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Old 11-20-2005, 08:56 AM
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Default Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

I know this has been gone over many times, but I bumped into a old friend who mentioned that he was considering purchasing a early 80's Topaz bimini, when I mentioned that most people look at the albemarle, Carolina Classic, and blackfin he said he had liked the drifting characteristics of it better.

That has gotten me thinking since I'm considering the same issue, with a blend of inshore drifting, trolling, and offshore fishing. I found the CC to be out of my price range, but saw more than a few blackfin in the 24' model that I could afford. The same with the albemarle where I could get a early to mid 90's model for the same price. I noticed that in the early 90's the weight on them dropped about a thousand pounds according to NADA. Prior to the 90's they were listed at around 5,100lbs and then at 4,100 in the early 90's, but then later went back to the higher listed weight again. Is that due to them using dry weight for a few years or was it construction related.

I want a boat that I will own for many many many years. I don't want to due a buy it now to sell it later and that is why I'm considering heavy duty construction. Are there any isssues I should consider with the boats listed? Or are there any other models that have the blend of construction with offshore capabilities that should be considered. I have children and don't want to have a problem when I take them out with me.

I will be trailering this boat a few times a year to OBX. It will mostly be kept on a trailer in delaware and only towed about 300 yards to launch, how much more difficult is it launching and operating an inboard compared to a sterndrive?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-20-2005, 04:53 PM
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Default RE: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

Hi,
The reason for the different weights is that the Albemarle 24
was sometimes built as an outboard and the 4100 lbs was the
weight of the boat minus the motor. I own a 96 245 Express.
The ride is amazing and there are no water ingestion issues which
are a problem with post carburated CC 25's. You can purchase a
decent pre-jackshaft model for less than 30k. There are some decent pre -carb CC25's out there for less than 40k. I have no
personal experience with the Topaz, but would consider one.
Good Luck, Misfit Toy
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Old 11-20-2005, 06:00 PM
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Default RE: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

The albemarle is the same boat as the old formula and is a small 24' (formula actually called it a 23) compared to the topaz. The topaz has a modified vee with large flat chines at the stern and is an extremely stable boat at rest. The blackfin and the albemarle are deeper vee's at the transom and can eat up some slop even with the bow up out of the water.

I can trim the bow down on my topaz and eat up some slop too, but if i am into a strong wind it can get a little wet that way. I prefer to slow it down and get the bow up and let her plow!! I had blackfin on my short list and only ended up with a Topaz because I found one in good shape for the right price. I didn't want an i/o so I didn't pursue any albe's, but they are nice boats too.

Set the trailer up correctly and you won't even know the difference between an i/o or inboard...I drive mine onto my trailer just like a smaller boat, and so does a friend of mine with his twin inboard 26' blackwatch. get the guide ons and the front bunks.

I have always like the layout of the Carolina Classic with the flush deck...it does give so much extra room. My 1979 Topaz was solid as a rock, including the stringers. I was told Topaz used cypress for the stringers which is why they were still solid and didn't have any rot. I did have some soft spots in the deck from where the balsa got water logged. Only other issues where typical electrical problems from a boat that age. I completely rewired mine.

Get whatever boat surveyed and you won't be sorry.
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:00 AM
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Default RE: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

GotHooked,
TerpHeels invited me to take a look at his 1984 24' Albemarle this past weekend. One word. Impressive. I can't answer all of your questions, but I'll offer my two cents. The boat is SOLID. I looked at the hull, the fittings, the engine compartment, etc. I could not find one crack on that boat.
I am researching boats for a purchase 12-24 months down the road. As far as structural integrity and quality construction, the bar has been set in my mind. To repower his craft, his options are much less expensive than some of the alternative setups out there. He did have his on a trailer and had a diesel for a tow vehicle.
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

Gothooked,

Just sold my 87 Albemarle 247 in August. Here's what I have to say about it. Impressive ride, especially in a 2 - 3 ft chop. Better have the curtains up, however. There is no bow flare to deflect spray. I have come back from 30 miles out in 5 ft'ers/5 sec and she handled it just fine at reduced speed (16 knots / still on plane).

Overall, the small Albemarle is an excellent offshore troller. However, the old style 247 (engine box in rear) like mine has limited versatility as a fishing platform. It doesn't work well for live bait King Mackeral fishing. You really don't want to throw a castnet from the foredeck, esp if seas rough. Same can be said for throwing a cast net off the engine box. If you try to throw from within the cockpit, you'll snag the net on your downriggers or other gear. Also, they don't have livewells and the add on like I had are small.

They don't work well for bottom fishing unless it's relatively calm. The engine box takes up valuable space and gunwhale height is awfully low if you've got any kind of sea. That 24 degree deadrise that gives you that great ride makes it rock like crazy at anchor or on the drift.

