Tested By Captain Bob SmithEl Nino weather has wreaked havoc on the East coast this season and it seemed every time we would schedule our tests, the weather would change its pattern and slip in heavy rains or snow. Our test schedule seemed to fit well this time, and it was beautiful the day I arrived in Virginia Beach.Design The 248 Express Fisherman was our first boat in the lineup for testing. This model has been built for over 25 years and carried several different titles, but its current is the 248 Express Fisherman. To make the transition from a typical cuddy to the Express, they raised the foredeck and delivered much more headroom and space to the cabin compartment. This is a much more modern design and turned a small space into a room you expect to find on larger boats of the same class. They also raised the curved windshield to provide more protection to the cockpit riders. Along with the protective curtains, Michael (owner of our test boat) and I stayed dry in the heavy chop during the filming of our first segment. Looking out front you find the bow area surrounded with stainless steel rails. Mike’s boat had the pulpit cutout and bow roller. A stainless hawse pipe feeds the anchor line safely into the storage area below deck. A starboard windshield wiper clears the wash away during rain or heavy seas. The windshield had side vents built in to allow air to be scooped into the cockpit when running with the front and side curtains in place. The dash had the typical standard instrumentation with a compass installed on top of the dash. The CabinThe cabin, as we said, is now roomier. The old monkey fuss liner has been replaced with a finished gel coat enhancing the look. I could stand up at the bottom of the companionway without feeling like a pretzel. There’s 57” of room here. Glance over to port and you have a fresh water sink molded into the corner. The typical V-berth seating has storage underneath and converts to a standard double for those times you need a rest or for a quick overnighter on the hook. The boat had the optional electric marine head installed in the bow area of the V-berth. This takes up a fair amount of legroom and doesn’t have a cover unless you leave the cushions in place over it when not in use. It does make a long trip easier with the family aboard. Overhead on the port and starboard side two cuddy rod racks hold rods, brushes or other long handled equipment safely and neatly. On DeckBack up on deck, this model has the combination livewell with added dry storage companion seat. Both the helm and companion seats are now mounted high enough for you to see what is out ahead. Back in the fishing deck, the motorbox is now more of a useful tool than just a hazard to work around. The Jackshaft Power System moves the engine forward delivering many benefits, one of which is the motorbox doesn’t jamb up against the stern. Mike had opted for the seat to be divided into two back to back bench seats with four rocket launchers in the middle. This set up also has a gimbled rod holder for the back bench for fighting the big ones! Mike had also added the anodized aluminum hard top. Besides the protection it provides, it adds three more rocket launchers on each side and two fish lights across the top edge. The top is now vacuum molded which gives a better finish and eliminates the edge molding it required in the past.Performance and Test ResultsThe 248 Express Fisherman handled with ease taking heavy chop as easily as it did the smoother bay waters we tested in. The sharp entry and 24 degree deadrise smoothed out the heavy chop without the heavy pounding I expected. The Jackshaft Power System moves the engine forward in the centerline and eliminates the squat you have to overcome coming out of the hole. Our test boat had a 270-hp Volvo GXi with dual stainless steel F3 props. We had three people on board for this test. At 3000 rpms she cruised along at 20.5mph burning only 7.5 gallons per hour. This would give you about fifteen hours of running time for a trip. She topped out around 40.5 mph with our load burning about 20 gallons per hour. Sound levels ran from 65dBa to 94 dBa at top end. She is out of the hole in just over 5 seconds and at 30mph in around twelve.Albemarle’s 248 Express Fisherman is a good choice for individuals and families looking for a boat that can run offshore, as well as inshore for fun and games with the kids. Mike said he had done a lot of research to make a final decision on the 248 and was very pleased with it. I believe the 248 is a solidly built boat which will bring you years of fishing and cruising pleasure.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Albemarle 248 Express Fisherman is 40.9 mph (65.8 kph), burning 20.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 76.08 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Albemarle 248 Express Fisherman is 26.9 mph (43.3 kph), and the boat gets 2.74 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.17 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 291 miles (468.32 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 Gxi.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!