Captain's ReportTested By Captain Bob SmithAlbemarle’s 268 Express Fisherman is an all-new model, released late last year. She takes the raised foredeck from her other sister’s to add lots of room below. The 268 is 25’10” without the bow pulpit and 28’0” with the pulpit. She has an 8’6” beam so you have a lot of boat packed into a trailerable package, and she can slip into shoal waters with a draft of 34” at the stern. Albemarle has increased the chines and changed the standard deadrise on this model to 21-degrees for a smoother more stable ride. This one had the cutout and bow roller system for the anchor, but did not have the stainless steel hawser installed yet for the line. The front of the raised foredeck is surrounded with stainless steel rails and a starboard side windshield wiper clears the glass for the helmsman. A large hatch adds plenty of natural sunlight for lighting the cabin below.The HelmThe dash is complimented with standard full engine instruments, and topped off with a compass on top of the flat panel areas that are pre-wired for flat panel instrumentation. If you get the anodized top, like this one has, you also get another electronics box for the radios and other gear behind a locking door mounted on the top. My test ride had the optional double-wide companion seat with a livewell on the back side and a tackle center up front. CabinDown in the cabin, I was impressed with the headroom the raised foredeck provides. I had over 67 inches of headroom at the bottom of the companionway standing next to the galley. The V-berth can be set up with a table for day use or with drop in filler cushions to make a roomy berth for two adults for an overnight on the hook. The galley had a molded in sink with storage and this particular boat had a refrigerator with small freezer installed along with a microwave above the sink. Across from the galley was a stand up head complete with pull out shower faucet and electric marine porcelain head. Above the seats were two locking cuddy racks on either side with lights mounted astern facing forward.CockpitBack up to the cockpit, the next item to check out was the engine compartment. A twist of two T-handle latches and the hatch sprang up to reveal a 320hp Volvo 5.7 GXi complete with Jackshaft Power System. There was plenty of room to maneuver around the engine for routine maintenance. The battery switch was readily accessible up front and an automatic halon system, which is standard, was visible in the back side of the compartment. Closing the compartment, the next obvious item was the optional top and its three additional rocket launchers per side along with the twin fishing lights across the top. If you are using this boat for its purpose, I recommend the top as a standard, not optional. Two more rod holders are in each gunnel per side. Optional coaming pads cut down on the bruising when fighting fish around the large deck. When you board the fish, you can store it in the large transom fish box with two lids (another benefit of the Jackshaft Power System). There’s a large box in the floor that you can put the wet lines and small fenders in.PerformanceWhen running the 268, she was as nimble as her little sister, the 248, yet had the feel of a much larger boat. Without the side and front curtains on underway, we got a little wet in the heavy chop. Maneuvering to the back bay, the winds were down and the chop minimized. The Volvo 5.7 GXi was outfitted with a Penta DP outdrive and Jackshaft Power System from Albemarle. She had dual C3 props and we had two people on board. The 280 comfortably cruised along at 3000 rpms and almost 17 mph giving the wave runners a fine wake to harass us with. We tapped the limiter at 5200 rpms and a little over 40 mph. She produced very acceptable sound levels at the helm of 72 dBa at idle and 93 dBa at top end. Time to plane was just over 4 seconds and we were zipping along at 30 mph in just under 11 seconds. She carries 172 gallons of fuel, so you can certainly take her out for an off-shore trip to the honey holes and have plenty of juice to get back with a bunch of fish.This new model from Albemarle gives you a great choice to move up to a more comfortable offshore capable fishing boat, while still having the convenience of trailering her to wherever you want to launch.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Albemarle 268 Express Fisherman is 40.5 mph (65.2 kph), burning 25.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 95 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Albemarle 268 Express Fisherman is 30.0 mph (48.3 kph), and the boat gets 2.17 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.92 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 342 miles (550.4 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 320-hp Volvo Penta 5.7GXi.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!