shade-grown, golden cherrywood throughout. You get to visit several levels as you pass from the salon down to the galley level with its Corian counters and refrigerated drawers.
Beneath the galley, an amidships pump room accessed through the stairs provides instant access to drainage wells in addition to considerable storage space.

Portside, immediately at the bottom of the stairs, sits an over/under-berth cabin with a cedar box that Albemarle refers to as a "hanging locker." Opposite to starboard, a very handsome head contains a separate shower stall with a curved sliding door.

Walk forward to the main cabin and you'll find a double island berth, access to the anchor locker forward and bulkhead-mounted cabinets and shelving. The bed lifts up revealing storage beneath in addition to the drawers built in at the foot.

As I said, Albemarle has always built very seaworthy boats, and part of that formula stems from weight. Heavy boats often ride more smoothly. However, on the 41, Albemarle used some composite coring material above the waterline for the first time.

"She was a little overweight," says Albemarle Vice President of Sales Burch Perry. "But we took about 1,500 pounds out of this boat. Now there's a better center of gravity."

Twin 710-hp Caterpillar C-12s push the 410 up onto plane in 10 seconds with a top speed of about 38 mph - 31 proves a comfortable and efficient cruising speed.

All in all, I have to say that this represents the best hull to ever come out of the Albemarle stable. And that's saying something.