Boat Test…..The Albemarle 29 Express, The Hardcore Angler’s Dream
The Albemarle 29 Express was born in one of the most challenging fishing environments that an angler can face, the coastal waters of North Carolina. This boat was built with the bones and brawn to handle stiff winds, ripping currents and nasty inlets that are found in places such as Oregon Inlet and the Cape Fear. The boat sports the classic flare, 24 degree deadrise that is synonymous with the legendary fishing boats style.
This boat is carefully designed to fill the needs of today’s angler that is looking for a strong player in the offshore segment without the complication of big boat ownership. Even though just 29 feet, the Albemarle 29 Express does not sacrifice space. There is ample room for several anglers with a spacious 64 square foot cockpit. The 2 deck fish boxes are spacious with a 56 gallon capacity each. This boat features a 30 gallon livewell that is molded into the transom that also sports a folding bench seat.
The twin Yamaha 300 engines are mounted to the large Armstrong bracket that provides an increased level of performance as well as additional deck space. This engine setup allows the Express 29 to cruise at 30 knots and tops out at 40 knots. The boat is complete with a starboard transom door for the days when that fish is too big to pull over the gunwale. The unique aft facing mezzanine seating makes for great leisure while keeping a watchful eye on the lines and teasers, or just to lounge while enjoying your day on the water. Just aft of the cockpit on the starboard side resides a freshwater sink beneath a flip up lid with 4 tackle drawers below, making the perfect bait prep station. The Albermarle Express 29 exceeds my expectations when it comes to storage with spacious locations integrated throughout the boat. For electrical needs, a Fischer Panda 4.2 KW generator is optional, but can be strategically placed in the port storage space. The cockpit also sports a Llebroc 2 person bench seat on the port side, complete with a small storage compartment and cup holders. The window provides a great panoramic view thanks to the absence of a wind shield support bar, giving the captain a full field view. The electronics package includes Raymarine electronics, with a 16” Axiom Pro HybridTouch unit and an Axiom Pro that is also integrated with a 24” HD radome for those days and nights with difficulty visibility. The dash includes a Yamaha digital display that keeps you informed of the vital engine data. The Raymarine Evolution autopilot interfaces with the Optimus steering system. For your entertainment needs a Fusion stereo system keeps the music going.
The cabin reveals a cherry wood interior with teak flooring. The galley is located to port that includes a microwave, refrigerator and freezer, stainless steel sink with an optional electric cooktop. The counter space is more than ample for preparing nearly any size meal. The forward dinette table converts to complete the berth when the time is needed. The Albemarle 29 Express comfortably sleeps four with the v-berth backrests folding up into port and starboard bunks. A separate head compartment features a countertop, sink and electric head and holding tank. The head can also double as a shower. The boat is complete with an air conditioning setup that keeps both cabin and helm deck cool. The helm area can be fully enclosed for a dry, cool ride no matter if you’re in the cabin or on the helm deck or whether you’re behind the wheel.
Like all the Albemarle boats before it, the 29 Express checks all the boxes for the avid angler. It provides a smooth dry ride. I was particularly impressed with the fit and finish of the boat and the detail to both comfort and the fisherman’s needs.