Albemarle 53 Spencer Edition: The Best of Custom and Production

August 6, 2021

The Albemarle 53 Spencer Edition: The Best of Custom and Production

The Albemarle 53 Spencer Edition represents more than a new flagship vessel for the storied North Carolina builder. The partnership between Albemarle Boats and Spencer Yachts is one which combines the style and performance of a custom build with the efficiency, timeframe and consistent deliverable of a production build. The result is not only something new from Spencer Yachts and Albemarle Boats, but a new category in boat building all together.

Keith Privott, Albemarle’s Director of Sales and Product Development, and Burch Perry, the company’s General Manager, provide Kusler Yachts with an insider’s perspective about how profoundly the partnership changes the boat building landscape. What follows is an exclusive interview provided to Kusler Yachts.

From left to right, Burch Perry, Keith Privott, and Paul Spencer announce the Albemarle 53 Spencer Edition. 

Changing the Landscape

“The thing that is special and unique about the 53 is that it looks more like a Carolina Custom boat than anything else. The boat is wood free—for ease of maintenance and to keep the weight down. It also comes without the custom boat’s time frame. Many builders are three or four years out or more,” explains Keith Privott. “The effort is to provide a Carolina style boat that benefits from the production resources that we have at Albemarle.”

A partnership with Spencer Yachts produces the 53. “Paul and I have worked with architects through the whole process. The boats will be built here (at the Albemarle facility in Edenton, North Carolina) with our tight control on standards.”

Rendering of the 53. 

The foundation for the 53 is a full composite, infused hull. “The superstructure—the hull and the house—are molded. Everything is custom from then on– from engine selection to cabinetry to layout,” Privott explains. “The boat is all composite and will be produced in a shorter time frame.”


“We are in the process of laying up hull number 1. The hull will be finished next week. We project the first boat to be finished sometime next summer,” Privott says. “The first one is sold and the specs and options are being determined. Ultimately, we will have multiple 53s going on at a time. Hull number 2 is starting in eight weeks.”

Why Buy from Kusler Yachts? We are transforming what you can expect from a yacht brokerage. 

As Albemarle ramps up production of the 53 Spencer Edition, the result– a custom boat product delivered on a production boat schedule. Privott provides context, “The scale and process will increase through time. We anticipate hull number 2 being completed at the end of next year. Our goal, we’d like to see three of these 53s produced each year.”

Incorporating Innovation

“The end result of the 53 is a custom boat with the advantages of a production build. In terms of seakeeping, ride, style and the ability to make the boat how you want it, the 53 is a Custom Carolina boat. It is fully composite and the options are flexible,” Privott provides. “She’s going to be drop dead gorgeous—down to the small details. You’re not going to see the seams or gunnel molding. The 53’s built as one, solid boat.”

Albemarle’s approach to innovation and creating high performance vessels extends across size and model. The Albemarle 41 provides context. 

The partnership with Spencer Yachts provides an incredible number of advantages to the process. “The first build opens lots of opportunities moving forward. The Spencer partnership has been great. Their experience—the boats they’ve built and the customers they’ve worked with—is incredible,” Privott describes.

Incorporating Expertise

Much of the modern custom market lies in the larger sportfish category. Spencer Yachts’ clients know what they want in a boat and how they would like to use it. Proof of this statement lies not simply in the 130 boats that the family builder has produced, but in the number of tournament victories they produce every year.

paul spencer

Captain Paul Spencer. Photo by Scott Kerrigan.

“The team at Spencer brings lots of input into what their customers are looking for in a boat. The project benefits from Spencer Yachts’ experience and customer input from the 70 and 80’ market—and the Spencer Yacht owners in the field,” Keith Privott explains. “Paul, Daniel, Cliff and the whole Spencer team has been great. We are investing quite a bit of time and effort in the design phase, which will save time and benefit the project later.”

Ordering Your Albemarle 53 Spencer Edition  

By combining the benefits of the custom boat world with the resources and scale available in the production companies, the Albemarle 53 stands ready to change boat building fundamentally. Building on a fully composite, infused platform, the 53 provides a beautiful canvas whose owner defines her final form.

Privott’s excitement is palpable as he describes that “no 53 will look like the one before.” The combined effort of two incredible North Carolina boat building legacies is on full display.

Kusler Yachts is a leading Albemarle dealer on the West Coast and beyond. The team at Kusler Yachts is excited about this groundbreaking development and eager to lead clients through the process of building a beautiful, custom piece of sportfishing art for themselves.

Kusler Yachts has earned its reputation by helping clients navigate the process of getting into the right boat for their vision of ownership. If you are looking for a high performance, 53’ sportfisher that brings the beauty and style of a custom boat without the 4-year wait, your ship may well have arrived.

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