Albin 31 Tournament Express

By Andy Adams

"I like a purpose-built boat," says Charlie Tatham, the owner of this month's test boat, an Albin 31' Tournament Express. We couldn't have put it any better ourselves.

In the case of this boat, that term translates as "form follows function." Or, as the Albin builders themselves put it: "Fishing Machines for the Cruising Family".

The 31' Tournament Express was designed as a saltwater sport fishing boat by a company with over a century of North Sea and Atlantic experience. That makes for a seaworthy boat that 'I’ll go out in when no one else goes," says Tatham. "That really opens up your options when you're cruising."

"I live in the heart of one of the world's great cruising grounds but we have wonderful fishing here as well," says Tatham. "You can head out and go as little as ten minutes into the bay, set the lines and catch big Chinook salmon. It's a special treat for me to take my clients out on a fishing trip in the Albin."

Given National Marine Manufacturers Association [NMMA] research indicating that nearly 80% of boaters do occasionally fish, what could make more sense than a fishing machine for the cruising family?

The Albin's blue-water heritage is immediately apparent: a very high bow to buck big waves, a high, welded stainless-steel bow rail, nonskid surfacing and side decks wide enough to let you stand straight up holding both the side rail and the handrail on the cabin roof. A light gray color on deck helps reduce reflective glare on sunny days.

Albin 31 - WheelhouseThe Albin sports an impressive cockpit for a boat of this size. A fiberglass swim platform runs right across the transom and includes a door that slides and latches securely with heavy stainless-steel fittings. The door disappears completely to facilitate landing a big fish or transporting a load aboard.

An enormous covered live well and bait well combination is fitted into the transom top.  Under the sole are more wells with removable bins, two systems­ inspection hatches and excellent rod storage; open storage in the cockpit sides lets you keep rods handy or you can stow them overnight behind a hatch cover. Topside includes a seawater wash-down as well as a transom­ mounted shower, overhead and foot lighting for night use and convenient drained rope lockers port and starboard.

Great cockpit features include the large padded gunwhales and stainless toe rails so you can brace yourself while leaning out. Double cabin doors swing and latch out of the way, giving easy access to the wheelhouse - in effect transforming it to a protected extension of the cockpit.

Just inside the doors to starboard is (your choice of) a bait preparation area or beverage center, featuring fridge, sink, cutting board and storage for tackle or loose items. An adjustable swivel helm seat is located forward with a drop-down floor section that lets you steer standing or sitting.

Charlie ordered the helm without instruments so he could install what he wanted.  His wish-list includes a Ritchie compass, while VDO gauges for volts, temperature, oil pressure, tachometer and hours were accompanied by Gaffrig instruments for fuel, boost and exhaust temperature. Charlie felt that was the best way to monitor the health of his single Cummins 450-C.

Raymarine equipment handles communication and navigation and the Cummins includes a multi-function warning panel. The Ultra Flex single-lever control was accompanied by a trolling valve to slow the boat down to proper trolling speeds.

Albin 31 - HelmThree substantial wipers on the windshield sections hinted at the builder's confidence that these boats might see rough waters. The wheelhouse glass is 360 degrees, with sliding sections and screens and there is a companion seat against the port cabin side that can accommodate three or four passengers.

Three steps down take you into a cabin featuring a starboard roomy head with curtained shower, Jabsco pump MSD, mirror and sink built into a vanity.

The port galley includes six drawers and a locker, stainless sink, another Isotherm refrigerator, two-burner Princess propane stove, coffee maker, toaster oven and microwave.

The layout gets more creative from there. A large dinette rather than a conventional V-berth dominates the forward section of the cabin, featuring abundant storage under the sears. It turns into a queen berth if guests are aboard. The cabin is one main room except for the head - a double berth, also open, stretches across the aft bulkhead. We found storage in or under just about everything, a nod to its incarnation as a cruising boat as much as a fishing one.

Albin offers single or twin engines and Charlie opted  for the single Cummins 450-C,  an 8.2 litre six cylinder that makes 450 hp. Acceleration is more than adequate and the boat seemed happiest when cruising at about 2,200 rpm doing about 20 mph. That's where the very deep-vee hull was up on plane and making good headway. She seemed to track with little correction at lower speeds while she leveled out further at higher speeds, hitting 25 mph on our GPS at 2,600 rpm. Even then a little tab brought the bow down further and added a little more speed.

We were carrying a full load of fuel and four people as well as all normal equipment. It was a unique chance to experience a fully-rigged "owned" boat as opposed to the usual, nearly empty test vessel.

Albin 31 - DinetteEven with the gear, we discovered the Albin stayed remarkably flat in turns though she was sensitive to tabs and loads in the straights. That's probably a good feature for battling your way back to port in rough weather off Cape Cod!

