Albemarle 41′ Sportfish Express—Fin and Tonic
INTERVIEW WITH THE CAPTAIN—Jock Danforth
Why did you choose to buy an Albemarle?
Interesting story. I always admired the tremendous respect that Fred Barts, a contributing writer for Salt Water Sportsman, had for his 28’ Albemarle, which he had for years. Fred was actually handicapped, and so knowing that hull could take him through all kinds of seas, I thought I had a pretty solid chance of being safe on an Albemarle. I also was enamored with the idea of a small boat builder. When I found this 41’ Albemarle Sportfish Express, built in 2006, I was hooked.
What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this model?
I looked at many, actually: an older Viking Sportfish Express, with older Detroit diesels which were no match vs. the newer Cats, an older Buddy Davis…I loved that hull, but after I looked at it one of the motors blew and it went to auction! Bertrams and Cabos were all looked into as well.
What boats have you previously owned?
I’ve owned many: Robalo, EdgeWater, Everglades, Anglers, Whaler, Alcar, Tidewater, Bertram.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
I really like the Express style. I can be with my guests on board while operating and also be in the cockpit in two steps when fishing. I love the tuna tower as well… very cool to be driving up there when hooked up to a Bluefin or Marlin.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
Wow, we’ve done so much, from bow to stern. We’ve put in a new windlass, new Eisinglas, new cushions, all new electronics in 2012 and just this year in 2020. New stereo, new VHFs, Flir (‘Forward Looking Infered Radar’ which allows us to see at night) and a spotlight, life raft and other equipment to be commercially compliant too, as we do sell our giant Bluefin tuna when we are fortunate enough to do so!
How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
We use it for everything. Sand Dollar Cove days, whale watch outings, Boston Harbor tours, the “back porch” in the harbor, and of course for all kinds of fishing: Canyons fishing and Bluefin tuna fishing being the high-end of the sport.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
The biggest challenge is that I may be down for a day, but it’s incredibly rare as I’ve been very fortunate to have an amazing service team. We cover everything A-Z each off-season so we’re prepared.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy an Albemarle?
Like any boat, make sure you’re going to use it! Just like your kids, your boat loves attention! Become friendly with the Albemarle service team; their wonderful people in Edenton, North Carolina.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
We had just come back from another Bahamas trip in the Abacos where I’ve been going since I was a kid. This place, though, was unique. It’s on Elbow Cay, and there was a former fishing club named the Fin and Tonic Club. We were driving across the causeway and I believe my wife said “Fin & Tonic, how about that?” It stuck.
CHECK IT OUT
To learn more about Fin and Tonic, click the gallery below. To see other boats like this, simply type in Albemarle in the search bar at the top of the Harbor Directory.