LIVING THE LIFESTYLE
Get to Know Albemarle, the Carolina Classic
Pop quiz. What’s the most important trait in selecting a mid-sized offshore fishing boat?
A) Proven seakeeping ability, B) Loads of experience, or C) Personal support? Well, if you’re a D) All of the above kind of guy, then Albemarle is the brand for you.
Since announcing the merger and acquisitions deal that relaunched two iconic North Carolina Boat Brands—Albemarle and Carolina Classic— Murphy Family Ventures (MFV) of Wallace, NC has been leading the charge to take both boat lines into the next era of development. MFV CEO and Albemarle President Dell Murphy explains, “We bought two great brands and merged them together into a blend of each line’s finest boats and features.” Most notably, this evolution meant taking two boat lines that have traditionally been known for their stalwart inboard configurations and starting to integrate brackets and outboards onto the models under 30 feet. Many other updates have gone into the new models and Albemarle is always making boat-to-boat improvements. Upgrades include a myriad of small details that make the boats more comfortable and efficient, such as upgraded 12 volt systems, LED lighting throughout, one piece windshields with fiberglass frames and the latest in ergonomic seating. New gelcoat color options provide exciting variations on the highly proven running surfaces.
By all accounts it’s been a smooth year and a half of business since the re-introduction. “Having a dealer like Bluewater Yacht Sales is a big testament to that,” says Albemarle General Manager Burch Perry. Overall, the company has seen many Albemarle and Carolina Classic fans take to the new product. “We know quite a few guys who had experience with 24’ inboard models, and maybe got out of boating for a while… But the 27, especially, and of course the 29 are catching their eyes now,” Perry reports. Serious anglers will undoubtedly appreciate the all new 29 Express launched in 2016. Featuring a modern helm area with forward facing seating and a mezzanine style cockpit with in-deck fishboxes, this compact model delivers in a big boat way.
One recurring theme that establishes itself when discussing design philosophy with the Albemarle team is that they’ve never lost sight of the capabilities that made both brands so successful and popular. “We build an offshore machine,” explains Perry. “Every boat, at its core, is a hard-core fishing machine that captains can expect to ride comfortably, stay dry, and do whatever you set out to do in it.” Whether that’s a fun weekend with the family or fishing a serious offshore tournament, Albemarle builds a boat that can take you there. Running offshore and fishing a boat hard are at the protein level of the company’s DNA.
Running offshore and fishing a boat hard are at the protein level of the company’s DNA
In terms of features, the new models are light years ahead of what everyone was doing just five years ago. The new vessels have been blended with creature comforts such as bridge AC/heat, and fully protective weather barriers. These accommodations not only increase comfort during competition or recreation, but can greatly extend the fishing season in any region. Anglers accustomed to fishing exposed out in the elements with their buddies can now get that same practical functionality, but with all the amenities that will allow for the wife, kids, and their guests to enjoy the offshore experience as well. Albemarle is proud to be building a family friendly boat that possesses tried and true hull properties that won’t discourage operators from running far offshore whenever they get the itch. Perry points out that just about any boat can claim to be comfortable in perfect conditions, “but we build the boat you want to be on when that pretty start to the day turns nasty.”
The Albemarle 29
LOA: 33’ 0”
Beam: 10’ 6”
Draft: 2’ 10”
Displacement: 13,000 lbs.
Cockpit Fishbox: (2) 56 gal.
Transom Livewells: 30 gal.
Ice/Cooler Box: 25 gal.
Cockpit Size: 64 sq. ft.
• Twin Yamaha F300C 4-Strokes
• Twin Yamaha F350 4-Strokes
Fuel: 320 gal.
Sales Manager Ted Haigler attributes close personal relationships with Bluewater’s principals and sales people as an important factor in serving modern Albemarle customers. “We’re always available. Countless times I’m answering texts after hours or on the weekend optioning out a boat for someone at Bluewater. The brokers know they can pick up their phone and get us day or night.”
But there’s much more that Albemarle and Bluewater’s private ownership parties have in common. Albemarle Vice President Jeff Turner explains, “Both companies are run by principals that are driven by their boating lifestyles—we both operate free of outside controlling interests or board room politics. When salesmen introduce customers to [Bluewater partners] Randy Ramsey or Chris and Earle Hall, who are always out on the docks anyway, it’s an incredibly comfortable decision to do business with them. They’re great people and we’re all participating and engaged at the events together, living the lifestyle we love.”
Aside from everyone convening at the factory in Edenton, North Carolina, CEO Dell Murphy can often be found inshore or offshore of Wrightsville Beach throughout the summer, whether fishing with friends or spending time with family, “but always fishing, either way,” he muses. Jeff is a super active boater too, frequenting Swansboro and traveling around the Crystal Coast to Morehead City and Beaufort with family on the weekends. The team is adamant that spending so much time on the water aids them in building a better boat. “Fishing the boat, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and using it with our families is a huge advantage. Plenty of people overseeing other boat brands don’t live that lifestyle. How we spend our leisure time, aligning it with our professional careers— undoubtedly makes our products better,” Turner says.
Perry and Haigler conclude, “We are not a high volume manufacturer. For every boat we sell, we know the customers, the names of their family members, where they boat, and what events they like to fish. We enjoy very personal relationships with our customers.” And that’s just the kind of lifestyle choice that the Bluewater team can get behind!