Charlie Tatham calls the Albin a "purpose-built boat" and we couldn't agree more.

But our purpose might be different than Charlie's:  for cruising Georgian Bay, elsewhere on the Great Lakes, or anywhere on Canadian waters, she provides a whole lot of fun.

Whatever your purpose - fishing or fun - make no doubt about it. The Albin 31 Tournament Express is definitely purpose-built. 

 

Originally published in Canadian Yachting's July 2005 issue.

 

Specifications

Engine: Cummins 450-C, six cylinder turbo diesel. 8.3 litres / 504.5 ci, mechanical fuel injection, 450 hp, 1.769 transmission

Propeller: 24 x 24 four blade

Specs: Length OA 33', 10 m Length 31'8", 9.6 m Maximum Beam 12'4", 3.73 m

Dry Weight 14,000, 6,350 kg Hull deadrise in degrees at transom, 14 degrees Fuel 300 US gal, 1136 I Water 73 US gal, 276 I, Holding tank 18 US gal,68 I

 

Speeds

RPM         Speed GPS

Idle 700 rpm 6.0 mph 

1000 rpm         8.3

1250         9.5

1500         11.0

1750         12.1 

2000         16.0 

2250         20.0 

2500         24.0 

2600 rpm max. 24.8

 

Test boat provided by:

Owner and Jack Pady Marine Inc. 527 Bay Street Unit "D", Midland, Ontario, Canada L4R 1L2

Tel (705) 526-6224 

Fax (705) 527-4429 

E-Mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Price as tested quoted by:

Jack Pady Marine - $295,000 Cdn dollars (2005), incl., bow thrusters. 

Speed testing by: Garmin GPS

 

Photo Captions:

Photo 1 - The Purpose-Built Albin 31 Tournament Express; A Fishing Machine for the Cruising Family.

Photo 2 - The "wheelhouse" design makes a lot of sense with shade and comfort for a whole gang or nearby open access to the sun and fresh air of the cockpit. There is little or no canvas to struggle with either!

Photo 3 - The owner has equipped the helm with exactly the instrumentation he wanted, including a set of Raymarine communication and navigation systems - and for fishing, the readout for the temperature probes that run off the downriggers.

Photo 4 - The spacious dinette replaces the conventional V-berth and delivers storage under the seats, in the peak and starboard side where we found a hanging locker and three drawers. The dinette makes into a queen berth. The TV cabinetry is optional.

 

Destinations

  • Prev
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...

Thornbury on Georgian BayJennifer Harker

To borrow a line from Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different”.

Normally, our boating adventures are spent weaving our way amongst the picturesque backdrop of the 30,000 Islands of eastern Georgian Bay aboard our Sea Ray Sundancer 268. This time we’ve traded power for sail as friends welcome us aboard their 38-foot Irwin for the Canada Day long weekend.

We’ve set our sights on a decidedly different destination for this journey, charting a course for Thornbury. This small town, located in the southern reaches of Nottawasaga Bay, is an oft-overlooked area of Georgian Bay - but it shouldn’t be. Although we’ve explored this shoreline on countless road trips, this will be our first visit from the waterside.

Read more about the Thornbury on Georgian Bay...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...
Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta imagined it and how Cruisers Yachts has executed it. The idea is that you just come on board, unlock the glass doors, fire it up, cast off, and enjoy - alone, with a spouse, or with a huge group.

Since the first Cantius model was introduced, Cruisers Yachts has continued to refine the concept for ever-greater convenience, more clever and innovative features, and also greater performance.

Read more about the Cantius 46...

 

 

 

 

Sun Odyssey 410By, Zuzana Prochazka

The revolution continues – with a twist

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp will make you say, “Wait, what?”

 Last year, Jeanneau turned the sailboat deck layout on its ear with the introduction of their Sun Odyssey 490 and 440, and the concept of the ‘walk-around deck’.

Read More about the Odyssey 410...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Electrical ground is a term used to describe the reference point in an electrical circuit from ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...

Ask AndrewAndrew McDonald

Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods needed to make connections between components and wiring.

When planning out electrical work, one of the more common questions that I address is on the set-up, installation and sizing of breakers and fuses.

Fuses and breakers are collectively called ‘overcurrent protection’ – and these come in many different shapes, styles and sizes. Their purpose is the same: to prevent a situation where a larger than intended electrical current is running through the circuit, which puts the circuit at risk of overheating, fire and damage to equipment. 

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...
Making it’s global debut at the Toronto International Boat Show the new Mercury 5hp Propane ...
Most of us have heard of fuel additives, whether it be for gasoline or diesel. But which one to ...
While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be ...
Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, ...
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...