I’ve always been a fan of Albin boats. They are very well-built, and the designers seem to have thought a lot about the owner when they designed seating, compartmentation and passageways, among other things. The Albin 30 Family Cruiser was one I’d considered when shopping for a compact yacht, but the 30 was a little to large to trailer, and therefore didn’t satisfy my need for portability. The new Albin 28TE might have changed my mind if it had been available in the hard cabin design, and it’s certainly worth a visit now if you’re in the market for a vessel that isn’t afraid of rough seas, has all the comforts of a fine yacht, and can be a fishing boat too!
Albin made it’s name in tough, versatile fishing boats, and they’ve kept the theme of a great fishing craft alive in the 28TE. The boat CAN fish! But now the Albin 28TE offers much more than fishing capability, and non-fishing passengers can enjoy the many lounging areas and the yacht-like amenities as well.
Don’t be put off by the “TE” designation if you’re like me, and shopping for a sea worthy and trailerable yacht that might get fished off of once in awhile. The “TE” or Tournament Express part of the vessel’s nomenclature refers to what it’s capable of, not the purpose of the boat. That said, this boat (the cockpit in particular) is equipped with multiple rod holders and tackle gear storage that’ll make anglers think of their favorite fishing spots.
The cockpit comes either fully enclosed or with a hardtop and weather curtains where the fiberglass aft bulkhead would be. Note that the “TE” also comes as an open top convertible, but though the hull is the same, it’s a very different boat than the one we’re talking about. For Rosborough owners (me!) it’s the difference between the RF-246 Sedan Cruiser and the RF-246 Wheelhouse, which is the fishing vs. of the RF-246.
Enter the Albin 28TE from the stern by stepping on the ample swim step and through the standard transom door to starboard. Albin has made a comfortable retreat of the cockpit by fashioning Sunbrella-covered, welcoming seating and a fold down social seat on the back of the bulkhead that can also be used for a “fighting chair”. I noticed the familiar signature compartments – everywhere they CAN be – immediately in the cockpit. The sole of the cockpit features one large and two small built-in coolers which also serve as storage compartments. Aft of these doors is additional storage that opens wide once the folding seating is stowed, and the transom features three flush doors to open-to-the-sky compartments that are stowed away and covered when not needed.
The “bay style” enclosure features the door (largely glass for the skipper’s ‘see behind’ convenience) to the starboard side (same side as the transom door) and you arrive in the spacious house. To your immediate left when you enter, at center, is a sliding window for ventilation and visibility. An additional window lies beside the slider, and gives the skipper really good site lines out the slightly curved portion of the “bay style” aft bulkhead.
This space (the ‘house’) is dedicated to comfortable seating and the yacht’s navigation helm. There is your choice of generous lounge seating or a “mate’s chair” to port. With the chair, you have a removable chair that can be a casual or fighting chair in the cockpit when you need it out of the way inside. For my taste, the idea of the “L” shaped lounge is preferable, because it features a long fold-down bed on the port side and gives me more living space.
L.O.A (w.pulpit) 29’11″
Water 36 gals.
Fuel 162 gals.
Displacement (approx.)8,500 lbs.
Deadrise Transom 16º
Speed Range (depending on Eng.) 18-30knts
The helm is all business, and laid out very smartly. The newer editions (Albin has built more than 950 of this legendary hull) have the engine gauges (for the quiet and efficient Yanmar turbo-charged 315hp engine) in the overhead panel, leaving the helm panel for the buyer to outfit with his choice of electronics. The standard helm chair swivels on a stand -alone stainless steel stand, and allows the skipper easy access to instrumentation, the wheel, and his adjacent guests. There are very good 360 degree site lines from the skipper’s chair, and the windows on either side of the helm slide open for additional ventilation. The center windshield section is also an opening window, so ventilation is available in all four walls.
Ample compartments adorn the house, each one secured with the best stainless steel latches, as is Albin’s tradition. The base of the lounge (or ‘mate’s chair’) seating is polished gel coat and features large doors to massive storage or fishing tackle supplies.The seating along the port bulkhead features portlights for the quarter berth below.
Abundant lighting makes this space very comfortable after dark. The sole access to the engine spaces is located in the center of the floor.
Forward through the closing accordian doors and down a couple steps you find yourself in the very well thought-out cabin. The compact but functional galley is immediately on your left while leaving enough space to comfortably access the quarter berth (kids /grandkid’s berth or handy additional storage) which is located to port under the navigator space. A flip-up counter extension gives you more preparation space and the galley module features a fridge, a built-in microwave, a stainless-steel sink and stand-alone one-burner range. The wooden door to the ship’s head is to starboard, and a combination dining center with wrap-around seating and a large bed (the table folds down) are forward. Converted, the bed is a generous 6’5”X5’. Albin’s dedication to locating handy storage compartments is evident here too, with a trio of built-in compartments at the galley, locking compartments everywhere one would fit and lots of storage beneath the cushions of the bed. The hanging locker is just forward of the head, and there’s a spot for an optional T.V. at the center of the forward bulkhead, which also includes port and starboard cubbies for books, etc. The ship’s entertainment system can also be based here, mounted in the topmost face of the hanging locker with twin speakers forward.
The cabin features six quality opening port lights (eight overall in the boat), three on each side. There is also an overhead hatch that serves as ventilation and an emergency egress point. Abundant lighting can be found overhead, and there are good places for reading lights to be added if you so desire. The AC and DC electrical panels are located above the entrance to the quarter berth, facing out so the skipper can access them easily, and the floor is deluxe cherry throughout. You’ll quickly forget you’re on a hull that was originally built as a fishing boat … if you want to.
Outside, the cockpit provides (via compartments once again!) two steps to a large walkway (port or starboard) to the foredeck. The vessel’s safety railing starts immediately (and continues around the bow to the other side) and there’s a quality stainless steel hand hold on each side of the house’s roof. The roof can be adorned with your choice of fixtures, but Albin offers its radar mast that can’t be beat. There are comfy sitting areas forward (on the roof of the cabin) and plenty of room for your choice of ground tackle selections. The 28TE features an anchor-ready bow sprit that is fiberglass.
The vessel is just trailerable with a permit, with a beam of 9′ 9″, and that extra width gives you a generous living space. The Albin 28TE has a great deal to offer the compact yacht lover, not the least of which is the reputation the company has earned for fashioning stout, seaworthy hulls and, yes, fishing boats. The TE is the first in the line, though, that can be called a yacht (and trailer capable) and features all of the amenities thereof. I found it top-notch and worthy of inclusion in your short-list of boats to see, and experience, before you buy.
Photos courtesy of mftr. website: www.albinboats.com