Captain's ReportA Tough Express Fisherman Designed for Offshore WatersTested By Capt. Bob SmithI had the opportunity to test the new 280 Express Fisherman just off the waters of Virginia Beach. She has the same raised foredeck as the other models, along with the sharp entry that gives a smoother ride in the rough sea. Up front, she sported the optional cut-out and windlass that would not be optional to me on a boat this large. A sizeable hatch filled the center of the foredeck spreading lots of natural light into the cabin spaces below. The raised windshield added more protection from the weather for the helmsmen and it had a starboard side windshield wiper to clear the spray after punching through a large wave.BelowdeckDown in the cabin, you can stay in comfort overnight or over an entire weekend. The forward area converted easily into a large berth for two adults or into a large double bench with dining table. The convenience package on this model includes a microwave, refrigerator with small freezer and table to serve meals underway. The galley resides on the port side back at the companionway. My test boat had the stereo installed above the sink in the face of the cabinet and had a remote at the helm. The counter surface was plenty large for preparing snacks and sandwiches to keep hungry crew topside fishing all day.FeaturesAcross from the galley was the standup head with pull out shower faucet and marine porcelain electric head. I had plenty of room at 6’ to stand in the large head on this boat. Back in the cabin, locking cuddy rod holders were mounted above the port and starboard seating areas with the speakers for the optional radio mounted in the nose of the V-berth area.CockpitTopside in the cockpit, the helm station has a fully adjustable chair with hydraulic steering and full engine instrumentation. Flat panel mounting areas have room for every imaginable flat panel display and are pre-wired when you are ready. A compass tops the station. The companion station on my test model had a small sink with fresh water under the cushion on the front and a 20-gallon livewell on the back side. Storage areas to the port side could hold plenty tackle. Over on the helm side, side storage includes two drawers to keep the fishing licenses and wallets dry.Back up to topside, this model has the optional anodized aluminum hard top with vacuum molded top. This adds three more rocket launchers to each side to compliment the gunwale rod holders. It also adds twin fishing lights and another locking electronics box to the helm. Under the gunwale on each side are two locking rod holders. In the floor of the fishing deck is a huge fish box to compliment the transom box. This one had the coaming pads to keep the bruises down when fighting the big fish aboard.At the HelmSlide the helm seat all the way back and a twist of two t-handle latches will have the engine hatch springing your way. I learned real quick to expect it to pop up with authority, so watch yourself and others when they try it. No need for a motorized engine hatch here. This one was outfitted with two TAMD Volvo 41 diesels. They filled the engine spaces pretty well, yet left room for routine maintenance. An automatic halon extinguishing system protects this area and battery switches were easy to reach.SpecsThe 280 Express Fisherman measures 27’1” without the bow pulpit and a full 28’ with the pulpit. She is 9’6” in the beam, but feels much larger in the ride. She has a draft of 36” and carries 24 degrees of deadrise at the stern. She weighs 9500 pounds and has a fuel capacity of 260 gallons. Our test boat seemed at ease cruising along at 2000 rpms and just over 13 mph. She topped out at 3800 rpms and around 36.5 mph with two people on board and a quarter of a tank of fuel. The 280 got up on plane in just about 6 seconds and was passing 30 mph in just over 13 seconds.This is a hardworking Express model with plenty of creature comforts for a long ride or weekend. She’s a no-nonsense battlewagon prepared for a tough day of fishing. My one complaint is I couldn’t put my cup of coffee down due to a lack of cup holders.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Albemarle 280 Express Fisherman is 38.4 mph (61.8 kph), burning 28.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 105.98 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Albemarle 280 Express Fisherman is 24.8 mph (39.9 kph), and the boat gets 2.43 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.03 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 568 miles (914.11 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 200-hp Volvo Penta TAMD 41 Diesel.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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