Albemarle 27 DC Boat Test

Albemarle prides itself on building custom boats with direct customer input. Observing the build line, and watching workers build and finish each hull and deck by hand gave us a great appreciation for the rough-water workout we gave the 27DC.

Twin F200 Yamahas put us on plane fast, powering through wind-driven 6-footers. The Albemarle’s deep 24-degree deadrise and long keel enabled us to span the wave sets and knife through the deeper ones, and we rode in relative comfort despite the dreadful conditions, thanks to the Carolina flare and wide inverted chines. Looking for a no-nonsense offshore warrior that works just as well as an evening cruiser and day-tripping family funster? This boat’s worth your attention.

The ­Armstrong-bracketed twin Yamahas delivered nearly 50 mph, even with a sizable crew and load aboard. The 27DC also proved stingy with fuel: At 4,000 rpm and 28 mph, we noted our best mileage of 15 gph and 1.8 mpg. With its 190-gallon tank full, that’s a 300-plus-mile range with 10 percent in reserve.

Albemarle’s build and finish is clean, and well-designed and executed. The 27 is hand-laid with vinylester resin and a composite fiberglass stringer grid tied into the transom. The hull and deck are bonded together and then through-bolted for unitized construction. We couldn’t find one flaw in the gelcoat, both inside and out, due to painstaking mold prep and maintenance, and hand inspection of the ­finished parts.

The hardtop that protects so well from the elements is hand-laid cored ­fiberglass, with a welded ­tower surround that’s powder-coated to match the deck’s white color.

Twin livewells with clear friction-dampened lids flank the transom cap. A 60-gallon fish box is in the aft floor, foamed in and insulated, as is a 23-gallon freshwater tank. The pilot’s seat is complemented by a portside folding passenger bench; upholstery on both, plus bow cushions, is tightly stitched and comfortable, without being too plush. Albemarle has succeeded in creating a family-friendly, rough-water-capable machine that’s as at home chasing fins as it is taking the family to the local raft-up.

High Points

  • Tight enclosure with rigid windshields, fitted canvas, and side and fore curtains make for a comfy helm area.
  • USB ports and drink holders at every seating position mean Albemarle focuses on the fine touches too.
  • Blind screws on every hatch and frame offer a clean look.

Low Points

  • Forward curtain does let a slight amount of water in during driving rain; a more forgiving material might help the seam close tighter.
  • Windscreen on our tester needed a wiper to maintain visibility in snotty weather.
  • Folding door to bow section needs a seal to keep water out.

Toughest Competitor
Grady-White’s Freedom 275 compares favorably to the Albemarle in overall size, with a lighter weight (about 5,000 pounds) and similar open-bow arrangement. It has less fuel capacity (184 gallons) and is rated for up to 500 horses.

Price: $168,900 (base)

Available Power: Outboard

How We Tested
Engines: Twin 200 hp Yamaha F200s
Drive/Props: Outboard/Yamaha Reliance Series 14 1/4″ x 17″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.86:1
Fuel Load: 100 gal.
Crew Weight: 750 lb.

More Information
Albemarle Boats – Edenton, North Carolina; 252-482-7600;

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