Built solid, heck yes!!! So is the Carolina Classic. I've toured both factories and was impressed by both.

Bottom line: old style Albemarle--->>>great for trolling ballyhoo, limited for other uses IMO. For any boat purchase you have to really thoughtfully consider your primary intended use. Most choices involve some sort of tradeoff. Hope this helps.

Hal
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

Gothooked, I have been seriously shopping for a good used 24' Albemarle... reason: Good ride, GREAT construction. I currently own a 22' Grady that is a very nice boat, but the construction of the Albemarle is on a totally different scale (commercial grade... MUCH stronger). In terms of durability, there is no comparison. However, the Albe's have some drawbacks I'm still trying to sort out... one of which is NOT how wet they are. Actually, they are dryer than other boats I've owned (16 boats, I'm old). Also, I prefer stern drive boats. Lots of torque, engines cheap to replace, and fuel efficient, but NOT as quiet as the new 4-stroke outboards.

You can look at a bunch of used 24' Albemarle's on the internet. I'm retired and for the last few weeks have travelled to Corpus Christi Tx and Essex/Clinton Ct. to look/buy a 24' Albemarle. I still don't own one, but I can tell you for sure that most of the used ones are WAY over priced. I can by the new 2004 in Clinton Ct. for $50k, and the used but LOADED 2002 for $42.5k that's in Essex Ct. You may be interested in those boats, but I also bumped into a pretty nice 1993 for (asking) $15k in Old Saybrook Ct... could be very nice if re-powered. I'm still working on my next boat. Probably going to be a 23'7" Albemarle.

E-mail me if you want to know more. Tom.
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

Hi Gothooked,

Have you considered a 24 Rampage or a Shamrock?
These boats have moderate deadrise and probally would
be suitable for drift fishing. The Shamrock has a clean
transom and so does the Rampage with an inboard.
The Rampage has a wide beam which probally adds
stability on the drift.

Good Luck, Misfit Toy.

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Old 11-22-2005, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

Bump, I was hoping to get a few more responses. All who have replied thanks.
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Old 11-22-2005, 03:39 PM
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Default RE: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

All of the boats mentioned are very solid sea worthy boats. The Albie, Topaz, and Blackfin are the most affordable. Of those three the Albie and Blackfin have very similiar hulls with 24 degree deadrise which equals a better offshore ride. As you already know the Albie is an I/O and the Blackfin is a straight inboard. The Albie will get better fuel economy but the Blackfin will ride a little better and be more stable at rest because it has a better center of gravity with the motor being in the center of the boat. The blackfin also has a clean transom which is a big plus to me. But, the bottom line is get what suits you the best. Your the one who will be using/paying for it. I didn't think you can go wrong with any of these boats.
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

Gothooked - How much are you looking to spend? Newer 24 Albie's use the jackshaft and have the engine midship which I think is a better arrangement. Were you only looking at gas or considering diesel as well. They're great running boats, no doubt.
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

I was considering gas and open on the price range. I heard that the jack shaft versions started in 94, is that correct?
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

Hi,
The jackshaft style Alby 24 was produced from 1997 on.
I own a 96 and have sea trialed a newer model with the J/S.
They handled pretty much the same. The the J/S model is
significantly louder than the previous set-up, but the 97 and
later models are better. You can get to the transom with the
engine box moved fwd . There is better visibility with a taller
windshield and a much better helm which allows for flush
mounted electronics. A much nicer boat in my opinion.
Good luck, Misfit Toy.
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Old 11-24-2005, 10:31 PM
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Default RE: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

Don't forget to check out the late 80's early 90's 24 NorthCoast. Awesome boat.
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Old 11-26-2005, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

I had considered the northcoast but haven't seen many of them around.
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Old 11-26-2005, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

I recently saw a 24' Northcoast, which was interesting. it had a new hard top, engines tired, boat very clean.
BUT the sconstruction from the waterline up seemed very light. Does anyone have the same experience?
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Old 11-26-2005, 05:19 PM
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Default RE: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

I have a 31 NorthCoast. The boats are built like tanks. They (24 and 31) were designed by Charles Jannace who is famous for his Blackfin designs. The 31 NorthCoast became the 31 Blackfin Combi. The 24 NorthCoast became the 24 Shamrock. They are very solid boats and great head sea boats. If you like Blackfin, you'll like NorthCoast. However the new NorthCoast are different boats, I believe Lema designs.

There are several 24s for sale in New Jersey. Check yachtworld and boattraderonline as well as Saltydog used boats.
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Old 11-26-2005, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Used 24-25 foot, Topaz, Albemarle, or Blackfin?

Here is a Shamrock 24 GrandSlam, which is the same hull as the NorthCoast for sale on fishtheclassic.com.

http://www.fishtheclassic.net/forums...pic.php?t=6973
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